The last three hands have just been announced as the clock ticks down to zero on level 7, which is our last level of the day. Peter Knight decides he’s coming back on Day 2 with chips or not coming back at all and ships over the top of a Calvin Ho opening raise of 1,350 for his last 9,625. Ho asks for a count and makes the call, his A♥ 9♥ racing against Knight’s 4♣ 4♦.
The poker gods are in a benevolent mood and Knight’s last minute push is rewarded when the board runs out 3♦ Q♠ 7♦ 6♣ 3♣ to grant him the double-up so he’ll be returning on Saturday with around 22,000 or so, which while not great is more than he started the day with. Ho is in much better shape, even after losing that last hand and is sitting on around 55,000.
Brian Pearson has padded out his already ample stack with a few more chips courtesy of Ryan Hong after the latter called Pearson’s UTG+1 raise of 1,300 from the cut off. Pearson c-bets 2,600 on the 4♦ 4♥ 9♣ flop and it doesn’t look like Hong is going anywhere and he tosses in the call.
The turn is the 2♥, which brings a check from Pearson and a bet of 3,600 from Hong. After asking for count (Hong has 70,000 behind) Pearson makes the call before checking the 7♣ river.
“I should really value bet this,” Hong mutters, before decided to play it safe and checking behind. It’s a good thing he does and he saves himself some chips when Pearson rolls over Q♥ Q♠, which is enough to see him scoop the pot and finish the day on 66,325.
That concludes the action for day, and while the tournament board reads 40 players out of the starting 89 this is unconfirmed and there could well be several less. Notables to make the cut include Jeppe Drivsholm who enjoyed a last minute burst of pace to finish the day on 75,900, Sparrow Cheung (74,000), Xibo Hu (73,000) Divan Le Roux (68,000), Hung-Sheng Lin (60,500), Jessica Ngu (60,000) and Michael Marvanek (28,075).
After his earlier coolering when his Aces were cracked by the trip Queens of Divan Le Roux, Justin Chan has just managed to squeak into Day 2 with a stack of 7,500. At the other end of the chip spectrum our current leader is Hong Kong’s Hoi Ting Lee who finishes the day on a very impressive 119,175 with China’s Aimin Zhang hot on his heels with a stack of 101,500.
That concludes our action for the day but be sure to join us for more tournament thrills and spills tomorrow at the same time (3.10pm) as Day 1B gets underway.
We are 30 minutes left from the conclusion of Day 1A of the MPCC and just 40 players remain out of the 89-strong starting field. Leading the charge is Hoi Ting Lee, although he has decreased the size of his monster chip stack in the following hand. Lee opened the action to 1,500 from the lo-jack and picks up two callers in form of the cut-off and button before opting to c-bet 2,500 on the 2♣ 10♠ A♦ flop. While Zheng Lei makes the call in the cut-off the button bows out and we go heads up to the turn, which is the A♠. Lee fires a second bullet, this time a slightly larger 4,000, which sends Lei into the think tank. He’s obviously not convinced in Lee’s sincerity and after thinking about things for a few minutes he re-pops it to 15,000 in total. It’s Lee’s turn to visit the think tank, but it looks like he’s just doing this for credibility reasons as he doesn’t take too long about it before folding. Lee drops down to just over 130,000 after that little misadventure while Lei rises to around 47,000 or so
Brian Person is still going strong on around 75,000, and Sparrow Cheung is still flying high on 70,000, as is Ryan Hong on 65,000. Divan Le Roux looks to have taken a couple of hits but is still looking very healthy with a stack of around 60,000 and 2011 Player of the Year Hung-Sheng Lin is still very much in the running with 45,000 in chips. Denmark’s Jeppe Drivsholm is still in contention with around the same and Michael Marvanek has increased his chances with a stack of 30,000. Both Aaron Lam and Justin Chan are hanging in there, though only by the skin of their teeth with stacks of 14,000 and 7,500 respectively.
We’ve just lost Conrad Coetzer, who we corralled for his exit hand on the way passed the press desk “Even if I tell you, you won’t believe me, I should have folded pre-flop, on the flop and on the turn,” confides Conrad Coetzer, whom we convince to spill his guts.
“I had Jack Four offsuit, I raised pre-flop and Brian Pearson looks me up from the big blind. The flop is Ace-Three-Four with two spades, Brian checks and I check. The turn comes the Q♦ and he bets 1,500, I make it 3,500, he makes it 7,000 and I call. River is the 2♦ he bets 15,000, I call and he shows me Ace Queen…”
“It’s all down to a bad run in the cash games,” Coetzer explains, “I lost a big pot where a guy showed me a bluff and it’s affected my tournament play as I’ve been calling too much since then,” he states dejectedly consoling himself with a choc ice from the cafeteria. “I started the day all wrong because I thought it was a re-entry tournament and it all went downhill from there.”
We’re guessing this means he’s lost his last longer bet with fellow countryman Divan Le Roux who is still going strong on 100,000 or so…
We are down to five tables and 50 out of the 89 starting players remain in contention as level 6 draws to a close, though some are just holding on by their fingertips, Jackie Wang being one of them. While Wang was up to around 26,000 or so at one point early in the day his fortunes have waned somewhat and he has slipped down to around 12,000 or so in chips, which all end up in the middle of the table against the similarly stacked Alan Jackson.
It’s left to a good ol’fashioned race to decide matters, Wang’s A♣ K♣ up against Jackson’s J♦ J♥, which maintain the lead when the flop falls 5♦ 5♥ 3♥ and Jackson remains in pole position when the turn and river run out the 2♠ and 9♦ respectively. Wang is left with a paltry 1,250 after that spot of bad luck while Jackson gets a new lease of life and is back up to 21,500. However, Wang is thrown a lifeline just two hands later when following two limps he looks down to see K♦ K♥ and sticks his micro-stack over the line. The UK’s Peter Knight re-ships to isolate for 12,250 with A♠ 10♦ and the two limpers get out of the way to take the hand heads up.
The way Wang’s luck has been going you would half expect the window card to be an Ace, though the Singapore-based player is fortunate enough to dodge all the bullets when the board runs out 7♠ 5♣ 3♥ 7♥ 6♦ to grant him a reprieve and he rakes in a pot worth 5,000 while Knight drops down to 11,000.
Another player who has just earned a get out of jail free card is Conrad Coeter, who has had a rollercoaster ride of a tournament so far here today. Coetzer gets his last 10,000 all-in pre-flop with 4♠ 4♣ against Ryan Hong’s Ace King and manages to get his pair to hold to secure himself a double up to 20,000, though Hong doesn’t look too bothered about this turn of events as he still has 80,000 in chips. “It’s the only way I can beat you,” quips Coetzer to Hong as he stacks up his newly won chips, “You’ve picked me off in every other hand…”
India’s Amit Varma is on the ropes with just 5,000 in chips but is still in better shape than the UK’s David Barnes, who has just crashed and burned in a hand against Brian Pearson. The two got all the chips in with 10♥ 10♠ and A♣ K♠ respectively with Pearson spiking his Ace on the flop and improving to two pair by the river to send Barnes to the rail. Players are now on a short 10-minute break but will return to battle it out for one more level before bagging up the chips and concluding the action.
Tournament poker is a fickle beast as the capricious and often cruel Lady Luck blesses some and curses others. Just when you think things are going smoothly the wheels have a habit of falling off and we’ve just had a real car crash of a hand that has seen Justin Chan spin out of control and Divan Le Roux emerge from the wreckage like a phoenix from the flames.
At the start of the hand both players are pretty deep, Chan sitting on just over 50,000 and Le Roux on around 45,000. Le Roux opens the throttle with a min-raise to 1,000 from under-the-gun and action folds around to Chan in the big blind who looks down to see A♣ A♥ and puts his foot to the floor with a three-bet, which Le Roux flat calls.
The flop comes down Q♣ 2♦ 6♥ and Chan keeps the pedal firmly to the metal and leads out with a hefty bet, Le Roux engages the turbo with a chunky three-bet and Chan instantly moves all-in for 32,000 or so, which is snap called by Le Roux who has hit top set holding Q♦ Q♠.
Chan is in trouble and his Rockets are shot down in flames when the turn and river come down K♣ and 2♠ respectively to give Le Roux a full house and a pot worth just over 90,000. That car crash of a hand sees the South African climb to second in chips while Chan is left with a 5,000 bowl of rice.
Alvin Cheam’s MPCC has come to an abrupt end with the ever-active Divan Le Roux kick starting the action with a raise to 800 from middle position. China’s Xibo Hu comes along for the ride before Cheam squeezes for his last 7,000. While this has worked out for him in past tournaments today the Aussie is not so lucky and while Le Roux bows out of the way Hu decides that his K♠ J♠ is good enough to look Cheam up with, and he’s right, it’s in front of Cheam’s 7♥ 9♥. The flop comes King-high, though Cheam does flop the nut gutshot draw as the other two cards are Five-Six. However, blanks on the turn and river see one of Perth’s finest head to the bar to drown his woes while Hu takes another scalp and stacks up his newly won chips.
While Michael Marvanek has been trying unsuccessfully to get the PokerStars models to accompany him for a drink at the end of the day’s action the ladies have been good to him at the table, the card-based kind at least. Marvenek woke up in the small blind with pocket Queens following a UTG raise to 950 from Minh Nguyen. A player in middle position makes the call with pocket Twos and Marvanek shoves for just over 10,000 and while Nguyen gets out of the way his Duck-wielding opponent decides he can’t lay them down and makes the call. The board runs out 7♥ 8♦ 6♥ 5♦ 5♣ to give the Australian the double up and he’s now up to around 22,000 or so.