PokerStars Championship Macau: Main Event final table live updates

April 09, 2017

Elliot Smith is PokerStars Macau Main Event champion. Read a full recap of the final table.

Day six archive:

1:55am: It’s all over!
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

And what an unbelievable final hand it was to end the PokerStars Championship here in Macau.

It all began with a limp from Smith, which prompted an immediate shove from Tang for his remaining 5.8 million chips.

Smith picked up a big stack of 25,000 chips and slammed them in the middle to indicate the call. Tang flipped over 6♥6♣ and Smith the A♦K♠ – and it was a race.

Both players were out of their seats. “Six! Six! Six!” screamed Tang – hoping to summon a card, rather than the devil himself. The rail started shouting it too, and bizarrely their cries were heard.

The 6♠ hit the board in the window, along with 9♠ and the 7♥. Tang’s rail erupted once again – surely this was it for their boy! They thought so on the 2♠ turn, letting out another roar. But it was Tang who realised that Smith still had outs before his rail did. He told them to stop celebrating – he wasn’t as ahead as it seemed with only the river to come.

The dealer burned a card and then it came…the 3♠.



The rail couldn’t believe it. Smith pumped two fists into the air to celebrate, as a small group of supporters cheered along. Smith lifts the trophy and is the PokerStars Main Event Champion. — DJ


1:50am: Let’s play some poker!
Level 34 – Blinds 150,000/300,000 (ante 50,000)

The ante is now more than a starting stack. And action is under way again.


A look to the heavens from Elliot Smith


Terry Tang unmasked

1:30am: Another level in the books
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

And that’s the end of another level. They stack up like this:

Elliot Smith: 11.02 million
Terry Tang: 5.95 million

1:25am: Big one goes Smith’s way
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Elliot Smith seems to have staved off Terry Tang’s advances by taking down a hefty pot to take just shy of a 2:1 lead.

Smith kicked things off with a limp on the button and Tang checked his option in the big blind. The dealer fanned a K♠10♥J♣ flop and Tang checked it over to Smith who bet 350,000. Tang called but he opted to lead at the 8♦ turn, wagering 800,000.

Smith made the call and the 6♥ was presented as their river card. Tang fired for 1.3 million which prompted a quick call from Smith with the better hand.

Smith: K♥9♥
Tang: J♠9♣

Smith’s top pair was good and he moved up to a new total of 10.7 million, well ahead of Tang’s 5.4 million. — BK

1:20am: Tang shoves
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Once again, Elliot Smith min-opened to 500,000 and Tang announced all-in.

This time it looked like Smith was really considering the call. He counted up his chips that were piled into 500,000 stacks and found he had a little over 7.5 million left behind.

After a while he thought better of it and let it go. Another eruption from his fans on the rail as Tang battles on. — DJ

1:15pm: How has it lasted so long?
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

One of the most extraordinary things about this heads-up battle, beyond simply its length, is the way it has seemed at once passive and suicidally aggressive. It’s peculiar.

After another couple of small pots went to Terry Tang, bringing his chip stack close to 7 million again, Elliot Smith limped and Tang shipped it in. That’s a huge jam and gives the impression that this could be over at any minute.

But remember, we’ve still never seen a called jam in this heads-up battle. — HS

1:05am: Tang on the comeback trail
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

What would this 10 hour heads up match be without another potential change in chip leaders? That’s the way it looks like it might go as the momentum is swinging back to Terry Tang who has won a flurry of pots in a row.

Elliot Smith began the first with a button-limp and Tang checked to see a flop of A♣J♣4♣. Tang then led at it for 300,000 and was called before the dealer turned the 5♥. Two checks meant we were off to the river: the J♠.

Tang picked up the betting again with a bullet for 700,000, and while Smith cut out a call, he eventually screwed up his face and tossed his hand away.

Tang picked up a couple of small pots following that and then another one when Smith raised to 500,000 on the button before Tang three-bet to 1.3 million from the big blind. The re-raise got through and Tang clawed his way back to 6.6 million. Smith falls a little to 9.4 million. — BK

1am: Smith adds a little more
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

It’s been all Elliot Smith for a while now – and Terry Tang is visibly frustrated (when he removes his mask, of course).

He’s been announcing all-in with bluffs and even against some of Smith’s limps. It has been a long day for the pair, as we near ninth hour of this heads up battle. Things are clearly taking their toll.

Tang lost another one just moments ago following a pre-flop limp from Smith that brought a 4♥3♥J♥ flop. As first to act, Smith checked when the 2♣ came out. Two more checks and the board paired on the river when the 2♠ landed. This time Smith led for 450,000 and Tang called.

Smith showed the J♦7♥ which was enough for Tang to muck and Smith to win another one. Tang is now down to around 20 big blinds, and approaching the danger zone. –DJ

12:50pm: A few songs about that
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

All things considered, we’ve been quite restrained about the Elliot Smith song titles we’ve resisted working into posts this week. But here are a few that could easily be worked into a poker context:

The Biggest Lie
King’s Crossing
Tomorrow Tomorrow
The Last Hour
Last Call
Coming Up Roses
New Disaster
Oh Well, Okay
I Better Be Quiet Now
A Fond Farewell
Ballad of Big Nothing
Good to Go
Little One
See You Later
I Figured You Out
Big Decision
Burned Out, Still Glowing

12:45pm: Smith extends the gap
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

After a limp from Elliot Smith, Terry Tang re-min-clicked to 500,000. Smith was priced in to call, and so did – quickly.

The flop was K♦10♣7♦ which brought checks from both players.

On the A♥ turn, Tang led for another half a million and again Smith called. It meant that quite a pot was being built.

The 7♣ river however stopped the action, with both players checking and hoping they held the better hand. It was Smith who did. He had. He held A♣9♥, which was good enough against Tang’s J♣10♥ to take the 2+ million in the middle. –DJ

12:30am: Back to Smith
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

A swing back to Elliot Smith.

Terry Tang opened to 625,000 and Smith called, taking them to the 5♥Q♥J♥ on the flop. Smith checked and Tang bet 500,000. Tang called, the price of the 6♣ turn card.

They both checked and then the 4♣ hit the river. Smith bombed 1 million at it and Tang folded.

That put Smith back in front with 9.1 million to Tang’s 7 million. — HS

12:25am: Tang takes charge
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

The lead has changed again as Terry Tang takes three pots with some aggressive action.

Elliot Smith limped his button and Tang checked in the big blind to a flop of 5♦A♠2♠. Tang checked, Smith bet 250,000, and Tang called. The 4♦ turn was checked through and the Q♦ rolled off on the end.

Tang reached for a tower of chips and slid out 700,000. That was enough to make Smith surrender.

The very next hand began with Tang limping his button but after Smith bumped it up to 750,000 from the big blind, Tang shoved all-in over the top. Smith let it go and Tang raked the pot. Just a couple of hands later the exact same thing played out. Limp, raise to 750,000, fold. Tang now up to 9.6 million, edging away from Smith’s 6.5 million. — BK

12:20am: Back to it
Level 33 – Blinds 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000)

Levels are now 15 minutes shorter than they were before. That‘ll sort it!


We have a 9am flight!

12:15am: Stacks
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

At the break, Terry Tang has 7.5 million and Elliot Smith 8.6 million. Blinds are going up to 125,000/250,000 (ante 25,000) when they return shortly. — HS

12:05am: Tang rallies back
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Elliot Smith limped his button and Terry Tang checked to see the flop spread 9♥J♠2♣. Tang then led at it for 250,000 and was called before the 2♦ turn paired the board. Tang fired again, this time for half a million, and Smith called again.

The 8♥ river was met with two checks and Tang flipped over J♥9♦ for a flopped two pair to scoop the pot. That hand takes us to a 15-minute break. — BK

12am: It’s midnight everybody
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Daniel Laidlaw was knocked out at 1:45pm. — HS

11:50pm: Smith scoops a monster pot
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 20,000)

It’s probably the biggest pot we’ve seen heads up, and it’s finally seen the margin between the two players open up as we come to the end of Level 32.

It was Tang who opened up the action, and Smith who called behind. As we’ve seen happen quite regularly in this heads up match, the flop of 7♠6♠9♦ prompted two checks. On the 3♠ turn, Tang checked and Smith opened it up to 600,000. After a long ol’ tank, Tang came along.

The river was the Q♦ and Smith led out again, betting 1.5 million chips. It caused Tang to remove his head-gear and start speculating out loud: “You have the queen? You hit spades?”


Terry Tang ponders a call

After a while he announced call. Smith flipped over 6♣3♣ for two pair. “Nice hand” said Tang, nodding with sincerity before mucking his hand.

Smith scoops, and has now put a bit of distance between himself and Tang for the first time in a while. –DJ

11:45pm: Tang grows his tower
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Terry Tang is making headway now after scooping another pot from Elliot Smith.

Smith raised the button to 400,000 and Tang defended the big blind before a 8♦A♦K♦ flop. It was checked through and again on the J♠ turn before the 7♠ completed the board.

Tang led at it for 500,000, Smith made a quick call, and Tang tabled Q♦10♣ for a turned Broadway straight. He is now approaching a 2:1 lead with 10.4 million to Smith’s 5.7 million. — BK

11:35pm: And we’re back
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Our final two are back in their seats. Here’s how they stack up moving forward;

Terry Tang – 9.520 million
Elliot Smith – 6.595 million

— BK

11:30pm: Toilet break

This time it was Elliot Smith who called for the clock to be paused. He and Terry Tang are on an unscheduled two-minute break. — BK

11:20pm: A big bluff pays Tang dividends
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

It looked like another normal hand brewing between the heads-up pair, but it ended up being a monster pot and another swing – this time in favour of Terry Tang.

Elliot Smith opened up the action with a min-raise from the button and Tang re-clicked it to 900,000. Smith elected to call as action went to the river.

It was the 8♠A♣Q♦, and although it seemed quite juicy, the flop didn’t prompt any action, with both players checking.

The turn was the 2♥, which looked like a brick. But apparently Tang liked what he saw, leading out with a bet of 1.3 million. Again it was called by Smith as we went to the river.

It was the K♠, and Tang was quick to shove. It prompted a snap fold from Smith, as Tang turned over his cards J♥7♥, and slammed them on the table. Another eruption from the rail as Tang walked over to celebrate the scooped pot. –DJ


Terry Tang: High five for the bluff

11:10pm: Turning the screw
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

There’s the slightest hint now that Elliot Smith is beginning to turn the screw. Smith won both of the two hands immediately after the sizeable four bet won a 2 million-chip pot.

Terry Tang limped from the button and Smith’s raise to 600,000 sent the first one in his direction. Then Smith opened to 400,000 and Tang yielded without a fight. — HS


Elliot Smith: Turning the screw

11pm: Pre-flop war
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 20,000)

Now that blinds are up it’s made a notable change to the pace of the game, and the aggression of the players.

After Elliot Smith min-opened to 400,000, Terry Tang re-raised it to 900,000. It caused Smith to cover his face before making a decision.

Eventually Smith decided to inflate the pot even more to 2 million chips – roughly a quarter of both of his stack and that of Tang. After a while Tang folded and Smith scooped up the big pot without needing to see a flop. –DJ

10:55pm: All level once again
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 20,000)

This heads up match is deadlocked once again after a huge shove from Terry Tang got through to bring him back up to 8.1 million.

Tang limped the button before Elliot Smith raised to 600,000 in the big blind. Tang called which took them to the K♠5♠Q♥ flop. Smith stabbed for 600,000, Tang called, and the very wet J♠ was revealed on the turn.

Smith gave up the betting lead and with the action on Tang he ripped it in for 5.9 million – over 2x pot! After a minute of thought, Smith realised he couldn’t make the call, but at least things are starting to liven up again.

Players’ stacks now only differ by one big blind with Tang the slightest of edges. — BK

10:35pm: Checking down a made flush
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Here’s another interesting pot, principally for how passively it played out.

After a limp from Terry Tang took them to a 2♣J♠10♠ flop, Tang checked once again. Elliot Smith bet out 200,000 and Tang called. The 7♠ on the turn prompted two checks before the A♥ hit the river.

It was checked by Tang again and Smith did the same. Tang flipped over 6♠3♠ and Smith looked surprised before throwing his cards in the muck.

Was he checking to induce or checking for safety? We’re not sure. Either way, play continues on. — DJ

10:27pm: Sensational play
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

On the first hand back after the break, Terry Tang limped from the small blind/button and Elliot Smith checked his big blind.

They saw a spectacular flop: K♥J♥Q♥.

Tang checked his flopped royal flush and Smith checked his flopped set of queens.

The 3♦ came on the turn and they both checked.

The Q♣ came on the river and Tang checked again, laying a trap. Smith checked back his quads!

Of course not. The action as reported is accurate, but Smith showed J♦8♦ to Tang’s J♣7♦ and that was a chopped pot. — HS

10:25pm: Away they go again
Level 32 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000)

Will this be the one that ends it?

10:05pm: Break time counts

That’s the end of Level 31. There was a big hand towards the end, the details of which are incoming, but here’s the stacks as they take another 15-minute break:

Elliot Smith: 8.870 million
Terry Tang: 7.245 million

Blinds are going up to 100,000/200,000 (ante 25,000) so that’s 44 big blinds versus 36.

10pm: Tang takes a chunk back
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Here’s a big pot at last! And it came right before the break at the end of Level 31 swinging the chip counts all but even again.

It was Terry Tang who raised it up pre-flop to 380,000. Smith called and action went to the flop. Elliot Smith’s check was so quick it could almost be considered as being in the dark, as the 4♥5♠7♥ hit the board. Tang continued however for 350,000 and Smith called.

The turn was the 7♦, which paired the board. It was Smith who lead out this time, betting 325,000. After a while, Tang re-raised to 700,000. I was convinced Smith would shove after glancing down at his chips. But again, he folded.

It caused an eruption from the rails, where Tang’s fans are out in full force today. Tang’s now closed the gap as we close in on Level 32. –DJ

9:55pm: Smith scoops one
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Elliot Smith limped the button and Terry Tang checked to see a flop of 2♦9♣3♥. Smith fired for 160,000 when it was checked to him but Tang bumped it up to 375,000. Smith made the call and the 2♥ peeled off on the turn.

Both players checked it down before and after the K♦ river and Tang revealed A♥4♥ for a busted wheel draw and just ace high. Smith had that beat with 6♣3♠ having paired his three on the flop.

Smith up to 8.9 million, Tang down to 7.1 million. — BK

9:50pm: More time passes, little happens
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Action is continuing, although you might not really describe it as that.

We have been playing heads up for more than six and a half hours now and it continues to be all limps on the button, min-raises and checks down to the river. Given that it got to heads up pretty early in the day, there was a chance of an early finish – especially when Smith’s five bet shove before 4pm. (See entry at 3:35pm). But that battle ended up putting Smith on almost exactly the same stack as Tang, and stacks have remained relatively equal since.

With blinds set to go up shortly, there will be 80 big blinds in play. That may get them moving. — DJ

9:35pm: About even again
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Another level is gradually slipping by without major incident. There’s 25 minutes left on Level 31 and they are about even. Blinds will increase to 100,000/200,000 at the end of this level. — HS

9:25pm: Opening up?
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

It does seem to be opening up a little now, with a few more bets heading into the pot.

In a recent hand, Terry Tang limped his button and Elliot Smith checked his option. Smith then led 275,000 at the 7♦6♠9♠ flop. Tang called.

The turn brought the J♣ and both players checked. Then the 6♣ came on the river.

Tang, who hadn’t shown much interest in the pot to this point, came out with a bet of 400,000. Smith shuffled in his chair a bit, before folding. — HS

9:15pm: Tang moves
Level 28 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

Tang has been doing his best mannequin challenge impression over the past few hours, barely moving an inch other than to pick up his chips to bet.

About 20 minutes ago however he stood up, and decided to move all his chips over to the right. It means rather than facing each other from opposite ends of the table Tang is now sat directly to the left of the dealer, in what would be Seat 1 on a nine-handed table.


Terry Tang’s new seat

Maybe he feared he was giving away a tell despite the fact he has every single square inch of his body hidden, or perhaps he’s hoping to find a bit more luck in a new spot. –DJ

9:05pm: Momentum swinging to Smith
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

The tournament seems to be going Elliot Smith’s way of late – he just took down two pots in quick succession.

In the first, Smith raised the button to 380,000 and after Terry Tang defended his big blind they saw a flop of 4♦A♥10♦. It was checked to Smith and his continuation bet for 275,000 took it down.

Two hands later Smith limped the button and Tang checked his option before a flop of 8♣3♥A♣. Smith fired for 160,000 when checked to and Tang made the call. The J♥ turn prompted another check from Tang but he couldn’t stick around when Smith barrelled again for 400,000.

Smith now sits with 8.9 million as his disposal while Tang drops back to 7.1 million. — BK

8:55pm: An accidental moment of excitement
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

When I dropped my pen on the podium on which the Main Event table sits it was probably the most exciting thing to have happened within the past hour. It was surprisingly loud and there were some angry looks. The fact that I nearly stumbled when picking it up, made the action even more exciting. I apologised to everyone but at least it was some action.

Shortly after, we got a hand. Over the past hour or so, Tang has been the aggressor, with Smith being extremely passive – checking quickly and folding at the slightest hint of strength from Tang. But not on this one.

Tang led out pre-flop for 360,000 and Smith called. On the draw heavy 6♣7♦4♣, both players checked. Smith checked once again on the Q♠ turn. Thinking he could steal, Tang led out for 400,000. After some thought, Smith check-raised to 1.4 million. Tang folded and Smith adds a little more to his stack. The pair are still pretty even, with Smith perhaps slightly in the lead. –DJ

8:40pm: Back to it
Level 31 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (ante 20,000)

They are back and playing again. — HS

8:25pm: Break time

That’s the end of Level 30. Here are the latest stacks:

Elliot Smith: 8.595 million
Terry Tang: 7.512 million


Will they break the deadlock in Level 29?

They’ll be back in 15 minutes. — HS

8:15pm: Limp life
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Our final two players have well and truly been keeping their limp hands strong with the overwhelming majority of buttons being limped.

In the most recent hand, Terry Tang limped the button (surprise surprise), and Elliot Smith raised it up from the big blind to 370,000 (an actual surprise). Tang went into the tank (surprise surprise) but decided against continuing.

The stacks have barely budged since we last reported. — BK

8pm: A return to the old ways
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

In fairness to Terry Tang, it was indeed just a short break. They’re now back at the table and checking a lot again. — HS

7:55pm: Unscheduled break

Terry Tang has requested another toilet break and Elliot Smith has obliged. Tang has insisted it’ll only be two minutes. — BK

7:50pm: Another shove
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Here’s the second shove of this heads up battle. Like the first, it went uncalled.

Elliot Smith led pre-flop with a raise to an additional 250,000 on top of his small blind, and Tang called. Smith led again on the 8♣5♥5♣ flop, and again Tang followed suit.

Smith slowed down on the 4♦ turn, but Tang wanted to keep the action going, and led out with 450,000. Smith called and we went to a flop.

It was fairly bricky: 2♦. Smith elected to check once again, and Tang opened fire by shoving for around 68 big blinds. Smith snap folded, and play continues –DJ

7:45pm: Net profit for Smith
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Elliot Smith has a chip lead of 8.5 million to Terry Tang’s 7.5 million at this stage. That’s the net result of about an hour’s play in this most passive of levels yet. — HS

7:35pm: Nothing to report
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

It’s back and forth between the two, who are mostly electing to limp in or min-open. If action does make it to a flop it’s mostly being checked to the river or folded to a small c-bet. Given that they’re both so deep and they sit on almost exactly the same stack, there’s no reason to alter our earlier assessment that this could go on for a while. — DJ

7:20pm: The two faces of Terry Tang
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Here’s what Elliot Smith is looking at this evening:


Sometimes Terry Tang looks like this…

terry_tang_hood_down.jpg…and sometimes like this

7:15pm: Two small pots for Tang bookend four small pots for Smith
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Although this heads-up battle hasn’t been entirely devoid of big pots, the vast majority have been tiny. It’s why we’re still almost exactly deadlocked. Here are six pots to stand by way of evidence:

1. Terry Tang opened to 270,000 from the button and Elliot Smith called. They both checked the 7♦Q♠7♣ flop, then Smith also checked the 7♠ turn. Tang bet 250,000 and Smith folded.

2. Smith limped from the button and Tang checked his big blind. They both checked the 5♥3♣J♦ flop and they then checked the Q♣ turn too. The J♣ river was no different. Check, check. Smith’s A♥8♣ was good.

3. A walk for Smith.

4. Smith raised to 260,000 from the button and Tang folded.

5. A walk for Smith.

6. Smith limped from the button and Tang checked his option. The 5♦8♦J♣ emerged and Tang bet 125,000. Smith folded. — HS

7pm: Smith gets Tango-ed
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

Terry Tang won the first pot of the new level.

After Smith limped, Tang raised to 285,000 and Smith called. He led out once again on the 4♣9♠5♠ board for 300,000 – and Smith came along for the ride.

The 8♠ turn slowed the action down and saw two checks. Action shifted back into gear again on the 5♣ river with Tang betting out 400,000 on the straighty-flushy-paired board. Smith took off his glasses to clean them and think about what to do. Eventually, he decided to let this one go. –DJ

6:50pm: Pushing on
Level 30 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)

On they go.

6:35pm: One ante between them

It is now perfectly fair to say that this is an equal battle. Tournament staff counted down precise stacks at the start of the break and there’s a matter of one ante between them.

Terry Tang has 8.04 million. Elliot Smith is now in the lead, with 8.075 million. Blinds are going up to 60,000/120,000 in the next level, but that’s still 67 big blinds apiece.

Right now, they’re on a 15-minute break. — HS

6:32pm: Smith hits trips
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Things are going slowly here, as we approach the official break (the one about 20 minutes ago was an impromptu one).

Pre-flop, Smith limped and Tang checked to see a flop. It was the J♠10♦5♣, on which Smith led out for 100,000. It was called and the 7♠ hit the turn.

Smith checked this time around, and Tang led out for 250,000. It was called by Smith, and the 10♥ fell on the river.

After a long pause, Tang led out again for 350,000, with Smith throwing in a single yellow chip to indicate the call. He flipped over 10♣4♥ for trips and Tang showed Q♠5♥ for bottom pair. –DJ

6:30pm: The stalemate continues
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It seems both players are employing a small-ball strategy now in this heads up match. Very rarely have we seen players three-betting or firing on multiple streets.

The most recent small pot went to Elliot Smith who still trails. Terry Tang raised to 250,000 on the button and Smith called in the big blind before a monochrome 5♦3♦J♦ flop. Both checked and the 9♥ fell on the turn.

Smith then led at it for 275,000 and that was enough to scare Tang off. Following that hand Smith gets a little back to move up to 7.4 million but is still chasing the 8.6 million in Tang’s stack. — BK

6:10pm: Tang wins a small one
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

All washed up, the pair are now back from a short break and Terry Tang is back to leading his assault on Elliot Smith.

A short while ago Smith opened to 200,000 and Tang called.

The draw-heavy flop of K♣Q♥J♣ hit the deck, and prompted two checks. On the turn of 8♣, Tang led out for 250,000, which Smith promptly called.

On the J♦ river Tang led out again – and he led out big, betting 700,000. After tallying up the chips already in the pot, Smith elected to fold. –DJ

6pm: Toilet break and resumption
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

At the request of Terry Tang the clock has been paused for a five minute toilet break. Coverage will resume momentarily. Oh, and they’re back. — BK

5:45pm: Big Decision for Tang; Coming Up Roses for Smith
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Elliot Smith just stopped the rot in fairly spectacular fashion, hauling himself back into contention.

After Terry Tang opened for 250,000, Smith raised the price to 700,000. After a long tank, Tang counted out calling chips, but then reached for a big stack of raising chips.

After a count the tournament announcer said: “One point nine-five million.” But it didn’t take long for Smith to announce all-in for the rest of his 5.87 million.


Smith puts Tang to the test

At this point, players from around the casino flocked to watch the action. And the shove even prompted Tang to show his face for the first time today, having been hiding under a white hoodie, a black surgical face mask and dark glasses since the start of play.

He didn’t look pleased. A call would cost him an additional 3.9 million, and after a tank and another re-peek at his cards he mucked before tapping the table.


Elliot Smith: Eyes on the prize

Smith got a much needed helping hand and is back up to 7.75 million. –DJ

5:30pm: It’s all gone quiet
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

It’s very easy to know if Terry Tang is winning pots at the final table, even if you’re seated over the other side of the room. Tang has the only railing section over there, and they’re cheering every decent pot he wins. It’s been quiet for about ten minutes. — HS

5:20pm: Tang takes even more
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang now has better than a 2:1 chip lead after another sizeable pot went his way.

Elliot Smith raised to 225,000 on the button before Tang three-bet to 525,000. Smith flicked in a call and they went to the Q♠K♥A♦ flop. Tang continued for 250,000, Smith called, and the A♣ paired the board on the turn.

Tang decided to slow down with a check and Smith checked behind him. The 6♠ river completed the board and Tang loaded up again. The wager was 500,000 and after around two minutes of deliberation Smith paid it off.

Tang showed down A♠4♣ for three aces to claim the pot and climb to 11 million to Smith’s 5 million. — BK

5:10pm: Kings for Smith
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Waking up with pocket kings on the final table must feel pretty good. Elliot Smith knocked out Aymon Hata with that hand earlier and just found them a short while ago. However his attempts to slow-play them didn’t reap much reward.

Following an open to 200,000 from Smith and a call from Tang, the flop was 5♥A♠5♣. It received two checks before J♥ hit the felt. They checked that too. The river was the 4♥ and this time Tan led for 150,000. Smith called.

Smith showed the K♥K♠, which was more than good enough against Tang’s K♣9♠. –DJ

5:05pm: Tang takes another
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang continues to display his dominance. This time he made two pair to rake in yet another pot.

Elliot Smith got things under way with a limp on the button and Tang checked his option before a flop of K♦3♦7♥. Tang then check-raised from 100,000 up to 250,000 and Smith made the call. The 2♥ turn card saw Tang fire for 450,000 and Smith called again.

Despite the action, the J♣ river card was met with two quick checks and Tang tabled 7♦3♥ for the winner. He now sits with around 10 million to Smith’s 6 million. — BK

5pm: Off they go again
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Cards are in the air again with the precise chip counts:

Terry Tang: 9.250 million
Elliot Smith: 6.7 million

4:35pm: Smith closes out the level
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

The level ends with a small win for Elliot Smith. He opened for 190,000, which Tang called for a A♣8♥5♦ flop. That was checked both ways for the 9♠ on the turn. Tang checked and Smith bet 125,000. That was called for the 2♦ river card. Tang checked again and Smith bet again, 250,000 this time. Tang paused, then called. He watched Smith show K♦9♦ but couldn’t beat it, eventually throwing away his cards.

Player are now on a 25 minute break. Tang still leads with roughly 9.2 million, while Smith has the rest, approximately 6.8 million. – SB

4:30pm: Tang continues to stretch his lead
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

It’s now roughly 10 million versus 6 million in Terry Tang’s favour as he continues to chip away at Elliot Smith’s chip stack. His latest boost came in the following hand. He raised to 190,000 from the button and Smith called out of the big blind.

The two players looked on as a A♥Q♠6♥ flop hit the felt. Smith checked, Tang bet 160,000 and Smith stuck around. The K♥ fell on the turn and neither player moved a chip. The 2♣ was the final community card and on this street Smith would check-call a further 250,000. Tang opened A♦J♠ and it was good. –NW

4:25pm: Tang slowly widens the gap
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

The action has really seemed to slow now with button-limping and then subsequent checking down becoming a trend in this heads up clash.

Despite the pace winding down, Terry Tang is gaining further ground on Elliot Smith. In the most recent hand Tang raised to 190,000 on the button and Smith called from the big blind before the flop fell J♣2♥6♦.

A check from Smith prompted a bet of 160,000 from Tang. Smith snap-folded, dropping to 6.9 million in the process, as Tang rides further ahead with 9.1 million. — BK

4:20pm: Another pot for Tang
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Nothing much, but a partial showdown at least. Smith opened for the standard 190,000 from under the gun which Tang called for a flop of 4♦10♣J♦.

Both checked for the 6♣ turn card. Tang bet 150,000 and Smith called for the K♣ on the river. Check check. Tang showed J♠4♠ to win the hand, and get a now standard round of applause. – SB

4:15pm: Tang on top
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

As the title suggest Terry Tang has taken the chip lead, albeit a small one. This is how it happened. Elliot Smith raised from the button and Tang defended. On the J♣3♥A♦ flop Smith c-bet 125,000 and Tang decided to match that wager.


Try get a read off Terry Tang

The 9♦ turn checked through and the J♠ river paired the board. Tang took the initiative and fired out 225,000. Smith leant back in his chair and he needed some time to make this decision. After over a minute in the tank he called, but soon mucked when Tang showed 10♣9♥. That pot means it’s now 8.6 million plays 7.4 million in Tang’s favour. –NW

4:10pm: Sharing the wealth
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Elliot Smith won two small pots back to back before Terry Tang took down the very next one.

The first hand saw a limp from Tang but Smith bumped it up to 280,000 in the big blind. Tang called and the flop landed J♠2♠A♣. Smith fired for 175,000 and that was good to take it down.

The next hand began with a button-raise from Smith to 190,000 and Tang quickly folded showing the 2♦.

It was then Tang’s turn to get one back after he brought it in on the button for 165,000. Smith defended his big blind and they went to the 7♥3♥10♠ flop. Both players checked and saw the A♥ turn flip over. A snap-check from Smith, a delayed c-bet of 150,000 from Tang, and Smith relinquished his hand.

The stacks are now roughly at 7.9 million for Tang and Smith only just ahead on 8.1 million. — BK

4pm: Three for Tang, but all square
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Nothing much to report over the past ten minutes or so. Terry Tang won three pots in a row but none of them were of significant value.

The first reached a turn card, with the board reading K♦5♠6♣2♥, before Tang bet 125,000. Smith called and the river was the J♠. Both checked again – Smith showed 9♦4♦ but Tang’s 10♥10♠ was the easy winner.

Otherwise it’s all square. – SB

3:50pm: Two for Tang stems the flow
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

What’s the best way to get over losing a big pot? Winning a big pot of course and winning a small one isn’t bad either. After losing that big pot (see 3:45pm) Terry Tang bounced back by winning the next two.

He had the button for the first of the pair and raised it up to 190,000. Call from Smith. The A♣5♥5♣ flop was bereft of betting action and the Q♣ fell on the turn. A delayed c-bet of 200,000 from Tang earned him the pot.

On the next shuffle Smith made his usual 190,000 pre-flop raise and Tang called. A coordinated 4♣6♥5♥ flop hit the table and Tang led out for 150,000. Call from Smith. The J♠5♦ turn and river checked through and Tang’s A♠9♥ was the best hand. –NW

3:45pm: Smith shoots to the lead
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Elliot Smith has reclaimed the chip lead after raking in a huge pot on an interesting runout.

Smith button-raised to 190,000 and Tang called to see a paired 9♠8♣8♠ flop. Tang checked it over to Smith who continued for 125,000 before being raised to 280,000. Smith decided to stick around the the 9♣ appeared on the turn.

Tang kept up the aggression, firing for 250,000, and Smith called again. The 8♦ river brought a full house on board and Tang bombed it for 1.2 million. Smith took the opportunity to raise it up even further, and decided on a total of 3.5 million.


Elliot Smith moves into the chip lead

Tang thought about it for two minutes but ultimately folded, falling to 6.4 million. Smith, however, is now the chip boss with 9.6 million. — BK

3:35pm: One for Smith
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Terry Tang has won the last few small pots but Elliot Smith just hauled one back.

Tang opened for 165,000, which was called for a flop of A♥2♦10♥. Both players checked that, and the J♦ turn card for the J♥ on the river. Smith bet 250,000, which Tang eventually called. Smith turned over A♦6♠. Tang meanwhile tank-mucked.

The (approximate) counts at the moment are Smith on 7.5 million and Tang on 8.5 million. – SB

3:30pm: Smith gets some back
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

No real momentum swing yet in this heads-up contest as Elliot Smith just took back some of the chips he lost to Terry Tang just a few hands ago. Smith made his standard button raise of 190,000 and Tang called out of the big blind.

The flop fell 8♥8♠7♥ and Tang check-called a c-bet of 125,000 from Smith. So that took them to the turn, which was the 5♣. Smith fired a second barrel, 325,000 this time, and that was sufficient to get Tang off whatever he was holding. –NW

3:25pm: Straight flush wins Smith a small one
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Elliot Smith just flopped himself a straight flush and somehow it was still one of the smallest pots of heads up play.

Terry Tang limped on the button for 80,000 and Smith checked his option to see a flop of 7♦6♦8♦. The action was checked through and again on the K♠ turn before the 4♥ rolled off on the river.

Smith led with a value bet for 125,000 and was snapped off before the railbirds and Tang all gasped in unison. Smith showed up with 9♦5♦ for a straight flush to scoop in the small pot. — BK


Smith’s straight flush in all its glory

3:20pm: Third hand after the restart
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

The third hand after the restart gave us something to write about. Smith opened for 190,000 on the button, which Tang raised to 405,000. Smith called and they saw a flop.


First to act, Tang bet 350,000. Smith took a moment, then called, taking things to the turn – J♠.

This brought all sorts of possibilities, and the potential for something big. Tang thought so too, and moved one of his large million-strong towers of greens forward, topping it with two yellow chips for purely aesthetic reasons – a total bet of 1.01 million.

But the hand wouldn’t go any further. Smith folded. The crowd cheered. Tang is up some more. – SB

3:15pm: Play!
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

They are most definitely now playing poker again. It will become more specific from here…


Elliot Smith, left, and Terry Tang: Heads up for the title

3:05pm: The long and the short of it
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

They’re now posing for their heads-up photos before play will resume. Terry Teng just joked that he doesn’t want a photo next to Elliot Smith because Smith is too tall. Ha. They’ve taken the pictures sitting down, and a resumption in play is imminent. — HS

3pm: Deal agreed!
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

It took them more than an hour, but they have agreed a chop. Each of Terry Tang (8.410 million chips) and Elliot Smith (7.705 million) will get HKD $2,557,500 and there’s HKD$300,000 on the side to play for. And the trophy! –HS

2:50pm: All talked out
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s a wonder they can find anything to talk about. They have re-emerged to the tournament room, but are still not seated.


Crunching numbers with Elliot Smith, Terry Tang and the PokerStars Macau staff

2:45pm: I don’t want to worry anyone…
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

…but there’s still no sign of our heads-up players. Have they eloped?

2:30pm: And on they talk
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Still no sign of a resumption. These deal negotiations are now almost as long as the period of play that brought us here.

2:15pm: Drawn out deal discussions
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

To bring you up to speed on what’s been going on for the past half an hour: Elliot Smith and Terry Tang have been trying to negotiate a deal. They’re heads up and super deep, with 1 hour and 19 minutes still left on Level 28, where the blinds are 40,000/80,000. That means they have about 200 big blinds shared between them, and Tang has about 10 BBs more.

This could take a while more. — HS

1:45pm: Daniel Laidlaw out in third place, collects HK$1,724,000
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 5,000)

Elliot Smith had a way of making life difficult Daniel Laidlaw. On the small blind he would raise to an even million, shifting forward two towers of greens, which made it a binary choice for the short stacked Laidlaw in the big blind.

Unless Laidlaw could find a hand that is, which he did a few moments ago, when Smith made his small blind move once more. Laidlaw called immediately.

Laidlaw: A♦10♣
Smith: K♠5♦


Elliot Smith and Daniel Laidlaw: The sweat…

This final table already has form when it comes to surprises, and the flop kept to that script: 5♣J♣6♣. But while that put Smith ahead it gave Laidlaw outs. Laidlaw was drawing to any ace, ten, or club.

The turn card J♠ gave Laidlaw some counterfeit outs too, but there was one one more street to help him out. The river card 2♥ wasn’t even close, sending Laidlaw out in third place, collecting HK$1724,000.


Elliot Smith and Daniel Laidlaw:…and the handshake

That takes us heads up. Here’s how things look:

Elliot Smith: 7.7 million
Terry Tang: 8.41 million

— SB

1:40pm: Two pair for Tang
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang wins another healthy pot to extend his lead. This time it was a battle of the blinds with Elliot Smith.

Tang raised to 200,000 from the small blind and Smith called from the big blind to see a flop of A♠7♥9♥. A continuation bet from Tang for 180,000 was met with a call and the K♦ arrived on the turn.

Tang fired again, this time for 350,000, and again Smith called again before the Q♣ completed the board. Two quick checks on the end saw Tang flip up the winner.

“Two pair,” Tang said, revealing A♦Q♥.

That was good enough to take the pot and he moved up to 8.4 million. Smith meanwhile drops to 6.4 million. — BK

1:35pm: Three-handed play begins
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Away they go again, with the following chip-stacks:

Terry Tang: 7.670 million
Elliot Smith: 7.180 million
Daniel Laidlaw: 1.265 million

1:25pm: Break time

The remaining three players have reached the first 15 minute break of the day.

1:20pm: Tang outflops Oziel, sends Spin & Go qualifier spinning and going
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Just like that, we’re down to three. And if this rate of outdraws keeps up, we’ll exhaust all of them remaining in the poker universe and your big pairs will hold up for evermore.

This time, the unfortunate faller was Avraham Oziel, our Spin & Go qualifier, whose spectacular run ends in fourth place. He gets HK$1.28 million, which is US$164,749. Considering he paid $11 for that Spin & Go ticket, his R.O.I. is out of this world. (It’s nearly 1.5 million percent!)

How do you fancy a 1.5 million percent ROI? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your poker journey. Spin & Go qualifiers running now for our trip to Monte Carlo. Click here to get an account.

But back to his last hand. It started when Daniel Laidlaw opened to 135,000 from under the gun, from a stack of 1.4 million, and Terry Tang three-bet to 360,000 from the button.

Oziel was in the small blind and pondered his options, counting his stack a couple of times, but then he ripped it in. It was for 1.55 million more.

Laidlaw quickly folded, but Tang called pretty quickly.

Oziel gleefully flipped over his A♦A♠. Tang had 7♦7♥.

But this deck is nothing if not cold. The flop fell 4♥7♠10♦ and sent Tang into the lead. Then the 9♠ turn and Q♠ river could not help Oziel haul himself back.


Avraham Oziel: Look at that seven!


The adventure ends for Avraham Oziel

Oziel got up and shook his opponents’ hands one by one, then headed off to the payouts desk. What a week for the cash grinder from Canada. It’s his first ever live recorded tournament cash.


Cheerio Spin & Go

Tang now sits with 7.2 million and is the leader three-handed. — HS

1:15pm: Latest counts
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Name Country Chips
Elliot Smith Canada 7,000,000
Terry Tang China 5,700,000
Avraham Oziel Canada 2,350,000
Daniel Laidlaw Australia 1,350,000

1:10pm: Smith takes the chip lead
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Wet, sopping, saturated. That was about the size of the run out in a hand between Elliot Smith and Terry Tang. The former opened to 125,000 from the cutoff and Tang smooth called from the small blind.

The 10♠Q♠9♦ flop was properly coordinated and Tang elected to lead. He bet 100,000 and Smith stuck around. The Q♦ turn not only paired the board but it put a second flush draw out there too. Tang didn’t slow down. He fired out 225,000 and Smith called again. The 9♠ river made this ridiculous run out even more insane. It didn’t stop Tang though. He bet 405,000 and Smith instantly called.

Neither player showed their hand at first, but it was Tang who had to show first. He opened 2♠2♥, Smith could, understandably beat that, he held Q♥2♣ for a full house.

He’s up to 7 million, Tang is down to 5.5 million. –NW

1:05pm: Tang takes the lead back
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang is the chip leader once again after winning a hand that took over five minutes to play out. While Tang has been notorious for tanking, this time it was Smith who took a great deal of time with his decision.

Tang button-raised to 150,000 and Smith called to see a flop of K♣8♥3♦. The action was checked through and the dealer turned the 2♠. Again it went check check and it seemed like this would be just another small pot. That was until the 9♥ river prompted Smith to fire for 125,000, and Tang decided to play back at him, cutting out and raising to 420,000.

Smith sat, clearly uncomfortable, readjusting himself in the seat multiple times while deep in the tank. After four minutes Smith exhaled deeply and tried to stare Tang down. Tang immediately looked at the tournament director and pointed to his wrist to request a clock. Smith was given one last minute to make up his mind.

He used almost half of it to deliberate further before finally pushing in a call. It turned out he’d made the wrong choice as Tang tabled 2♥2♣ for a turned set to take down the pot. After that encounter Tang usurps the chip lead once again, now with 6.4 million in play, while Smith falls back to 6.2 million. — BK

12:57pm: Latest counts
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Name Country Chips
Elliot Smith Canada 6,400,000
Terry Tang China 5,700,000
Avraham Oziel Canada 2,100,000
Daniel Laidlaw Australia 1,450,000

12:55pm: Playing the short stack with Daniel Laidlaw
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Daniel Laidlaw is routinely counting his chips between hands, the sure sign of the man who knows he is the tournament short stack. That said, his 1.3 million is still 22 big blinds, so he is not yet absolutely critical.

In two recent pots he had the chance to wager them all. The first came when action folded to Elliot Smith in the small blind and he pushed three towers of green 25,000-denomination chips over the line, with each tower representing 500,000.

One toppled as it was moving forward, so it wasn’t quite clear whether they were all in play, but the intention was clear. If Laidlaw wanted to call it would be for all his chips. He didn’t.

Soon after, however, Smith opened to 125,000 from under the gun (also the cutoff four-handed) and Laidlaw moved all-in. None of Terry Tang, Avraham Oziel and, finally, Smith wanted to go to battle this time. — HS

12:50pm: Short stacks go at it
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

It’s very much a case of the haves and the have nots among the final four. While Terry Tang and Elliot Smith have oodles of chips, for Daniel Laidlaw and Avraham Oziel every pot is significant as they’re scrapping around the 30 big blind mark.

avraham_oziel_pscmacau_ft.jpegAvraham Oziel

The two shorter stacks just played a pot together and it’s left Laidlaw the shortest of the two. He opened to 135,000 from the button and Oziel called from the big blind. The dealer fanned a 7♦Q♣A♣ flop and Oziel checked it to Laidlaw. He continued for 100,000, Oziel check-raised to 250,000 and Laidlaw called.

The 6♦ fell on fourth street and Oziel announced all-in. His jam was for roughly 1.3 million. Laidlaw had roughly the same amount back and he opted to preserve his stack. After that hand Oziel is up to 2.1 million. –NW

12:45pm: Back and forth
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

After the two eliminations of Pete Chen and Aymon Hata, the remaining four players are all relatively deep stacked. The average chip count now exceeds 65 big blinds.

As such the action seems to have slowed down momentarily with nothing to witness but small blinds and chips just moving back and forth.

One of those small pots saw Avraham Oziel open to 125,000 from the cutoff and Daniel Laidlaw three-bet to 360,000 from the small blind. Oziel let it go and Laidlaw moved up to 1.95 million. — BK

12:38pm: Approximate chip counts with four remaining
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Name Country Chips
Elliot Smith Canada 6,700,000
Terry Tang China 5,500,000
Avraham Oziel Canada 1,800,000
Daniel Laidlaw Australia 1,600,000
Aymon Hata UK 0
Pete Chen Taiwan 0

12:36pm: Suck, re-suck (Part II) accounts for Hata in fifth, wins HK$950,000
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

We’re another man down as Aymon Hata hits the rail in fifth. It was another hand full of drama too, as Hata went into the hand well behind, vaulted to the lead, and was then stuffed back in his place again.

On the hand before what turned out to be Hata’s final action, Elliot Smith raised blind-on-blind and got Daniel Laidlaw to lay down his big blind. Action folded to Smith on the next hand too, and this time he raised to 125,000 from the button.

Laidlaw passed again, but Hata moved all-in for about 1.8 million from the big blind. Smith re-checked his cards, but then called very quickly.

Hata: Q♦J♦
Smith: K♠K♣

“He’s going to need a lot of help,” the tournament director announcing the action said over the microphone.

Precisely on cue, the dealer flipped over the flop: 3♣Q♠J♣.

That put Hata into the lead and the TD now said of Hata, “He’s going to need to avoid a king or a three to doub- oh…”

The dealer again interrupted her boss to land the 3♦ on the turn and give Smith a better two pair. The 8♥ on the river was the only meaningless card of the entire board.

hata_out_pscmacau_ft.jpegFifth place finisher Aymon Hata (standing, right) shakes the hand of Elliot Smith

So we’re quickly down to four now. Hata takes HK$950,000, which is his biggest live score. Smith retakes the chip lead. — HS

12:33pm: It’s getting shove-y
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Three hands, two shoves, zero calls. That sums up the recent action. First to receive the red triangle was Aymon Hata. Daniel Laidlaw limped the small blind – this was at least the second time I’d seen this happen today – and Hata was having none of it. He shipped his near 2 million stack over the line and although Laidlaw took a look back at his hole cards, it was to confirm that he didn’t have a hand he could call with.

Elliot Smith then won with a raise and take and then it was Laidlaw’s turn to be shoved on again. He raised to 125,000 but quickly released when Avraham Oziel shoved for a little over 1,500,000. –NW

12:30pm: Tang extends his lead
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang is effectively wielding his fortress of chips. He just took down another two pots in quick succession.

terry_tang_pscmacau_ft_v1.jpegTerry Tang

The first saw Tang raise to 130,000 on the button and both Avraham Oziel and Elliot Smith called from the small and big blinds respectively. The flop was spread 9♠2♦7♦ and, after two checks, a continuation bet for 200,000 from Tang won him the pot.

The very next hand Tang raised to 130,000 but the entire table folded. Tang flipped up J♥J♦ to show that he wasn’t just stealing.

With these two pots Tang’s stack climbs to over 6.5 million. — BK

12:26pm: Approximate chip counts with five remaining
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Name Country Chips
Terry Tang China 6,500,000
Elliot Smith Canada 4,585,000
Daniel Laidlaw Australia 2,250,000
Aymon Hata UK 1,850,000
Avraham Oziel Canada 1,235,000
Pete Chen Taiwan 0

12:25pm: Early whoops as Tang sends Chen home, $705,000 richer
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Pete Chen’s stay on the final day was brief, but the hand that eliminated him at least shook off a few cobwebs from the PokerStars LIVE! card-room whooping section’s vocal cords. It was a brilliant, river two-outer and they love that kind of thing over here.

pete_chen_pscmacau_ft.jpegSixth place for Pete Chen

Chen open-jammed for his last 955,000 from under the gun and it slowly folded over to Terry Tang in the big blind. Tang is usually very slow with his action, so this instant call spelled clear doom for Chen.

Chen tabled his 10♣10♦ but Tang had J♠J♣.

And then it swung the other way. The dealer put the 3♥10♠6♦ flop on the table, to muted groans from Tang’s fans. Chen was absolutely impassive. The 6♥ then fell on the turn, which changed nothing, but the J♦ river was the re-suck for Tang.

tang_resuck_pscmacau_ft.jpegThe Tang re-suck

tang_eliminates_chen_pscmacau.jpegTang rakes in Chen’s chips

His cheering section leapt from their slumber, high-fived their man, and got things started in true Macau fashion. We’re one down, five to go. Pity Chen, who wins $HK$705,000, but Tang is now your chip leader with about 5.5 million. — HS

12:20pm: Tang vs Laidlaw
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang has taken an early hit after losing a hand against Daniel Laidlaw. The former raised to 130,000 from early position and Laidlaw called from the big blind. On the 10♣K♠3♦ flop Laidlaw check-called a bet of 150,000 from Teng and the A♥ fell on fourth street. Both players checked and the 9♠ completed the board. Laidlaw led for 425,000 and Tang gave it up reasonably quickly. –NW

12:15pm: Oziel frisky with seven high
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Avraham Oziel laid down a marker on the second hand of the day, and wanted to make sure everybody knew it.

After action folded to him in the small blind, he raised to 125,000 and Pete Chen called in the big blind. The dealer practically poured the flop onto the table it was so wet: Q♦K♦10♦. But both players checked.

The turn was the 9♦, which was still pretty moist. But neither player was interested in that either.

The K♠ fell on the river and now Oziel bet. He put 175,000 forward.

Chen quickly folded, then Oziel defiantly flipped over 5♣7♥. It was air, but there was the high likelihood Chen had not much better, and even possibly worse.

Elliot Smith got a walk on the next hand. — HS

12:10pm: Tang takes the first pot
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Terry Tang has kicked things off by claiming the first pot. It was Aymon Hata who opened to 125,000 on the button before Tang three-bet to 280,000 from the small blind. That was enough to get through Hata who folded and dropped to 1.85 million.

Tang’s total now sits at 4.65 million in chips. — BK

12:08pm: Who’s that guy?
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

If you’re not familiar with the final six players at the Main Event final table, check out our player profiles. They’ll bring you up to speed. — SB

final_six_pscmacau_ft.jpegThe final six: (front row l-r) Daniel Laidlaw, Terry Tang, Aymon Hata (back row l-r) Pete Chen, Elliot Smith, Avraham Oziel

12:05pm: We’re off
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Next stop: a new PokerStars Championship winner.

11:55pm: Minutes away
Level 27 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)

Players are in their seats and the introductions are being made.

11:30am: Final table day

It’s the final day of the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event. Six players remain, and here’s how they’ll line up for the start at 12 noon. — SB

Elliot Smith Canada 4,585,000
Terry Tang China 4,500,000
Aymon Hata UK 1,970,000
Daniel Laidlaw Australia 1,855,000
Avraham Oziel Canada 1,735,000
Pete Chen Taiwan 1,170,000


Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship Macau and all other Festival and Championship events.

Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Brad Kain, Howard Swains and Nick Wright. Photography by Neil Stoddart.

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