2016 Macau Millions: Zheng leads final nine
The record-breaking Macau Millions Main event of 2,343 entries has now been whittled down to a final nine.
Leading the charge is China's Alvan Zheng, who edged into pole position after enjoying a late game card rush to finish play with a stack of just over 4.5 million.
Hot on Zheng's heels is 2014 APPT Seoul High Roller champion Quan Zhou who had a huge day at the felt, bagging an impressive 4.18 million in chips.
Both Chinese players enjoy a lead in excess of 1.5 million over next closest rival - Hong Kong's Jason Lo - who finished the day with a stack of just over 3.5 million.
While all three players are way ahead of the rest of the pack there is still plenty of quality left with in-form reigning APPT champion Tony Cheng coming in fresh from his latest victory in the HK$20,000 (~US$2,500) NLH side event a scant two days prior. Cheng will have to work hard to lock up the win however, coming in as the shortest stack with just over 1 million in chips.
The remaining nine finalists are all guaranteed a payday of at least HK$75,000 (~US$9,600) with first place paying out a wallet-fattening HK$911,000 (~US$116,800) that includes an entry to the 2016 ACOP Main Event.
2016 Macau Millions Final Table Draw
Seat 1: Quan Zhou (China) - 4,185,000
Seat 2: Guancheng Wu (China) - 1,580,000
Seat 3: Jason Lo (Hong Kong) - 3,570,000
Seat 4: Howard Ka Ho Sun (Hong Kong) - 1,675,000
Seat 5: Boon Hen Siong (Singapore) - 2,040,000
Seat 6: Tony Cheng (Hong Kong) - 1,055,000
Seat 7: Chun Liang Pan (Chinese Taipei) - 2,115,000
Seat 8: Alvan Zheng (China) - 4,515,000
Seat 9: Tatiana Barausova (Russia) - 2,445,000
Play began with 160 hopefuls who circumnavigated the tournament minefield to make Day 2 with China's Xiao Lin leading the field with a stack of 553,000.
Unfortunately for Lin he came up short as play progressed, falling victim to Hong Kong's Benny Lai, who himself fell victim to final tablist Guancheng Wu in a three-way car crash of a hand that saw the latter hit a set of tens to beat Lai's A♠K♠ and crack Zhou Lin's K♥K♦.
Other notable casualties included inaugural Macau Millions winner Justin Chan (119th), Red Dragon winner Raymond Wu (92nd) and 2015 Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau (82nd).
The action was fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining with more than 30 players hitting the rail during the first level. Play began to slow slightly as the dinner break approached before 17 players departed in a flurry of cards and chips when play resumed to set up the final table.
The final table plays out on Monday 18 at 2:00pm local time - join us then as we see who has what it takes to become 2016 Macau Millions champion.