Play has been fairly solid so far and the players have to make it to level 2 without an elimination. However, bust outs are like buses, you don’t see one for ages and then two come along at once…
In a sudden flurry of cards and chips over on table 10 our first two players have bitten the dust, courtesy of Australia’s Michael Mariakis. After a Daoxing “Bobo” Chen UTG limp Mariakis makes it 400 to go from the hijack and finds a caller in the form of China’s Rui Bao. The action folds around to Chen who insta-shoves prompting Mariakis to hit the think tank hard.
“Have you got Aces Bobo?” Mariakis queries, “You look weak, or are you just trying to get me to call?”
After agonising over the decision for a good five minutes Mariakis finds the call and Bao also decides to come along for the ride and the cards go on their backs, prompting cries of astonishment from the rest of the table when they see what their fellow competitors have chosen to stick it all-in with.
Michael Mariakis: K♠ K♦
Daoxing Chen: K♥ 6♥
Rui Bao: Q♠ 10♠
Unfortunately for Bobo he chose to make a move at the wrong time and he and Bao are in need of a great deal of help, which is not forthcoming after the board runs out A♣ 6♣ 2♣ 4♠ 8♥.
“I could have sworn he had Aces” Mariakis states in surprise as he stacks up his newly won chips, he’s now up to the 35,000 mark whilst both Chen and Bao take the long walk of shame to the rail.
Japan’s Masato Okude just made that most special of poker hands on the river but it probably cheated him out of some chips. On the flop of 2♦ 4♠ J♦, his opponent, Tatsakis Konstantinos bet out 1550 and Okude made the call with A♦ Q♦.
He hits his flush on the turn 10♦ and he decides to repop the following 2800 bet to 5500. Konstantinos calls and the K♦ pings on the river to church choir singing. His opponent checks and Okude moves all in for 4025. Konstantinos can’t make the call with four diamonds on the board to a flush and turns over Pocket Deuces for the flopped set. It’s a hand Okude also has to show and he obliges the table.
It’s worth noting at this point that all players have made it through the first blind level without busting. One of them, Michael Mariakis, would have been short-stacked if not for a gutsy call on the river of this hand.
It began with a 250 bet from under the gun and Mariakis calling as the next player to act. He is joined in the pot by the hijack and button players. The flop delivers K♦ Q♠ 6♠ and is checked all around. On the turn J♦ the hijack sends 700 into the middle after it’s checked to him. Two players fold but Mariakis calls.
On the river 4♥ Mariakis again checks and the hijack player throws another 1000 into the pot. Mariakis pauses for a few moments and makes the call. His opponent turns over A♣ 3♣ for Ace-high and Mariakis turns over 4♠ 3♠ for a busted flush draw but a bluff catcher with a pair of Fours on the river.
The numbers are in and we have 188 players battling it out at the baize for Day 1A of the Red Dragon main event. Notables in today’s field include: World Gaming magazine’s Andrew Scott, India’s Shashshank Rathi, PokerStars Team Asia Pros Vivian Im and Raymond Wu, Australia’s Brian Mcallister, Hero Poker’s Dave Ewing, Michael Mariakis, China’s Daoxing “Bobo” Chen, Poker King’s Winfred Yu, Linh Tran, South Africa’s Justin Lowe and Norway’s Kai Paulsen to name but a few.
From the hijack, Team PokerStars Asia Pro Raymond Wu just called a raise to 200 from the player immediately to his right, however, the action is then re-raised to 1325 from the cutoff. The original raiser folds and Wu four-bets to 3225, which is then called.
The two players go to the flop of J♣ 8♦ 8♣ and Wu continues with another bet of 3725. His opponent then turns Wu’s aggression back on him by moving all in for around 8000 more. This forces a fold from the Team PokerStars Asia Pro and Wu is left with just 8400 in chips remaining.
PokerStars newest Team Asia Pro, Korea’s Young Shin “Vivian” Im is obviously keen to prove her worth and is wasting no time in getting involved in the action.
Following an opponents under-the-gun raise to 150, Im makes the call from the button before the Small Blind bumps it’s up to 500. Both players make the call and we go three-way to the flop, which runs out 8♠ 9♣ 4♥. The Small Blind fires out a bet of 600, and after the UTG player folds Im makes the call.
The 8♦ hits the turn, prompting a check from the Small Blind, Im reaches for chips and fires out a 1,025 bet, which is enough to elicit a fold from her opponent and Im has just taken down her first pot of the day without showdown.
With a raise from UTG to 225 and one caller in the hijack, Andrew Scott is the next man to act and makes it 600 to go. However, the player in the small blind pops it up even further to 3525. Scott elects to just call and see a flop of J♣ 7♥ 7♠. His opponent leads out strongly with another big bet and Scott frustratingly folds. He asks his opponent whether it was Kings or Aces and receives and seemingly genuine reply of “Kings”. Scott later tells us he folded Big Slick and is in need of winning a few hands to get his groove back.