MPCC TOC: Levels 13 - 17 (blinds 8000-16000, ante 2000)

Congratulations Naoki Takiguchi - winner of the MPCC TOC (HK$57,050)

A huge congratulations go out to Japan's Naoki Takiguchi - our champion of champions!

The day start out with 26 of Asia's finest players - all champions in their own right - with qualification for this event open only to players who had won previous titles in eligible tournaments in the PokerStars Macau poker room as HK$50,000 was added to the prize pool.

We saw Celina Lin, Devan Tang, Justin Chan, Ken Takarabe, Victor Chen, David Steicke and Julian Hasse, just to name a few, but in the end it was Naoki Takiguchi who claimed a memorable victory.

Takiguchi earned his spot in this event after his win in a $5,000 No Limit Holdem side event during one of the Red Dragon series this year, and now he's found that winning feeling once again. Takiguchi ran away with the chip lead early in the day, but nursed his stack on the final table as his opponents dropped away one by one. Every time it looked like the blinds would eat him up, he was able to find that double up as the cards fell his way. In the end, he held his nerve against a very tough heads-up opponent to take the title and HK$57,050 in prize money.

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Congratulations to Naoki Takiguchi - winner of the MPCC Tournament of Champions!

Final Results

1st Naoki Takiguchi (Japan) - HK$57,050
2nd Julian Hasse (Germany) - HK$34,250
3rd David Steicke (Hong Kong) - HK$22,850
4th Victor Chen (Taipei) - HK$17,100
5th Masayoshi Oshiyama (Japan) - HK$11,414

Well, that wraps up our coverage of the 2010 Macau Poker Cup Championships. We saw record fields and huge prize pools as the MPCC has etched its place in the Australasian poker calendar for years to come.

Many thanks to Danny McDonagh, Fred Leung and all of the hard working staff in the PokerStars Macau poker room for their dedication and commitment to make this a wonderful series, and to the luxurious Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino who have been our hosts for the past week. We look forward to returning for the Macau Poker Cup events in 2011.

Coming up next, there's a little tournament wrapping up in Las Vegas which you may have heard about, so stay locked into the PokerStars Blog to see how that one wraps up, while many Asian players, media, fans alike will be heading to Cebu in the Philippines next week for the PokerStars.net APPT Cebu.

Thanks for your company and good night from Macau!

3:05am: Julian Hasse eliminated in 2nd place (HK$34,250); Naoki Takiguchi wins

Julian Hasse had fought with everything he had but he just couldn't put away Naoki Takiguchi. In the end the cards fell the way of the Japanese player as he has been crowned out MPCC Tournament of Champions winner.

The final hand came when Hasse moved all in from the button for around 70,000 with Takiguchi making the call in the big blind.

Hasse: A♣5♠
Takiguchi: K♠T♥

Hasse got it in with the best hand but the board fell 5♦8♠K♣T♦4♣ to give Takiguchi two pair to take the title!

It was a memorable week on the felt for Germany's Julian Hasse. After winning the MPCC Main Event last night, he's followed up with a super-impressive performance today as his run ended just short of a second trophy as he pockets HK$34,250 for his efforts.

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Julian Hasse eliminated in 2nd place

2:55am: Takiguchi shows some teeth

Again Julian Hasse's aggression was able to gather more chips as the blinds and antes are rising through the roof. However his aggression just led him into trouble as Naoki Takiguchi finally pulled the trigger.

Hasse limped the button and Takiguchi checked to see a flop of K♥K♦6♣. Takiguchi check-called for 18,000 before the T♦ hit the turn. Takiguchi checked and Hasse released a second barrel worth 27,000. In his first sign of any aggression, Takiguchi check-raised all in and Hasse gave it up.

Hasse is now down to just 65,000 with Takiguchi in command again at 325,000.

2:45am: Takiguchi slides before another double

Julian Hasse slowly but surely chipped away at the lead of Naoki Takiguchi as he continued to apply pressure and Takiguchi sat back tight and waited for his spot.

Hasse recovered the chip lead before the next big clash went down on a flop of A♥2♦J♥. Again Hasse was drawing with his Q♥9♥ as Takiguchi opened A♠9♠ for top pair.

The turn was the 2♣ and river the 8♠ as Hasse shook his head at missing another draw for the trophy. Takiguchi is back into the lead with 310,000 to Hasse's 80,000.

2:25am: Hasse gets himself back into contention

After being crippled moments ago, Julian Hasse has doubled up twice to get himself back into this contest.

It was the very next hand when Julian Hasse was all in for his last 30,000 in chips with 3♥3♠ as Naoki Takiguchi held 5♠7♥. The board bricked out J♦4♥2♥K♦8♠ and Hasse doubled to 60,000.

Hasse then moved those chips into the middle with Q♥7♦ and Takiguchi deliberated for a moment before deciding to gamble for the title with a call holding the modest 8♥2♥. The board fell 5♠K♦9♣T♦4♦ and Hasse doubled to 120,000 and back into contention!

2:00am: Heads-up chip counts

Heads-up play has now commenced with Naoki Takiguchi holding the chip advantage with 239,000 versus Julian Hasse's 151,000. However Hasse is undoubtedly the more aggressive of the two and is brimming with confidence, so with the high blinds, expect him to push the action from here.

1:52am: David Steicke eliminated in 3rd place (HK$22,850)

As the blinds went up again, it was David Steicke who really started to push the action with a series of all-in bets. On the button, he made the move again with 8♠7♠ but Naoki Takiguchi woke up in the big blind and made the call with T♥T♣.

The board of 3♦4♠2♦K♥Q♠ brought no help for Steicke as Takiguchi doubled through to leave Steicke crippled with just 10,500 in chips.

He was all in on the big blind next hand as Julian Hasse and Naoki Takiguchi limped in, and then checked the board of K♣K♠4♥T♠7♥ to the river where Takiguchi tossed out 10,000 to force a fold from Hasse. Takiguchi opened K♥Q♠ for trips which Steicke couldn't better as he opened A♣T♦.

Steicke is eliminated in 3rd place for HK$22,850 and we are now heads up!

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David Steicke eliminated in 3rd place

1:35am: Shorties survive

The blinds are super-high but the short stacks will not die! We've just seen the short stack double up twice to again keep this three-handed battle alive.

First it was Naoki Takiguchi, who was racing with 8♠8♦ against Julian Hasse's A♠K♥. The board bricked out 2♣J♥4♠9♠2♦ and Takiguchi doubled to 155,000.

Two hands later and David Steicke moved all in from the small blind with Q♣9♥ with Julian Hasse insta-calling in the big blind with K♠6♥. The flop of 6♠J♣T♦ was good for Steicke but he couldn't improve on the J♥ turn and 6♦ river. Hasse gets his chips back to move up to 190,000 with Steicke now on the short stack with 80,000.

1:25am: Takiguchi evens it up

Julian Hasse raised the button to 18,000 before Naoki Takiguchi moved all in for 58,000 in the small blind. David Steicke folded and Hasse made the call with J♦T♥ for live cards against Takiguchi's A♣8♥.

The board brought another sweat as it ran out 8♠K♥K♦Q♣3♦ but Takiguchi's hand held to double up to 125,000.

It's all very even now, with Hasse (145,000) narrowly ahead of Takiguchi (125,000) and Steicke (120,000). With the blinds at 4000-8000, every pot is now a big one!

1:15am: Hasse gets his chips back

The chips are flying right now with the blinds skyrocketing. Naoki Takiguchi found a double up of his short stack with his pocket jacks holding against the ten-seven of Julian Hasse, before it was Hasse's turn to double up.

Action folded to David Steicke in the small blind and he moved his big stack into the middle holding Q♦7♠ but Hasse called in the big blind with A♦6♥.

The board ran out T♦6♠9♣J♠2♠ and the German is back into the chip lead with 220,000. Steicke has 110,000 with Takiguchi on 60,000.

1:05am: Steicke doubles through Hasse

In the biggest pot of the tournament to date, David Steicke has doubled through Julian Hasse. The chips went in on a flop of 4♥8♥5♥ with Hasse in front with pocket sevens but having to fade a lot of outs as Steicke opened K♥6♠ for flush, straight and overcard possibilities. The turn bricked the Q♦ but the river was the A♥ to complete Steicke's flush.

"Piece of cake!" chucked Steicke as he doubled through to 220,000 with Hasse down to 100,000.

1:00am: Victor Chen eliminated in 4th place (HK$17,100)

Victor Chen raised preflop to 15,000 with Julian Hasse making the call in the big blind to see a flop of Q♥J♠8♣. Hasse checked to Chen who bet 27,500, Hasse check-raised all in. Chen rose to his feet to grab everyone's attention before announced a call.

Hasse: K♥T♣
Chen: J♦8♠

Chen had two pair as Hasse showed an open-ended straight draw. Hasse picked up more outs on the T♣ turn and connected his straight on the 9♠ river. Chen slumped to the ground in dismay as he departed in 4th place for HK$17,100 in prize money.

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Victor Chen eliminated in 4th place

12:40am: Hasse gets some thin value

There hasn't been a lot of action to report during this level as the chips are being passed around the table. We did see one hand get to showdown when Julian Hasse bet 11,000 on the river on a board of T♣4♠K♠9♣Q♣.

It was a scary looking board but Victor Chen made the call with queen-four for two pair, only to find Hasse show queen-ten for a bigger two pair.
Hasse is up to 150,000 with Chen down to 60,000.

12:15am: Play resumes

The four remaining players are back on the felt and here are the approximate chip counts:

David Steicke - 130,000
Julian Hasse - 120,000
Victor Chen - 70,000
Naoki Takiguchi - 60,000

After a quick race-off of the black 100-denomination chips, the cards are now back in the air!