PokerStars MPC28: Red Dragon Final Table Profiles
Seat 1: Minho Lee, 32 (Daegu, Korea) - 2,655,000
The 32-year-old student was narrowly pipped for the Day 2 chip lead by Ying Tang but enjoyed a great Day 3 with things playing out smoothly for the Korean who did not drop out of the top five chip stacks at any point during proceedings.
This is only Lee's second-ever live tournament, marking out the Korean national as something of a dark horse, though he will bring a decade's worth of cash game experience to bear on his tilt at the Red Dragon title.
Lee has showcased all the skills necessary to take this tournament down and could become the first-ever Korean dragon slayer should the cards fall his way.
Seat 2: Aleksei Opalikhin, 29 (Saint Petersberg, Russia) - 2,200,000
While he has yet to take down a title, the 29-year-old former competitive billiards player boasts US$234,469 in live tournament earnings made over eleven cashes, all of which have come in the last 12 months.
Opalikhin's career best to date was in the 2017 US$5,000 PokerStars Championship Main Event in the Bahamas last January where he finished in 4th for a US$191,420 payday. The Russian will be looking to aim three places higher and make the MPC28 Red Dragon his breakout event.
Seat 3: Junhao Hong, 28 (Suzhou, China) - 4,610,000
One poker professional to make the final table, 28-year-old self-taught player Hong has been playing poker for just over a year. According to Hong he has enjoyed some success in China-based tournaments but has yet to make his mark here in Macau.
The Chinese player has certainly impressed this series and will fancy his chances of becoming China's tenth Red Dragon champion and is in the best of positions to do so.
Hong is making his first-ever Macau live score a big one and will be returning with the chip lead, whether he can translate this into Main Event success remains to be seen but should he continue to play in the same way that has taken him this far then his chances look good.
Seat 4: Alvan Zheng, 29 (Guangzhou, China) - 2,830,000
Hailing from Guangzhou, China, the 29-year-old quantity surveyor's poker resume speaks for itself and he is currently 18th on the China All Time Money List with over US$769,324 in career earnings.
Zheng is no stranger to going deep in tournaments and has cashed at the MPC, APPT, WSOP and Aussie Millions. His previous career best from a monetary perspective is a third place finish in the 2013 ACOP Main Event for US$255,338.
The Chinese player also boasts two titles after taking down the 2013 NLHE HK$20k Macau Poker Cup event for US$92,369 and also won the 2016 Macau Millions for a US$117,390 payday. Only time will tell if Zheng has got what it takes to tame the dragon, but he'll certainly fancy his chances.
Seat 5: Zhou Tong, 38 (Beijing, China) - 2,965,000
Returning as the third largest stack Beijing native Zhou Tong has been playing poker for five years and boasts US$269,209 in live tournament winnings.
This is Tong's 18th live cash with his results split evenly between Macau and China with his best result to-date coming last year in Macau in a HK$50,000 high roller event where he came in second for a US$112,352 payday.
The Chinese player will have to finish in third place or better to best this but has been catching cards at the right time to aid him in his assault on the leaderboard. Tong was responsible for sending Day 2 frontrunner Ying Tang to the rail but she was not the only scalp he collected, also busting seasoned UK pro Matt Moss and the Philippines Manuel Lii Mascunana on his way to the final table.
Whether he can go the distance remains to be seen but Tong clearly knows his way around a poker table and his card playing skills seem sharp.
Seat 6: Donqi Lin, 35 (Fujian, China) - 1,680,000
The 35-year-old insurance worker from Fujian in China topped the Day 1A opening flight and has an added incentive to slay the dragon.
Lin's friend Siyou Cao took down the record-breaking 818-strong MPC28 Baby Dragon for an HK$1.2 million payday in addition to earning himself a coveted PSPC Platinum Pass worth US$30,000.
Lin wants to join Cao on his Bahamas excursion and has made good on 50% of his initial Day 1 prediction where he said he was aiming to make the final table. With phase 1 complete Lin will be looking to execute phase 2 of his master plan when the final table resumes - slay the dragon and lock up a Platinum Pass.
Having already proved himself a man of his word his chances look good.
Seat 7: Zhenhua Lu, 35 (Shanghai, China) - 995,000
The 35-year-old Shanghai native is coming into the final table as one of the shorter stacks so has his work cut out for him if he wants to slay the dragon.
Lu cites Phil Ivey as his poker hero and has been playing poker for six years with two live scores on his poker resume for total live earnings of US$4,081 with his best finish a 17th place finish in the 2016 HK$3,000 NLH Turbo APPT side event.
This final table represents a career high for Lu who looks as though he is thoroughly enjoying his time in the limelight. While Lu will need the rub of the green to go the distance the Chinese player has played a solid and patient game to get this far so can't be counted out just yet.
Seat 8: Jiming Chen, 22 (Shenzhen, China) - 535,000
The Shenzhen native has been playing poker for six years and this final table appearance is the pinnacle of his poker career to date and his only recorded live cash.
However, Chen is a regular cash game player and with Shenzhen just over the border from Macau he can often be found grinding the HK$25/$50 cash games in the Las Vegas of the Orient.
The 22-year-old is the youngest player at the final table and is also piloting the shortest stack, but will not be daunted about this fact. The Chinese player was down to his last ten big blinds early on in the Day 3 proceedings before showcasing some canny play to trap Pan Gu with pocket kings and bring himself back from the brink.
Having already shown the ability to stay calm under pressure should Chen score an early double then he could bring himself right back into contention.
Seat 9: Jiang Ho Huang, 37 (Singapore) - 3,985,000
Jiang Ho Huang
Huang has results dating back to 2013 on his poker resume with his first cash coming back during MPC18 and has live tournament earnings of US$35,881. It seems fitting then that the Singaporean is closing in on his largest-ever career score and first shot at a major title during the same poker festival that gave him his start on the live poker circuit.
While Huang might not have the pedigree of some of the final nine he has enjoyed a great deal of success in Macau with nine out of his twelve live cashes all coming right here at PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room.
Should the Singaporean enjoy the same good fortune that saw him close out Day 3 with 3,985,000 in chips he could well become the second man from his city-state to slay the dragon.
Player profiles courtesy of media co-ordinator Ben Wilson