MPC24: Three cheers for Ying Lin Chua!

A stellar week of poker, a record-breaking field and a new Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon champion!

The atmosphere here at PokerStars LIVE Macau has been electric over the past few days. Not only did this iteration of the Red Dragon prove to be the biggest yet, but the event also earned itself the title of the largest freezeout tournament ever in the Asia-Pacific.

There were 1,075 who ponied up the HK$12,000 entry fee but when play concluded tonight a champion had emerged...

Congratulations to Malaysia's Ying Lin Chua!

mpc24 champion Ying Lin Chua.jpg

Chua navigated his way through a tough final table that included former Red Dragon champion Tom Alner and Hong Kong Stars team member Wayne Zhang to score himself HK$1,904,000 (HK$1,804,000 after a three-handed deal + a HK$100,000 ACOP Main Event ticket) and the best-looking trophy in poker.

By the later stages of the final table Chua had begun to steamroll his opponents and came into heads up play against Zhang as a 10:1 chip favourite. Moving all in blind in the very first hand Chua showed he wasn't afraid to gamble, and while he may have lost that hand, it would be less than 10 minutes later that Chua would seal his victory.

The final hand of the tournament saw Chua get the chips in with a dominant J♦9♠ to Zhang's J♥4♥ and hold as the board ran out 3♥J♣2♠K♣A♠. With the fall of the river card, and an applause that swept across the tournament floor, we had our new Red Dragon champion.

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Before that whirlwind heads up clash though, the final table of nine would take over eight hours. It took 90 minutes of play to find our first final casualty. The 9th place spot went to Yongqiang Huang who got his money in good with A♦9♦ against Liang Xu's K♥J♦ and looked almost a lock to double up after the 8♥6♦A♣ flop. Unfortunately for Huang a painful runner-runner would determine his fate as the K♣ turn and J♥ river arrived to give Xu two pair.

Next to go was former Red Dragon champion Tom Alner. The Englishman moved all in over an opening raise from Yang Zhang before Wayne Zhang next to act pushed all in over the top. The rest of the table folded and with Yang Zhang flashing A♦Q♦ before mucking, Alner's chances looked bleak with A♥Q♣ against Wayne Zhang's Q♠Q♥. Alner failed to improve when the community cards fell and he left us in 8th place.

mpc24 tom alner elimination.jpg

Tom Alner shakes the hand of his eliminator

It wouldn't take long for our 7th place finisher to find the exit. Yang Zhang was eliminated only 15 minutes after Alner. Zhang got the last of his chips all in holding Q♥5♦ on a 9♦Q♣4♣ flop but was dominated by Chengbei Lei's Q♦T♦. With the K♣ turn and 6♠ river completing the board Zhang couldn't find any help and would have to be content with 7th place.

Fan Xie would exit in the 6th spot. With the flop reading 7♠4♠4♣ Xie got the last of it in holding 7♦6♠ but had run into the 5♠4♦ trips of Xu. Drawing thin to a seven or running cards they never came as Xie was eliminated and collected HK$302,100.

mpc24 fan xie elimination.jpg

All smiles for our 6th place finisher - Fan Xie

Then Chengbei Lei hit the rail. He moved all in preflop from under the gun with A♥4♥ and was called in two spots by Xu and Chua. Despite the dream flop of 5♦3♥6♥ Lei soon found out Chua had flopped a straight with 4♠2♠ and Lei failed to find a heart for a win of a seven or deuce for a chop.

4th place went the way of our start-of-day chip leader Liang Xu. He got his chips in preflop against Chua and was dominated holding A♣4♦ against Chua's A♠Q♣. While the 2♦7♥7♦ flop gave him some hope for a chop, the 8♦ turn and 5♦ couldn't save him as he was eliminated for HK$611,000.

mpc24 liang xu elimination.jpg

4th place - Liang Xu

Japan's Takashi Ogura finished one short of heads up play. He was all in and behind with K♥J♥ against our eventual champion's A♣2♦ and couldn't improve. Ogura took home HK$1,382,000 and his elimination saw the heads up match set where Chua held the 10:1 lead and would soon overcome Zhang.

MPC24 Red Dragon - Final Table Results
1st: Ying Lin Chua (Malaysia) - $1,904,000*
2nd: Wayne Zhang (China) - $1,307,000*
3rd: Takashi Ogura (Japan) - $1,382,000*
4th: Liang Xu (China) - $611,000
5th: Chengbei Lei (China) - $413,000
6th: Fan Xie (China) - $302,100
7th: Yang Zhang (China) - $257,000
8th: Tom Alner (United Kingdom) - $223,500
9th: Yongqiang Huang (China) - $190,000

* denotes a three-handed deal
all amounts in HK$

Click here for a full list of payouts

Congratulations to Ying Lin Chua and a big thank you to the City of Dreams casino for hosting another sensational Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon event. If you're still chasing some more exciting poker action, our coverage of the HK$80,000 High Roller begins from tomorrow at 2pm.

We hope to see you then right here on the PokerStars Blog!

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Red Dragon