APPT9 Macau Day 4: Champion Cheng chews up competition

"It was a lucky day" came the words of a champion.

A humble statement from someone who just overcame a field of 493 runners.

Tony Yat Wai Cheng started the final table as chip leader and was relentless as he navigated his way to victory in this APPT9 Macau Main Event.

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The APPT9 Macau Main Event champion Yat Wai Cheng

Before he claimed the title here there were six other hopefuls in the midst today. Let's take a look at how the action unfolded and how Cheng charged through to triumph.

The final table began with a bang. And then another two in quick succession.

It only took around an hour of play for three of the seven players to be dealt eliminations. The first was someone we would've never picked starting the day. Weiyi Zhang began play second in chips but found himself out the door first after a preflop war with big stack Yat Wei Cheng. Zhang wound up all in with A♦K♦ and failed to improve against the K♥K♣ of Cheng. He received HK$310,280 (US$40,019) for his seventh place finish.

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Seventh place finisher Weiyi Zhang

It wasn't long before Fan Zhao joined him after a sick run out against Zhenru Xie. Zhao got it in good with K♦K♣ against Xie's Q♠Q♣ and a flop of 3♥K♥J♣ saw him improve even more. It was the A♠ turn and T♣ river though that peeled off to make a Broadway straight for his opponent to send him home sixth for HK$381,000 (US$49,139).

And then it was Chun Liang Kuo's turn to go. He failed to win a coinflip with T♠T♥ against Cheng's A♣Q♠ when an ace appeared on the turn. The river couldn't save him and he exited in fifth place for HK$490,000 (US$63,197).

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Weiyi Zhang takes fifth place

Four remained before Zhenru Xie laid a trap that backfired. He limped in the small blind with a short stack and snapped to put himself at risk when Cheng pushed all in from the big blind. Xie held A♦Q♦ and looked good for a double up against Cheng's 6♥4♦ until the board ran out 5♠2♣6♣6♦4♣. The full house was overkill against Xie's ace high and he was eliminated in fourth for HK$698,000 (US$90,024).

With only three left in contention it was Filipino Florencio Campomanes who would be next to fall. Another flip would decide a player's fate as Cheng continued the run good. It was all in preflop and Cheng held 3♣3♠ against the A♣K♦ of Campomanes. The cards fell 4♣6♠2♠T♥Q♣ with the pocket threes fading danger for Cheng to scoop the pot. Campomanes takes home HK$926,000 (US$119,423) for his third place finish.

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Florencio Campomanes claims third place

And then there were only two.

After punishing the table for over four hours Cheng was almost ready to close things out. His opponent Weijie Ye wouldn't give up easily but starting heads up play as more than a 2:1 underdog he found it hard to get anything going.

It wasn't long until the final hand would see things decided on a flip.

Cheng raised to 160,000 before Ye commited his last 1,800,000 in chips. The eventual champion made the call and players revealed their hands.

Cheng: K♣J♥
Ye: 5♠5♦

The rail erupted as the flop fell 9♦K♦9♥ to see Cheng pair his king and shoot to the lead. Ye was desperate for a five to stay alive but the 2♠ turn and 6♥ river failed to save him. Ye scores HKD$1,526,000 (US$196,814).

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A gracious champion hugs the runner up

Congratulations to Yat Wai Cheng on a sensational showing!

He takes home HKD$2,525,000 (US$325,659) which includes an Asia Championship of Poker Main Event seat worth HK$100,000 and the prestigious APPT title.

APPT9 Macau Main Event - Final Table Results
Players: 493
Prize Pool: HK$10,998,830
1st: Yat Wai Cheng - $2,525,000 (Includes ACOP Main Event seat)
2nd: Weijie Ye - $1,526,000
3rd: Florencio Campomanes - $926,000
4th: Zhenru Xie - $698,000
5th: Chun Liang Kuo - $490,000
6th: Fan Zhao - $381,000
7th: Weiyi Zhang - $310,280
(all amounts in HK$)

Congratulations to Cheng and to all the other players who made the final table. It was a great week of poker and a hugely successful series that saw a new APPT Macau record for total players and prize pool awarded.

Our thanks must go out to Danny McDonagh, Fred Leung and all the team at PokerStars LIVE Macau for once again running a world-class tournament. We are looking forward to the next stop on the APPT as the tour heads to Manila in the Philippines from July 30 - August 9.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in PokerStars Macau