It took a little over a grueling 31 levels, spread over four days, to whittle the 490-strong Poker King Cup Macau Main Event down to the final two players with China’s Longyun Li and Malaysia’s Michael Soyza the last men standing.
With both players nearly evenly stacked, a deal was struck when play reached heads-up, with the two using the Independent Chip Model (ICM) to work out a prize pool chop.
With Soyza holding a slight lead he was guaranteed an HK$1,135,000 (~$US145,619) payday with Li taking HK$1,101,000 (~US$141,282) and the two decided to play for the other 5% of the prize pool and the all-important trophy and title.
The man to take that was Longyun Li, who emerged the victor after fifteen hands of heads-up play; winning the first significant pot four hands into the match to take a commanding 2-1 chip lead.
With Soyza now on the back foot, Li turned the screws and the next big pot was also shipped the Chinese player’s way after he limped the button and Soyza checked from the big blind. Soyza check-called Li the whole way on a king-high board, but could only fold the river when the Li rolled over king-seven offsuit to take the pot and over a 10-1 chip lead.
The very next hand it was all over. Li limped the button, Soyza moved all-in from the big blind for his last 1.3 million with queen-nine suited and the Chinese player made a speedy call with king-jack off suit. Li paired his jack on the flop to pull further in front and while Soyza picked up a backdoor flush draw the river bricked out to see Li take down his first major title and first ever live Hendonmob score.
“I feel so happy to win,’ said Li after his victory, ‘It’s difficult to finish first in any tournament and I’m very lucky to have won and I’d like to thank my family and friends who watched from the rail,” said a clearly elated Li.
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (HK$)||Prize (USD)|
|3||Zhong Yuan Hang||China||HK$625,000||$80,193|
The day began with eight players, but this quickly became seven after Linh Tran and Simon Burns clashed 20-minutes into the first level of the day. While Tran’s pocket kings were leading Burns’ pocket queens the queen-high flop saw Burns leave Tran on life support with just 1.5 big blinds and he departed the very next hand.
It took a further three-hours of play before the next casualty with the chip lead changing hands numerous times as the seven remaining players jockeyed for position. Eventually, something had to give and it was the unfortunate Simon Burns who was the next man to fall, getting all the chips in pre-flop with ace-seven offsuit and running into the pocket jacks of Liu Lifu.
This opened the floodgates for a slew of speedy eliminations with Weizhou Zha, Huang Qien and Liu Lifu departing in quick succession in the space of a single 60-minute level.
Zha got the last of his chips in pre-flop with king-jack and while this was leading Soyza’s speculative six-seven suited the Malaysian player turned a straight to send the Chinese player to the rail. Huang Qien joined him there minutes later after his pocket fours lost a race to big blind Zhong Yuan Hang’s ace-ten offsuit to take play four handed.
As the next shortest stack Liu Lifu attempted to make a comeback, moving all-in pre-flop with ace-two offsuit from the button. Unfortunately for Lifu he was looked up by big blind Longyun Li, who flopped top pair with king-six suited and turned two pair to bring Lifu’s tournament to a close.
While Zhong Yuan Hang enjoyed a brief stint as chip leader when play became three-handed he was the next to fall, getting all the chips in pre-flop with the dominated ace-five offsuit against the ace-jack of Michael Soyza. The Malaysian player paired his jack and sent Hang crashing out of the tournament to take play heads-up.
That concludes the PokerNews live reporting for the Poker King Cup Macau but we will be returning to the Las Vegas of the Orient for the Triton Super High Roller Series running 3-7 August so join us then for more high-octane, big buy-in tournament thrills.