Niklas Heinecker Wins GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions Main Event for $4.4 Million

Niklas Heineker

“This is easily the greatest day of my poker career,” Germany’s Niklas Heinecker said after his victory of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions (GDAM) Main Event. That’s not surprising, considering that Heinecker was awarded HK$34,600,000 (US$4,464,516) when he bested a field a 51 top-notch players, eventually defeating Australia’s Jeff Rossiter heads-up to claim the title.

GDAM Main Event Payouts

PlacePlayerPrize (HKD)Prize (USD)
1Niklas Heinecker$34,600,000$4,464,516
2Jeff Rossiter$24,500,000$3,161,290
3Sorel Mizzi$16,100,000$2,077,419
4Zheng Tang$12,525,000$1,616,129
5Isaac Haxton$10,200,000$1,316,129
6Igor Kurganov$8,300,000$1,070,967
7Anson Tsang$7,150,000$922,580
8Pratyush Budigga$6,000,000$774,193

When the final day of action began, eight players were all hoping to get where Heinecker stands today. Unfortunately, there can only be one champion, so seven players had to fall by the wayside, albeit with at least HK$6,000,000 (US$774,193) for their time.

With the average stack at the beginning of the day being only 15 big blinds, it is no surprise that action was extremely fast paced. In fact, it took only a few hands to lose Pratyush Buddiga in eighth place. Buddiga found himself all in holding {8-Diamonds}{8-Spades} and wasn’t able to hold against the {q-Spades}{7-Hearts} of Igor Kurganov when the dealer spread out a {6-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{4-Spades}{10-Diamonds} board.

A short while after Budigga’s elimination, Anson Tsang lost all his chips to Jeff Rossiter. Tsang was all-in preflop holding {a-Hearts}{6-Clubs} against the {k-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} of Rossier and when a {5-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}{10-Spades} board was dealt, Tsang was sent home in seventh place.

At that point, the play slowed somewhat for the first time, and no player was eliminated for quite some time. However, during that period, several players found themselves all in but managed to survive.

Eventually, Igor Kurganov hit the rail in 6th place, with his {a-Clubs}{10-Clubs} being unlucky to fall to Zheng Tang’s {a-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} on a {2-Spades}{a-Spades}{q-Spades}{7-Hearts}{8-Spades} board. Picking up HK$8,300,000 (US$1,070,967) for his time, Kurganov's lifetime tournament winnings now exceed $5.5 million following a big year that included multiple high-roller final tables.

If one player was to be described as having a roller coaster day at the felt, it was Isaac Haxton. Prior to Kurganov’s elimination, Haxton was down to one big blind but found a couple of double-ups to make the pay jump. Haxton ended up finishing in fifth place when blinds were at 700,000/1,400,000 and he shoved for 14.3 million from the small blind holding {j-Spades}{3-Hearts}. Tang was in the big blind and called with his {a-Spades}{q-Hearts}. The {7-Hearts}{9-Spades}{a-Clubs}{3-Spades}{6-Hearts} board gave Haxton a sweat on the turn, but it wasn't enough for the PokerStars Team Online member as he made his way to the rail.

The least experienced player at the GDAM final table was Tang, but he put in a solid effort before finishing in fourth place. Tang’s final hand saw him all in preflop holding {5-Spades}{5-Clubs} against the {a-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds} of Heinecker. The {a-Hearts}{j-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{3-Hearts} board gave Heinecker a pair of queens, enough to send Tang packing.

The fast action continued as Sorel Mizzi was sent home in third place. Mizzi began the day as the chip leader but was down to 23.2 million when the blinds were at 1,000,000/2,000,000. On his last hand, Mizzi shoved his small blind holding {k-Hearts}{7-Clubs} and Heinecker called holding {6-Diamonds}{6-Spades}. Mizzi had two overcards, but when the {10-Spades}{5-Spades}{6-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{3-Clubs} board was spread on the felt, MIzzi was eliminated and the GDAM Main Event was down to just two players.

At the beginning of heads-up play, Heinecker held an almost 3-to-1 chip lead against Rossiter, but with the blinds so high, it was still anyone’s tournament. Not surprisingly, all the chips were in the middle soon and Rossiter was at risk. It was Rossiter’s {q-Diamonds}{10-Spades} against Heinecker’s {a-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and the {k-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{j-Spades} board would be the last five cards the GDAM Main Event would see as Rossiter was sent home in second place, and Heinecker was crowned the victor.

We would like to congratulate Niklas Heinecker on his massive effort that will see him go down in history as the champion of the GDAM Main Event. He also happens to be HK$34,600,000 (US$4,464,516) richer for the experience.

It was once again another superbly run tournament by the staff at PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams and we look forward to PokerStars and the GuangDong Group (Macau) teaming up again in the near future to provide more high-stakes poker action.

For many of the well-known players who partook in the GDAM Main Event this week it will be straight back to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker. Be sure to check out coverage from Las Vegas, and we will be back in Macau for the next stop on the APPT from June 12 through 16.

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