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MPC 27 Big winners: Qiuming Qin, Michael Soyza, and James Lee; Alan Lau retakes APOY lead

With the Macau Poker Cup 27 winding down to a few remaining side events, the biggest ones have been claimed including the High Roller event and the highly coveted Red Dragon title. In addition, the Asia Player of the Year has Alan King Lun Lau back in the driver’s seat after his record breaking performance. Read all about it below.

Christopher Michael Soyza ships in the High Roller event

Michael Soyza - Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars
Michael Soyza – Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars

Three months ago, Malaysia’s Christopher Michael Soyza placed 2nd at the Poker King Cup Main Event for a sweet US$145K. While he has scored a couple of six-digit payouts in the past, this was to be the largest score so far. That is up until the MPC 27. Soyza entered the last High Roller shot clock event joining the 119 entries that ponied up the HK$80K entry fee and shipped it for HK$2,037,000 (US$200K approx).

There were of course many heavy hitters gunning for the title and the hefty first prize such as James Chen (11th) who was hunting for his third high roller win, Xixiang Luo (10th), Canlin Chen (5th), and Germany’s high-ranked player Martin Finger, who Soyza faced at the final heads up round. Although Finger was already on the board with a 4th place finish at the earlier HK$100K Single Day High Roller event, it was Soyza’s title to win. This was Soyza’s first High Roller title this year coming close with a 2nd place finish at the 2017 APT Championships Manila High Rollers event in May.

Final Table Results

1. Michael Soyza (Malaysia) – HK$2,030,000
2. Martin Finger (Germany) – HK$1,700,000
3. Zhong Wang (China) – HK$979,000
4. Wing Cheung Chong (Hong Kong) – HK$810,000
5. Canlin Chen (China) – HK$653,800
6. Shan Huang (China) – HK$515,720
7. Mauro Francolini (Italy) – HK$394,000
8. Qi Luo (China) – HK$297,000
9. Ivan Seng Yee Leow (Malaysia) – HK$222,000

Qiuming Qin conquers the Red Dragon

Qiuming Qin - Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars
Qiuming Qin – Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars

The most coveted trophy and title of the series was of course the Red Dragon Main Event. This event guaranteed a HK$10M prize pool however with the event producing a record-breaking turnout of 1,308 players, that number was well exceeded for a handsome HK$17,128,260 (US$2,100,000 approx). With most tournaments today allowing re-entries, this massive draw for a freeze out event showed how the Red Dragon has become the most highly regarded Main Event in the region and how winning it has become the mission of many players.

Days ago, the Red Dragon was finally conquered and the highest honors went to China’s Qiuming Qin. Prior to the event, not much was known of Qin. He was one of the 779 Chinese hopefuls looking to slay the dragon and score a big one. One decorated player Qin took down prior to the final table was New Zealand’s Thomas Ward who earned the spotlight after topping Day 2. Qin sent him out in 12th place.

At the final table, Qin had four players on the chopping block and nearly had eventual 2nd placer Terence Wu on that list much earlier if not for a suck out. Wu’s pocket jacks hit a set against Qin’s pocket kings with six players still in the running. Qin claimed the biggest score of his tournament career and the largest single first prize of the festival, the massive HK$3,141,000 (US$400K), plus of course, the mighty red iconic trophy.

Final Table Results

1. Qiuming Qin (China) – HK$3,141,000
2. Terence Wu (Hong Kong) – HK$2,400,000
3. Tong Tan (Singapore) – HK$1,235,000
4. Xilei Li (China) – HK$894,000
5. Kian Weng Choong (Malaysia) – HK$603,000
6. Calvin Tan (Singapore) – HK$433,000
7. Mian Wei (China) – HK$364,000
8. Mike Huang (Taiwan) – HK$313,000

Alan King Lun Lau charges to the top of the APOY race

Alan Lau - Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars
Alan Lau – Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars

Hong Kong’s Alan King Lun Lau has quite a number past kingly titles he can go by such as 2016 Red Dragon Main Event champion or 2015 Asia Player of the Year however this year, he is charging up the ranks gunning to make a new title for himself.

Coming into the MPC 27 running second to Park Yu Sparrow Cheung in the 2017 APOY race, a pole position he relinquished at last month’s PokerStars Festival Manila, Lau stormed in and racked up some impressive stats:

  • 5th at the HK$500 Flipout
  • 1st at the 6-Handed
  • 86th at the Baby Dragon
  • 4th HK$1,500 Flipout
  • 1st at HK$3,000 NLH

With these deep runs, Lau retook the lead in the APOY race and climbed to 9,914 points putting him in prime spot to becoming the first player to ever win the APOY title twice. While that has yet to be determined, Lau had other achievements that he could surely brag about. First, he was the only player to win two side events at the series. Second, he surpassed Jack En Ching Wu’s record of 9,492 total points set last year, and with more point-generating events yet to come, it is likely he will climb even higher. And third, Lau also claimed his seventh PokerStars title this year, the most that anyone has won in a single season.

James Lee wins the HK$25K

James Lee - Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars
James Lee – Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars

Another big moneyed event in the MPC 27 lineup was the HK$25K buy-in HK$3M guaranteed event. In going with the trend, this event churned out 306 entries for a lucrative prize pool ballooning to HK$6,826,860 (US$870K approx). After three days of action, USA’s James Won Lee took this one down and earned the HK$1,604,000 (US$205K) first prize. Lee also ran well at the Baby Dragon event, topping the field at Day 1 to eventually finish in 29th place.

Article by Triccia David


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