James McCarty wins PokerStars Macau Cup
by Fred Leung
There was a record prize pool of HKD $4,512,353 for this PokerStars Macau Cup with more than 1,000 players registering across seven tournaments.
The main Red Dragon event saw 314 entries making it the second largest ever and awarded HKD $2,859,912 in total prize money, with HKD $643,000 going to the winner, James McCarty.
"PokerStars and Grand Lisboa are always striving to offer the ultimate poker experience for the players," said PokerStars Macau operations manager Danny McDonagh, "The team has worked hard and it's rewarding to see the three biggest Red Dragon events this year."
After 14 grueling hours on Sunday's Day 3 Final McCarty, from Japan, took the trophy. When it was three-handed it appeared as if local hero Ginger Keong was destined to bring home the title to Macau for the first time. He had over half the chips in play and seemed to be grinding down the competition, but McCarty had a key hand where his pocket aces not only eliminated a player but simultaneously decreased Keong's stack to 400,000.
The two remaining players entered heads-up play with McCarty holding a commanding 7-to-1 chip lead. Keong made some progress moving all-in each hand where McCarty folded. Eventually, McCarty made the call on the fourth shove and showed a dominating Q-9 against Keong's Q-2. The board wouldn't improve either player's hands which meant McCarty would take down the pot and main event.
"I come here (to PokerStars Macau) every couple months and specifically like the deep tournament structure," said the 27-year old winner. "I feel I played well but also got lucky at the right time."
The Asia Player of the Year (APOY) race is closer than ever as Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu now has numerous players within range of passing him in the standings. Fellow Team Pros Bryan Huang and Celina Lin each have four final tables on the year and are ranked 2nd and 15th respectively. Macau Millions winner Justin Chan also improved his rank moving from 7th to 4th on the leaderboard. Only 12 tournaments remain before the APOY award is announced in November where the winner receives a one-year sponsorship with PokerStars Macau.
The next MPCC takes place from November 2-7 and the HKD $20,000 buy-in main event offers a generous HKD $3,500,000 guarantee. You can qualify free at PokerStars.net - go to the 'Events' tab, then click 'Macau'.