Day 1A of the APT Main Event is in the books and sitting way on top at the end of the scheduled eight rounds was Malaysia’s Choong Kian Weng with 224,400 in chips.
After three days of side event action at the APT Macau 2017 in the Macau Billionaire Poker room, it was time for the Asian Poker Tour‘s highlight tournament, the APT Main Event with a HKD 19,800 buy-in. Action started slow with a couple of tournaments sharing the floor, the Head Hunter and High Rollers event.
As the day progressed, the tables began to fill up that by the end of late registration, there were 44 players signed up. Among them were Vietnam’s Huu Dung Nguyen, champion of the APT Championships Philippines two months ago, and Vietnam’s Linh Tran, champion of APT Asian Poker Series Cambodia 2015. Both players were part of the 26 players that survived the day.
Another player also in the mix, though not as equipped as the chip leader Choong, was Japan’s Kosei Ichinose who jumped in from winning the High Rollers event. He bagged up slightly over half the day’s starting stack which means he will have to make up some ground in Day 2. Ichinose’s fellow compatriot Yoichi Uesugi had a slight scare during the final hands. He shoved his short stack with pocket queens and was able to dodge big slick to stay in contention. But as for Alex Lee, he didn’t achieve the same result on his shove. His ace-king ran smack into pocket aces to send him straight to the rail.
Day 1B of the APT Main Event begins tomorrow at 1pm. Day 1A players that wish to attempt for multiple stacks may do so however only the largest stack will advance to Day 2.
Kosei Ichinose takes charge at the High Rollers
Without a doubt, it was Kosei Ichinose’s day at the High Rollers event. The Japanese pro was one of nine players returning to the felt for the final race to title. He patiently awaited his moment then took charge to reach the heads up round and crush Vietnam’s Linh Tran.
Initially, Ichinose was tucked in the middle of the pack while across him was China’s Weiyi Zhang who had a very big stack. The first player to make a move was short stacked Tran who picked up a double up to get back in the running. Super high roller Mikita Badziakouski also found his spot, but for Wang Ye, he wasn’t as fortunate and became the first casualty of the day. Not long after, short stacked Michael Soyza and Graeme Siow joined him on the sidelines.
With five players left, Ichinose began to make his presence felt by winning multiple pots off different players. He slipped into the chip lead after finishing off Winfred Yu to bring them to the bubble round with 4 players remaining.
Considering that everyone was at the top of their game, it was a tough round but someone had to fall and it was the pro from Belarurs, Badziakouski. He moved all in with A♦ 9♠ and was called by Tran with 10♣ 10♠. The board ran 10♦ A♣ K♥ J♣ J♣ for a full house to Tran. Having reached the money round, the three players quickly discussed a deal and agreed on a true ICM with HKD 40,000 and the title up for grabs. The chip rank was: Ichinose-Tran-Zhang.
Bowing out in 3rd place was Zhang who butt heads with Tran. Tran’s pocket kings fully dominated Zhang’s pocket tens. This left Zhang with one chip and it went to Ichinose.
The heads up round began with Ichinose ahead in chips. Tran capitalized on a huge double up with J♠ J♦ solid against A♠ 4♦ on a board of 4♠ 3♠ 2♥ K♦ 7♠. This immediately sent Ichinose’s stack tumbling way down, but impressively, he quickly recovered, winning successive pots that seemed to freeze Tran in his place.
As he continued to grind down Tran, simply outplaying his opponent, the final hand came. On a turn board of 2♠ 10♥ 7♠ J♥, it was a bet-raise-shove-call for the ending showdown. Tran with K♠ 9♣ and Ichinose with J♠ 8♥ top pair. The river 3♣ was no help to Tran and Ichinose seized the High Rollers title.
1st Kosei Ichinose – Japan – HKD 248,000 (deal made)
2nd Linh Tran – Vietnam – HKD 178,000 (deal made)
3rd Weiyi Zhang – China – HKD 156,000 (deal made)