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Sparks flew on the poker table as Xiaobo Zhou (cover image) shipped the HK$16,500 Main Event of the Oriental Poker Championship (OPC) 2018 that was held at the Venetian Macau poker room on May 26. Dislodging Ivan Leow who was riding strong and looked like he would take home his second OPC title, Zhou claimed the trophy and HK$1,451,000 in prize money.
A total of 513 participants registered for the second flagship event at the OPC and by end of Day 3, Leow was chip leading with a stack of 3,940,000. However the final table on Day 4 changed the story for Leow and the poker pro had to settle for the runners-up position with a payout of HK $1,016,700. Chinese player Chang Bo Feng claimed the third position pocketing HK $653,900.
“I’ve been playing for nine years, and this is my first big score. It means so much to me. I want to thank my family for being by my side”, a triumphant Zhou exclaimed, after winning the title. “Even when I was down to ten big blinds, I didn’t give up”, he added.
Final Table Recap
The tempo ran high on Day 4 as eight players entered the Main Event final table. Several players were short-stacked right at the start, and within the first hour, two players from China, Yuefeng Pan and Yazhou Chen exited. Pan got relegated to the rails at eighth position when his two pairs ran into Feng’s flopped trips. Soon thereafter, Chen shoved with but failed to beat the pocket eights of Austin Walton and busted out in seventh place.
Sang Hwang was also short in chips and when he shoved with jack-six suited, Leow called with ace-five and held, eliminating Hwang in sixth place.
Next up, Austin Walton 3-bet jammed with his suited and Zhou called with his pocket jacks to win the pot, sending the former to the rail in fifth place.
Wayne Zhang who was looking strong posed a real threat to Leow and Zhou and finally found himself running short on chips. At seven big blinds, he shoved pocket threes and Zhou called. Ian Leow moved all in with pocket kings and Zhou tank folded. Zhang couldn’t get anything going on the dry board and busted in fourth place.
The three-handed play started with Feng leading in chips but then he doubled up Zhou to slide down. Holding king-jack, he went all in and Zhou called with pocket-queens. The flop brought a king for Feng but a queen came up on the turn to end Feng’s run in third place.
Feng’s elimination brought Zhou to the top with a 5:1 chip lead and the heads-up between him and Leow didn’t last long. In the first hand itself Leow lost a massive portion of his stack and after just three hands, Leow jammed from the button with and Zhou called tabling . The flop brought and with the nuts, Zhou claimed the title!
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Xiaobo Zhou – HK$1,451,000
2. Ivan Leow – HK$1,016,700
3. Chang Bo Feng – HK$653,900
4. Wayne Zhang – HK$483,700
5. Austin Walton – HK$362,800
6. Sang Hwang – HK$291,100
7. Yazhou Chen – HK$242,600
8. Yuefeng Pan – HK$193,300