RAGHAV BANSAL MAKES STUNNING RUNNER-UP FINISH AT POKERSTAR CHAMPIONSHIP MACAU

RAGHAV BANSAL

It was a nail-biting climax for the debut PokerStars Championship Macau, when it concluded yesterday with two big winners and a splendid finish for India. Raghav Bansal secured a runner-up finish in the HK$103,000 Single Re-Entry Shot Clock High Roller for perhaps one of the highest scores in Indian poker history of HK$2.61 million.

Raghav Bansal continued his spectacular run from last year. The 29-year old Delhiite was among the top stacks on Day 2 when Nick Petrangelo had assumed the lead. The following day, Bansal led the final eight and was poised to win the event, when casual poker player Sosia Jiang began to dominate the final table, not halting until she had the title.

The New Zealand-based Jiang barely has $25,000 in career cashes and later joked that " If I am going to run good, I better do it in a High Roller tournament.” The 38-year old Kiwi admitted that she was just a casual player and had taken part after enjoying a holiday to indulge in more playing. Jiang bagged HK$3.87 million for her win.

The event attracted total of 170 entries, including 42 re-entries that generated a collective prize pool of HK$17,460,000.

Eight players returned for the final day and leading the pack was Bansal. Xixiang Luo who was aiming for his third title at the series was the first to depart, when his pocket nines were beaten by Quenneville’s Ace-Jack.

Lebedev saw his pocket queens beaten by Jiang’s pocket aces and left at seventh place.

Jiang went on to rail Smith at sixth and Ben Lai at fifth place. Smith had the against Jiang's and the flop revealed . However, the turn and river both displayed spades giving Jiang a runner-runner flush.

Not done yet, she then knocked out Petrangelo, when his Ace-Five suited faced Jiang’s pocket aces and he was out at fourth place.

Jiang began flexing her muscles and soon ended the run of Canadian Quenneville.

Heads-up found Jiang with a colossal 8 to 1 chip lead against Bansal. He did find a couple of double ups, but the gap was quite huge. The final hand came when Bansal with pocket deuces three-bet all-in for just over 22 big blinds. Jiang called with Queen-Ten. The river divulged a queen and Jiang was announced champion of the HK$103K High Roller! Bansal made an impressive second place for HK$2,610,000.

Final Table Standings (HKD)

1. Sosia Jiang - 3,870,000

2. Raghav Bansal - 2,610,000

3. Troy Quenneville - 1,800,000

4. Nick Petrangelo - 1,465,000

5. Ben Lai - 1,170,000

6. Dan Smith - 895,000

7. Sergey Lebedev - 652,000

8. Xixiang Luo - 470,000