2015 ACOP: Kania and Zhao win opening weekend Spadies

The 2015 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) is in full swing after launching the 17-day poker festival this past Friday at the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room.

The opening weekend had five cash tournaments which totalled 548 players and HK$3,228,335 in prize money.

"The first few days have been a solid start and in line with last year. We expect big numbers this upcoming week as we approach the 2m GTD Spadie event on Wednesday which is going to be massive." said Patrick Pun, APPT Senior Events Manager.

Highlighting the weekend were the three ACOP Title Events: Rebuy Championship, Deepstack Championship, and PLO Championship.

The Rebuy Championship was won by Poland's Piotr Kania while the Deepstack Championship was won by China's Wei Zhao. The ACOP Title Event winners received the series' signature 'Spadies' trophy.

The PLO Championship concludes on Monday.

Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin, Chen An Lin, Bryan Huang, Randy 'nanonoko' Lew, Naoya Kihara, and Kosei Ichinose were amongst the opening weekend's tournament fields.

Date: October 30-31, 2015
Buy-in: HK$2,500
Players: 117
Rebuys: 173
Prize Pool: HK$632,925

Piotr Kania became Poland's first ever ACOP Title Event winner as he bested the 117-player field in the Rebuy Championship earning the poker pro HK$167,700.

In total, 12 players cashed for a share of the HK$632,925 prize pool.

The final table consisted of several top ranked players on the Asia Player of the Year leaderboard including Alan Lau, Yang Zhang, Wayne Zhang, and Yunye Lu -- who went heads up against Kania for the title.

The final hand saw both players get their chips in the middle on the turn after a series of raises.

Kania: A♦7♠
Lu: T♥7♦

The board read 4♠7♥A♠2♣ as Lu was already drawing dead to Kania's 2-pair. The river was a meaningless K♥ giving the Polish pro his first career live tournament title.

Lu's runner-up finish improved his APOY ranking one spot to No. 6.

Alan Lau leapfrogged KC Wong for the No. 1 rank after his 3rd place finish.

piotr_kania_2nov15.JPGPiotr Kania

1. Piotr Kania (Poland) -- HK$167,700
2. Yunye Lu (China) -- HK$113,900
3. Alan Lau (Hong Kong) -- HK$75,925
4. Yang Zhang (China) -- HK$60,100
5. Wayne Zhang (China) -- HK$47,500
6. Alex Ward (UK) -- HK$41,100
7. Ricky Kroesen (Australia) -- HK$34,800
8. Ryan Pignatelli (Canada) -- HK$28,500
9. Adrian Ng (Hong Kong) -- HK$22,200
10. Wen Hong Loh (Singapore) -- HK$15,800

Date: October 31-November 1, 2015
Buy-in: HK$11,000
Players: 176
Prize Pool: HK$1,690,128

China's Wei Zhao considers himself an online poker pro but may very well be on his way to a successful career on the live poker circuit.

The 24-year old from Hangzhou won the Deepstack Championship for his first Spadie just months after claiming the EPT Barcelona € 5,000 8 Game in August.

Zhao defeated a field of 176 runners earning him the HK$422,400 top prize. In total, 21 players shared a piece of the HK$1,690,128 prize pool.

Team PokerStars Pro Online Randy 'nanonoko' Lew cashed in the event but ultimately fell in 20th place.

Event 1 winner Piotr Kania made it back-to-back final tables in as many days but finished in 7th place.

At the end it was American Jordan Kaplan would play Zhao for the title.

Jordan had an early 2-to-1 chip advantage after doubling up in the first hand of heads up play. That lead wouldn't last as Zhao would battle back over the next 30 minutes where he took back the lead -- albeit a very small one (1.8m to 1.76m) -- heading into the final hand.

With blinds at 30k-60k (5k ante), Zhao raised to 180k and was called.

Jordan was called after leading out for 220k on a flop of 3♦J♠Q♣.

The turn brought an 8♦ and Jordan once again bet (400k) only to see Zhao move all-in.

Jordan made the call and showed pocket kings (K♥K♦) but was well behind as Zhao held Q♥J♣ for 2-pair.

The river T♣ sealed the victory for Zhao as he becomes the first China player to win a Spadie since 2013.

Event_2_winner_Wei_Zhao_2nov15.JPGWei Zhou

1. Wei Zhao (China) -- HK$422,400
2. Jordan Kaplan (USA) -- HK$278,800
3. Hong Guan Tan (Malaysia) -- HK$177,400
4. Jumma Tomiyama (Japan) -- HK$143,628
5. Yuichi Akanuma (Japan) -- HK$114,100
6. Chihiro Suzuki (Japan) -- HK$93,000
7. Piotr Kania (Poland) -- HK$76,100
8. Hisashi Yamanouchi (Japan) -- HK$59,200
9. Haifeng Xue (Hong Kong) -- HK$42,300

For complete Side Event Results please CLICK HERE.

Fred Leung
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau