Zigao Yu Takes Early Lead at PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event

The first PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event ever kicked off early Monday afternoon at the City of Dreams resort. Day 1a got underway at noon local time with six 75-minute levels on the schedule. A total of 193 entries put up the HKD $42,400 buy-in throughout the day with 117 surviving through to Day 2.

A great call midway through the day propelled China’s Zigao Yu (lead photo) to the top of the counts on Day 1a of the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event, ending the night with 162,400.

Position Player Country Chip Count
1 Zigao Yu China 162,900
2 Daniel Laidlaw Australia 135,300
3 Ryan Yu Canada 125,200
4 Dmytro Denysenko Ukraine 118,000
5 Yan Li China 107,700

Joining Yu at the top of the leaderboard was majority Day 1a leader Daniel Laidlaw from Australia (135,400) and Canada’s Ryan Yu (125,900).

Other notables securing a seat on Day 2 include Yan Li (107,700), Albert Paik (98,900), “Billy the croc” Argyros (96,800), Dong Guo (88,200), Bryan Huang (83,400) and Daniel Dvoress (65,000).

Many of the game’s elite took a shot on Day 1a. Some familiar faces seen around the room were John Juanda, David Peters, Sam Greenwood, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Fabian Quoss, Davidi Kitai, Xuan Liu and Maria Ho.

Xuan Liu’s tournament came to an end when the Canadian pro ran into a wall. Well, two walls really.

Liu’s tournament came to an end when the Canadian pro ran into a wall. Well, two walls really, but mainly Vinay Agarwal‘s. Liu had flopped top two-pair but, unfortunately, Agarwal and another tablemate both flopped flushes, Agarwal’s being best.

Ho also fell victim to an early exit. Facing a call for her tourney life on the river, Ho slid her remaining chips in the middle only to see her opponent table a straight as she took her leave. Tom Alner, Philipp Gruissem, JC Alvarado and Nick Wong were also among the casualties on Day 1a.

The start of Day 1b will be pushed slightly ahead on Tuesday to give players a chance to fire away in the HKD $200,000 Single Day High Roller, which will commence at noon local time. Day 1b of the Main Event will start at 6:00 p.m. with six 75-minute levels on the slate.

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And, of course, follow along with the video coverage as Sarah Herring forces players into some interesting shenanigans.

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