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MPC Red Dragon: Yoshitaka Okawa Wins the Main Event!

Posted at 14:00 2013-01-21 by Matthew Pitt

When major live tournaments play out their final table, they usually take a full day to complete. So when the Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event started its final day with two tables of nine instead of the usual one, it looked like the day could go on for a very long time. However, any thoughts of a late finish were soon shelved when 10 players busted out within the first 60-minytes of play!

As the final table gathered, Yoshitaka Okawa held over a quarter of the chips in play and therefore held a substantial advantage over his seven opponents. There should have been eight opponents for Okawa to do battle with, but Jiarong Qiu and Zhenjian Lin were eliminated during the same hand on the final table bubble.

Although nothing in poker is certain until the tournament is completed, as soon as the eighth place finisher was decided a betting man would have lumped his house on an Okawa victory. Shashank Rathi, who started the final day as chip leader, was second to Okawa in chips and the pair clashed to create a four-million chip pot. Rathi made a move on the river of a {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{a-Clubs} board with what turned out to be just {k-Spades}{4-Spades} and Okawa made a fantastic call with just {q-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}. Rathi hit the rail in eighth and Okawa climbed to what turned out to be an unassailable lead.

Following Rathi to the rail, via the cashier cage, were Oliver Duran, Michael Marvanek, Kevin Zhang, Oman Houshiar and Eemil Tuominen, setting up a heads-up battle between Okawa and Zhenwu Wang.

Wang trailed his opponent by a three-to-one margin, a gap in chips that was always going to be extremely difficult to close. The final hand saw the chips go in on a {9-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{q-Clubs} flop, Wang holding {8-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds} for a flush draw and Okawa {10-Clubs}{8-Clubs} for a gutshot straight draw; though he could have also paired any of his hole cards – as long as they were not diamonds – to win. The {J-Clubs} on the turn completed Okawa’s straight and when the {2-Hearts} landed on the river, it was all over. Okawa had won the MPC Red Dragon Main Event.

PositionPlayerCountryPrize (HKD)
1Yoshitaka OkawaJapan$1,123,000
2Zhenwu WangChina$784,000
3Eemil TuominenFinland$462,000
4Oman HoushiarCanada$353,000
5Kevin ZhangUSA$261,000
6Michael MarvanekAustralia$209,000
7Oliver DuranFrance$170,000
8Shashank RathiHong Kong$130,500
=9Jiarong QiuChina$95,262
=9Zhenjian LinChina$95,262

Lead image courtesy of the PokerStars Blog and Kenneth Lim.

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Yoshitaka Okawa Yoshitaka Okawa

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