Singapore’s Alecz Chan experienced the greatest poker moment of his life after railing six players that included Malaysian pro Victor Chong to claim the APT Championships Event trophy. But it wasn’t exactly skill that did it in the end. Entering the heads up round against Chong, both players were fairly even in stacks and chose to split the cash down the middle while flipping for the trophy.
After five fun all-or-nothing spreads, the deed was done and Chan claimed his first-ever international poker title. He earned HKD 369,950 (~US$47,400) making this his largest live tournament payout. Impressively, this victory also more than doubled his current combined live earnings.
The final day of the Championships Event resumed with 12 players back at the APT Finale Macau Championships 2017 ongoing at the Macau Billionaire Poker in Babylon Casino. With only 10 places paid, short stacks were feeling the choke as they looked for spots to double up. The first to fall was Dong Guo, eliminated by Alecz Chan with A♦ J♥ victorious over K♦ 10♠. Shortly after, Ryuichi Utsunomiya bubbled but since he availed of the protection, he didn’t walk away completely dry. This formed the final table with 10 players remaining.
Final table showdown
Taking a look at the final ten players, it was packed with highly decorated players with one of Malaysia’s well-known pros, Victor Chong, holding a commanding lead. The best way to describe the size of Chong’s Great Wall was he had a quarter of the chips in play on a full table.
Falling first was Hong Kong pro Sparrow Cheung, recognized for the incredible amount of cashes he piles on every year. Entering the final day, Cheung struggled with a very short stack that compromised his play to two moves, shove or fold. Impressively he hung on to make the money in 10th place.
An hour later, Alecz Chan claimed his second victim, railing the APT Game of Champions winner Kai Paulsen in 9th place. Alecz spiked an ace on the river to overtake Paulsen’s J-J with A-Q. Out next was Chinese Taipei’s Hung Sheng Lin in 8th place. Lin is another known figure in the Asian circuit, especially at the APT having won the Regional Player of the Year 2016. Just like Cheung, Lin nursed a very short stack from the get-go yet turned it into some pay.
By this time, there were other players shaking up the felt. Two aggressive players, Australian poker pro Kahle Burns and Terry Tang Tian Yuan went on a bout that ended with Burns landing a straight and amassing nearly seven digits. However, by the end of that level, his stack would take a beating with Justin Chan getting full pay on trips. On a board of K♠ 7♠ J♠ 4♥ J♣, Burns three-bet all in and after much deliberation, Chan called. Burns opened 7♣ 8♦ while Chan had A♣ J♦.
Falling in 7th place was Terry Tang, getting railed by none other than Alecz Chan. This was Chan’s third head claimed. His A♥ Q♥ went on a wild ride against Tang’s A♦ K♦ with the board running Q♣ Q♦ 4♦ 8♦ 5♣. Alecz Chan continued his railroading spree, booting Kahle Burns next in 6th place with K-K unbeaten by A-J. With all these eliminations, Alecz Chan entered the seven-digit marker though still behind Chong.
At five remaining, the two massive stacks went head-to-head with Chong winning the battle with J♥ 10♥ trips on a board of 3♥ 10♦ A♠ 10♣ Q♦. He crossed into 2M and now had a fortress built by half of the chips in play. Alecz Chan answered back and banked a huge double up with K-K once again holding strong. Chong had A-K. For the first time all day, the leadership switched. Alecz Chan increased further by eliminating Justin Chan in 5th place making that 5 busts.
The next casualty had a different executioner with Chong eliminating the APT Player of the Year front runner Tetsuya Tsuchikawa in 4th place. Chong also claimed Michael Soyza’s head, finishing the high-ranking Malaysian pro in 3rd place. These two pots gave Chong a very slight edge over Alecz Chan entering the heads up round and from there, the five “no look” hands followed.
Congratulations to Alecz Chan for his impressive victory! He knocked out half the field of the final day and captured the APT Championships Event title!
You can read up on the thrilling action of the Final Day and view the payouts in the Live Updates.