One of the biggest Asian poker tournaments in history has just concluded and now, we can all sit back and congratulate China’s Hao Chen from outlasting an enormous field of over 1,804 entries to stake claim as the winner of the 2014 Macau Millions.
In addition to the record-breaking attendance at the City of Dreams Casino in Macau, a whopping HK$3,499,750 ($450,000) of total prize money was also up for grabs, enough scratch to get the very best from some of the best poker players in Asia.
The tournament had its fair share of surprises, too, at least not the kind we’re all used to when it comes to poker events of this magnitude. All in all, there were six starting days running from Day 1A to Day 1F. Here’s the catch, though: if you already entered in any of the earlier starting days and you’re still alive in the tournament, you still had the option of “re-entering” in any of the remaining days so you have an opportunity at a biggers stack heading into Day 2. The largest stack you have from any of the starting days will be carried over to the next level while the smaller stacks would be removed from the event and returned to you in the form of a HK$11,000 ($1,400) prize.
It was a novel twist to a heavily publicized tournament and action was slow for the majority of the starting days. But once Day 2 and Day 3 hit, the gloves finally came off and players fell by the wayside one after another.
One of those players who barely made it out of the last starting day was Chen. But once he found himself in Day 2, the young Chinese man slowly built his stack up, accumulating chip after chip, with some winning hands coming in dramatic fashion.
Once the dust settled and the final table remained, it was Chen who found himself with the biggest stack of the group and true to his strategy, he remained patient, opting to sit out when smaller stacks went at each other and joined in on the fun when he knew he had a chance of winning. The strategy paid off handsomely for Chen, who was never really threatened in the end. With three players left, Chen easily disposed off Kenneth Leong, the first ever Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event champ, before taking out eventual runner up Sheng Chang to stake his claim as the winner of one of the biggest Asian poker tournaments in history.