Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin has become the first player in history to win two Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon Main Event titles. Her epic victory came on Monday night over a 391-player field in the HKD $11,000 buy-in event and bagged her HKD $854,000 (USD $110,000) in prize money.
“I always wanted to be the first female champion,” said Lin referring to her first Red Dragon title in 2009, “but I thought it was impossible to win it twice.”
The 29-year-old Chinese player defeated fellow countryman Ming Fan after a six-hour heads up marathon, which was in stark contrast to the light-speed carnage of the earlier final table action. It only took two hours for the seven other players to exit before the heads up and it was Fan who showed most of them the door. He entered the final table as the big stack and eliminated five players, leaving Lin to rail just one opponent. This gave Fan a 4:1 chip advantage over Lin when it came down to the heads up duel.
But Lin went on to gain the advantage on four separate occasions, only to be pulled back again each time in critical all-in moments. “The support from my friends really pushed me that much more to refocus each of those times the cards fell the wrong way. It was tough having the advantage for the win so many times and starting from scratch over and over again. They were really huge for me,” said the Team PokerStars Pro.
Fan also came within a whisker of snaring the title, having Lin outkicked with K♥ 7♣ against her 9♣ 7♦ on a flop of 7♠ 3♦ 4♥. With all the money in and Lin needing a miracle she found it immediately on the 9♥ turn and at the J♦ river was back to even in chips.
The final hand came half an hour later when Lin limped from the button holding 6♦ 4♠ and a flop of K♥ 3♦ 6♣ was checked by both players. Her opponent held Q♦ 5♦ so when the 4♦ came on the turn to give Lin two-pair it also gave Fan straight and flush outs. It was enough drawing power to prompt him to check-raise Lin’s bet all in. A call saw it all come down to one card and when the dealer tabled the Q♠ Lin’s supporters erupted.
Red Dragon Final Table Payouts
1. Celina Lin (China) – $854,000
2. Ming Fan (China) – $589,100
3. Chul Woo Park (Korea) – $351,200
4. Chang Rak Choi (Korea) – $278,300
5. Richard Hu (China) – $220,700
6. Dan Sing (New Zealand) – $180,400
7. Jordan Westmorland (Thailand) – $140,100
8. Yu Liang (China) – $103,600
9. Zhengwei Ni (China) – $84,400
The historic win moved Lin up to fourth place in the Asia Player of the Year race behind Nicky Jin, Abhishek Goindi and Yosuke Sekiya.
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