Elliot Smith Wins PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event

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Elliot Smith survived 12 hours of heads-up play to win the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event (PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)

The final table of the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event was part sprint, part marathon, but after all of it, Canadian Elliot Smith stood tall to win $370,508.

The final table began with six players remaining and it didn’t take too long to get heads-up, with the first four eliminations taking just over two hours.

On just the sixth hand of the day, with blinds of 30,000/60,000 (10,000) Pete Chen moved all in for 955,000 from UTG. Action folded to Tianyuan Tang in the small blind who called instantly and tabled JcJs which put him ahead of Chen’s TdTc. The Ts6d3h flop put Chen ahead with top set and the 6h turn gave him a full house, but the Jd river put Tang back on top with a bigger full house and eliminated Chen in sixth place.

The next bustout came nine hands later. Smith raised to 125,000 from the button and Ayman Hata moved all in for 1,800,000 and Smith called instantly. Hata showed QdJd and found himself well behind Smith’s KcKs. The QsJc3c flop put Hata ahead with top two pair but the 3d turn gave Smith a better two pair. The river was the 8h and Hata was out in fifth place

The trend of the second-best hand out-flopping the best hand continued 22 hands later. Daniel Laidlaw raised to 135,000, Tang re-raised to 360,000 from the button and Avraham Oziel moved all in for 1,550,000. Laidlaw folded but Tang called and showed 7d7h while Oziel happily turned over AdAs. That all changed when the flop came Td7s4h to give Tang middle set. The 9s turn and Qs river failed to save Oziel, eliminating him in fourth place.

Six hands later, Laidlaw was sent packing. Action folded to Smith in the small blind, he bet 1,000,000 and Laidlaw re-raised all in and Smith called. Laidlaw showed AdTc while Smith had Ks5d. The Jc6c5c flop put Smith ahead but left Laidlaw with even more outs. The Js turn and 2h river were no help though and Laidlaw was eliminated, leaving Smith and Tang to play heads up.

While the first four eliminations took just 43 hands, heads up play was a different story altogether. Tang and Smith played 173 hands over nearly 12 hours to determine the eventual winner – most of that play coming after the pay had agreed to a chop. The deal saw Smith and Tang each get $331,816 US with the eventual winner getting an additional $38,692 and the title.

The lead changed multiple times over the course of play, but the final hand came day to a standard all-in preflop race that had all kinds of drama. Smith completed from the button only to have Tang move all in from the big blind. Smith called and tabled AdKs against Tang’s 6h6c. The 9s7h6s flop put Tang ahead with a set but the 2s turn and 3s river gave Smith runner-runner flush to win the title.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Elliot Smith – $370,508
  2. Tianyuan Tang – $331,816
  3. Daniel Laidlaw – $221,896
  4. Avraham Oziel – $164,749
  5. Aymon Hata – $122,275
  6. Pete Chen – $90,741
  7. Yan Li – $67,058
  8. Xuan Tan – $49,682