It takes several crucial components to make a riveting final table. Let’s break them down.
The chip leader
That title goes to India’s Raghav Bansal. He emerged as an early frontrunner yesterday, before letting the lead go to Dan Smith. A late resurgence took him back to the top of the counts.
With more than $400K in live earnings, Bansal is no stranger to big final tables. He had a runner-up result in the Macau Poker Cup for $137,587 in February this year.
Dan Smith and Nick Petrangelo were final tabling High Rollers back when you were still wearing diapers (assuming you’re around ten years old). The point is, these two have dozens of wins between them in events just like this one, and so they know exactly what it takes to get the job done.
Petrangelo has won more than half a million bucks in Macau this week alone, what with his runner up finishes in a HK$200K event and a HK$100K event for $339K and $182K. He also took down the $100K challenge (US dollars) challenge at the Aussie Millions in January for $666K. Back in August 2016, he won the $10K at EPT13 Barcelona (for $464K). The American sits at the top of the GPI 2017 Player of the Year leaderboard.
Smith’s most recent successes include a string of massive $25K Aria High Roller scores. He’s won around $1.5 million in those events alone since July last year, and lest we forget his enor mous $3 million cash at the 2016 WSOP $111K High Roller for One Drop (he finished second to Fedor Holz).
There’s no getting around the fact that Ben Lai and Sosia Jiang are this final’s wildcards. With only around $3K in live cashes to date, we don’t know much about this Lai. Similarly, Jiang only has $25K in winnngs. But could their relative anonymity work to their advantage?
The local star
The man from China is Xixiang Luo. He sits in 12th on the country’s all time money list, having notched up more than $850K in earnings so far in his career. His biggest cash came here in Macau in March 2016, when he finished in second in a High Roller for $196K.
There are two players for whom a win would cement them in the poker world – both for different reasons.
Canada’s Troy Quenneville burst onto the live scene in November 2016, where he won a combined $600K in back to back tournaments in Punta Cana. Prior to that, he only had $500 in earnings!
He’s also an online beast, but a win here would really cement him as an up and coming force in the High Roller world.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Sergey Lebedev is well known in the High Roller scene, and yet hasn’t been able to clinch a title yet despite his more than $2 million in winnings. Maybe this could be his time.
Play is underway here in Macau, so stick with us throughout the day for regular updates. Check out the prizes page to see what they’re playing for. Here are the stacks at the start of the day.
|Ben Lai||Hong Kong||990,000|
For live updates of this event, head over to our friends at PokerNews.
Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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