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Full tournament report

Below is the blow-by-blow account of the final day action of the $50,000 Super High Roller tournament at 2016 ACOP. Click through for a full tournament report.

5pm: Li clinches title!
Bonomo out in second for $5,595,000

Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

It’s all over here in Macau as Yuan Li picks off a big river bluff from Justin Bonomo to seal the deal on what was only about the eighth hand of heads-up play.

They got to a flop of 8J5 and Li check-called Bonomo’s bet of 300,000. The 4 came on the turn and it went check-call again, this time for a 1 million bet.

Then the 3 came on the river and Bonomo shipped for 3.090 million.

Li didn’t think for much more than about a minute, then called. Immediately he did so, Bonomo rose from his seat and went over to shake Li’s hand. Bonomo showed his Q10 and Li’s K8 was always in front.

That’s the end of that. Li takes HK$6,700,000 for his win, plus title and trophy. Bonomo’s second place is worth $5,595,000.

We will have a full recap here very soon.

4:50pm: First blood to Yuan Li
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

Yuan Li extended his chip lead on the first hand of heads up. He raised to 500,000 pre-flop, which Justin Bonomo called, and they saw a flop of 8Q7. Li bet 700,000 and Bonomo called.

The turn was the 2 and Li now bet 1.4 million. That was too rich for Bonomo, who released his hand.

4:45pm: Deal done
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

The last two players have agreed a deal. They are leaving HK$400,000 on the side still to play for, but have locked up the following:

Yuan Li: HK$6,300,000 (US$810,000 approx)
Justin Bonomo: $5,595,000 (US$721,000 approx)

They are now playing for the ranking points, the $400K and the trophy.


4:35pm: Heads up: formidable task for Bonomo
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

They are now heads up, with the seasoned pro Justin Bonomo facing the daunting prospect of Yuan Li with a chip-lead. Let’s see what these two are made of now.


Justin Bonomo: 6.190 million
Yuan Li: 16.315 million

4:25pm: Newey busts in ultimate cooler
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

Paul Newey just made what appeared to be an incredibly disciplined fold to yield that last pot to Yuan Li. But whatever he had, it was rendered immediately irrelevant on the very next hand.

Newey, you see, found KK. Li, however, found AA. This was going all-in at any stage of any tournament, let alone three-handed in a shallow Super High Roller.


Ultimate cooler for Paul Newey

Newey has cracked at least two over-pairs in this tournament as he has progressed to the very deep stages, and after a flop and turn of Q1038 there was potential for it to happen again.

But the Q on the river wasn’t the card Newey needed, and he was sent spiralling out of this one, taking $3,208,000 for third place.

4:20pm: Li puts Newey all-in
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

We’re seeing a return to the dominant, aggressive Yuan Li of the first day here in Macau as he has just put Paul Newey to the test for his tournament life. It ended with the longest tank of the tournament–and resulted in a fold.

Li opened his button to 500,000 and Newey called in the big blind. They both then checked the flop of 8A5. Newey then bet 765,000 at the 7 turn but Li raised to 1.765 million. After a spell in the tank, Newey called.

The J came on the river and Newey checked, only to face the inevitable shove from Li. Newey took a long time over this decision, pondering aloud whether Li had “three eights”, the lucky Asian hand. Eventually Newey let it go and lived to fight another day.

4:10pm: Li consolidates lead
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

Yuan Li limped from the small blind and Justin Bonomo checked his option, taking them to a flop of 9K9. Li check-called Bonomo’s bet of 250,000 and then both players checked the 7 turn.

The 4 appeared on the river and Li led for 1.5 million. Bonomo played with his cards before tossing them away.

4:10pm: Plaque action
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

Justin Bonomo raised to 500,000 from the button and Yuan Li called in the big blind. After the flop of 6K2, Li checked and Bonomo bet 350,000.

Li tossed out a green plaque, with a single 100,000 chip with it, for a check-raise to 1.1 million. Bonomo retreated at the first plaque deployment of the day.

4:05pm: No deal
Level 20 – Blinds 120,000/240,000 (30,000 ante)

The remaining three players took a cursory glance at the numbers, but any talk of a deal was lacklustre at best and resulted in the inevitable: “No deal.”

On they go. The green plaques, worth 1 million apiece, are now in play.

3:50pm: First break, unlikely leader
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

That’s the first break of the day. Deep breath everybody. Here’s how they stack up at the moment:

Yuan Li: 8.39 million
Justin Bonomo: 7.32 million
Paul Newey: 6.79 million

This really might have been over, but Justin Bonomo’s attempts to knock out everyone failed when they all showed up with bigger hands. One suspects there are plenty more twists to come in this one.

3:50pm: Main event starts
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

I should add that the Main Event got under way today. Follow that here.

3:45pm: Newey small-balls Bonomo
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

Now shorn of his huge chip lead, Justin Bonomo is trying to play small-ball against both Paul Newey and Yuan Li. But his opponents can do that too.

In a recent hand, Bonomo called from the small blind and Newey checked his option. The flop brought the 7410 and Bonomo checked. Newey bet 275,000 and Bonomo called. The J came on the turn and Bonomo checked again. Newey bet 700,000 and Bonomo let it go.

This could now go any of three ways.

3:40pm: Bonomo takes a tumble as Newey doubles again
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

It’s tough work being the chip leader. Justin Bonomo has tried to knock out both of his opponents at least twice today, but has only managed to double them up. And this latest coup against Paul Newey has brought Bonomo right back into the middle of the pack and sent Newey up to dizzy new heights.

Newey shoved two hands in a row, first from the small blind and then from the button. Yuan Li folded both times, but Bonomo called the second shove, having found 77. He looked skyward when Newey turned over his QQ.

The big pair for Newey stayed best through the board of A108A6 and Newey rapped his knuckles on the table in celebration. Newey had 3.625 million to start the hand, so now has closer to 7.5 million. Bonomo has a little closer to 8 million.

We’re six minute from the first break in play and will have accurate stack sizes then.

3:30pm: Live like Li
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

Yuan Li has consistently shown he’s prepared to mix it up this week, and he hasn’t changed his approach just because they’re three handed. He just played a pot against Justin Bonomo that was anyone’s guess.

Bonomo opened his button to 400,000 and Li three-bet the big blind, making it 1.2 million. Bonomo called.

The flop came 296 and Li led at it. I didn’t see the amount because Bonomo snap-folded and Li showed him the 4, whatever that could mean.

3:25pm: New double for Newey
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

Paul Newey has close to 4.5 million chips again, doubling up through Justin Bonomo. Bonomo shoved his small blind and Newey called all-in for his last 2.15 million. Newey’s K6 started ahead of Bonomo’s J6 and it finished there too.

3:20pm: Bonomo value bets Li
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

The Bonomo brain is whirring as he tries to find the right strategy to deal with the unpredictable Yuan Li. But Bonomo seems to be finding the right moves. He just made a perfect value bet to pick up a decent pot.

Li opened from the small blind and Bonomo defended his big blind. That took them to a flop of 66Q and both checked. The 10 came on the turn and Li led 450,000 at it. Bonomo called. Then the 3 came on the end and Li slowed down. He checked.

Bonomo cut out a bet of 1 million and Li called quickly. Bonomo showed Q4 and Li mucked with a nod.

3:15pm: Li comes alive
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

Give Yuan Li a stack, and he’ll play some poker. He just picked up back to back pots, one from Justin Bonomo and one a blind steal, with Paul Newey folding the big blind.

On the first, Li opened to 425,000 from the small blind and Bonomo called in the big blind. The flop came A83 and Li continued for 400,000. Bonomo snap-folded. On the next hand, Li raised his button and both opponents folded.

Bonomo is still ahead with 11.3 million and Newey is the short stack, with 2.8 million. But Li is closer to the former than the latter, with about 8.3 million.


Justin Bonomo: Still in command

3:10pm: Boring, boring poker!
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

It is to my great relief to report that nobody has been all-in–at least not called–for ten minutes. Justin Bonomo did shove from the button and got both opponents to fold their blinds, but that’s about it. It’s a blessed respite from the insanity of the first hour’s play.

3pm: Newey doubles through Li
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

And now Paul Newey finds a double up, getting his 2.2 million stack in with AK against Yuan Li’s A10. The board ran 2539Q and that was good for Newey.

There have been more hands resulting in called all-ins than not at this frenetic final table.


Paul Newey: Double up

2:55pm: Huge double for Li
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

Yuan Li is back and cooking, getting a huge double up through Justin Bonomo. It was a button versus small blind encounter: a shove from Li on the button and a call from Bonomo.

Li: AK
Bonomo: A7

The flop was good for Li. It came 28K. And Bonomo was drawing dead after the J turn. (The river was the 6.) Li had 4.1 million in his stack, and now has double that.


Yuan Li: Doubling into contention again

2:55pm: Three-handed stacks
Level 19 – Blinds 100,000/200,000 (30,000 ante)

They’re into Level 19 now, with blinds now at 100,000/200,000 and a 30,000 ante. Here’s how they stack up:

Justin Bonomo: 15.8 million
Yuan Li: 3.8 million
Paul Newey: 2.4 million

2:45pm: Tobias Ziegler out in fourth!
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

This is absolutely crazy. I’ve never seen a final table like it. Tobias Ziegler, the overnight leader, is out in fourth here, losing with A10 to Justin Bonomo’s AJ. Bonomo opened from the cutoff, Ziegler shipped from the button with about 2.4 million, and Bonomo called.

Ziegler picked up a flush draw on the J47 flop, and he added a gutshot draw on the 8 turn. But the 6 on the river missed him, and he hits the rail. That’s leaves Bonomo against Paul Newey and Yuan Li for the title. — HS

2:40pm: Li doubles through Bonomo
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

I’m not making this up. There’s just been another all-in and a call, with Yuan Li coming from behind to keep his hopes alive. He shipped with KJ and Justin Bonomo called with A8. That’s the second time that precise A8 has been involved in an all-in coup, but this time it was no good.

The board ran KJ3610 and Li doubled.

2:40pm: Bonomo turns his attentions to Ziegler
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

While neither Paul Newey nor Yuan Li has the stack to be especially subtle, the dynamic between Tobias Ziegler and Justin Bonomo is worth watching. And Bonomo has just won a decent pot from Ziegler to leave three short stacks at the table.

They were three-way to a flop, with Ziegler’s raised from under the gun attracting both Li and Bonomo in from the blinds. Li and Bonomo checked the flop of J6K and Ziegler bet 550,000. Only Bonomo called.

The turn was the 10 and Bonomo bet 1.3 million. Ziegler called. The A completed the board and Bonomo bombed it for the maximum. Ziegler had only about 2.8 million left and decided to fold.

2:35pm: Four handed counts
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

Four players remain after that fast and furious start to the day. Here are the approximate stacks:

Justin Bonomo: 10.9 million
Tobias Ziegler: 5.4 million
Paul Newey: 2.7 million
Yuan Li: 2.4 million

They’re changing all the time and, as I write that, Newey shoves his small blind and gets Li to fold his big. This one could be down to heads up any time soon.

2:25pm: Bonomo busts Zhang in sickener
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

Shunu Zang held out his hand to Justin Bonomo, but he probably wanted to smash it through the table. Zang has become the fifth-placed finisher here in Macau, losing three hands back-to-back-to-back to bust.

This last one was grim. He got his stack of about 2.3 million in with A6 and Bonomo had 55.

After the flop fell 67A, Bonomo was preparing the chips to double up Zang. The 8 was probably better for Zang than Bonomo, but crucially it gave the latter a straight draw (even though it needed not to be a diamond).


Shunu Zang: Gracious loser

Wouldn’t you know it, the 9 popped out on the river, which hit Bonomo and ended a sickening day for Zang. He takes $1,925,000 for fifth.

2:20pm: Li misses lucky eight, but doubles anyway
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

Yet another called all-in at the final table, and again Shunu Zang is the beaten man. He shoved his small blind, covering Yuan Li’s small stack in the big blind, but Li called with A8. Zang had K6.

Li’s supporters started shouting for the lucky eight, but they didn’t need it. The board ran 43345 and his ace played. He now has about 2.5 million, which is slightly more than Zang is left with after two back-to-back double ups for opponents through him.

2:15pm: “Always a sweat” as Newey doubles
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

There’s no let up in the action here, and Paul Newey has just doubled up on the first hand he has played at the final. Shunu Zang opened from under the gun and Newey moved all-in from the big blind for 1.24 million. Zang called and had K9. Newey had KK.

Newey was immediately fearing the worst when the flop came 4AJ. “Two hearts,” he said, dispirited, to his rail. But the 7 came on the turn and the 5 on the river. They were both blanks and Newey doubled to about 2.7 million.

2:10pm: Mikita Badziakouski out in sixth! Bonomo boosted again
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

A huge skirmish here at the final table as Mikita Badziakouski busts in sixth, having looked set to be racing up the chip counts. But this turned out to be a dream set-up for Justin Bonomo, who is now close to 10 million in chips.

Bonomo won a small-ish pot from Badziakouski, when his ace-king turned out to be best on a low board. But then the two players found themselves in the blinds and action folded to Badziakouski. He moved all-in for about 4 million and Bonomo peeked at his cards and called instantly. It was a dream: he had aces.

Bonomo: AA
Badziakouski: A5


Mikita Badziakouski: Bad news

The flop brought a glimmer of hope for Badziakouski. It came 95J. But Bonomo closed it out after the J turn and Q river. The tournament staff counted stacks, discovering that Bonomo’s 5.05 million was ahead of Badziakouski’s. (I must have miscount Bonomo’s stack earlier in this final.) That was it for Badziakouski, whose cashing streak in places that start with “M” continued (Monaco, Malta and now Macau) but who was undone in sixth.

He gets $1,497,000.

2pm: Badziakouski back at it
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

Mikita Badziakouski seized the chance to get his chips in the pot first, raising to 325,000 from under the gun. Yuan Li called from the big blind, then checked the flop of J3K. Badziakouski bet 250,000.

Li looked at his stack. It’s worth about 1.2 million. He folded. — HS

2pm: Li comes to the party
Level 18 – Blinds 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante)

We move into Level 18, and the first raise and take it of the final. It was Yuan Li who pushed out a pre-flop raise from under the gun, and everybody folded.

1:55pm: Zang’s shove earns chip-lead
Level 17 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

No one is messing around here, and now Shunu Zang and Justin Bonomo just played a significant pot, resulting in a switch in the chip lead.

Zang raised from under the gun and Bonomo called on the button. That bought them a flop of 3810. Zang continued for 500,000 and Bonomo calmly called.

The A came on the turn and Zang reached for 1 million chips to move across the line. (These two played a huge pot in the pre-bubble period last night that felt very similar to this one.) Bonomo called and the 3 came on the river.

Zang almost instantly pushed for his last 2.5 million. Bonomo had him covered, but didn’t fancy it. He folded, and that pot puts Zang into the lead with about 6 million. Bonomo now has about 2.5 million. We have only seen three hands, but all of them have been significant.

1:45pm: Badziakouski again
Level 17 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

Two hands, two wins for Mikita Badziakouski. This time he opened his button to 280,000 and Tobias Ziegler called in the big blind. They both checked the 102K flop, then Badziakouski bet the Q turn, after another check from Ziegler. Ziegler, who is being railed by the former EPT champion Vladimir Geshkenbein (who is wearing a black velvet smoking jacket), folded.


Vladimir Geshkenbein rails Tobias Ziegler

1:40pm: Big move from Badziakouski
Level 17 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

The action started with Yuan Li on the button first hand and two of the biggest stacks, belonging to Mikita Badziakouski and Justin Bonomo, in the blinds. Shunu Zang opened the very first pot, making it 250,000 to go from the cutoff, but then Badziakouski shoved from the small blind with a stack only about 1 million short of Zang’s. Zang folded to the big move from Badziakouski, and so the tone is set.

1:30pm: Getting under way
Level 17 – Blinds 60,000/120,000 (20,000 ante)

Players are seated and we’re ready to go. There are 10 minutes left in Level 17 and then we’ll push straight into Level 18.

1pm: Final table time

Good afternoon everybody and thanks for joining us again. We’re at the PokerStars LIVE cardroom in the City of Dreams Casino, Macau, where final preparations are under way for the start of the Super High Roller final table. Cards will be in the air at 1:30pm and we’ll be playing to a winner.

Six players remain at this stage, headed by the German pro Tobias Ziegler. He edged ahead of Justin Bonomo late last night, but Bonomo remains a close second, with high roller regulars Mikita Badziakouski and Paul Newey also still involved.

China is well represented too, with Shunu Zang, a former APPT Macau High Roller runner up and cash-game regular, still involved. The surprise package Yuan Li also crept into the money, despite seeing his dominant stack cut back at the mid-point of yesterday. He surged again on the bubble, doubling through Isaac Haxton to stay alive.


Yuan Li: Super High Roller final table, orange and all

Here’s the line up at present:

Name Country Chip Count
Tobias Ziegler Germany 6,190,000
Justin Bonomo USA 5,350,000
Shunu Zang China 4,250,000
Mikita Badziakouski Belarus 3,210,000
Paul Newey UK 1,945,000
Yuan Li China 1,560,000

And here’s what they are all now playing for:

Place Name Country Prize
1     $7,270,000
2     $5,025,000
3     $3,208,000
4     $2,459,000
5     $1,925,000
6     $1,497,000

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PokerStars Blog reporting team at 2016 ACOP: Marc Convey, Brad Kain and Howard Swains. Photography by Long Guan/Kenneth Lim Photography. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog

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