The engines were in full throttle last night at the APT Finale Macau Championships 2017 with the first starting day of the HKD 11,000 APT Main Event underway at the Macau Billionaire Poker in Babylon Casino. Seen at the felt were many decorated pros hailing from all over the Asian region. At the end of the scheduled eight rounds, Chinese pro Wei Guoliang bested them all, topping the field with his 131,525 stack.
In the Asian poker scene, Wei is one of the most well-known figures having run deep in many weighted tournaments in China and Macau. His biggest victory came late last year at the Tencent Poker Tour Main Event and since then he has been a familiar face at final tables. Although he hasn’t won an APT event yet, he did get his feet wet at one of the side events in Macau on October 2016 with a 4th place finish.
Another highly decorated Chinese pro making it through Day 1A was Xi Xiang Luo. Last year, Luo charged all the way to the final table of the APT Finale Macau Main Event and finished in a very respectable 6th place. Last night, Luo bagged up 35,450 in chips which is considered below average, but with blinds still very low, he will be entering Day 2 with just under sixty big blinds.
Of course, our current APT Player of the Year race leader, Japanese pro Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, was not one to miss out on the action. He took third rank with his 99,700 stack, just below China’s Yang Peng who claimed the second position with 103,125.
India was also represented with Kunal Patni high in the rung with his 89,575 stack earning him a solid fourth rank. Fellow compatriot Zarvan Tumboli ran just as well however he took a couple of sick hits to his stack. On one encounter he paid a double up to Singapore’s Zong Chang Lee with A-7 two pair creamed by 8-8 quads on a board running J-8-7-8-A. The craziest hand however was up against Wim Bos during one of the final hands of the night. The short-stacked Bos was all in with Q♣ 10♣ and Tumboli had him covered with A♠ K♦. The board drew out 3♦ K♣ A♦ A♣ J♣ for a rare royal flush over full house. Tumboli ended the day with a decent 66,000.
Other notable players advancing to the next round were Yuri Ishida, Seitaro Aso, Le Ngoc Khanh, Jae Wook Shin, the ever-so-lively Zhang Jian, and Qin Qzuming. Just after registration closed, Qzuming zoomed to the leader’s seat and stayed there for some time. He railed two players simultaneously in a three-way showdown at the flop 9♠ J♣ 8♦. Qin had 9♠ 9♥ set that held against 10♦ 10♣ and A♦ J♦.
For those that missed the mark today, Day 1B is up next. This will be the last starting day to the Main Event so head to the felt early and start racking up the chips! Cards will be in the air at exactly 1pm.
Sangjun Lee wins first-ever APT trophy at the NLH 1 Day event
One of the APT’s most popular side events ran side by side the Main Event turning up 65 entries for the No Limit Hold’em 1 Day tournament. After a long 11-hour battle to the title, Korea’s Sangjun Lee closed it out to capture the HKD 34,900 first place purse and his first-ever APT title. Recap below.
Although there were many thrilling hands that went down early in the game, we’ll zone in on Sangjun Lee’s rise to the top. With 7 players remaining and two players already paid, Lee claimed his first victim, Shon Yoshi Yamashita (7th) with A-J in full command over 10-8. Lee picked up another strong hand that in turn sent Hiroki Morishita out in 6th with A-K over K-J.
After the fall of Yuji Mikubo in 5th place to one of the other players, it was the Lee show again. He railed Yinfei Xiao in 4th with Q♣ Q♠ over A♣ 10♠ to amass over half the chips in play. By the time he sent Kinichi Nakataka (3rd) out to join the railbirds, he was sitting pretty with a 6:1 chip advantage over Masato Shimizu entering the heads up round.
Heads up round
Despite Lee’s monstrous lead, he had difficulty putting the lid on Shimizu. This sent the game running on turtle pace with a couple of rounds dragging by. Kudos to Shimizu who fought hard for every chip; he even landed a much needed double up by gambling on 10♥ 8♥. He spiked a pair on the board A♦ Q♥ 10♠ 7♠ 3♠ 5♥. This gave Shimizu enough chips to be a threat.
As the heads up round continued, Shimizu took the lead on several occasions but Lee bounced right back displaying more aggression than his opponent to pick up numerous small pots. A quarter past the midnight hour, the game finally found its champion. Lee was all in with J♥ 9♥ and Shimizu put it all on the line with J♣ 4♠. The flop said it all K♥ 8♥ 6♥ for an unbeatable flush to Lee.