2015 ACOP: Final table player profiles

November 13, 2015

Seat 1: Thomas Ward, 25 (Wellington, New Zealand) – 1,335,000 in chips

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New Zealander Thomas Ward considers his occupation a professional Counter Strike and poker player, the latter of which he has played for six years. He says his biggest poker influence is Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang, and looks forward to a time when he can say he’s a fellow teammate.

On top of finishing runner-up in the 2014 APPT Auckland Main Event, Thomas Ward has also seen some success in APPT and APT events throughout Macau. His tournament was nearly over when a cooler saw him all in with pocket kings against an opponent’s pocket aces but Ward was able to spike a king to stay alive and score a big double up.

Seat 2: Nan Tu, 28 (China) – 1,370,000 chips

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Nan Tu is a 28-year old freelancer from Beijing in China with eight years experience in the game of poker. His tournament record shows a modest US$60,000 in career winnings but perhaps Tu’s talents have been honed in cash games. He started playing small stakes in his home town but can now be found playing up to HK$300/600 cash games at the Wynn here in Macau.

Tu enjoys to party and says he is “easy going” which has come in handy being seated next to the fun-loving Connor Drinan for most of the last day!

Seat 3: Connor Drinan, 27 (Chicago, Illinois) – 1,755,000 in chips

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Unfortunately Connor Drinan was a little too intoxicated to help us with his player profile, but luckily his manager and long-time poker media fan Jason Mo was at the ready. Mo informed us that away from the poker table Drinan works as a male model and stripper to help manage downswings.

The biggest highlight in Drinan’s life thus far was placing second behind Mike McDonald in the Most Handsome contest and one of his favourite pastimes is being the little spoon to Pratyush Buddiga when they cuddle. Mo credits Drinan’s success at the poker table this week solely to his excessive red wine consumption.

Seat 5: Hsien Yuan Yang, 51 (Taichang, Taiwan) – 370,000 in chips

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Taiwan’s Hsien Yuan Yang is a 51 year-old businessman who has only been playing poker for a year. He tells us he learnt the game online and regularly plays tournaments on PokerStars.

Outside of poker Yang is a big golf fan and his biggest moment in the tournament this week was when he scored a triple up to stay alive with pocket sevens. Yang doesn’t appear to have any live cashes to his name yet but he finds himself in an envious position with this final table appearance.

Seat 6: Zhou Zhou, 28 (Las Vegas, Nevada) – 1,210,000 chips

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Chinese American Zhou Zhou is a 28-year old poker pro, who resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s been playing poker for seven years now after evolving his poker game from playing Real Time Strategy games. He usually can be found playing No Limit Holdem Heads Up games, ranging from $5-10 right up to $50-100.

Zhou has shown plenty of determination and a “never give up” attitude in this tournament, grinding his short stack for several hours to now be sitting with a seven-figure stack at this final table.

Seat 7: Qi Luo, 29 (Shen Zhen, China) – 980,000 in chips

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China’s Qi Luo is a restaurant worker who found poker four years ago. He got his start playing tournaments online and he’s currently in fine form after placing 10th in the Red Dragon for $17,677 only two months ago.

Luo says he’s felt comfortable at the tables this week and has a good feeling for the game. He had a steady climb throughout Day 4 and enters the final table fifth in chips.

Seat 8: Xixiang Luo, 41 (China) – 780,000 in chips

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The fourth representative of China here on this final table is 41-year old Xixiang Luo. In his three years playing poker, Luo has collected almost US$50,000 in live tournaments winnings, exclusively in Macau and China.

Luo has loved the structure of this event but says that he got very lucky with a one-outer 6♦ during the tournament. He’ll need a bit more of that luck today as he enters the final table as the second shortest stack.


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