The script was supposed to be that a former Asian Poker Tour main event champion repeating in this stop of the most prestigious poker tournament this side of the world; Julius Malzanini of Germany changed that script and made his own, winning the APT Philippines 2015 Main Event at the Resorts World Manila (RWM) in Pasay City, Philippines.
The German went through the fire (needed to beat APT Asian Series Cebu 2015 Main Event Champion Jojo Tech; APT Philippines 2015 Main Event Champion Feng Zhao; and APT Asian Series Cambodia 2012 Main Event Champion Ha Duong in the Final Table); played with fire (he was the shortest stack when play was four-handed) but eventually was on-fire himself even when he trailed Tech, who had the 3.3M to 1.9M chip lead, in the heads-up round.
“For sure, he [Tech] was one of the best players in the Final Table. He was a pretty tough opponent,” Malzanini said in the post-tournament interview. “We were very deep in the heads-up. Good player. He was in the heads-up for a good reason.”
Slowly but surely, Malzanini gained ground on Tech and eventually took the lead after less than an hour of play during the heads-up round. While play was tit-for-tat with the chip lead changing hands multiple times, Malzanini showed more patience against the popular Filipino pro and eventually had all the chips to his side.
His winning hand was the A♣ 10♦ against Tech’s A♠ Q♠. But as fate would decide, Malzanini got the best flop Q♦ 7♦ 3♦ and made his flush on the turn 2♦ to win the title.
Malzanini’s key hands included a turned straight against Duong when play was four-handed. In that play, he held J♦ 9♥ on a board of K♣ 7♦ 10♥ 8♠ 4♦ for the nuts. Malzanini shoved on the river and got called by Duong. At this point, Malzanini rose to second in chips with around 1.85M.
“It’s my biggest live win,” shared Malzanini, who took home $79,200 for his championship effort.
When asked about the host country, the most recent APT champion admitted that he’s liking the Philippines so far and promised to see more of the country—and after his recent win, most likely more of the poker felt.
“Absolutely. I love the Philippines, I have been here last month for like three weeks, went back to Europe and just came back a week ago. I’m going to stay here for a bit. I like Manila a lot.”
When asked about APT’s next event, the APT Vietnam 2015 at Ho Tram Resort Casino in Ho Tram, Vietnam, the newest APT champion was non-committal but admitted that he is seriously considering it.
“I heard about it and I was thinking about it yesterday. So we’ll see. I’ll give it a chance, for sure.”
Malzanini stopped Tech from bagging back-to-back APT Main Event titles; now, he has a chance to bag his back-to-back APT Main Event titles.