Hao Chen’s name will be in the history books for a while.
Chen didn’t just win the 2014 Macau Millions, he won the largest tournament ever held in Asia.
It was a fast-paced minefield from start to finish. Over the course of six day 1s, 1,804 entrants flocked to the PokerStars LIVE room for their chance at the title.
Players were allowed to enter as many days as they wanted, but only 7 percent of the field survived each flight.
Day 1F — the last day — broke a record on its own and drew the largest number of entrants of any starting flight in PokerStars LIVE history, 582. One of those players was Hao Chen.
Chen barely survived the Day 1F onslaught and made it to Day 2 as one of the shortest stacks.
That didn’t stop Chen though, nothing did this tournament.
Chen and the other 120 survivors came back yesterday and played down to a final table in less than eight hours. In that time, Chen doubled up, chipped up and plowed his way through the field and made the final table with the chip lead.
Today was even faster.
The 10 players were reduced to just one champion in three-and-a-half hours. Chen was responsible for a lot of the carnage at the final table and emerged unscathed and victorious.
While the smaller stacks were busting each other out early on at the final table, Chen was accumulating even more chips. By the time he busted Chul Woo Jung in 6th place, Chen had amassed nearly half the chips in play.
Chen dipped a bit after that but never lost the lead. He kept the pressure on but left the busting to his tablemates. That changed when play got three-handed though.
Chen eliminated former Red Dragon winner and 2013 APPT Macau runner-up, Kenneth Leong, in third and won the biggest pot of the tournament in the process.
Our eventual champion went to the heads-up match with a massive lead over his opponent, Sheng Chang. Chen hammered away at Chang, constantly raising and shoving all-in.
Chang eventually called one of the all-ins and doubled up to even things out. It wasn’t his day though.
Minutes after doubling up, Chang found himself all-in with two pair against Chen’s straight. Chen’s hand held up. 9♠8♥ will now have a special spot in Chen’s heart, it was his starting hand for the last hand of the tournament.
Chen’s only been playing poker for five years and this is his first major victory. And now that he’s had a taste, Chen wants more.
While Chen enjoyed winning HKD $550,000, he’s more concerned about being the best. Chen wants to win the Asia Player of the Year and now he’s tied for the lead.
After his victory here, Chen plans on playing APPT Seoul to break that tie.
For now, it’s celebration.
Pictures have been taken, the trophy has been awarded and the main event has come to a close after a historic re-opening.
Congratulations to all the staff at PokerStars LIVE Macau on their record-breaking tournament and to Hao Chen, our 2014 Macau Millions champion.
Until next time.
2014 Macau Millions Main Event
Date: March 7-16, 2014
Buy-in: HKD $2,200
Prize pool: HKD $3,499,760
1. Hao Chen (China) – HKD $550,000
2. Sheng Chang (China) – HKD $400,000
3 Kenneth leong (Hong Kong) – HKD $270,000
4. Chia Wei Tsui (Taiwan) – HKD $190,000
5. Ping Cheong Fung (Hong Kong) – HKD $135,000
6. Chul Woo Jung (Korea) – HKD $105,000
7. Lester Ian Pinto (Singapore) – $85,000
8. Thomas Tung Wing Tsang (Hong Kong) – HKD $70,000
9. Hongbing Li (China) – HKD $56,000
10. Miklos Viczena (Hungary) – HKD $43,760
Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau
Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.