Macau Poker Cup 24 at PokerStars LIVE Macau set a new record for a freezeout event in the Asia-Pacific region by drawing 1,075 players for the HK$12,000 Red Dragon, and when the tournament ended, Ying Lin Chua had conquered the unprecedented field to pocket HK$1,904,000 (approx. $245,000) as part of a three-way chop.
The Malaysian conference manager has been on fire in early 2016, as he also won World Poker Tour National Philippines for $86,130.
Official Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Home Country||Prize (HK$)|
|1||Ying Lin Chua||Malaysia||1,904,000|
The event had three flights and set the record after a monster turnout of 512 players on Day 1c.
"It's a special day for the PokerStars Live team, as we've been looking to crack the one thousand-player milestone since the Red Dragon hit 995 in 2014." said Asia-Pacific Poker Tour President Danny McDonagh in a press release. "There's been a global surge in reentry events these last few years, so this accomplishment is that much more satisfying to achieve in a classic freezeout format."
One player many expected to contend for the title was Tom Alner, an English pro with more than $1 million in live cashes who shipped this very event in August 2013 for HK$823,000 (approx. $106,000). But, according to the live updates, after Yongqiang Huang went down in ninth, Alner followed him to payouts in eighth when he shoved about 15 big blinds over a raise with the only to have Wayne Zhang wake up with queens behind him. The initial raiser also mucked ace-queen, and Alner did not improve.
Meanwhile, Chua had ran hot early and went from third in chips to first. After the elimination of Yang Zhang, Chua had about 30 percent of the chips in play six-handed. Fan Xie went out sixth and then Chua built his stack even further.
Chengbei Lei was in desperate straits with just 640,000 in chips at blinds of 40,000/80,000/10,000, and he put those remaining chips at risk preflop and got called in two spots. The flop came , and Chua bet 100,000 against his lone active opponent, who folded. Chua tabled the for a flopped straight, but Lei had outs with the . Two bricks fell, however, and Lei was out.
The remaining four players battled for awhile, with stacks getting shallower as blinds rose until the average was just over 30 big blinds. Finally, Chua broke the stalemate after Takashi Ogura opened and Liang Xu shoved about 14 big blinds. Chua shoved as well, chasing Ogura out, and his held against the for Xu as the board ran out .
That pot gave Chua the lead, but it wasn't a big one, and though a deal was discussed, play continued. After about 90 minutes of play, the three remaining players finally sorted things on a second attempt at negotiations. Chua secured himself the biggest payout, and HK$300,000 (approx. $38,000) was left to play for.
Chua then shoved in with the from the small blind, but Wayne Zhang woke up with the and looked him up. Chua was able to run a flush on the board, giving him a monster lead.
Wayne Zhang was left crippled, but he was able to nurse his last few blinds and outlast Ogura, who sent his chips to Chua with the against the all in preflop.
"I feel super fantastic!" Chua told PokerStars after the win. "I really didn't expect something coming to me so soon [after the WPTN win]."
*Image courtesy of PokerStars.