For most poker players the World Series of Poker is the most important time of the year. Forgoing the first week of the Series would be seen as a major sacrifice for most top players. But Macau came calling with an event that got many of the top pros to skip Vegas. The GuangDong Asia Millions Main Event, a HK$1,000,000 ($130,000 US) buy-in event, that attracted some of the Macau locals that have made cash games in the Asian gambling mecca famous over the past couple of years, stole some of the biggest names from poker for a few days.
Niklas Heinecker topped the 71-player field on Friday, beating a final table that included Sorel Mizzi, Isaac Haxton and Igor Kurganov, to win HK$34,600,000 ($4,457,000 US). The $15.4 Million US payout was the third largest non-WSOP event in history behind the 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge ($23.5 Million US) and the 2007 WPT Championship ($15.495 Million US).
Heinecker beat Australian Jeffrey Rossiter in heads-up play to claim the title. Heinecker’s win is continuation of German dominance in high roller events. Kurganov, who finished sixth, cashed in the $250,000, $100,000 and $25,000 buy-in events at the 2013 Aussie Millions, winning the $25,000 event in the process.
“This is easily the greatest day of my poker career,” Kurganov, whose largest previous cash was an 80th place finish at the 2007 WSOP Main Event for $106,382, said after the tournament ended.
The event allowed players to rebuy twice and a total of 54 rebuys were made during the three-day event. Some of the more notable players who skipped out on the WSOP events in Las Vegas included Jonathan Duhamel, Erik Seidel, Mike McDonald and reigning WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson. All players are expected to be in Las Vegas as early as Saturday afternoon to get back to the business of bracelet hunting.
Final Table Payouts
- Niklas Heinecker – $4,464,516 US
- Jeffrey Rossiter – $3,161,290 US
- Sorel Mizzi – $2,077,419 US
- Zheng Tang – $1,616,129 US
- Isaac ‘Ike’ Haxton – $1,316,129 US
- Igor Kurganov – $1,070,968 US
- Anson Yan Shing Tsang – $922,581 US
- Pratyush Buddiga – $774,194 US
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