The next High Roller Champion has been crowned at the 2017 PokerStars Championship Macau festival at the PokerStars Live Macau poker room at City of Dreams. Only 13 players out of a 36-entry strong field returned for Day 2 of the HK$82,400 (~$10,605) Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller event and Sam Greenwood was leading the field. However, it was Ka Kwan "Kaju85" Lau who emerged victorious in heads up against Maksim Shuts to claim the title, trophy, and payout of HK$950,000 (~122,277).
Lau, a poker pro from Spain who was born in Hong Kong and moved to Spain when he was four years old, considers Omaha as one of his favorite games and showcased his skills at the tables, while almost all finalists encountered a roller coaster of emotions with plenty of all in showdowns before a winner was crowned.
The best live score of Lau resulted from a 4th place in the EPT10 Prague Main Event, and he also finished 20th in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. The Spaniard then triumphed in the EPT13 Malta €10,300 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller back in November last year, and his live tournament winnings are now close to $1 million.
Final Result Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (HKD)||Prize (USD)|
|1||Ka Kwan Lau||Spain||950,000||122,277|
|6||Hok Lee||Hong Kong||196,100||25,240|
The day started with a triple up for Maksim Shuts, who returned for level 13 with just under five big blinds, while Shuo Li joined the rail only minutes into Day 2. Isaac Haxton and David Wang then bowed out at almost the same time on different tables and there were only 10 hopefuls remaining. Martin Kozlov lost the fight with his short stack and that set up the unofficial final table with the following seat assignments.
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|4||Ka Kwan Lau||Spain||250,000||83|
|6||Chun Yuan Wang||China||44,000||14|
|8||Hok Lee||Hong Kong||128,000||42|
Only a few minutes passed and Chun Yuan Wang got half of his stack in via three-bet preflop, then shoved a paired ten-high board with two diamonds. Sam Greenwood called with a double-suited ten and the nut flush draw of Wang never arrived. What followed was an incredible festival of all ins, double ups and more than three hours without elimination.
Ultimately, it was Joseph Kushner who gad to settle for 8th place, two off the money, when his short stack vanished with queen-ten-nine-eight against the ace-jack-ten-seven of Ka Kwan Lau. Almost two hours later, it was Sam Greenwood who ended up as the bubble-boy after being the dominating chip leader for most of the day. A series of lost showdowns saw the stack of the Canadian down to four big blinds, which he first doubled through Ka Kwan Lau only to bust the very next hand. Greenwood got it in preflop with pocket aces and Lau had jack-nine-seven-six double suited, the Spaniard turned an unbeatable straight and the money bubble burst.
After taking five hours to get from eight to six, the tournament would be over a mere hour later. Hok Lee got his stack in preflop with a single-suited ace and Fabian Geisel looked him up with ace-king-nine-five. Geisel flopped two pair and Lee was gone in 6th place.
The fortune for Fabian Geisel lasted all but six minutes, as his flopped set of sixes were no match against the flopped set of eights of Ka Kwan Lau, and suddenly there were just four hopefuls remaining.
Daniel Geen was then eliminated in 4th place after his double-suited queens ran into the double-suited kings of Ka Kwan Lau, and the latter took a massive lead over his other two opponents.
Until then, PokerStars Team Pro Felipe Ramos had nursed a short stack and laddered up several spots before getting most of his chips in preflop. Ramos flopped top pair with a king, and Ka Kwan Lau called off the few remaining chips with bottom pair, then turned two pair to send Ramos to the rail.
Ka Kwan Lau, who started Day 2 as second-biggest stack, held a 2-1 lead over Maksim Shuts, who himself returned with less than five big blinds when the action resumed at lunch time. Both players discussed a deal but couldn't agree on the numbers, and less than 10 minutes later it was all over. In a big pot and repot hand, the flop came king-high with a flush draw and Shuts shoved with pocket aces and the nut flush draw. Lau only had middle pair and a three-high flush draw, but spiked a blank three on the river to improve to two pair.
That was it from the Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, while the second edition of the Single-Day High Roller is fast approaching their respective final table. One further high-stakes tournament remains for the festival here in Macau and that is the HK$103,000 Shot Clock High Roller with single re-entry. The event kicks off at 12 p.m. local time and will play down to a winner within the next three days, the PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor to provide updates.