James Chen Wins Macau Cup High Roller

James Chen lifted the Macau High Roller title and $220,000 (HK$1,704,000) at the weekend as the Macau Poker Cup continued to smash records.

With 75-players competing in the PokerStars-sponsored $10,300 buy-in event, it was the player from Chinese Taipei who wiped out the final table in little over 75 minutes, despite the tournament having taken a full 2 days to reach its last nine, all of whom would cash.

Famous names had crashed and burned long before Chen would slash his way to victory – Team PokerStars Pro Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew among them – but the speed at which the final table surprised many.

A PokerStars press release commented that, “The pace throughout the day gave no indication that the final table would be over so quickly, but Chen simply dominated and ensured it was a short night at the felt.”

That short night began with the rapid eliminations of  Huidong Gu in 9th, and then Xiang Zhu in 8th when eventual winner Chen’s pocket kings flopped top set against Zhu’s AQ. Next to hit the rail were Las Vegas’ Scott Davies in 7th, Yan Cai in 6th and Wei Yi Zhang in 5th.

Barely an hour had passed by this point, but the bust-outs – aided by the huge blinds and antes caused by the long days leading up to the final table – continued apace when Yakoto Moshimichi ‘s pocket aces knocked out Liang Yu holding pocket 4’s.

Englishman Tom Alner, who regularly plays in the Asian events, left shortly afterwards when he shoved from the SB with Q9, only to find Chen willing to table A♣4♣ in the big blind. Chen’s small ace held up, and the Macau High Rollers were heads-up for the title.

This wouldn’t take long either, it transpired. Within 5 minutes, Chen found J♠J♣ in the big blind against the 10♥6♥ of Yoshimichi. A flop of 10♣5♣4♣ fell and Chen bet out with Yoshimichi calling. The turn card of Q♥ saw Yoshimichi come over the top of Chen’s continuation bet and suddenly all the chips were in the middle with Japan’s Yoshimichi in real danger.

The river Q♣ filled Chen’s flush and the game was over, Chen victorious to the tune of $220,000 while Yoshimichi would have to content himself with a $144,000 payday.

Chen’s title-win was by far his largest to date, a previous Macau Poker Cup cash of $30,000 being his only previous notable success. Earlier in the week, a record-breaking field of 945 players had contested the MPC Main Event, with Yue Peng Fan emerging as the winner, bagging $272,000 (over $2m HK$) for his efforts.

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