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James Chen Wins Macau Poker Cup 23 High Roller for $220,000

James Chen


  • It took two full days of poker and 66 eliminations to arrive at the final table of the MPC23 High Roller.

  • James Chen needed just 75 minutes to swiftly dominate the final table in the Macau Poker Cup 23 High Roller.

Yue Feng Pan captured headlines when he topped a record summer series field of 945 players to win the Macau Poker Cup 23 (MPC23) Main Event for HK$2,108,000 (approx. $272,000), but just a couple days later another man captured a nearly equal prize.

James Chen of Chinese Taipei emerged victorious over a record 75-player field in the MPC23 High Roller for HK$1,704,000 (approx. $220,000). Prior to the win, Chen had just one cash on his résumé — HK$230,700 (approx. $30,000) for a runner-up finish in February's MPC Event #2 HK$6,000 No-Limit Hold'em Baby Dragon.

MPC23 High Roller Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (HKD)Prize (USD)
1James En Ning ChenChinese Taipei$1,704,000$219,850
2Makoto YoshimichiJapan$1,117,000$144,115
3Tom AlnerUK$726,000$93,668
4Liang YuChina$559,000$72,122
5Weiyi ZhangChina$391,000$50,447
6Yan CaiChina$335,000$43,222
7Scott DaviesUSA$279,000$35,997
8Xiang ZhuChina$251,500$32,449
9Huidong GuMacau$223,500$28,836

According to updates from the event, it took two full days of poker and 66 eliminations to arrive at the final table of the MPC23 High Roller, but then just a further 75 minutes for Chen to claim victory.

"The pace throughout the day gave no indication that the final table would be over so quickly, but Chen simply dominated and ensured it was a short night at the felt," PokerStars said in a press release.

Chen began the final table with the chip lead and never relinquished it. After Huidong Gu fell within the first 15 minutes, Chen scored his first final table knockout when his pocket kings held against the ace-queen of Xiang Zhu.

Minutes later, Makoto Yoshimichi opened for 80,000 form the hijack and then snap-called when reigning World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific champ Scott Davies moved all in for 435,000.

Davies: {a-Hearts}{8-Clubs}
Yoshimichi: {q-Spades}{q-Clubs}

Davies was in desperate need of an ace, but he was left wanting after the board ran out a dry {7-Spades}{9-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{k-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. Davies took home HK279,000 (approx. $36,000) for his seventh-place finish.

After the eliminations Yan Cai and Weiyi Zhang in sixth and fifth place, respectively, Liang Yu followed them out the door in fourth after he ran the {4-Clubs}{4-Spades} into the {a-Clubs}{a-Diamonds} of Yoshimichi.

Before an hour of play had passed, former Red Dragon champ Tom Alner fell in third place — the result of his {q-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} failing to improve against Chen's {a-Clubs}{4-Clubs} — which set up a short heads-up match between Yoshimichi and Chen with the latter holding a 2-1 chip lead.

Despite there being over 100 big blinds in play when heads-up began, it took just five minutes for the final hand to go down. It happened when Yoshimichi opened the button for 160,000, Chen three-bet to 420,000, and Yoshimichi called to see the {10-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{4-Spades} flop. Chen continued for 475,000, Yoshimichi called, and the {Q-Hearts} appeared on the turn. Chen bet 750,000, Yoshimichi moved all in for 1,650,000, and Chen quickly called.

Yoshimichi: {10-Hearts}{6-Hearts}
Chen: {j-Clubs}{j-Spades}

The {Q-Clubs} river was no help to Yoshimichi and he had to settle for runner up and a HK$1,117,000 (approx. $144,000) payday.

*Lead photo and data courtesy of PokerStars Blog.

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