After five days of Main Event action at the Asian Poker Tour Macau 2016 held at the Crystal Palace of the Casino Lisboa, Chinese poker pro Guo Dong crushed the Final 8 showdown to capture the HKD 530,000 first place purse, the championship title, and the APT Championship Ring.
The Main Event began with 108 entries each one ponying up the HKD 22,000 entry fee for a grand total prize pool of HKD 2,074,000. By the end of the fourth day, the Final 8 players was established with Dong running second in chips to Spanish poker pro, Sergio Aido, the player he would face at the final heads up round. We caught up with the winner for some insight on his strategy to reach the top.
APT: Congratulations on your victory Guo! From entering the day as one of the leaders then winning the title, what was your strategy coming into today with a table full of pros like yourself?
Dong: Thank you! I decided to play tight in the beginning because they were all good players. For this level of game, it’s not about who plays better but more of who doesn’t make mistakes. So my strategy was to not make any stupid mistakes. Play it simply, play my hands, and bluff sometimes (laughs).
APT: How did you stay away from any danger and keep your stack growing?
Dong: I limped in a lot, I was the only one limping in. I am quite confident with my post flop skills so with everyone holding around 30-40 big blinds, it is very easy to get three-bet or four-bet and I preferred to stay away from big hands. I didn’t want to put myself in that situation. I try to control the pot so I won’t have big swings. I trust myself so I wanna keep it simple.
In poker you can’t just play your hands, you have to play aggressive and play as many hands. You want to try to make others make mistakes while making less or no mistakes for yourself. That strategy works for me. So keep it small and play post flop.
APT: Did you have to make any big laydowns?
Dong: Not really because my game was stable which was how I wanted it to be. Simple. But I was very impressed with Boxer because he folded a huge hand, the king high flush. I had the ace and when he bet on the river, I knew he had the king so I bet enough to make it look like a bluff but he folded. Most people would call me especially with still a good stack.
Dong began the Final 8 with 850,000 chips and only went upwards from there. He crossed over the million mark after eliminating the first player out of the running, Hong Kong’s Kevin Tse in 8th place. Throughout the day, he earned a high number of pots by limping in then tanking players post flop with raises and re-raises. One of his largest wins was in a big pot against Korea’s Lim Yo Hwan with a completed board of four spades showing. Dong raised Lim’s sizable opening bet and Lim tank-folded while showing his K♠. Click here for the hand report. Dong eventually railed Lim in 4th place.
Spain’s Saul Fortea was the next casualty, railed by UK’s Daniel Tang in 7th place. Fortea had A-5 that saw no magic at the felt against Tang’s A-9. The defending champion, APT Macau 2013 winner, Norway’s Henrik Tollefsen suffered the same fate, pushing all in with A-K but failed to find a friend on the board to surpass Aido’s pocket fives. Tollefsen took 6th place.
Before Tang was railed in 5th place, he had some very dramatic hands. He banked a huge double up with A♠ 8♠ improving to a straight against Aido’s J♦ J♠ on a board of 6♥ 3♥ 9♣ 7♥ 5♣, and enjoyed a moment in the seven-digit mark. But as quick as it came, it was stolen away by Lim with 9♣ 9♦ spiking a set on the river over Tang’s top two pair with A♥ 10♦. Read all about it here. Despite grabbing an immediate double up, Tang was still unable to get much going and was eliminated by Hong Kong pro Winfred Yu with Q-8 losing to pocket kings. After Dong eliminated Lim, Aido earned his second head of the day, eliminating Yu in 3rd place. Aido had some help though as Yu’s stack first took a beating in a couple of big hands against Dong.
The heads up round began with Dong holding close to a 2:1 chip advantage. It only took two hands for him to finish off Aido. The winning moment saw Aido limp in, Dong shove his enormous stack, and Aido with the snap-call. Aido held the better hand at first with A♦ K♦ while Dong held A♥ 8♠ however the board ran 3♣ Q♠ 7♦ 8♥ A♠ for a victorious pair to the chip leader.
Congratulations to China’s Guo Dong his big victory at the APT Macau 2016 Main Event!
You can read up on all the action of the Final 8 in the Live Updates page.
Final 8 Payouts
1st Guo Dong – China – HKD 530,000
2nd Sergio Aido – Spain – HKD 310,000
3rd Winfred Yu – Hong Kong – HKD 215,000
4th Lim Yo Hwan – Korea – HKD 157,000
5th Daniel Tang – UK – HKD 130,000
6th Henrik Tollefsen – Norway – HKD 107,000
7th Saul Oliver Fortea – Spain – HKD 88,000
8th Kevin Tse – Hong Kong – HKD 74,000