2014 ACOP Main Event Day 4: Last year's champ Suny Jung leads final table
Everyone was gearing up for a very long Day 4 of the 2014 ACOP Main Event.
After all, 24 players needed to become nine and the average stack was around 60 big blinds with levels lasting 90 minutes each.
But the players didn't mess about.
There was no tanking, no stalling and no nonsense.
Instead, it was just elimination after elimination on the way to setting the final table.
The big overnight story was that last year's ACOP champion Sunny Jung was making another deep run. He defeated 203 players in 2013 to win more than US$500,000 and had already outlast more players than that to make Day 4 of the 2014 ACOP.
Well, Jung is the story again as he is amazingly the chip leader of the final nine!
Jung is now starring down the barrel of history as he looks to become the first-ever back-to-back ACOP champion. There aren't many players in poker history who have achieved such a feat in tournaments of this magnitude.
Jung, however, is faced with tough competition.
In fact, the player with the second largest stack is the extremely experienced Ami Barer.
It has been a huge year for Barer, starting back in February when he won the 2014 Aussie Millions for AU$1.6 million.
Since the Aussie Millions win, Barer made two side event final tables at EPT Monte Carlo, finished fourth in the EPT Barcelona 8-Handed High Roller and finished third in the ACOP Warm-up just a few days ago.
All in all, Barer has posted more than US$2 million in results in 2014 alone and is now eight places away from adding another US$800,000 to the tally.
Another one of the prominent players at the ACOP final table is Joseph Cheong.
Over the last several years Cheong has proven himself as one of the finest poker talents in the world, amassing more than US$10 million in results. Cheong finished fifth in the ACOP Super High Roller earlier in the week for just over US$500,000 so he is clearly in good form.
Jung, Barer and Cheong will have to get through Tore Lukashuagen, Raiden Kan, Zuo "ST" Wang, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Gabriel Le Jossec and Konstantin Pogodin to win the ACOP title, so it isn't going to be an easy task.
For these nine players to have secured a spot on the final table, 15 others had to fall short. One of those who was unable to make it was Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin.
The two-time Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon champion had been fighting with the short stack for much of the last two days and ultimately found herself all in when 22 players remained.
Lin had pocket fours against Dimitar Danchev's pocket tens and Ami Barer's A♣K♣ and wasn't able to find the cards she needed and so headed to the rail with HK$270,000.
Lin was one of two ladies who returned to the felt on Day 4, with Yaxi "Yvonne" Zhu the other. Zhu actually started the day as the chip leader, but ended up falling in 12th place.
Zhu ended up short stacked and moved all in with K♠3♠ on a 2♣3♣J♥ flop and was out drawn by Barer who called with A♦4♣ and hit a five on the river to make a straight.
Some of the others who joined Lin and Zhu on the rail throughout Day 4 include Byron Kaverman (24th), Kai Yat Fam (19th), Sorel Mizzi (18th), Dimitar Danchev (16th) and Terrence Chan (14th).
The player to get closer to the final table than all others, but ultimately fall short, was Bodo Sbrzesny. He was the short stack during the final table bubble and was happy to get his chips in preflop with A♦Q♠ and was even happier to have Barer call with K♣Q♥.
Sbrzesny looked away from the table as the dealer spread out a 9♦9♣3♠ flop and only glanced once the dealer turned over a T♦. Sbrzesny was then devastated to see the J♦ fall on the river to give Barer a runner-runner straight, meaning Sbrzesny was eliminated in 10th place and the day was over.
Here is how the final nine lineup:
Seat 1: Zuo 'ST' Wang (China) - 504,000
Seat 2: Konstantin Pogodin (Russia) - 1,165,000
Seat 3: Ami Barer (Canada) - 1,766,000
Seat 4: Raiden Kan (Hong Kong) - 488,000
Seat 5: Sunny Jung (Korea) - 1,810,000
Seat 6: Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Russia) - 576,000
Seat 7: Tore Lukashaugen (Norway) - 369,000
Seat 8: Gabriel Le Jossec (UK) - 1,025,000
Seat 9: Joseph Cheong (USA) - 1,027,000
All the players have already locked up HK$675,000 (~US$87,000) and will be fighting it out for the HK$6,300,000 (~US$815,000) top prize. There will be full player profiles posted shortly so you can learn more about each of the nine remaining players.
The final table is set to commence at 3:00 p.m. local time on Saturday and once again you will be able to find full live reports, feature stories and results on the 2014 ACOP page at the PokerStarsBlog.