2016 Macau Millions: Zheng crushes final table to take title
China's Alvan Zheng has emerged victorious, powering though Macau's largest-ever 2,343-strong field to take the title and lions share of the prize pool.
Banking an impressive HK$911,000 (~$116,000) for his first place finish, Zheng defeated fellow countryman Quan Zhou with a controlled display of canny play and poker finesse.
Zheng came into the final table in pole position with a stack of 4,515,000 - 500,000 more than closest rival Zhou - and relinquished the chip lead only once in his quest for victory.
On the final hand Zhou limped the button and Zheng checked from the big blind before an innocuous looking 2♠5♠T♣ flop saw a betting war escalate into poker Armageddon with both players flopping two pair; Zheng's T♥5♥ leading Zhou's T♦2♦. The 8♠ turn and 3♦ river saw Zheng's hand hold to award him the title and the illustrious trophy.
Playing his second final table of the series Singapore's Boon Heng Siong made a valiant showing but could not better his previous seventh place finish in the HK$2,000 Warm Up and became the first casualty of the day after running into the A-A of Chun Liang Pan early on, departing in ninth for HK$75,000 (~$9,600).
Zheng was responsible for the final table's second casualty, sending reigning APPT Macau champion Tony Cheng to the rail after his A-K won a race against Cheng's Q-Q to send the Hong Kong player to the ferry terminal with HK$100,117 (~$12,830) for his eighth place finish.
Despite coming into the day as the third largest stack, Hong Kong's Jason Lo struggling to make headway and exited in seventh for HK$132,000 (~$16,900) after shoving K♦Q♣ and being looked up by Zheng, who was holding A♠8♦.
The final table's sole female player - Russia's Tatiana Barausova - made a brave showing but eventually came up short after getting the last of her chips in with a turned king-high flush draw and missing to depart in sixth for HK$185,000 (~$23,700).
Quan Zhou saw off Chinese Taipei's Chun Liang Pan in fifth, the two players getting all the chips in pre-flop with A♦T♥ and K♠Q♠ respectively and despite the flop falling A♠Q♣K♣ running red nines saw Pan exit the tournament area for a payday of HK$272,000 (~$34,875).
It was Zheng wielding the executioner's axe once again to send Howard Ka Ho Sun to the rail in fourth. Zheng woke up with pocket sevens following Sun's short-stacked shove with J♥6♣ leaving Sun to head for the exit with HK$383,000 (~$49,100) for his troubles.
Third place finisher Guancheng Wu was the only player at the final table to briefly snatch the lead from Zheng, but the latter took back all his chips with interest after Wu made an ill-timed bluff and was left crippled, departing shortly afterwards for HK$530,000 (~$67,950) with Quan Zhou administering the coup de grace.
2016 Macau Millions Final Table Results
1. Alvan Zheng (China) - HK$911,000
2. Quan Zhou (China) - HK$700,000
3. Guancheng Wu (China) - HK$530,000
4. Howard Ka Ho Sun (Hong Kong) - HK$383,000
5. Chun Liang Pan (Chinese Taipei) - HK$272,000
6. Tatiana Barausova (Russia) - HK$185,000
7. Jason Lo (Hong Kong) - HK$132,000
8. Tony Cheng (Hong Kong) - HK$100,117
9. Boon Heng Siong (Singapore) - HK$75,000
Those interested in following all the action as it happened can check out the PokerStars blog.
With a massive 2,343 entries the 2016 Macau Millions is officially Macau's most popular poker tournament - awarding a monstrous HK$6,136,317 (~$782,000) in cash prizes - with 162 players successfully circumnavigating their way into the money spots. A complete Main Event Winners List can be found here.
Congratulations to Alvan Zheng for making history and beating what proved to be Macau's largest-ever tournament field.