Henrik Tollefsen wins MPC 21 high roller

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After a grueling 16-hours of play Norway's Henrik Tollefsen has emerged victorious in the 21st Macau Poker Cup High Roller Event. Tollefsen defeated the 59-strong field, winning the lions share of the HK$4,439,160 prize pool to take home an impressive HK$1,465,000 for first place.

"Obviously I am very happy to win,' said an upbeat Tollefsen, 'It was a huge rollercoaster ride of a day. I got lucky in a few spots and it all worked out well in the end."

Despite the Scandinavian player beginning the final day as one of the shortest stacks with just over seven big blinds, Tollefsen dug deep and made a sterling come back as play progressed to make the nine-handed final table as one of the top three largest stacks.

Just 20 of the 59 players made the Day 2 cut with former Day 1 chip leader, Korea's Eddy Kim, bursting the final table bubble to take play nine-handed with the final table shaping up like this:

Seat 1: Quan Zhou, China - 1,059,000

Seat 2: Shashank Rathi, Hong Kong - 1,027,000

Seat 3: Henrik Tollefsen, Norway - 961,000

Seat 4: Victor Chong, Malaysia - 264,000

Seat 5: Rono Lo, Macau - 225,000

Seat 6: Daniel Xiong, Malaysia - 615,000

Seat 7: Li-Ta Hsu, Chinese Taipei - 724,000

Seat 8: Makoto Yoshimichi, Japan - 415,000

Seat 9: Kunaal Chandra, India - 510,000

It would be three very cagey levels before the final table saw its first casualty with India's Kunaal Chandra exiting in ninth place to bring play to the money bubble.

The unfortunate Li-Ta Hsu burst this after taking a hit at the hands of Malaysia's Victor Chong, exiting shortly afterwards with Rono Lo administering the coup de grâce.

Japan's Makoto Yoshimichi became the first of the paying casualties departing in seventh place for HK$267,160 when his short stacked shove with Q♦5♥ ran into Daniel Xiong's A♦6♥.

China's Quan Zhou hit the rail a little later in sixth place for HK$311,000 after running out of steam and cards, getting it all-in with 2♠2♣ pre-flop and running afoul of Rono Lo's rivered nut flush.

Former big stack Shashank Rathi followed suit, kindly giving Tollefsen a hefty chip lead on his way out of the tournament, finishing in fifth place for HK$355,000 when his K♣6♥ could not overcome the might of the Norwegian's 5♠4♦.

Victor Chong departed at the start of level 18 when his Q♣[10d] lost a race to Tollefsen's 3♣3♥, further padding out the latter's stack and leaving Chong to head to the cash desk to collect his HK$488,000 fourth place winnings.

Tollefsen then powered into the chip lead when his K♦K♠ hit top two pair on the turn on a 9♥Q♦J♥J♣ board against the flopped two pair of Rono Lo, who was holding Q♠9♣.

A rather unfortunate Daniel Xiong was unlucky to finish in third place for HK$621,000 after a lengthy three-way battle. By this time it had become the Tollefsen show and the Norwegian poker professional had begun turning the screws mercilessly. Xiong got his chips in good twice to no avail against fellow short stack Rono Lo, who sent the young Malaysian to the rail after winning back-to-back hands.

Despite back-to-back double-ups in the first two hands of heads-up play Lo could not overcome Tollefsen's commanding chip lead. With blinds at a hefty 100,000/200,000 with a 30,000 running ante Tollefsen emerged triumphant after moving all-in from the button with 9♦7♣ with Lo making the call holding K♦[10h]. The final board ran out 5♥6♠Q♥9♠2♣ to grant the Norwegian player victory and see Lo finish in second place for HK$932,000.

Ben Wilson
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau