Smith Survives 10-Hour HU to Win PokerStars Championship Macau

It was one of the longest heads-up matches in the history of poker but in the end Canadian Elliott Smith emerged the victor in the inaugural PokerStars Championship Macau stop earlier today.

Smith battled local Terry Tang for a staggering 10 and a half hours before finally landing the knockout blow with ace-king over Tang’s pocket sixes.

Incredibly Tang flipped a set of sixes but Smith rivered a flush to finally, finally close out the tournament and take down the first place prize of $370,508. Tang, for all his efforts, had to settle for $331,816.

Smith now has over $2m in live tournament earnings but this was his first major title.

Aussie Pro Daniel Laidlaw Takes Third

Arguably the most well-known player at the final table was experienced Australian grinder Daniel Laidlaw.

Daniel Laidlaw

Daniel Laidlaw

Laidlaw become short stacked three-handed, however, and had to shove with A-T and Smith managed to outdraw him with K-5.

With Laidlaw eliminated, Smith and Tang immediately set about discussing a deal. It took them over an hour but the pair eventually agreed on a chop that left HKD$300,000 for which to play.

The deal did not expedite the process of finding a winner, however, as Smith and Tang (who started nearly even in chips) went on to play a grueling 10.5 hours of poker that included multiple chip lead changes, several bathroom breaks, a straight flush and surprisingly few all-in shoves.

The final table also included Canadian Avraham Oziel, German Aymon Hata, Taiwan’s Pete Chen and Chinese players Yan Li and Xuan Li but they seemed like almost an afterthought after the excruciating 10-hour heads-up.

The PokerStars Championship Tour will next head to Monaco for a prestigious series that will run April 25-May 5, 2017.

In total the PokerStars Champion event in Macau attracted 546 players to create a prize pool of $2.6 million.

Here’s a complete look at the final-table payouts from the championship event in Macau:

1. Elliott Smith - $370,508
2. Terry Tang - $331,816
3. Daniel Laidlaw - $221,896
4. Avraham Oziel - $164,749
5. Aymon Hata - $122,275
6. Pete Chen - $90,741
7. Yan Li - $67,058
8. Xuan Tan - $49,682