China Poker Carnival (CPC) at MGM Hotel Sanya, Chao Ma takes gold
It took four days for Ma to emerge victorious in the CNY one million (approximately $158,608) guaranteed event after defeating fellow home player Mengmeng Zhang in their heads-up battle that left the runner-up with a prize of CNY 150,000 ($23,791).
Ma, with 4,160,000 chips, started the head-to-head with a tiny lead of just 40,000 over his opponent after he had eliminated Jubin Xu in third place for CNY 110,000 ($17,447).
However, while Zhang was highly aggressive during their one-on-one clash, the final hand arrived during level 30 with the blinds at 60,000/120,000 – with a 10,000 ante – after Ma had managed to hold on to his slight chip advantage over the preceding hands.
Mengmeng Zhang Takes Second Place
Zhang – who had taken the three previous pots pre-flop – checked his option in the big blind during the final hand after Ma lipped in on the button. Zhang then check-called Ma’s 150,000 bet following a flop of J♣ 10♥ 8♥.
The A♠ on the turn saw Zhang lead out with a 500,000 bet, which Ma called, ahead of the dealer revealing the A♦ river card.
Zhang decided to move all-in at this point, while Ma made a quick call for a showdown that saw the former stand up and walk from the table as his tournament life was on the line.
Ma showed A♥ J♥ for a full house, while Zhang revealed Q♦ 4♥ for a bluff that failed as the former was declared the CPC champion following a chip count.
The nine-handed final table’s first elimination arrived during level 24 – with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante – when short stack Changjiang Xu hit the rail on the first hand of the last day.
Under the gun, Xu moved all-in for 295,000 with the action folding to button Guangyao Wang, who called. Wang had Xu covered by just 10,000 chips as the combatants showed 10♣ 10♦ and 7♦ 8♣ respectively.
While Xu gained a pair of sevens and an open-ended straight on the flop, the turn and river gave him no extra help to see him hit the rail in ninth for CNY 20,000 ($3,173).
Eighth place and CNY 25,000 ($3,965) went to Wei Sun after he lost out to Xiaoqiang Meng – also during level 24.
Having seen his stack demolished by big stack Hui Wen, Sun had just 305,000 chips remaining as he moved all-in following Meng’s raise to 100,000 under the gun. Meng called with 6♠ 6♣ to be well ahead of the 3♣ 3♦ held by Sun. The 9♠ 10♦ 4♠ 8♥ 2♦ board changed nothing and Sun’s stay in the CPC was over.
Wang was next to hit the rail in seventh place for CNY 35,000 ($5,554) during level 26 with the blinds at 25,000/50,000 and a 5,000 ante.
Under the gun, Zhang made it 175,000 to go, with Wang – in the cut-off seat – ignoring the ringing of his mobile phone to declare that he was all-in. Zhang, in turn, quickly calls to show K♠ K♦ to dominate Wang’s Q♦ Q♥. The A♥ 2♠ 9♠ K♣ 7♥ board gave Zhang trip kings to send Wang out.
Level 27 saw Meng exit in sixth place for CNY 50,000 ($7,935) when the blinds were set at 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante.
Meng’s fall from grace came as a result of two successive and devastating hands – the first of which saw him lose out to overnight chip leader Wen.
Small blind Wen made it 160,000 to go, while big blind Meng called to see a flop of A♠ 10♥ J♣, which Wen then bet 150,000 into and which Meng again called.
Wen quickly checked the 5♦ turn, only for Meng to bet 300,000 that left him with approximately 450,000. However, that is exactly what Wen wanted and he moved all-in, leaving Meng – who had already invested a huge chunk of his stack – to reluctantly call.
Meng showed J♦ 8♦ for a pair of jacks, but is well behind the top pair of Wen, who revealed A♣ 6♦. The 9♥ river changed nothing to leave Meng with less than 100,000 chips.
Of course, the next hand saw Meng get the remainder of his chips into the middle while holding K♥ 3♥ to be up against the 5♣ 4♠ of big blind Zhang. The A♥ 2♥ 7♦ flop was good for Meng as he gained a flush draw. But the 3♠ on the turn gave Zhang a straight, leaving just the river to save Meng. However, the 7♣ was not one of his outs and that’s it for Meng.
Fifth place went to Yicun Zhou for CNY 70,000 ($11,108) during the next level, when the blinds were at 40,000/80,000 and a 10,000 ante, after a slightly quiet period at the final table.
Under the gun, Zhou opened for 180,000 and Jubin Xu – on the button – called. However, short stack Zhou then moved all-in the moment the 5♠ A♣ 9♣ flop arrived to leave Xu with a huge decision as his stack would be chopped down if losing the hand.
But Xu did make the call with J♦ J♣ to be up against Zhou’s K♥ Q♠. Running deuces come on the turn and river, so resulting in Zhou’s exit.
Now into level 29 – with the blinds at 50,000/100,00 and a 10,000 ante – short stack Wen was the next to crash out in fourth place for CNY 90,000 ($14,282).
With the blinds making it tough for Wen, he shoved his remaining 410,000 chips while holding J♣ 5♦ in the small blind – and was called by big blind Zhang with 6♠ 4♠.
The 8♣ 6♥ 3♣ flop gave Zhang middle pair, while the K♠ turn and 10♦ river were no help to Wen and the overnight chip leader was gone.
Jubin Xu was the final elimination before the heads-up battle commenced, with the former losing out to Ma – also during level 29.
Ma limped in from the small blind while holding 9♦ 9♠ and Xu – in the big blind – checked with 7♦ 6♣ to see a flop of 4♣ 8♦ 6♦.
Ma must have felt he was ahead and again checked to prompt Xu into making a 200,000 bet. Ma then moved all-in and Xu called for a showdown as the 8♠ turn and 4♦ river arrived to ensure that the former was heading towards the title and glory.
China Poker Carnival (CPC) Invitation-Only Main Event Top 10 Payouts
1. Chao Ma (China) – CNY 300,000 ($47,583)
2. Mengmeng Zhang (China) – CNY 150,000 ($23,791)
3. Jubin Xu (China) – CNY 110,000 ($17,447)
4. Hui Wen (China) – CNY 90,000 ($14,282)
5. Yicun Zhou (China) – CNY 70,000 ($11,108)
6. Xiaoqiang Meng (China) – CNY 50,000 ($7,935)
7. Guangyao Wang (China) – CNY 35,000 ($5,554)
8. Wei Sun (China) – CNY 25,000 ($3,965)
9. Changjiang Xu (China) – CNY 20,000 ($3,173)
10. Liang Fu (China) – CNY 13,000 ($2,062)
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