Tommy Zhang outshines 177 players to win ACOP

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Many poker professionals regard ACOP as the most important poker tournament scheduled for October in Asia and they flock to Macau to participate. Appearances can be deceiving and some might be unaware of the fact that Tommy Zhang is in fact a British poker player. By winning the Asia Championship of Poker after besting a field of 177 players, the young pro can rest assured that the next time he buys into a major poker tournament, everyone will know whom they are dealing with.

Event 2 brought him in the spotlight and it is only fair to say that winning HK $420,000 in the HK $11,000 Deepstack Championship is the highlight of his career. Three days were enough for Zhang to make the final table and even though he didn’t have the deepest stack when this final stage of the competition began, he clawed his way to the top. A total of 19 players finished in the money and shared the HK $1,716,900 prize pool, with Zhang taking home more than a quarter.

The competition was tough and among those who tried to block Tommy’s way were Claudia Yum from Korea and Ryan Yu. The latter is one of the best Canadian poker players and a worthy candidate for the Asia Player of the Year award, a race that he is currently leading. Ryan came painfully close of achieving his goal, as he needed to finish on the 7th place or better, but in the end he had to settle for the 8th place and a consolation prize of HK $60,100

Claudia Yum was the best placed female poker player at the Asia Championship of Poker and earned a well-deserved 6th place. Arguably the most difficult opponent for Tommy Zhang en route to his remarkable success was Kai Yang, who put up quite a fight before finishing in the 5th place and winning a six digit amount. Once Julian Hasse was eliminated in 4th and three-handed play began, Zhang shifted into a more aggressive gear and caused the elimination of Makoto Yoshimichi from Japan.

Boosted by his success, Tommy persevered and came out firing on all cylinders in the first couple of hands of the heads-up play. Perhaps the most important move he made was to shove his chips with K-Q against Chu’s pocket Jacks and improved his hand to cripple his opponent. This was the beginning of the end for the Hong Kong resident who found it impossible to come back into the race and finished second.

These are the ten players who made the final table and their corresponding payouts:

  1. Tommy Zhang, UK -  HK $420,600
  2. Peter Chu, Hong Kong – HK $283,300
  3. Makoto Yoshimichi, Japan – HK $180,300
  4. Julian Hasse, Germany – HK $145,900
  5. Kai Yang, Chinese Taipei – HK $115,900
  6. Claudia Yum, Korea – HK $94,400
  7. Yibo Zhou, China – HK $77,300
  8. Ryan Yu, Canada – HK $60,100
  9. Ryo Akabane, Japan – HK $51,500