Canadian professional Elliot Smith has outlasted a field of 536 players to win the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event and its HK$2,877,500 first prize.
Smith becomes the third champion of this year’s new global PokerStars Championship, joining American pros Christian Harder (PokerStars Championship Bahamas winner) and Kenneth Smaron (PokerStars Championship Panama winner).
The 29-year-old Smith did a deal with Chinese pro Terry Tang when play reached heads-up, guaranteeing each player HK$2,577,500 with an additional HK$300,000 set aside for the winner. Incredibly, their heads-up battle lasted more than 10 hours and 260 hands, with the chip lead swinging back and forth. More remarkable was the fact that at no stage did the pair get it all-in prior to the final hand, when all chips went into the pot pre-flop. Smith was racing with AK against Tang’s 66.
And just to top off the memorable battle, Tang flopped a set only for Smith to hit running cards for the flush to take down the title.
Tang himself secured HK$2,577,500 in the deal with Smith. He picked up poker seven years ago, and eventually turned pro in 2015. Fortunately for Tang, the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event takes place in April, which he belies is his lucky month.
Adelaide’s Daniel Laidlaw busted in third place, picking up HK$1,724,000 – the biggest individual prize of his career. Laidlaw’s live tournament cashes now exceed US$1 million which paces him 32nd place on the Australian all-time money list.
The top 103 players shared a piece of the HK$20,796,800 prize pool.
Main Event final table results:
1st: Elliot Smith (Canada) – HK$2,877,500
2nd: Terry Tianyuan Tang (China) – HK$2,577,500
3rd: Daniel Laidlaw (Australia) – HK$1,724,000
4th: Avraham Oziel (Canada) – HK$1,280,000
5th: Aymon Hata (UK) – HK$950,000
6th: Pete Chen (Taiwan) – HK$705,000
7th: Yan Li (China) – HK$521,000
8th: Xuan Tan (China) HK$386,000
(Photo: Neil Stoddart, Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd)