New Zealand's Sosia Jiang walked away with the trophy and a payday of HK$3,870,000 (~US$503,100), the biggest cash of her career thus far, at the PokerStars Championship Macau HK$103,000 (~US$13,260) High Roller.
The festival at the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room in the City of Dreams complex had eight hopefuls out of a 180-entry strong field return for the third and final day of the high roller.
A total of 138 unique players and 42 re-entries created a prize pool of HK$17,460,000 (~US$2,248,160).
The 38-year old from New Zealand had a Chinese fortune cat, Maximus, watching over her chips for the duration of the tournament. It indeed turned out to bring plenty of fortune and bravery.
The 38-year old from New Zealand had a Chinese fortune cat, Maximus.
Jiang lived in Hong Kong for several years and started playing poker recreationally before moving back to New Zealand. One month ago, Jiang visited China and joined the action of the Macau Poker Cup, in which another woman came to High Roller glory as well: Sixiao "Juicy" Li won the HK$80,000 Baby Dragon High Roller.
In heads-up, Jiang defeated start-of-the-day chip leader Raghav Bansal, who shook hands with a “You played like a boss,” on his lips.
Bansal almost doubled his earnings thus far and will jump into third place on the all-time money list of India as a result. Troy Quenneville settled for third place while high-roller regulars Nick Petrangelo (fourth), Dan Smith (sixth) and Sergey Lebedev (seventh) all came up short.
Have a look at what Jiang had to tell PokerNews' Sarah Herring.
Final Result HK$103,000 High Roller
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (HKD)||Prize (USD)|
|1||Sosia Jiang||New Zealand||3,870,000||503,100|
|5||Ben Lai||Hong Kong||1,170,000||152,100|
"If I am going to run good, I better do it in a High Roller tournament," Jiang joked once the last hand was done and dusted.
She indeed started the day with the second-shortest stack, then scored a vital double up with queen-jack against the pocket tens of Smith. Jiang flopped top pair and a straight draw, then turned an additional flush draw when the chips went in the middle of the table. Smith called with pocket tens for middle set and another spade on the river secured the double.
Xixiang Luo, who already won two Side Events during the festival previously, became the first casualty of the day. After a raise by Smith and a call by Quenneville, Luo moved all in with pocket nines out of the big blind. Smith folded, but Quenneville called with ace-jack and immediately spiked an ace in the window.
Jiang then scored another double up before Lebedev three-bet and ultimately five-bet shoved with pocket queens only to see Jiang snap-call with pocket aces. There was no surprise on a king-high board and Lebedev had to settle for seventh place.
Jiang then scored another double up before Lebedev three-bet and ultimately five-bet shoved.
Smith was left short after losing several pots in quick succession and three-bet shoved with king-queen suited. Jiang called with pocket sevens and held up to send the American poker pro to the rail in sixth place.
Ben Lai previously had lost almost all of his chips when he tried to push Bansal off two pair on a flush draw board and then called all in for just over two big blinds. Initial raiser Jiang and Bansal in the big blind checked it down and Lai's jack-eight suited couldn't get there against the ace-king suited of Jiang.
Petrangelo, who already finished second in two high roller tournaments during the festival in Macau, was hoping for the third time to be the charm, but ultimately the American had to settle for fourth place this time around. After doubling his short stack, he four-bet shoved with ace-five suited and Jiang found pocket aces for the second time to eliminate an opponent on the final table.
Down to three, Jiang dominated the action at the tables and sent second-biggest stack Quenneville to the rail. After a limped pot in a battle of the blinds, Jiang bet small on an ace-high flop with two spades before betting big on the turn when a ten appeared. Quenneville called and then faced the shove for well more than the size of the pot on the river that completed a flush draw.
The Canadian couldn't find the fold with king-jack of hearts for the straight and Jiang flipped over ace-ten of spades for the nut flush.
Jiang had a commanding 8-1 lead when heads-up started, and Bansal got short once, doubled and grinded back some more chips before the Indian got short again. Bansal then three-bet all in for just over 22 big blinds with pocket deuces. Jiang called with queen-ten, a queen showed up on the river and the champion was crowned.
That marks the end of the PokerNews live reporting from the HK$103,000 High Roller tournament, but you can check out the thrilling heads-up battle in the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event between Elliot Smith and Tianyuan Tang.
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