As the sun set on another poker day in Macau, a kind of visual bell tolling to call gamblers, poker players and general fun seekers to the city, one of the biggest (and richest) poker events to ever be held in Asia came to a close on Friday evening. Germany’s Niklas Heinecker took home the biggest win of his relatively young career, claiming the HKD$ 34,600,000 first placed Asia Millions prize, beating a host of internationally recognized poker pros along the way.
Heinecker beat out 70 other competitors of which included; Jonathan Duhamel, Issac Haxton, Sorel Mizzi, Joseph Cheong, JC Alvarado, Dan Smith, Aaron Lim, Gus Hansen, John Juanda, Erik Seidel, Mike Watson, Jeff Rossiter, Shaun Deeb.
GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions Payouts.
Niklas Heinecker – HKD$ 34,600,000 – USD$ 4,464,516
Jeff Rossiter – HKD$ 24,500,000 – USD$ 3,161,290
Sorel Mizzi – HKD$ 16,100,000 – USD$ 2,077,419
Zheng Tang – HKD$ 12,100,000 – USD$ 1,616,129
Isaac Haxton – HKD$ 10,200,000 – USD$ 1,316,129
Igor Kurganov – HKD$ 8,300,000 – USD$ 1,070,967
Anson Tsang – HKD$ 7,150,000 – USD$ 922,580
Pratyush Budigga – HKD$ 6,000,000 – USD$ 774,193
Following the conclusion Heinecker said “this is easily the greatest day of my poker career” which is not surprising as he will take home USD$ 4,464,516. The young German was a consistent player throughout the Asia Millions, continually playing strong, aggressive and calculated poker to keep pace with the leaders. Helnecker entered Fridays final table with 15,275,000 in chips (placing him comfortably in 4th position) behind Igor Kurganov, Sorel Mizzi and Zheng Tang. The day began with a fast pace which never really slowed down with players resting only for a few hands before they were right back into the thick of things.
First to fall was Pratyush Buddiga (8-8) who was put to the sword by Igor Kurganov (Q-7) with the cards turning up 6-2-Q-4-10. It did not take long for the next player to face the music as Australian Jeff Rossiter eliminated Anson Tsang. Rossiter (K-10) went up against Tsang’s(A-6) with the board dealing 5-10-Q-Q-10 sending the Hong Kong native home with HKD$ 7,150,000 (USD$ 922,580).
Play began to slow as players tried to solidify their stacks and carefully focus on who will be the next to make a big move and who would be getting desperate very soon.
Next to bow-out was Igor Kurganov at the hands of Zheng Tang. Kurganov was very unlucky as the killer blow came on the river with Tang’s (A-8) beating Kurganov’s (A-10) with the cards falling 2-A-Q-7-8. Following a roller coaster of a ride early on Team PokerStars Online Isaac Haxton went to the rail in 5th place being stopped by the impressive Tang.
Despite his relatively limited high roller final table experience Zheng Tang put in an impressive shift following his elimination of Kurganov and Haxton. His GDAM finally came to an end as eventual winner Niklas Heninecker cleared him out in fourth position. Tang threw down 5-5 against the A-K for the German with the cards falling A-J-9-9-3 and finishing off one of the surprise packages of this weeks GDAM.
Day 2 winner and early favorite Sorel Mizzi was forced out in third position as his K-7 did not hold up against Heninecker’s 6-6. The cards 10-5-6-J-3 did not help Mizzi who left with an impressive HKD$ 16,100,000 (USD$ 2,077,419) third place prize.
With Mizzi’s departure the GDAM was down to its last two players and the heads-up battle between Jeff Rossiter and Niklas Heninecker. The young German held a 3-to-1 chip lead against the Australian but with the blinds at such a high level it was still anyone’s tournament. The heads-up battle did not leave fan’s and spectators long before we had all the chips in the middle and a the eventual winner crowned. Rossiter held Q-10 against Heninecker’s A-9 with the cards falling K-5-4-3-J and with that the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions Main Event had its winner with Rossiter sent home in a respectable second position.
Niklas Heninecker produced a masterclass in how to win such a high profile and challenging tournament. The German was evidently thrilled with his win but paid tribute to all of the players who took part over the past week helping to make the GDAM such a huge success.
Visit PokerStars for more information on the GDAM, Heninecker and whats next for the Asia Millions.