Zhou "Jimmy" Zhou wins the Main Event
After 5 days of play, the Main Event for this ACOP festival has now reached it's climactic conclusion, with a new champion having been crowned.Connor Drinan came in as an experienced high stakes player, with a slight chip lead, but as we noted yesterday, the chip counts were quite bunched up coming into this final table. It always looked like this title was anyone's to win, and so it proved. In the end, it was not the favourite who took victory here, as Drinan fell short of expectations, finishing in 5th place.
Play began today with 7 competitors, with time running out on the fourth day before we could reach the final 6. Once our fifth day began though, we soon lost a player, with Xixiang Luo busting in 7th, and Qi Luo following afterwards in 6th. Not the best of starts for Chinese hopes in this event, with both men flying the flag for China. After the shock exit of Drinan in 5th, Thomas Ward and Zhou Zhou were gaining ground and staking their claim. The often short stacked Taiwanese amateur, Hsien Yuan Yang, stubbornly refused to bow out until his flopped set got coolered by a Straight. Hsien will be proud of his efforts, having only learned to play poker a year ago. The only remaining Chinese national, 28 year old cash game player Nan Tu, put up a spirited fight during the final table, but there was nothing he could do to dodge the completed Straight draw that ultimately ended his challenge.
It took almost 3 hours of heads up play to separate New Zealander Thomas Ward, and Chinese- American, Zhou 'Jimmy' Zhou. Having entered the final table with the third and fourth largest stacks, these two seasoned poker pros consistently gathered momentum through the day. Both would have been worthy champions, but after their draining heads up battle, it was 28 year old Zhou, holding the trophy aloft, as the last man standing in this prestigious event. With a career specialising in mid to higher stakes heads up Holdem, perhaps Zhou always had a small edge heads up.
Zhou 'Jimmy' Zhou wins the Main Event (Photo Kenneth Lim , Courtesy of PokerStars)
The prize payouts were as follows:
– 1st Zhou 'Jimmy' Zhou – HK$5,885,000 (USD$759,291)
– 2nd Thomas Ward – HK$3,736,000 (USD$482,024)
– 3rd Nan Tu – HK$2,411,000 (USD$311,070)
– 4th Hsien Yuan Yang – HK$1,928,000 (USD$248,753)
– 5th Connor Drinan – HK$1,519,000 (USD$195,983)
– 6th Qi Luo – HK$1,205,000 (USD$155,470)
– 7th Xixiang Luo – HK$964,000 (USD$124,376)
Andy Andrejevic wins the Super High Roller, John Juanda runner up
The Super High Roller certainly did not disappoint at this ACOP, with 34 hopefuls registering for the event. The hefty buy in of HK$500,000 (USD$64,510) created a pool of prize money deep enough to swim in, with HK$24,235,200 (USD$3,127,000) up for grabs.
The final table of this event had a number of familiar faces, some of whom were fresh off the back of cashing the Main Event. Erik Seidel finished a creditable 6th place, continuing his famed form in High Rollers. Anton Astapau from Belarus took 5th, with Steve O'Dwyer once again representing Ireland with a great performance, eventually falling in 4th place. US pro Bryn Kenney didn't feature in the battle for the Main Event title, but he certainly featured here, taking 3rd place in this field of top quality poker players. The ever talented and recognisable John Juanda, would have loved to back up his recent EPT victory with another title here, but in the end, he had to settled for 2nd place. Our Super High Roller champion brought a 3 to 1 chip lead into heads up play, and after a brief fight against Juanda, it was US pro Andy Andrejevic, who took this title, along with the HK$8,725,000 prize money (USD 1,125,690). Remarkably, he satellited into this event for just USD$5,100 and never reloaded at any point.
Andy Andrejevic (Photo Kenneth Lim , Courtesy of PokerStars)
These were the final table payouts:
– 1st Andy Andrejevic – HK$8,725,000 (USD$1,125,712)
– 2nd John Juanda – HK$5,574,000 (USD$719,165)
– 3rd Bryn Kenney – HK$3,635,000 (USD$468,992)
– 4th Steve O'Dwyer – HK$2,666,000 (USD$343,971)
– 5th Anton Astapau – HK$1,939,000 (USD$250,172)
– 6th Erik Seidel – HK$1,696,200 (USD$218,846)
Alan King Lau crowned Asian Player of the Year (APOY)
As the curtains closed on this ACOP festival, one question remained. The Main Event had treated us to a number of possible eventualities that could decide the Asian Player of the Year race, one way or the other. The most serious challenge was mounted by KC Wong, who fought his way through the Main Event field and threatened to reach the final table, which would have put the title within his grasp. Unfortunately for KC Wong, the Main Event awarded APOY points the top 10 finishers, and his 11th place finish saw him fall short, by the smallest of margins. The Super High Roller provided no further shocks in this race, which means that the man who led going into the ACOP, Alan King Lun Lau, is now our new Asian Player of the Year. His multitude of deep runs and final tables, coupled with his two titles this year, were enough to see him across the finish line.
Alan "Kinglune" Lau has been crowned Asian Player of the Year (Photo Kenneth Lim , Courtesy of PokerStars)