73 players enter $250k rebuy tournament in Macau

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 01, 2012 Posted in Live Poker News, Tournament News | No Comments »

Six-figure Super-High-Roller poker tournaments have been hit-or-miss events over the years, but perhaps the issue wasn’t that the buy-ins were too high, but rather that they were too small! With the overwhelming success of the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop tournament, the WinStar Casino in Macau decided to host a similar tournament, although on not such a grand scale. Instead of a $1 million buy-in, the Macau High Stakes Challenge is featuring a $250,000 buy-in with an optional rebuy.

After the four-level rebuy period ended for the tournament a total of 73 players had registered for the event (the tournament was capped at 80 players) and 21 players had used their rebuy. The total prize-pool for the event hit $182,360,000 HKD (about $23.5 million USD) with over $50 million HKD (about $6.5 million USD) set aside for the winner of the event.

The first place prize is the largest for any tournament outside of the World Series of Poker Main Event and the Big One for One Drop tournament held earlier this year. Amazingly the tournament attracted only a few of poker’s biggest names, despite the field featuring what many would call a much softer lineup than the Big One for One Drop event.

Among the big names in attendance were Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Sam Trickett, Phillip Gruissem, Joe Hachem, Tom Dwan, Ben Lamb, Brian Rast, Gus Hansen, and Mike McDonald. But despite the presence of some poker’s heaviest hitters it was the Asian players who would dominate the top spots, taking home the Top 4 payouts, and five of the Top 6 payouts.

John Juanda and Sam Trickett (surprise, surprise) made the best showing amongst the poker pros finishing in 5th and 7th place respectively.

Here is a look at the payouts from the tournament:

1. Stanley Choi – HK$50,149,000 ($6,466,011)

2. Zhu Guan Fai – HK$33,737,000 ($4,349,913)

3. Nicholas Wong – HK$25,530,000 ($3,291,736)

4. Tang Zheng – HK$17,324,000 ($2,233,687)

5. John Juanda – HK$12,765,000 ($1,645,868)

6. Lap Key Chan – HK$9,574,000 ($1,234,433)

7. Sam Trickett – HK$7,750,000 ($999,254)

8. Phil Ivey – HK$6,383,000 ($822,999)

9. Alan Sass – HK$5,471,000 ($705,409)

10. Philipp Gruissem – HK$4,559,000 ($587,819)

11. Di Van Hoang Dang – HK$4,559,000 ($587,819)

12. J.P. Kelly – HK$4,559,000 ($587,819)

With most of the prize-money going to “amateur” players, the tournament may have put a big dent in the poker economy with well over $15 million ending up in the hands of non-professional players. The only way that money finds its way back into the poker economy is if these players happen to lose it in the high-stakes games in Macau.

You can find more information on the tournament at www.pokerportal.asia

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