It all started with a 33-player event six years ago. Now at its 20th anniversary, the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event rewrote Asian poker history by attracting a record-breaking field of 995 players from all around Asia and Australia.
From that field, only one emerged victorious – a former Mongolian poker dealer by the name of Buyanjargal Bold. He was the last man standing on the final day of the Main Event, beating the 2013 MPC champion, Terry Fan, and one lady who wanted to set a record of her own.
Fan beat a field of 891 players last year and was looking for more in 2014. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t win his flips when the lights were on. He finished in eighth place, losing a race with his pocket fours against Percy Yung’s Ace-King. As the only woman at the final table, Yung took out yet another victim after Fan, this time with her Ace-Queen. Last year’s fourth place finisher, Chinese Xiao Lin, was the unlucky man moving all-in with Ace-Four, only to get severely dominated by Yung’s hand. Lin finished sixth and won HK$334,000 ($43,000).
India’s Akash Malik was next to hit the rail at the hands of the Australian chip-leader, Victor Teng. Malik held a strong hand, a set of fives, only to get coolered by a made-flush on the turn. Finishing fourth was Richard Hu, who moved all with Ace-Three. Bold made the call from the big blind with pocket fours and his pre-flop lead eventually gave him all Hu’s chips.
With three players remaining, a deal was made so the money pressure was off, just in time for the lady and the Mongolian to take a shot at history. Although Teng started the three-handed play as chip leader, he was the next player eliminated. The Australian raised all-in with his Ace-Queen, but ran into the best possible starting hand in Texas Hold’Em – pocket Aces. Yung was the lucky player to hold such a hand and Teng finished third, winning HK$1,498,000 (over $193,000).
Besides eliminating the Australian, she also took the lead chip-wise, having a 2-to-1 advantage over Bold. But the Mongolian quickly recovered, taking a big pot with top two pair on the flop versus lower top two pair held by Yung. In the last hand of the tournament, Yung moved all-in with King-Nine and Bold quickly called with Ace-Eight suited. The Ace-high flop secured the Mongolian the MPC20 Red Dragon title plus a big money prize: HK$1,492,000 ($192,000), including a HK$100,000 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) seat. Yung had to settle for second best and HK$1,159,000 (almost $150,000).
Congratulations to Buyanjargal Bold, who became the first Mongolian to win such a big poker event.