Huge Field, Huge Stack: Beijjani Rises to Top Spot

After a 159-player turnout yesterday, Day 1B did even better attracting a total of 230 players in the APT Asian Series Manila 2013 Main Event at the Genting Club in Resorts World Manila.

Chip Leader Going Into Main Event Day 2, Jihad Beijjani

After the wild and often chaotic action on the poker felt, it was Jihad Beijjani from Lebanon who had the most chips after Day 1B with a 197,700 chip-haul, easily the highest today. The Lebanese is the overall chip-leader among the 155-player field which will be returning for Day 2 of the Main Event scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Monday.

Just like Day 1A’s chip-leader, Craig Sloan, who came out of nowhere to grab the headline, Beijjani had a mid-sized stack most of the night before turning it up a notch in the final level of play.

Beijjani’s Day 1B appearance is actually from a re-entry after being eliminated in yesterday.

“I went in Day 1A and I wasn’t lucky,” shared Beijjani. “I was playing slow-play yesterday. This is my first time in the Philippines; so I must know how they play, the players. But today I went very aggressive. I was lucky I guess.”

When asked about his strategy for Day 2, the Lebanese’s answer was straight to the point.

“Day 2 is for Day 2, you know. We will see. But I think I am going to be aggressive. It depends on how it goes, you know.”

As per reports on the floor, Beijjani started loading up his stack with a late-game card rush courtesy of two aces on two occasions. Both times he earned maximum chips, profiting off the elimination of Richard Marquez, who had the ducks; and then crippling Hanna Khallife, who only had ace-jack in separate head-to-head battles.

Beijjani points to an earlier hand as his key hand.

“I was on a flush draw, and then I (hit) the flush. (He) did not believe me and I went all-in and he called me. Since then, I had like seventy to eighty thousand and I started to accumulate my chips.”

Meanwhile, the huge Day 1B turnout upped the total number of main event players to 389 runners, just short of a few heads off the all-time record of 396 players set in the APT Asian Series Manila 2011 Main Event.

“Wow. 2011, we were at 396. Last year, (we were) at 316. We’re eight away from the record. But it such a great turnout compared to last year. Huge contingent from all around Asia. Lots of Japanese in the field, Chinese, Singaporeans, Malaysians and Koreans of course,” said tournament director Lloyd Fontillas.

As expected, APT Chief Executive Officer Jeff Mann was ecstatic with the development.

“I am absolutely delighted with the player turnout (for this event). We’ve been building up the following for the APT; I think the timing was right. I think what was probably more important was that we actually announced it quite early on so everybody can actually plan to be here for the event,” said Mann.

In two side events on Sunday, Diana Tan from the Philippines won the MegaSportsWorld Deep Stack Turbo event for PHP 137,500 while Av Viet Hung of Vietnam won the Pot Limit Omaha event for PHP 218,490.

Diana Tan is the first ever APT Asian Series MegaSportsWorld Deep Stack Turbo woman champion

Av Viet Hung shows his prowess in Pot Limit Omaha

Aside from the continuation of the main event, two side events are on tap Monday, October 14th. The Dafapoker No Limit Hold ‘Em (Event #10) and Pot Limit Omaha Turbo (Event #11) are scheduled at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. For the complete schedule, check the APT Asian Series Manila 2013 event page.