This past weekend, the inaugural PokerStars.net 2014 Beijing Millions concluded as China’s Chen Qin topped a field of 2,732 entries to win ¥675,000 (approx. $109,000). What’s more, the tournament, which featured a buy-in of ¥3,000 ($480) created a prize pool of ¥7,376,400 ($1,195,000) that was distributed to the top 202 finishers, set a record for the largest tournament ever held outside of the United States.
*Denotes four-handed deal
The Beijing Millions, which was held at the Beijing Star Poker Club, marked the first time the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) had held a tournament on mainland China, and it proved a tremendous success.
"We always believed that this would be a successful event, but this result greatly exceeded our wildest expectations," said APPT President Danny McDonagh. "It's a great honor for PokerStars and the APPT team to be selected to support this tournament. It's been a historical week. Not just the record itself, but how it may change the future landscape for poker in China."
The tournament, which was a part of a 10-day poker festival organized by the Beijing Sports Competitions Administration Centre, a division of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, also set a new PokerStars record for its largest live tournament surpassing the previous mark of 2,446 entries from the 2013 Brazilian Series of Poker.
The tournament required six starting days, and surprisingly the monster field was reduced to just 188 for Sunday's Day 2. Among those to make it through included Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, Bryan Huang, and Vivian Im.
Of those, Im was the first to go in 151st place for ¥13,750 ($2,227), and then Huang followed her out the door in 50th place for ¥23,750 ($3,850). That left Lin carrying the Team PokerStars torch, and also the hopes of the ladies as she was the last female standing. Unfortunately for the Shanghai-born pro, her run came to an end in 24th place for ¥56,250 ($9,115).
All nine players at the final table were Chinese, which ensured the title would stay on home soil. Qin ended up taking a chip lead of 17,100,000 to 9,000,000 over Yang Zhang into heads-up play, and he used it to his advantage.
In what would be the final hand, the blinds were 200,000/400,000/50,000 when both players limped to see a flop of . Qin check-called a bet of 550,000 from Zhang and then checked for a second time on the turn. Zhang took the opportunity to bet 1,000,000, and then Qin sprung to life with a check-raise to 2,550,000. Zhang called and then watched Qin moved all in on the river. Zhang called off with the for two pair, but it was no good as Qin held a full house with the .
"I'm so happy to run such a successful event in Beijing and have the support of APPT and the event organizers from the Beijing Sports and Administration Centre," said AoBoTe principal Jian Yang. "The APPT is a professional event management group capable of running major international poker tournaments and together we created a miracle with the Beijing Millions. I hope the cooperation between APPT and Star Poker will strengthen and develop poker further in China."
For more information about the APPT, please head to APPT.com.
*Lead photo courtesy of the PokerStars Blog.