“This is easily the greatest day of my poker career,” Germany’s Niklas Heinecker said following his victory of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions (GDAM) Main Event. That’s not surprising considering Heinecker was awarded HK$34,600,000 (US$4,464,516) when he defeated Australia’s Jeff Rossiter heads-up to claim the title.
When the final day of action began there were eight players who were all hoping to get where Heinecker stands today. Unfortunately there can always only be one champion though and so seven players had to fall by the wayside, albeit with at least HK$6,000,000 (US$774,193) for their time.
With the average stack at the beginning of the day being only 15 big blinds, it is no surprise that the action was extremely fast paced. In fact it took just a few hands to lose Pratyush Buddiga in 8th place. Buddiga found himself all in holding and wasn’t able to hold against the of Igor Kurganov when the dealer spread out a board.
Just a short while after Budigga’s elimination and Anson Tsang lost all his chips to Jeff Rossiter. Tsang was all in preflop holding against the of Rossier and when a board was dealt, Tsang was sent home in 7th place.
At this point the play somewhat slowed down for the first time as no player was eliminated for quite some time. However, during that period several players found themselves all in but managed to survive.
Eventually it would be Igor Kurganov who would find the rail in 6th place, with his being unlucky to fall to Zheng Tang’s on a board. Picking up HK$8,300,000 (US$1,070,967) for his time, Kurganov now sees his lifetime tournament winnings exceed $5.5 million following a big year which includes multiple high roller final tables.
If one player was to be described as having a roller coaster day at the felt it is Isaac Haxton. Prior to Kurganov’s elimination, Haxton was down to one big blind, but found a couple of double-ups to make the pay jump. Haxton would end up finishing in 5th place when blinds were at 700,000-1,400,000 and he shoved for 14.3 million from the small blind holding . Tang was in the big blind and called with his . The board gave Haxton a sweat on the turn, but it wasn't enough for the PokerStars Team Online member as he made his way to the rail.
The least experienced player at the GDAM final table was Tang, but he would put in a solid effort to end up finishing in 4th place. Tang’s final hand saw him all in preflop holding against the of Heinecker. The board gave Heinecker a a pair of queens and enough to send Tang packing.
Once again the action was fast and furious and it continued that way as Sorel Mizzi was sent home in 3rd place. Mizzi started the day as the chip leader, but was down to 23.2 million when the blinds were at 1,000,000-2,000,000. On his last hand Mizzi shoved his small blind holding and Heinecker called holding . Mizzi had two over cards, but when the board was spread on the felt, MIzzi was eliminated and the GDAM Main Event was down to just two players.
At the beginning of heads-up play Heinecker held an almost three-to-one chip lead against his opponent in Rossiter, but with the blinds so high, it was still anyone’s tournament. Not surprisingly within just a few hands all the chips were in the middle and Rossiter was at risk. It was Rossiter’s against Heinecker’s and the board would be the last five cards the GDAM Main Event would see as Rossiter was sent home in 2nd place, while Heinecker was crowned the victor.
We would like to congratulate Niklas Heinecker on his massive effort that will see him go down in history as the champion of the GDAM Main Event. He also happens to be HK$34,600,000 (US$4,464,516) richer for the experience.
GDAM Main Event Payouts
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For many of the big-name players who partook in the GDAM Main Event this week it will be straight back to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker. Be sure to go check out all the live reporting of the WSOP, while we will be back here in Macau for the next stop on the APPT from June 12th - 16th.