The Macau Poker Cup Championship may only be in its second year, but it has now established itself as one of the premiere tournaments in Asia and cemented its place on the Australasian poker calendar. You only have to take a look at the calibre and diversity of the 254 players that took part to see that the MPCC has the full support of the players to ensure its success for years to come.
The MPCC Main Event has grown from 151 players last year and smashed prize money guarantee which is a tremendous results for PokerStars Macau.
Our field included the best players, not only from Asia, but all around the world. The PokerStars Team Pros were out in force including Joe and Tony Hachem, Tae Joon Noh, Bryan Huang, Raymond Wu and Celina Lin, who finished close to the money in 34th place. However the headline act was the presence of the five-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro. He was able to work his way through the field with extreme efficiency and looked set for a big push for the title today, but he was derailed early when his flush draw failed to land against Wee Yee Tan to be sent crashing to the rail in 20th place.
The field dropped away at a steady rate as overnight chip leader Kelly Flynn was able to improve on his stack, while Wee Yee Tan and Nathanael Seet were close behind. Australian Joel Dodds was then eliminated in 11th place when his pocket queens were outdrawn by the ace-king of Richard Hu, and when Nelson Sheu's top pair was outkicked by Flynn, our final table of nine was set.
All eyes were on Flynn as he held a monstrous chip advantage, but it was German Julian Hasse who struck first blood after entering the final table as the second shortest stack. In a sign of things to come, Hasse doubled through Chin Chen to get back into contention as William Pastout and Richard Hu were eliminated.
Hasse then surged to the chip lead in a preflop raising war that saw Kristian Lunardi push his pocket sevens into Hasse's pocket kings. There was no lucky seven for Lunardi as the young Aussie was out in seventh place and straight into High Rollers side event.
Nathanael Seet had looked a genuine threat as the young Singaporean hadn't put a foot wrong until a failed bluff against Takashi Ogura left him crippled and he was eliminated soon after by Kelly Flynn's pocket kings.
It was then Ogura's turn to splash around but he also got himself into a little trouble and slipped back into the pack before pushing with K♦5♠ and finding himself dominated by Julian Hasse's K♥Q♠. There was no five on board and the Japanese young gun was out in fifth.
Chi Chen had been down to just 30,000 in chips earlier on the final table but incredibly fought his way back to a healthy stack. However the comeback story ended in fourth place when his flush draw failed to deliver against Kelly Flynn's top pair.
That left us three-handed at the dinner break and with the deep stacks of the players we were strapping ourselves in for the long haul, but it took just one hand post-dinner to eliminate Wee Yee Tan. He check-raised the river and then called off his last chips with a set of deuces but Julian Hasse had rivered the nut flush to take us to heads-up play with Hasse virtually even in chips with Kelly Flynn.
Again the players were deep with over 100BBs each, but that didn't stop the chips from flying as Flynn was all in on one of the first few hands of heads-up play. Flynn continued to push the action, but Hasse picked him off with a series of well-timed calls and raises before finding a big hand at the right time.
Flynn moved all in preflop with J♣9♣ but Hasse called with K♠K♣. There was some drama, as the board of Q♣8♥4♣6♣3♣ gave Flynn a flush on the turn only for Hasse to make a bigger club flush on the river to collect the trophy and HK$1,064,000 in prize money.
Final Table Results
1st Julian Hasse (Germany) - HK$1,064,000
2nd Kelly Flynn (China) - HK$729,000
3rd Wee Yee Tan (Singapore) - HK$440,000
4th Chi Chen (United States) - HK$347,000
5th Takashi Ogura (Japan) - HK$278,000
6th Nathanael Seet (Singapore) - HK$231,000
7th Kristian Lunardi (Australia) - HK$185,000
8th Renyong "Richard" Hu (China) - HK$139,000
9th William Pastout (United Kingdom) - HK$116,000
That concludes our coverage of the Main Event, but we'll be back again tomorrow for the exciting Tournament of Champions invitational event which will see the best of the best in Asia come together to fight it out one last time!
The action commences at 5:00pm local time (GMT+8) from the PokerStars Macau poker room at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino. Until then, goodnight from Macau!
Many thanks to Kenneth Lim for his stunning photography of all the action from the tournament floor. Check out more of his work at www.kennethlimphotography.com