The 2017 PokerStars Championship Macau festival at the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room in the City of Dreams complex saw eight hopefuls out of a 180-entry strong field return for the third and final day of the HK$103,000 (~US$13,260) 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).
After just over five hours, a winner was crowned and it was 38-year old Sosia Jiang from New Zealand who walked home with the trophy and a payday of HK$3,870,000 (~US$503,100), the far biggest cash of her career thus far. Chinese fortune cat Maximus was watching over the chips of Jiang for the entire duration of the tournament and it indeed turned out to bring plenty of fortune and bravery.
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 had to settle for third place while the High Roller regulars Nick Petrangelo (4th), Dan Smith (6th) and Sergey Lebedev (7th) 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 and she indeed started the day with the second-shortest stack, then scored a vital double up with queen-jack against the pocket tens of Dan 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 Dan Smith and a call by Troy 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.
Sosia Jiang then scored another double up before Sergey 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 7th place.
Dan Smith was left short after losing several pots in quick succession and three-bet shoved with king-queen suited. Sosia Jiang called with pocket sevens and held up to send the American poker pro to the rail in 6th place.
Ben Lai had lost almost all of his chips just previously when he tried to push Raghav Bansal off two pair on a flush draw board and then called all in for just over two big blinds. Initial raiser Sosia 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.
Nick 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 4th place this time around. After doubling his short stack not long ago, he four-bet shoved with ace-five suited and Sosia Jiang found pocket aces for the second time to eliminate an opponent on the final table.
Down to three, Sosia Jiang dominated the action at the tables and sent second-biggest stack Troy 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.
Sosia Jiang had a commanding 8-1 lead when heads-up started, and Raghav Bansal got short once, doubled, 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 and 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.