PokerStars Macau at Casino Grand Lisboa held the MPC October Special over the weekend and welcomed 78 players to the featured $5,000 KO Bounty event.
Amongst the field, only Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang was in a position to overtake fellow Team Pro Raymond Wu for the top spot on the Asia Player of the Year (APOY) leaderboard.
Huang didn't hold back as he gained an early chip lead and played aggressively all the way to the final table. The Singapore poker pro only needed to place eighth or better to take the top rank in the APOY list, but after an hour of play, the final ten shrunk down to two players.
Standing in the way of Huang's first title in 2010 was another Singapore player, PokerStars qualifier Tai Zheng Tan, who held virtually the same amount of chips when heads-up play began.
The PokerStars pro accumulated a noticeable chip lead heading into the final hand. After a series of raises Tan decided to take a stand with A♠T♠ against Huang's 9♦7♥. The flop was a favorable 9♥J♥K♥ for Huang and the turn and river blanked out to give him the win.
Huang's victory awarded him HKD $72,750 and puts him firmly in the pole position for APOY. Also making the final table was Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin. Her eighth-place finish moves her into 10th on the leaderboard and tied with Huang for most final tables in 2010 at five each.
PokerStars Macau won't be quiet for long as the Macau Poker Cup Championship (MPCC) runs from November 2-7. The MPCC is the grand finale for Asia's premiere poker series and features the HKD $20,000 buy-in Main Event with a HKD $3,500,000 guarantee.
The six-day schedule will include ten numbered events that count towards the APOY leaderboard. Also part of the APOY race is the HKD $5,000 MPCC Warm-Ups event on October 30, which is the perfect preparation for an intense week of poker festivities.
"I'm happy about the win," said Huang. "Number one on the Asia Player of the Year race is good but I'm not comfortable with the lead. There's still lots of good players in the running like Ray and Celina. The win gives me confidence but I'm planning on playing all the MPCC events and multi-tabling where I can."
Already confirmed for the MPCC Main Event Opening Ceremony on November 3 at 1pm are WSOP World Champion Joe Hachem; defending MPCC Main Event winner Devan Tang; Team PokerStars Pros Huang, Lin, Wu, and Tae Joon Noh; and, Hong Kong celebrity model Carol Yeung.
Players can qualify for free to the Macau Poker Cup Championship on pokerstars.net - go to 'Events' and then click 'Macau'.