A half-hour into Level 26 (15,000/30,000/4,000), China’s Xing Zhou continued to enjoy the chip lead he’d had over Hong Kong’s Ying Kit Chan since the start of heads-up play way back in Level 24.
Minus the dinner break, that was three hours’ worth of poker. Chan had closed the gap. The relentless momentum Zhou had built throughout Day 5 had slowed considerably. But the Chinese player still had the edge and thus the comfort of knowing the tourney was potentially his to win as each hand began.
All changed, however, in a hand that saw Chan raise to 70,000 from the small blind/button, Zhou call, and the flop come A♦10♣3♠. Zhou check-called a continuation-bet of 100,000 from Chan, then both checked the K♣ turn.
A river 6♣ inspired a bet of 200,000 from Zhou, in response to which Chan — acting with deliberation as always — raised to 700,000.
A long period of chin-rubbing contemplation followed from the bespectacled Zhou, punctuated at last by a declaration that he was calling.
Chan quickly tabled his A♣Q♣ — he’d flopped top pair, turned the flush and Broadway draws, and rivered the nut flush — and Zhou mucked, relinquishing the pot and for the first time in heads-up play, the chip lead.
The pair then resumed their former ways, with the pots remaining small and Chan’s lead growing slowly. The break arrived, with Chan at 3.324 million to Zhou’s 2.2 million.
In 10 minutes’ time they’ll return for Level 27 (blinds 20,000/40,000, ante 5,000).
“High Rollers”/”Million Dollar Challenge” updates
Meanwhile, they’ve reached the money in the $250,000 (HKD) “High Rollers” event, with Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier being the unfortunate player to be eliminated in sixth just shy of the cash.
Of the remaining five, Joseph Cheong and Jeff Rossiter (who finished third and first, respectively, in the ACOP Warm-Up) are there battling again, as are David Steicke and Jonathan Karamalikis.
And regarding the “ACOP Million Dollar Challenge,” Team Australia — captained by Karamalikis — has now clinched the win over Team Hong Kong.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.