MPC20: Teng leads as Fan looking to make history

Five days and 986 eliminations later and we have reached the final table of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event! That's right, what started as 995 is now down to just nine players and boy is there a big story unfolding.

You see usually at this point in one of these articles about the final table of a poker tournament we would speak about the chip leader. Sure, the chip leader is as important here as any other tournament, but the man that is stealing all the spotlight is Terry Fan.


Terry Fan is the man of the moment

Let me paint you a picture: Back in April of last year the 18th edition of the MPC Red Dragon exceeded all expectations and featured a record field of 891 players. It was Terry Fan who overcame that gigantic field to take home the HK$1,771,000 first-place prize.

Now cut to two days ago when that record was smashed as 995 players hit the felt of the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event. Now, nobody would be too shocked if Fan didn't even make the money, let alone min-cash. But he would do far better than that. He would make the final table.

He may not be the chip leader, but between his victory last year and before this final table, he has outlasted 1,876 players so far. He will be hoping that by the time the MPC20 Red Dragon Main Event is in the record books he will have outlasted eight more to make history.


Terry Fan looking to make history at the MPC20 Red Dragon

With that out of the way we can finally honour the chip leader and he deserves it. During Day 3, Australia's Victor Teng put on a great performance and eventually capped off a big day be dealing the fatal blow to Jimmy Pan in 10th place.

Pan was short stacked and all in preflop holding A♣2♦ and couldn't catch up against Teng's Q♦Q♣. Pan's elimination would usher in the end of Day 3 and once all the chips were counted, Teng had 3,535,000 - the only player with more than 3 million in chips.


Aussie Victor Teng is in good shape at the final table

In chip count terms, the closest competitor to Teng is Mongolia's Buyanjargal Bold with 2,700,000 in chips, while India's Akash Malik also has a big chip stack. There is also one lady at the final table and she goes by the name Percy Yung. Back in 2010 Yung finished 10th in the Red Dragon Main Event, so she has already gone one better here.

Final Table Lineup
Seat 1: Buyanjargal Bold (Mongolia) - 2,700,000
Seat 2: Akash Malik (India) - 2,285,000
Seat 3: Fei Xie (China) - 1,355,000
Seat 4: Richard Hu (USA) - 1,265,000
Seat 5: Percy Yung (Hong Kong) - 760,000
Seat 6: Jianhong Liu (China) - 640,000
Seat 7: Terry Fan (Chinese Taipei) - 1,150,000
Seat 8: Xiao Lin (China) - 1,025,000
Seat 9: Victor Teng (Australia) - 3,535,000


Percy Yung is the last lady standing

There were 77 players at the beginning of Day 3 so for Yung, Fan, Bold, Malik and all the rest to make the final nine, 68 players had to hit the rail. At the beginning of the Day the players were all guaranteed HK$23,900 and some of those to be eliminated early in the action include: Andrew Gaw (77th), Juicy Li (76th), Ivan Zalac (71st) and Steven Zhou (68th).

The action was fast-paced throughout most of the day as it only took a couple of hours to get down to our final four tables. One player who got oh-so-close to making the final four tables was Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im. Unfortunately Im hit the rail in 38th place, with her short stack going all in preflop with Im holding Qx-8x against an opponent's Tx-2x and with the player making two pair.


Vivian Im couldn't improve on her previous Red Dragon runner-up finish

Lei Gao, who started the day with the chip lead, would somewhat shockingly be eliminated in 34th place at the hands of Percy Yun. Gao had a roller coaster day and wasn't up on his feet celebrating too often as we had become accustomed to on previous days. Gao's final hand saw him all in preflop holding Kx-Qx against Bin Afiq's 7x-7x and Yung's 5x-5x. Yung had both opponents covered and would deal a double elimination when she managed to hit a set! This hand also meant Yung was the chip leader.

Just a few hands after Yung became the leader and India's Akash Malik would steal that honour while also becoming the first player to move his stack over 2 million chips. The hand saw Jiajun Hu jam over-bet jam on the turn of a 4♦8♦J♥5♠ board with T-9 for an open-ended straight draw. Malik snap-called with his 7♥6♣ for an already made straight and then celebrated with his boisterous Indian rail when a K♦ was safe on the river.


Akash Malik should have a big Indian rail at the final table

The chip lead changed many times during the last few levels of the night, with Terry Fan even snagging the lead a couple of times. Some of the players who never held the chip lead and ultimately hit the rail just short of a final table berth include and Minseong Kim (15th),Wei Kuo Hsiao (13th), Xingrong Ren (12th) and former APPT Cebu champ Hoang Anh Do (11th).

With ten players remaining we were only one elimination off the final table and so play went round-for-round at the final two tables. Play slowed at this point and the clock ticked on as we made it to the 40,000/80,000 blind level, meaning players had a 15 big blind average. However, they all knew that if they made the final table the clock would be wound back to blinds of 20,000/40,000 as per the guaranteed 40 big blind average at the final table and so no player was splashing chips around.

Eventually one player had to be eliminated though and in the end it was former APPT Macau runner-up Jimmy Pan who would go home in 10th place and so just like that Day 3 was all over and nine players started dreaming of winning the historic Red Dragon!


The Red Dragon - easily the most impressive trophy in poker

The final table will commence at 3:00pm on Tuesday. Nine players will fight it out for the Red Dragon trophy, all the glory and the HK$2,010,000 first-place prize.
Who will be the champion? Return to PokerStars Blog to find out!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour