James Chen wins second MPC High Roller title

James Chen has become the first-ever two-time Macau Poker Cup High Roller champion! This impressive feat has seen him take home another PokerStars Spadie trophy and a whopping HK$2,273,000.

Chen won the same event this time last year at MPC23 and has backed it up tonight after two impeccable days at the felt. He didn't need to utilize the optional single re-entry but including the 12 players who did, Chen bests this field with a total of 109 runners to emerge victorious.

MPC25 High roller champion James Chen.jpg

Before hoisting the trophy Chen had to overcome Xuming Qi in 45-minute heads up battle. Chen started the heads up match with a slight chip advantage and while at point Qi picked up pocket aces to bring things almost level again, Chen rallied hard before ultimately closing it out.

The final hand saw a lot of action on the turn with the board reading 2♠3♠2♣9♠. After a raising war all the chips were in the middle and Chen was the overwhelming favourite to secure the title. He had 8♠6♠ for a flush while Qi held T♦9♦ for two pair. Chen needed to fade a nine or a deuce on the river and succeeded when the J♠ rolled off on the river to end the tournament.

MPC25 High roller heads up.jpg

Seven others were eliminated from the final table before the heads up match.

Of those, Yuki Ko was the first to depart. It was a standard race with Q♠Q♣ against Li's A♠K♦ and when Li spiked a king on the K♣9♦2♦ flop and ran a flush with the T♦ arriving on the turn and J♦ on the river Ko's tournament run was over. He collected HK$304,120 as the first final table casualty.

Not long after Ko's exit Aaron Lim joined him on the rail. With A♣9♦ the Australian got it all in preflop against Chen's 8♠8♣ and couldn't improve when the cards fell 3♥Q♠K♦Q♣4♠. Lim emerged as the APPT Seoul High Roller champion earlier this year but came up short of another title tonight.

Japan's Takashi Ogura was the next evictee. He moved all in preflop with T♣9♠ and was looked up by Andrew Graham who held Q♦J♦. The 6♦Q♠A♠ flop left Ogura chasing running cards to avoid elimination and the deck wouldn't oblige when the 3♦ turn and 9♥ river made his bust out official.

MPC25 high roller Takashi Ogura.jpg

The 6th place spot went to Shengyu Li. He was the fourth final table elimination within 45 minutes and his tournament came to an end on a coinflip against Graham. Holding A♠K♥ Li called off for his life but couldn't hit the board against Graham's T♠T♥. Li earned himself HK$467,000.

Jordan Kaplan departed after Li. He moved all in blind from the small blind and was called off by Xuming Qi in the big blind. Kaplan flipped up T♣3♠ and was behind Qi's Q♣J♥. The K♥2♠9♣ flop killed Kaplan's outs to a ten and unable to find a three on the 6♣ turn or J♦ river he left us in 5th place.

MPC25 high roller Jordan Kaplan.jpg

Just 10 minutes later Nan Hong was eliminated in 4th place after a bluff gone wrong. The board read 7♦A♥5♣6♥5♠ when Hong moved all in over a bet from Chen. The latter called it off with A♣9♥ and Hong couldn't beat it with T♣8♣ for a busted straight draw.

It was Andrew Graham who took home the third place prize. Graham was the start-of-day chip leader and extended it further throughout Day 2. Ultimately he would come up two short of a victory, however, after becoming short stacked and losing with 5♣4♣ to Chen's A♦8♦ on a runout of Q♠9♠7♥J♣3♣. And his elimination took us to the heads up match when Chen overcame Qi to win his unprecedented second MPC High Roller title.

MPC25 High Roller 3rd place Andrew Graham.jpg

MPC25 High Roller Final Table Results

1st: James Chen (Taiwan) - $2,273,000
2nd: Xuming Qi (China) - $1,542,200
3rd: Andrew Graham (USA) - $974,000
4th: Nan Hong (China) - $751,000
5th: Jordan Kaplan (USA) - $548,000
6th: Shengyu Li (China) - $467,000
7th: Takashi Ogura (Japan) - $386,000
8th: Aaron Lim (Australian) - $345,000
9th: Yuki Ko (Korea) - 304,120

All payouts in HK$

Congratulations to James Chen!

We'll be back again tomorrow for live coverage of the HK$100,000 High Roller event. We hope to see you again for all the action direct from the tournament floor here at PokerStars Macau!


Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour