MPCC: Devan Tang crowned inaugural champion

MacauPokerCup_thn_promo.jpg

Devan Tang did it easy - so easy, he wasn't even here when the opening hand was dealt today. The first Macau Poker Cup Championship (MPCC) Main Event title has been decided after the 32-year-old poker pro from Hong Kong running roughshod over the final table to pocket the first prize of HKD $727,600 (almost USD $940,000).

The winner of the MPCC Knockout Bounty event earlier this week, Tang was still preparing for the tournament when the order was given to "shuffle up and deal", but duly dispatched two players in the first hand he contested.

mpccday2devan02.jpg

MPCC Main Event champion Devan Tang

It wasn't all one-way traffic as he went blow-for-blow with American Vincent Chung at the final table, but Tang landed the killer blow three-handed and used his 5:1 chip advantage to quickly dispatch Taipei's Chun Chieh "Michael" Chang for the first major title of his poker career.

With an impish gleam in his eye, Tang described himself as an "online fish" but we suspect that's a little short of the truth. He mixed aggression with skill to be the dominant player on day two after the field of 158 had been slashed to 19 after the opening day.

Devan Tang's victory came when Michael Chang shoved all-in with the board showing [10d] K♣ 8♠ 3♥. He showed A♦ Q♠ for an inside straight but Tang held a made hand with A♠ K♥. The 6♣ on the river confirmed Devan Tang as the inaugural Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event winner.

This completes a highly successful MPCC, which was the culmination of a week-long festival of poker at PokerStars Macau and follows the bi-monthly Red Dragon events that have become a mainstay of the regional poker calendar.

Joining Tang among the big winners this week was Taipei's Kitty Kuo, who was crowned the first Asian Player of the Year. Kuo's triumph should rightly be lauded among the most impressive achievements of a female poker player in recent years.

Once again, the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino has been the backdrop for another historic step in the growth of poker in Asia as the game gains a foothold in the world's biggest gaming market.

It's been a massive weekend in Macau as this Special Administrative Region celebrated the 10th anniversary of its return to China, so it was only fitting that such an important week for poker conclude on this day.

As Devan Tang soaks up the adulation of his MPCC victory, it's appropriate to acknowledge the efforts of the PokerStars Macau and the local PokerStars.net teams for making this event such a major success.

This ends another year of poker on Asia-Pacific circuit. Our next commitment will be the opening event on season two of the PokerStars.net ANZPT in Adelaide from February 9. Happy holidays to all; see you in 2010.

11.50pm: Tang v Chang for the title

Vincent Chung's prediction that it would be he and Devan Tang going heads-up proved a hex on the American as he bowed out of the Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event in third.

mpccday2trophy.jpg

The Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event trophy ... and there's HKD $727,600 waiting as well

With 350,000 in the pot pre-flop, Chung bet 200,000 on the flop of J♥ 8♠ 7♠, Tang announced he was all-in and Chung made the call, showing 6♦ 6♠. But Tang flipped over 9♣ [10h] for the nuts, and when the turn fell 3♥, Chung was drawing dead.

So that leaves Devan Tang holding 2,563,000 and a 5:1 chip lead over Michael Chang (498,000) as the heads-up duel begins.