Day 1a of the Asian Poker Tour Finale 2015 is all bagged up at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Casino Filipino. Out of the 79 entries who ponied up the P50,000 buy-in fee, only 34 remained after eight hours of tournament play. Ending the day as the chip was Lithuanian player Arunas Sapitavicius with 103,200 chips. Sapitavicius was the only player who crossed the six-digit chip mark. Running second-in-chips was Filipino player Joven Huerto with 99,075.
The day began with several notables getting an early stab at the felt. Among them was USA’s Gerald Casey who quickly became one of the leaders after he railed India’s Kunal Patni with a set over set situation. Casey had 7♣ 7♦ against Patni’s 5♣ 5♥ on a board of J♣ 7♥ 5♦ Q♣ J♦. Casey was also seen check-raising several times to scoop some big pots. Casey ended the day with a healthy 87,525 chips.
While Casey’s chips were growing, Sapitavicius earned his first double up. Action was between him and the runner-up of the Welcome Event 1M Guaranteed, Korea’s Hyungtaek Jo. Sapitavicius gambled with a 3♠ 4♠ by joining two other players who called Jo’s raise preflop. With the board landing 5♠ J♦ 2♠, Jo led the betting with a pot bet of 3k and Sapitavicius called while the others folded. The turn of 7♥ saw Jo betting again and Sapitavicius called. When the river landed a A♦, Jo bet big and Sapitavicius moved all in for just a little more. Sapitavicius won the hand with a straight well dominating Jo’s top two pairs with A♥ J♣. Sapitavicius won another big pot, this time late in the tournament, when he made a massive raise of 30k and was called. He had a set of jacks and scooped the pot.
Although not many locals entered the Main Event, running second-in-chips was Huerto who seemed to be stacking it up consistently all day. One of his final takedowns was against Akemi Kamada who check-raised all in with her top pair but unbeknownst to her, Huerto had an overpair silently waiting for that moment.
Another player who survived the day was Japan’s Iori Yogo. Yogo is currently in contention for the APT Player of the Year 2015 title but is behind in points against APT triple crown champion Samad Razavi. Yogo bagged up an average stack of 46,425 chips.
Other notables returning for day 2 are Canada’s Tommy Lee with 62,375 chips, Filipino players Andrew Gaw with 51,825 chips and Jessie Leonarez with 63,750 chips, and Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa with 38,775 chips.
Opposite the qualifiers are players who were sent to the rail. Among them were Korea’s Soo Jo Kim and Choong Kon Kim, India’s Kunal Patni, and Filipino player Regie Ann Delos Reyes and Edilberto Gopez.
Congratulations to all the qualifiers! Check out some of the action at day 1a and the chip counts of all the qualifiers in the Live Reporting section of the website.