Xing Zhou of Heilongjiang, China entered the $100,000 (HKD) ACOP Main Event without a ton of tournament experience, having only previously played in a couple of events before, including finishing 10th in the Macau Poker Cup Championship back in September.
But his ACOP Main Event has gone well nonetheless, starting with a hand back on Day 1 in which he flopped a straight with 6♠4♠ versus a player making a set and eliminated his opponent.
Zhou would find his way toward the top of the counts on Day 3, then entered today with a fifth-place stack.
The 29-year-old businessman then swiftly moved into the top spot during the first hour of play, and has increased his advantage over the field during Level 22 as eight players still remain.
There he is sitting in Seat 9 to the dealer’s left, the one with all of the chips…
Zhou has been aggressive throughout today, one method for picking up pots. Another is being dealt big hands, such as happened a couple of times for Zhou of late.
In one Zhou and Michael Kanaan traded bets down to the river on a queen-high board, then Zhou flipped over A♥A♣ to claim the pot. That hand pushed Zhou close to the 2 million-chip mark with Tsugunari Toma his nearest foe at the time with about 1.4 million and everyone else under a half-million.
Then near the end of the level came a huge hand between Zhou and Toma which opened up the divide between the pair even more.
In that one, Zhou flopped a set of eights versus Toma who held K♠K♣ for an overpair to the board. Zhou would subsequently get three streets’ worth of value from Toma to claim a huge pot, thus moving his stack up to 2.9 million while Toma joined the others with less than 500,000.
As we wait to see whether Zhou’s charge will continue and/or who the next elimination will be, here’s Lynn Gilmartin with a preview of today’s final table:
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.