Elliot Smith Leads Six Players into PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event Finale

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Canadian player Elliot Smith is leading for the final day of the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event. There are six players left in contention for the title and a whopping HK$3,130,000 first prize (over $400k). All remaining players are guaranteed at least HK$705,000.

Smith, 29, bagged up 4,585,000 at the end of today's play. Terry Tang is within a striking distance, with 4,500,000. The final day will also feature British pro Aymon Hata (1,970,000) as well as Australia's Daniel Laidlaw (1,855,000). Avraham Oziel from Canada qualified to the Main Event for just ten dollars, earning his package through a Spin & Go satellite. He'll come back for the final day, too, with 1,735,000. Shortest stack among the final six belogs to 2014 Asia Player of the Year Pete Chen, who has 1,170,000.

Day 5 started with the last 16 hopefuls. The line-up of the official eight-handed final table had emerged after the eliminations of Artem Metalidi in 11th, Dong Guo in tenth and Fabrice Soulier in ninth place.

All eight finalists made it into level 27 but today's play was halted within the next 15 minutes. Xuan Tan was knocked out by Terry Tang in eighth place for HK$386,000. Yan Li soon followed him to the payout desk when her pair of sixes coudln't beat Smith's queens. Liu picked up HK$521,000 for her seventh place finish while Smith laddered to the top of the chip counts, taking the lead from Tang.

There are 77 minutes left to play in level 27, with blinds at 30,000/60,000, ante 10,000. The average stack is just under 45 big blinds.

PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event final table:

Seat 1: Aymon Hata, UK, 1,970,000

Seat 2: Terry Tang, China, 4,500,000

Seat 3: Avraham Oziel, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, 1,735,000

Seat 4: Pete Chen, Taiwan, Live satellite winner, 1,170,000

Seat 5: Elliot Smith, Canada, 4,585,000

Seat 6: Daniel Laidlaw, Australia, 1,855,000

The inaugural HK$42,400 PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event attracted 536 players, who created a HK$20,796,800 prize pool. The top 103 places will be paid.


Seat 1: Aymon Hata, 33, born in Germany, lives in London/UK - 1,970,000

Aymon Hata may not have a packed live tournament résumé just yet but he'll certainly be a tough force on the final table. The 33-year-old was born Germany but has a Scottish mother and lives in London, so he elected to represent the United Kingdom. "Call me British, not English, my mother would give me hard time," he said with a smile. Hata is an accomplished poker professional, whose mainly focusing on the online scene. He has a large six-figure score to his name, from one of PokerStars COOP series. Hata has been travelling around PokerStars LIVE circuit for some time, but usually plays only the Main Events and High Rollers. He will collect his biggest live cash here at PokerStars Championship Macau. Hata's Day 4 was a true roller-coaster. He was down to the last 15 big blinds, and avoided elimination when his ace-three topped Dzmitry Rabotkin's pair of tens. Hata eventually finished the day on top of the chip counts. He capitalized on his field position to reserve his seat among the top eight.

Seat 2: Terry Tang, 29, from Nanning, lives in Zhuhai/China - 4,500,000

Terry Tang, also known as Tianyuan Tang, discovered poker about seven years ago when he saw it here in Macau. Tang imemdiately started watching a lot of TV coverage from the biggest tournaments in the world. Although he didn't have much time to play himself back then, he would eventually turn pro in 2015. He won the 2016 Changsha Millions last April, which he believes is his lucky month. Fortunately for Tang, the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event takes place in April, and Tang's made it to the final table. "I am so excited that I can play against the world's best poker players in this tournament. I haven't played at any international events overseas, so I'm really enjoying this opportunity. I've played almost every PokerStars events here in Macau, and the PokerStars Championship Macau is on the highest level of them." Tang's experience has been enhanced by his great performance during the Championship. He entered three tournaments, and cashed in all of them: he was 120th in the HK$8,800 PokerStars National Championship and 86th in the HK$5,500 PokerStars Asia Open but his Main Event prize money is set to be his largest reward.

Seat 3: Avraham Oziel, 40, born in Israel but lives in Montreal/Canada, PokerStars qualifier - 1,735,000

Avraham Oziel is one of more than 60 players who won their package for PokerStars Championship Macau in a $10 Spin & Go qualifier. And the 40-year-old has already turned his little investment into a large profit, making it all the way to the final table. He's guaranteed at least HK$386,000 (nearly $50k). Oziel was born in Nahariya, Israel but has lived in Canada for most of his time. He also spent part of his life in Florida, where he was grinding cash games in Daytona Beach. Oziel now calls Montreal his home, and mostly plays daily tournaments in a local casino. He's been playing poker for 15 years but his cash from the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event will be his first major result.

Seat 4: Pete Chen, 28, Taipei/Taiwan - 1,170,000

From Taipei, Pete Yen Han Chen is one of the most accomplished Taiwanese players. He's accumulated more than $620,000 in live tournaments, good for sixth place on Taiwan's all-time money list. Chen will move to at least fourth place after picking up his cash from the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event. Chen has been a prolific on the live scene. Over the past four years, Chen has added more than 100 cashes to his Hendon Mob profile, with the better part of them coming here in Macau. His largest payday was HK$575,000 (around $74k) for fifth place in the 2014 APPT Macau Main Event. Chen's other accolades include fourth place in the 2014 Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Event and sixth place in the Macau Poker Cup 26 HK$100k High Roller.

Seat 5: Elliot Smith, 29, Richmond, British Columbia/Canada - 4,585,000

Elliot Smith is a 29-year-old player from Richmond, British Coloumbia, who has amassed over $1.7 million in live tournament cashes. He's currently ranked 52nd in the stacked Canadian all-time money list and would ladder ten positions higher with a first-place prize from the PokerStars Championship Macau Main Event. Smith has already experienced play on tough final tables. His biggest cash was A$700k for third place in the 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event. Smith was also fourth in the 2013 WPT Paris Main Event, banking €109,615. He is no stranger to the PokerStars sponsored live tours either. He has six EPT Main Event cashes to his name, with half of them earned in the Bahamas, two in Barcelona and one in Berlin.

Seat 6: Daniel Laidlaw, 34, Adelaide/Australia - 1,855,000

Australian player Daniel Laidlaw is one of the more experienced players on the final table. The 34-year-old from Adelaide has accumulated just over $785,000 in live tournaments. He sits in 48th place on his nations's all-time money list. Laidlaw's top three cashes all came four years ago. He won the 2013 Sydney Poker Championships for a career-best A$165,000 payday. Earlier that year, Laidlaw came close to reaching the Aussie Millions Main Event final table, falling in 12th place worth A$95,000. Laidlaw also notched up second place in the 2013 APPT/ANZPT Queenstown Snowfest Main Event, earning nearly $50k. Macau is not a new destination for him either, his résumé includes dozen results from here. Laidlaw's latest addition was HK$157,000 for tenth place in the PokerStars Championship Macau HK$82k Single Re-Entry. Laidlaw had a strong start to the Main Event, bagging up the second-biggest stack on Day 1.


PokerStars Championship Macau 2017 is running from March 30 to April 9. The prestigious tour marks its debut in the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room, located within the luxury City of Dreams complex. An extensive 52-tournament schedule gives players an unmissable chance to crave poker trophies and glory at the first Championship ever held on the Eastern Hemisphere. It is the third Championship of the year, following previous stops in the Bahamas and Panama.


PokerStars Championship features a packed schedule of events held all around the world, with three more Championship events announced so far:

- PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® (April 25 - May 5)

- PokerStars Championship Sochi (May 20-31)

- PokerStars Championship Barcelona (August 15-27)


Additional events will be announced on PokerStarslive.com in the coming months.


PokerStars Championship Macau is set to bring the prime poker experience to this region for the first time since the world-wide tour has evolved from the popular Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT). The flagship HK$42,400 PokerStars Championship Main Event is the top draw on the large-scale tournament schedule, which is also featuring a host of high-buy-in tournaments, such as the HK$400,000 Super High Roller and the HK$103,000 High Roller. The breakdown of the 52 tournaments covers a wide rage of buy-ins and games. The HK$2,000,000 guaranteed HK$8,800 PokerStars National Championship and HK$1,000,000 guaranteed HK$5,500 PokerStars Asia Open are also among the key events.


- HK$8,800 PokerStars National Championship (March 30-April 3, 2017) – HK$2,000,000 guaranteed

- HK$3,300 PokerStars Cup (March 31-April 3, 2017)

- HK$400,000 PokerStars Championship Super High Roller - Shot Clock (April 1-3, 2017)

- HK$5,500 PokerStars Asia Open (April 2-3, 2017) – HK$1,000,000 guaranteed

- HK$42,400 PokerStars Championship Main Event (April 3-9, 2017)

- HK$206,000 NLH Hold’em - Shot Clock (April 4, 2017)

- HK$82,400 PokerStars Championship PLO High Roller (April 5-6, 2017)

- HK$103,000 PokerStars Championship High Roller (April 7-9, 2017)

- HK$2,200 PokerStars Open (April 7-9, 2017)