Choi Tops Ivey, Juanda for $6.5m In Macau Challenge

Stanley Choi (Photo: Poker Portal Asia).

The richest poker tournament ever held outside of the WSOP ripped through play in Macau today with Stanley Choi emerging with the ultimate $6.5 million USD prize.

The tournament drew a who’s who of international high-roller poker with Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Sam Trickett, JP Kelly and Brian Rast among them but it was eventually locals that took home the top prizes.

Winner Choi defeated Zhu Guan Fai heads-up after Nicholas Wong and Tang Zheng were knocked out in third and fourth place.

Juanda had the top finish among the name-brand pros as he ended up fifth for $12,765,000 HKD or roughly $1.6 million USD.

Both Ivey and Trickett also managed to make the final table but Ivey was eliminated in eighth and Trickett in sixth.

Ivey’s take was $822,965 USD while Trickett fell just shy of $1m at $999,213.

Other notable players who made the trek to Macau but failed to make the money were Erik Seidel, Andrew Robl and Gus Hansen.

Sam Trickett
Just another $1m day for Sam Trickett.

Tom "Durrrr" Dwan, a regular in these events around the world, is in Macau but it's unclear if he participated.

The final 12 players and payouts, care of

  • 1. Stanley Choi – HK$50,149,000 (USD $6,465,746)
  • 2. Zhu Guan Fai – HK$33,737,000 (USD $$4,349,735)
  • 3. Nicholas Wong – HK$25,530,000 (USD $3,291,601)
  • 4. Tang Zheng – HK$17,324,000 (USD $2,233,595)
  • 5. John Juanda – HK$12,765,000 (USD $1,645,800)
  • 6. Lap Key Chan – HK$9,574,000 (USD $1,234,382)
  • 7. Sam Trickett – HK$7,750,000 (USD $999,213)
  • 8. Phil Ivey – HK$6,383,000 (USD $822,965)
  • 9. Alan Sass – HK$5,471,000 (USD $705,379)
  • 10. Philipp Gruissem – HK$4,559,000 (USD $587,795)
  • 11. Di Van Hoang Dang – HK$4,559,000 (USD $587,795)
  • 12. JP Kelly – HK$4,559,000 (USD $587,795)

Just the Start for Macau High-Stakes Scene

Set up by the Neptune network and played at the StarWorld Casino, 73 players ultimately paid the $2m HKD ($250k USD) buy-in to play with 21 players taking advantage of the re-buy option

With the rebuys the total prize pool ballooned to US$23,511,000, the biggest prize pool ever outside the World Series.

The super-fast structure also ensured the play would be shallow and by the end most players were left with just a few big blinds to work with.

Defacto man on the scene for Asian poker, Tom Hall, sat down for a video interview with Poker Ace and explained this was just the first step in a series of high-roller events planned for Macau.

A few railbirds were also on hand to capture the vibe on video. Check out both clips below:

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