ACOP Main Event Final Table: Let's sleep on it!
The Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Main Event final table kicked off this afternoon with an average stack of 112 big blinds. That meant we all knew we had to strap ourselves in for an extremely long day ahead.
Getting to a winner today was always going to be a tough accomplishment, but fortunately wise heads have prevailed with play brought to a halt at the end of Level 25, at around 3:15am, with Sunny Jung and Devan Tang left hanging as they are heads-up for the ACOP gold Spadie. Twelve hours of play today couldn't determine a winner, and we suspect it could be several more hours tomorrow before a champion is crowned.
Alvan Zheng started the Main Event final table as a clear chip leader, but there was an interesting early dynamic at the table with Chane Kampanatsanyakorn entering the final table with only a tick over six big blinds. Kampanatsanyakorn found one double up in the first orbit but he couldn't make it two as he was the first to go when his pocket sevens ran into Yat Wai Cheng's pocket nines. Both players flopped a set which was no help to the Thai player as he was out in 9th place.
Chenxiang Miao soon followed after running top pair into Alvan Zheng's flopped straight before he was joined on the rail by PokerStars Team Online's Randy "nanonoko" Lew.
Lew had been on the short stack for most of the tournament, but in a similar clash to the earlier elimination, Lew ran pocket sevens into Jonathan Depa's pocket nines with both players hitting a set on board. That left Lew short of adding an ACOP title to his 2011 APPT Macau win, but he still took home HK$792,000 for his 7th place.
After three quick early bustouts, the pace of play had to slow up, but Day 3 chip leader Jonathan Depa couldn't survive against the rising blinds. Depa copped back-to-back blows with the final nail coming when his A♠K♥ was up against Devan Tang's J♥J♣. Depa took the lead on the flop but the 2♣2♥K♣4♣7♣ board left Tang with the only club in hand to flush Depa out in 6th place.
Japan's last hope was Yoshitaka Okawa but he slowly slipped back during five-handed play. Eventually Okawa made a stand, moving all in from the small blind with A♥4♠ after Devan Tang had limped the button. But Tang sprung the trap as he called with a powerful T♥T♣. The board brought no help for Okawa to see him depart in 5th place.
Play again slowed up with four players remaining. Sunny Jung was on the short stack but managed to get lucky when his tournament life was on the line with ace-three against pocket fives. An ace found its way to the turn and Jung was back in business.
With chips in hand, Jung took control of the game with some aggression combined with a few favourable hands. Yat Wai Cheng felt the brunt of that chip movement to slip on to the short stack before committing all in with K♠Q♦. Again it was Jung who made the call with 4♠4♣ which held true when the board ran out cold.
Three-handed play left Alvan Zheng stuck in the middle of the accomplished Sunny Jung and Devan Tang. That's a tough spot for anyone and it took its toll on Zheng's chip stack. Eventually he made a move with 8♠8♣ and found himself racing with Tang's A♥K♥. The board ran out 3♠J♥5♠Q♠K♦ to see Tang find an off-suit king on the river to remove Zheng from the equation. A great run by our overnight chip leader worth HK$1,980,000 for 3rd place.
Sunny Jung held a narrow chip lead over Devan Tang as the two came to an agreement to flatten the payouts a little. They then played out an uneventful last 45 minutes of the level before play was halted for the evening with very little change to the counts from when they started.
Sunny Jung - 3,213,000
Devan Tang - 2,877,000
What a heads-up battle this will be tomorrow between two of Macau's most well-known, high-stakes regulars. These two titans will return at 2:15pm Sunday (GMT+8) to break the deadlock here in the ACOP Main Event. With a good night's rest for players, staff and media alike, we'll all be back refreshed tomorrow to bring the Asia Championship of Poker to a conclusion. We hope you'll join us then!
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.