Main Event Final 8 decided! Thomas Ward leads with over 2M chips

Day 3 of the Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2016 Main Event at Resorts World Manila concluded with the Final 8 decided. Holding court with the largest stack was New Zealand’s Thomas Ward with 2,145,000 chips.

Ward entered Day 3 as the chip leader and quickly got to work grinding the table, picking up numerous pots, and eliminating players. A few of his first victims were Sweden’s Erik Billgren, previous APT champion Gerard Bringley, and Singapore’s Tan Gay Peng. When the field downsized to two tables, Ward began claiming much bigger pots, adding Malaysia’s Danesh Kurunathan into his list of heads scalped. With well over 2M in chips, Ward landed a big pot against Japan’s Narutoshi Otsuka and then proceeded to take the rest of Otsuka’s chips with his Q 3 hitting two pairs.

At the coattails of the chip leader was previous APT champion Korea’s Seung Soo Jeon. Jeon was the reason for celebration when he burst the bubble by eliminating Japan’s Wataru Kosugi. Like Ward, Jeon accumulated his chips by successfully grinding throughout the day. He won many pots three-betting and without a showdown. Jeon finished the day with 1,965,000 chips.

The biggest talk of the day was definitely Malaysia’s Kah Boon Teh. Entering Day 3 second-in-chips, Teh doubled up many players and found himself in danger of elimination. After a nut flush double up against Filipino Terry Gonzaga, he steamrolled his way, eliminating fellow countryman Marcuss Liow and Korea’s Sim Jae Kyung. He even won a small pot holding a straight flush, and folded pocket aces on the flop. But those moments paled in comparison to how he denied Hong Kong’s Raiden Kan a Final 8 berth. After a preflop raise war, between them, Teh called Kan’s check-raise all in at the flop of K J 3. Teh had A K top pair while Kan had a dominating K K set. The turn of 7 and river of 10 had everyone stunned in disbelief with Teh completing a nut flush and defeating Kan’s set. Teh ended the Day 3 with 1,885,000 chips.

Another past APT champion earned a Final 8 seat, Filipino Czardy Rivera with 875,000 chips. Rivera eliminated several players in his path, one of them was Canada’s Linh Tran with A K out-flopping Tran’s K K. He later doubled up to over half a million chips in a hand against fellow APT champion, Singapore’s Feng Zhao, then escalated further when his pocket kings landed a massive double up against Guam’s Jim Bonanno with ace-jack.

Speaking of Bonanno, he claimed the fifth position of the Final 8 chip rank. Despite a big shaving to his stack against Rivera, he bounced right back by eliminating Filipino Vilma Goldman with his A 10 hitting trips against Goldman’s A J. Bonanno ended the day with 665,000 chips.

Canada’s Zack Lazarus followed in sixth position with 590,000 chips. Lazarus was seen shoving his short stack several times throughout the day, doubled up with ace-nine against Ward, and was the player Teh folded his aces to at the flop. Another fellow Canadian player sealed his seat into the Final 8, Michael Lee with 575,000 chips. Lee earned his chips like Ward and Jeon, by consistently grinding his way and giving up very little. In one of his winning hands, he was awarded a healthy pot with his pocket tens completing a full house over Kan’s straight.

Bringing up the tail end of the Final 8 was Australian Chris Edgar with 305,000 chips. For a large part of Day 3, Edgar’s stack fluctuated in and out of the danger zone, entering numerous pots, until he evened out on a double up with his trip fours against Liow.

APT Philippines 2016 Main Event Final Eight

In addition to the Final 8, there were a couple of APT champions who made it in the money. Vietnam’s Huy Pham was the first to receive a payout after bowing out in 18th place. Pham entered the day with the shortest stack but found renewed life after an early double up with a full house. As for Zhao, he met his demise at the hands of Gonzaga, but the real beating came from his Q 10 preflop shove losing to Rivera’s A K.

We have live updates of Day 3 action in the Live Reporting section of the website. Get the full details on the hands, read up on how players rose and how others fell, plus the Chip Counts of the Final 8. We will return to the felt at 1:30pm for the final battle for the APT Philippines Main Event title.

Congratulations to the Final 8!