MPC23: High Roller live updates

11:05pm: Makoto Yoshimichi eliminated in 2nd place (HK$1,117,000)

It's all over here!

In what was one of the fastest final tables ever James Chen has emerged victorious after defeating Makoto Yoshimichi.

The final hand saw Yoshimichi open preflop to 160,000 from the button and Chen three-bet to 420,000. Yoshimichi made the call and the flop landed T♣5♣4♠.

Chen continued for 475,000 and with a call from Yoshimichi the dealer turned the Q♥. It was then that Chen bet 750,000 and Yoshimichi moved all in over the top for 1,650,000. Chen made a quick call and they turned up their hands.

Yoshimichi: T♥6♥
Chen: J♠J♣

Yoshimichi needed a ten or six to keep the tournament going but the Q♣ river saw the board repeat to finish things up.

Congratulations to James Chen! Winner of H$1,704,000 and the MPC23 High Roller title. Thanks for joining our coverage today, we'll have a full recap of proceedings soon!

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Runner up - Makoto Yoshimichi

11:00pm: Heads up chip counts

Heads up play is now underway.

Here are the stacks of our remaining two.

James Chen - 5,0450,000
Makoto Yoshimichi - 2,455,000

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The final two get ready to face each other

10:55pm: Tom Alner eliminated in 3rd place (HK$726,000)

Heads up is set!

It's been just over an hour on this final table and already we've reach heads up play after Tom Alner's elimination in 3rd place.

Alner moved all in from the small blind for 910,000 in chips and James Chen called it off from the big blind.

Alner: Q♣9♦
Chen: A♣4♣

Chen had the lead and held it through the K♣6♥6♦6♣T♠ runout to send Alner to the rail.

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3rd place - Tom Alner

10:50pm: Liang Yu eliminated in 4th place (HK$559,000)

And then there were three.

Liang Yu just committed his stack preflop but ran into the pocket aces of Makoto Yoshimichi.

Yu: 4♣4♠
Yoshimichi: A♣A♦

Yu needed a four but the 6♣3♦J♦7♥6♦ board failed to save him. He finished in 4th place while Yoshimichi brings his stack to 2,500,000.

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4th place - Liang Yu

10:40pm: Chip count update

James Chen has a significant lead over the other three remaining players at the moment. Here's how they stack up.

James Chen - 3,900,000
Liang Yu - 550,000
Makoto Yoshimichi - 2,000,000
Tom Alner - 900,000

10:30pm: Wei Yi Zhang eliminated in 5th place (HK$391,000)

Wei Yi Zhang was our next final table casualty after running his king-ten into the pocket kings of Makoto Yoshimichi.

The K♣A♥J♥ flop meant Zhang could catch a queen to make Broadway but it wouldn't come on the 4♦ turn and 6♠ river.

Zhang leaves us in 5th place and Yoshimichi climbs to over 2,000,000 in chips.

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5th place - Wei Yi Zhang

10:15pm: Yan Cai eliminated in 6th place (HK$335,000)

There are only five players remaining now after Yan Cai was knocked out at the hands of Tom Alner.

Cai moved all in from the small blind for 500,000 and Alner called off in the big blind. It was a flip as Cai held pocket eights against the ace-nine of Alner.

The board came down T♥9♦5♦9♣A♠ to see Alner make a full house to run Cai down. Alner moves up to over a million in chips as Cai finds the exit in 6th.

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Yan Cai - 6th place

10:10pm: Level 19, blinds 30,000/60,000 (5,000)

10:05pm: Scott Davies eliminated in 7th place (HK$279,000)

And another one down!

That makes three final table eliminations in 10 minutes with Scott Davies the last to leave us.

Makoto Yoshimichi opened to 80,000 from the hijack and Scott Davies pushed all in for his last 435,000. Yoshimichi snapped it off and the cards went on their backs.

Davies: A♥8♣
Yoshimichi: Q♠Q♣

Yoshimichi's queens were in front and Davies couldn't catch up on the 7♠9♥9♣K♥T♦ run out.

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Scott Davies -7th place

10:00pm: Xiang Zhu eliminated in 8th place (HK$251,500)

It's only been five minutes since ninth place was awarded and already another player has fallen by the wayside.

James Chen opened the action with an under the gun raise to 80,000 before Xiang Zhu moved all in from middle position. Chen made the call when it got back to him and they flipped up their hands.

Zhu: A♠Q♥
Chen: K♥K♠

Zhu was chasing an ace to dodge an 8th place finish but a king in the window on the K♦Q♣8♣ saw Chen spike top set and almost lock up the hand. The A♥ rolled off on the turn which meant Zhu could find another ace for a higher full house, but the 4♦ river couldn't save him.

Zhu finished in 8th place for HK$251,500 while Chen extends his chip lead to 3,000,000.

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Xiang Zhu - 8th place

9:55pm: Huidong Gu eliminated in 9th place (HK$223,500)

We've lost one already on this final table.

It folded around to the shortstacked Gu who jammed the last of his chips from the cut off. Makoto Yoshimichi made the call from the big blind to put Gu at risk.

Gu: Q♣T♠
Yoshimichi: A♥4♠

Gu was behind and the A♣2♥3♠ flop all but ended his tournament already. The Q♠ turn gave a glimmer of hope but the 5♠ river bricked off to see Gu eliminated in 9th place.

Yoshimichi moved up to 875,000 in chips.

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Huidong Gu - 9th place

9:40pm: Final table time!

Players are back in there seats for this High Roller final table.

They have all locked up HK$223,500 and are playing for the $1,704,000 top prize.

Blinds continue at 20,000/40,000 with a 5,000 ante.

Stay with us for the exciting High Roller conclusion!

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The High Roller final nine

8:55pm: Final table seat draw and chip counts

The final nine have just gone on a 45 minute dinner-break before they return to fight it out to be High Roller champion.

Here's where they currently sit and their stacks.

1 - Wei Yi Zhang - 1,320,000
2 - James Chen - 1,895,000
3 - Huidong Gu - 430,000
4 - Liang Yu - 1,040,000
5 - Xiang Zhu - 475,000
6 - Makoto Yoshimichi - 545,000
7 - Yan Cai - 675,000
8 - Scott Davies - 545,000
9 - Tom Alner - 585,000

8:45pm: Bubble bursts with Fu Bang Huang eliminated

The final table is set!

Fu Bang Huang has the title of bubble boy here after a three-way preflop all in.

Tom Alner moved all in from the cut off before Yan Cai moved all in over the top from the button. It got to the shortstacked Fu Bang Huang in the big blind and after giving it some thought, he called it off to put himself at risk.

Alner: 7♦7♠
Cai: 8♣8♦
Huang: A♥K♣

Huang needed to hit to avoid elimination but on a board of 5♦Q♣6♥8♥ he was drawing dead by the turn. The J♥ came on the river with Cai's set taking down the pot and sending Huang to the rail in 10th place.

8:40pm: Cards back in the air

The remaining 10 have returned to their seats to continue the tournament.

Blinds are 20,000/40,000 (5,000)


8:30pm: A moment away

The final 10 players have just commenced a 10-minute scheduled break.

Action resumes momentarily as we continue on the money bubble.

8:25pm: Time for bubble as Mikael falls

Mikael Andersson was just eliminated at the hands of Wei Yi Zhang and with that we're on the final table and money bubble.

Andersson got it all in preflop with K♠J♠ against Zhang's A♠K♦ and couldn't improve on the 4♥9♥A♣8♠T♣ run out.

Zhang's newfound chips bring him up to 1,050,000.

8:15pm: Reigning champ falls short

The reigning High Roller champion Yuguang Li was just knocked out three from the final table after running into the pocket kings of Liang Yu.

Li held ace-ten and while he did manage to pair the ten it wasn't enough to save his tournament life. Yu moves up to 1,200,000 with that elimination.

8:00pm: Big stacks clash

Two of our chip leaders just butted heads and it now appears James Chen is the biggest stack of our remaining 12 players.

The action started with Tom Alner raising the button to 60,000 before James Chen clicked it back from the big blind to 150,000 to go. Alner came along and the flop landed 7♦3♦6♣.

Both players checked and the turn brought the T♣. Chen checked again but after a bet from Alner to 135,000 Chen put in a huge jam for around a million in chips. Alner looked frustrated but didn't take long to fold his hand.

He drops to 760,000 in chips while Chen eclipses 1,500,000.

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Current chip leader James Chen (right)

7:45pm: Level 17 begins, blinds 15,000/30,000 (5,000)

7:35pm: Sun down

We're one step closer to the High Roller final table here after the recent elimination of Sun Sheng.

He got his chips all in preflop against Tom Alner and the two were flipping for the pot.

Sheng: Q♣8♣
Alner: 7♥7♣

The 2♥T♥7♠ flop was bad news for Sheng with Alner flopping a set to take a huge lead in the hand. The 9♣ turn and 5♦ river couldn't save him as Alner chipped up to over 800,000.

7:25pm: Zhu takes from Zhang

Xiang Zhu was all in and at risk against Wei Yi Zhang. The two of them got the money in preflop and revealed their hands.

Wei Yi Zhang: A♦J♠
Xiang Zhu: Q♣2♣

Zhu needed to improve to stay alive and the 3♣K♣Q♥ flop was the answer. The J♣ turned to make Zhu a flush and guaranteed him the pot before the 3♥ river even landed.

Zhu takes his stack up to 520,000 and Zhang falls to 620,000.

7:15pm: Things slowing down

As we approach the money bubble the action has really began to slow down.

With only the final table of nine seeing a return on their investment, the 13 remaining players seem to playing with caution.

6:55pm: Pete pushed out

Pete Chen's stack was crippled in a recent spot against Yuguang Li before Chen was eliminated shortly after.

Yuguang Li moved all in preflop from the cut off for 254,000 and Pete Chen gave him action from the button.

Chen: A♥J♦
Li: A♦K♠

Chen couldn't catch up on the 6♦T♥8♥8♠9♣ board and was left with only 50,000 to his name. He was unable to recover and found the rail not long after just shy of the final table.

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Latest casualty Pete Chen

6:45pm: Davies picking up monsters

After having aces only five minutes ago, Scott Davies picked up pocket kings and doubled through Sun Sheng.

Davies: K♥K♣
Sheng: A♠Q♥

The two of them got the money in preflop and the 9♥8♦7♦9♠8♣ was safe for Davies to chip up again.

6:40pm: Aces for Davies

Scott Davies found aces just at the right time and got his short stack in preflop against Makoto Yoshimichi.

Davies: A♣A♠
Yoshimichi: K♦Q♦

The T♦8♣3♠ flop was safe for Davies but the J♠ turn did give Yoshimichi an open ended straight draw. The 5♠ bricked off to see Davies stay alive and Yoshimichi drop to 200,000.

6:35pm: Andersson running pure

After spiking a set to stay alive against pocket aces only just over half an hour ago, Mikael Andersson cracks aces again to keep his tournament run going.

Andersson moved all in pre for 264,000 and was up against Pete Chen who had him in bad shape.

Andersson: A♥5♥
Chen: A♦A♣

The 7♥2♣K♠ flop didn't give Andersson much hope but the 2♥ turn meant another heart would see him double. The river delivered with the 4♥ arriving to keep Andersson in the game.

That hit drops Chen down to 230,000 in chips.

6:25pm: Play resumes

The High Roller has recommenced with players taking their seats again as we push closer towards the final table here.


6:15pm: 10 minutes off

The players left the tournament area for another break.

They'll be back to the action in 10 minutes time.

6:10pm: Chin knocked out

Daniel Chin is now out of the tournament after his pocket kings fell to the queen-ten of James Chen just before the break.

Chin was in the small blind and bet 75,000 on the 2♣5♣9♣ flop. Chen called and the 6♦ rolled off. It was then that Chin moved all in for 250,000 in chips and Chen called it off almost instantly.

Chin: K♦K♣
Chen: Q♣T♣

It was a cooler with Chen flopping a flush against Chin's overpair but Chin could still catch a club to take the lead. The river wouldn't deliver, bringing the T♦ to see Chin eliminated.

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Recently eliminated Daniel Chin

6:00pm: Lucky double for Mikael

Mikael Andersson was looking like he was going to be sent home when he got his stack of 233,000 in preflop with 2♦2♠ against Yan Cai's A♣A♦.

However, when the dealer rolled out a K♠Q♠2♠ flop, Andersson had taken the lead with a set of deuces. The 8♣ turn and 5♥ river were safe for Andersson and would see Cai slam the table in frustration.

Andersson is now up towards 500,000 in chips, while Cai is still healthy with just over 400,000.

5:55pm: Li lives

Yuguang Li just scored a double up to keep his tournament hopes alive after getting his money in good preflop against Liang Yu.

Li: A♣Q♦
Liang: A♥J♥

The board ran out T♣5♥K♦T♠8♦ with Li's queen kicker playing for a 250,000 chip pot. Liang still has a stack of 700,000 despite losing that hand.

5:45pm: Zhou and Tollefsen eliminated

Steven Zhou was just sent packing after a preflop confrontation with Yan Cai.

Zhou: T♠T♥
Cai: A♦3♠

Zhou was in front and faded danger through the flop of 4♦Q♠2♦. The A♣ turn, however, left him chasing one of only 2 outs. It wouldn't come on the Q♦ river and Zhou was sent to the exit.

Only moments later Henrik Tollefsen was also knocked out of this High Roller so we're now down to 16 players remaining.

5:35pm: Level 14 begins, blinds 8,000/16,000 (2,000)

5:30: Davies doubles with a royal flush

Scott Davies was all in preflop and at risk against James Chen in a recent hand.

Davies: A♠J♠
Chen: A♥T♥

Davies was in front and guaranteed himself the pot from the flop with Q♠T♠K♠ to make him a royal flush. The inconsequential 5♠ and A♦ fell on the turn and river as Davies chipped up to 335,000.

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Scott Davies enjoying himself in the High Roller

5:25pm: Quads for Xiang Zhu

Xiang Zhu just scored a double up with pocket tens after spiking quads against the ace-king suited of Yuguang Li.

Players were all in preflop and the 5♠T♠8♠ flop saw Zhu hit top set. He locked up the hand with the T♣ turn for quads before the 5♣ river rolled off.

Zhu climbs to 420,000 while Li dips to 150,000 in chips.

5:15pm: Final two table draw

Here is where the remaining 18 players find themselves:

Table 19
Seat 1: Makoto Yoshimichi
Seat 2: Tom Alner
Seat 3: Daniel Chin
Seat 4: James Chen
Seat 5: Scott Davies
Seat 6: Fu Bang Huang
Seat 7: Henrik Tollefsen,
Seat 8: Sun Sheng
Seat 9: He Chang

Table 20
Seat 1: Yuguang Li
Seat 2: Pete Chen
Seat 3: Huidong Gu
Seat 4: Liang Yu
Seat 5: Wei Yi Zhang
Seat 6: Xiang Zhu
Seat 7: Mikael Andersson
Seat 8: Yan Cai
Seat 9: Steven Zhou

5:00pm: Cai climbing as we're down to 18

Yan Cai just raked in a nice pot after eliminating Japan's Takashi Ogura.

Cai opened the action with an under the gun raise to 22,000 and after a call from the player in the cut off, Tom Alner made it 160,000 to go from the button. Ogura in the big blind moved all in for 187,000 before Cai came over the top for around 320,000.

The other players folded and Cai and Ogura tabled their hands.

Cai: K♠K♣
Ogura: J♣J♠

Ogura needed help, but it wouldn't come on the 2♣Q♥9♥3♠9♦ board as Ogura was sent to the rail. Not long after Ogura was eliminated, the final 18 players redrew for seats at the final two tables. We will post up a seating draw as soon as possible.

4:55pm: Level 13 begins, blinds 6,000/12,000 (1,000)

4:40pm: Full payout list

There are nine places paying tonight. Here's what the each of them are worth.

1st - $1,704,000
2nd - $1,117,000
3rd - $726,000
4th - $559,000
5th - $391,000
6th - $335,000
7th - $279,000
8th - $251,500
9th - $223,500

All payouts in HKD

4:30pm: Nanonoko no more

Team PokerStars Pro Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew just hit the rail in this High Roller event. He broke down what happened to his followers on Twitter.

"Short stack shoves J7 & I shove too 88 and Jack on flop. Left me 4000 which eventually grew a little to bust 55 to T9s. #WCOOP time? #MPC23."

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Team PokerStars Pro Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew (pictured right)

4:15pm: And we're back

Players have returned to their seats for Level 12 of this MPC23 High Roller.

Blinds are 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante.


4:05pm: First break

The remaining 25 players have just stepped away from the tables for their first break.

Play resumes in 10 minutes.

3:55pm: Jain jams at the wrong time

India's Shashank Jain was just eliminated at the hands of Chang He in a recent hand.

After a raising war preflop He called a four-bet from Jain and players saw a 7♦6♣8♣ flop. Jain continued the betting for 52,000 and He made a call.

Both players checked on the 4♦ turn and when the river landed the 8♦, Jain moved all in for around 120,000 in chips. Before Jain could push his stack all the way into the middle He had turned over the K♦Q♦ and stood up and stood up from his seat.

When it was clarified that He had called with the flush, Jain tossed his hand into the muck. Being an all-in situation Jain was forced to reveal his hand and the dealer retrieved and flipped the A♥T♦.

Jain finds the rail while He climbs to 580,000 in chips.

3:40pm: Prize pool confirmed

Now that the tournament is locked out we can tell you there were 75 total entries.

That means the total prize pool is HK$5,586,000 which is an all-time high for this event. Nine places will be paying dividends and the winner will collect HK$1,704,000 when a High Roller champion is crowned tonight.

It's already been an action packed afternoon and now only 27 players remain. Let's get back to it!

3:25pm: Level 11 begins, blinds 4,000/8,000 (1,000)

3:10pm: No luck for Lin

Team PokerStars Pro Celin Lin was just eliminated by way of a bad beat from WSOP APAC champion Scott Davies.

Lin made a preflop open to 13,500 and after a call from her first opponent, Davies moved all in for 120,000. It folded back to Lin who called off for her 100,000 and with the third player out of the way they turned their hands up.

Lin: J♥J♠
Davies: 9♦9♥

The Team PokerStars Pro was in great shape to double up until thee 9♠A♣A♠ left her drawing thin. Lin could still catch a jack or an ace to improve to a higher full house but the T♣ turn and T♠ river failed to save her.

With that hands Davies brings his stack up to around 250,000.

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Celina Lin sweats the hand that saw her eliminated

2:55pm: Roller coaster for Li

It's been up and down for reigning champ Yuguang Li here after being on the winning and losing end of back to back hands.

The first began with a raise from the United Kingdom's Tom Alner before Li put in a raise to 21,000 from the cut off. Alner made the call to see a flop of 5♥A♥A♣.

After a quick check from Alner, Li continued for 26,000 and with a call the dealer turned the 9♠. Both players checked and the A♠ river peeled off.

Alner checked for a final time and after Li glanced back at his cards he opted to do the same. Alner tabled first to show K♦Q♥ for king high but Li was too good with 8♥9♥ for a full house.

The second hand would find Li doubling up Wei Yi Zhang after getting all the money in on the turn after an action card peeled off.

The board read 3♠9♠5♣2♠ and Li had turned a set of deuces with 2♦2♥. He was, however, behind Zhang's K♠8♠ for a flush. The river wouldn't pair the board and Li took a 77,500 hit, taking him back down to 430,000 in chips.

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Reigning High Roller champion Yuguang Li

2:45pm: Level 10 begins, blinds 3,000/6,000 (500)

2:35pm: Big pot for Andersson

Facing a button raise to 8,500, Sweden's Mikael Andersson put in a three-bet to 32,000. It was then on Australia's Dean Blatt in the big blind and he went into the tank.

Andersson and Blatt ultimately got stacks in and with the initial raiser out of the way Blatt needed some help with pocket eights against pocket jacks.

He couldn't improve on the 6♥6♣Q♦Q♠A♠ board and drops to 32,000 in chips. Andersson now sits with a stack just shy of 300,000.

2:15pm: Chip leader takes a huge hit

Wing Cheong Chong who started the day as chip leader has just pushed most of his stack to Geoff Mooney.

It was Chong's ace-king against Mooney's pocket queens and the pair held for Mooney to scoop a pot of 800,000. Chong drops from 582,000 down to around 180,000 in chips.

2:00pm: Cards in the air

The action is now underway here for Day 2 of the High Roller event.

Blinds begin at 2,000/4,000 with a 500 ante. Late registration is open for the first level. We'll have the final player count and payouts as soon as the tournament is locked out.

MPC23 HK$80,000 final day!

While the Red Dragon was coming to a close yesterday, the High Roller event was just beginning. Play started at 7:30pm for a night of eight 40-minute levels.

This afternoon will see 37 players return to the tables but with late registration and re-entry still open that number is expected to climb.

Hong Kong's Wing Cheong Chong leads the way starting the day. He finished up last night 582,000 in chips. Hot on Chong's heels with 544,500 is MPC22 Red Dragon winner and reigning High Roller champion Yuguang Li.

The second and final day begins at 2:00pm here at PokerStars LIVE Macau. Stay with us for all your live reporting needs!

Click here for Day 2 seating draw

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Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu at the table yesterday

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour