To the delight of many players seeking live tournament action in Macau, the month of May avoided a dry spell with Poker King Club launching the Oriental Poker Championship 2018 (OPC). The inaugural six-day series took place at the Venetian Macao on May 23 – 28 with PKC CEO, Winfred Yu, opening the festivities with heartfelt words,
“This is a new tournament brand of Poker King Club and Venetian and (we) hope to bring you all the more exciting tournaments in different levels of poker. As we’ve heard so many negative things about poker happening in Asia and China, we are here to fight and stand for poker in what we believe in our sport, in our spirits.”
The festival kicked off in prime form with the High Roller event one of the first on deck. Malaysia’s Ivan Leow stole the show, overcoming the 43-entry field to capture his first-ever live tournament title and HK$1,442,300 (US$183,740). Following that event, Leow brought his momentum to the bigger stage as one of the 513 entries in the Main Event.
Although he performed superbly, entering the final table as the chip leader, he would miss the golden mark by one falling only to China’s Xiao Bo Zhou. Zhou captured the bragging rights inaugural OPC championship title, which so happens to be his first-ever live tournament career victory, and the HK$1,451,000 (US$184,939) first prize.
Xiao Bo Zhou wins the Main Event
For a brief recap, the Main Event drew in an impressive 513 entries, and at HK$16,500 apiece, the prize pool closed at an enormous HK$7,464,200 (US$951,442). After four days, action culminated with 8 players forming the final table led by the hot-handed Ivan Leow. With Leow fresh off a victory at the High Roller event, this amped up the excitement with a possible sweep by the Malaysian pro.
In the end, Leow continued to impress, reaching the heads up round against Xiao Bo Zhou. While both players were credited with railing two players, it was Zhou with the advantage, entering the final bout up 5:1. Zhou proceeded to win the Main Event and pocket himself a sizable HK$1,451,000 (US$184,939). This is Zhou’s single largest score, more than doubling up his total live earnings.
Final Table payouts
Prize pool: HK$7,464,200 – Buyin: HK$16,500 – 63 paid
1st Xiao Bo Zhou – China – HK$1,451,000 (US$184,939)
2nd Ivan Leow – Malaysia – HK$1,016,700
3rd Chang Bo Feng – China – HK$653,900
4th Wayne Zhang – China – HK$483,700
5th Austin Walton – USA – HK$362,800
6th Sang Hwang – Hong Kong – HK$291,100
7th Yazhou Chen – China – HK$242,600
8th Yuefeng Pan – China – HK$193,300
The Main Event paid out a total of 63 players, among those who earned a cut were Thailand’s top-ranked player Phanlert Sukonthachartnant (12th), Albert Paik (16th), Yang Zhang (35th), and Daniel Tang (62nd).
Incredible run for Ivan Leow, wins High Roller event
The biggest cash winner at the OPC was Malaysia’s Ivan Leow with two big scores. Leow has been running well this year, amassing a majority of his live tournament earnings within the past two months. Prior to winning the OPC High Roller event, Leow placed 6th in two events at the Triton Super High Roller in Montenegro with his largest score at the HK$1M buy-in Super High Roller Main Event for US$362,424.
After topping the OPC High Roller event, Leow picked up his second career six figure payout of around US$183,740. This was the first victory of his live tournament career.
High Roller payouts
Prize pool: HK$4,003,300 – Buyin: HK$100,000 – 7 paid
1st Ivan Leow – Malaysia – HK$1,442,300
2nd Yang Wang – China – HK$921,000
3rd Albert Paik – USA – HK$580,000
4th Wenling Gao – China – HK$400,000
5th Chihwen Chen – Taiwan – HK$280,000
6th Victor Chong – Malaysia – HK$220,000
7th Tony Cheng – Hong Kong – HK$160,000
By nearly winning the OPC Main Event, finishing runner-up for a HK$1,016,700 payout, roughly around US$129,500, ths brought his total earnings at the festival to approximately US$313,000. Impressively, this year alone, Leow has already shipped in US$783,000 in earnings.
Article by Tricia David