Malaysian pro Victor Chong holds the lead at the end of Main Event Day 2

The Asian Poker Tour Philippines III 2016 concluded Day 2 of the Main Event at Resorts World Manila with 39 players out of the 108 returnees holding on to their chips to make it into tomorrow’s Day 3. There was a substantial amount of action throughout the day with many players peaking, plateauing, and falling. For Malaysian pro Victor Chong, his consistent rise led him to the top of the rankings, ending the day as the chip leader with 683,000 in chips.

Victor Chong is Chip Leader Going Into Main Event Day 3

Chong began Day 2 below average stack and very far from leaders. As a well oiled pro, he inched his way up quietly and out of everyone’s radar. Halfway through the day, he eliminated short-stacked player, Guam’s Toniyoung Degracia, to help bring his stack to a healthy state. One round later, he shipped in a mighty big one against India’s Dhaval Mudgal sending him to the leader’s bracket. During the hand, Chong challenged Mudgal with a shove on the river of 10 Q 5 5 6. Mudgal called and proceed to lose his tournament life when Chong opened up K 5 trips. Late in the day, Chong also eliminated Filipino pro Lester Edoc with pocket aces over A-9.

Situating himself in the second spot was Vietnam’s Van Sang Nguyen. Nguyen was the player who slipped into the lead at the final hand of Day 1A. At Day 2, he crushed the hopes of two-time APT Main Event champion, Korea’s Jeon Seung Soo, by eliminating him with K K over Q Q. He also did some damage to the other two-time champion, Norway’s Henrik Tollefsen, with a winning straight holding A-J on a board of Q-8-9-10-2. Nguyen closed the day with 613,000 in chips.

Rounding out the top three was Singapore’s Dhanesh Chainani with 506,000 in chips. Chainani earned many pots with his aggressive continuation bets. He was also awarded all of Chiu Sze Keung’s chips with a winning A 9 full house on a board of K 9 9 A 7.

Among those who also fared well at Day 2 were past APT Main Event champions, Japan’s Gerard Bringley and Singapore’s Feng Zhao. For Bringley, he had several good reads to earn him a few heavy-weighted pots, and ike Chong, he too shipped in a big one holding trips. As for Zhao, he sent many players to the think tank. His stack experienced a dramatic rise and drop but late in the day, he won two hefty pots against Japan’s Jun Funabashi to finish with a healthy stack.

One of the early contenders for the chip leader status was Korea’s Chang Hun Lee. Lee delivered the first casualty of the day eliminating Lim Choon Kwang. As one of the most aggressive players in the field, Lee’s stack fluctuated extensively throughout the day going from over 500k down to 100k, then back up again. He was clearly out to play and was not afraid to use his chips to gain an edge. Lee also eliminated Japan’s Kyosuke Nakamura with his 9-5 hero call on a gut shot draw that was granted to crack pocket aces.

Another player in the running is Filipino JC Sayo. Sayo already won two trophies at the series and is looking to claim his first APT Main Event title. He entered Day 2 near the bottom of the barrel but climbed up the ladder to finish in the top ten of the chip count. Other players who survived the heat in Day 2 were Filipino Wally Sombero, Singapore’s Ho Bao Qiang, Korea’s Kimura Lee Jongyeol, Norway’s Markus Garberg, and current leader of APT Player of the Year 2016 leaderboard, Japan’s Iori Yogo. Japanese player Yoichi Uesugi also made the cut but with a very short stack.

Day 3 begins promptly at 1pm on Tuesday, September 20th. Play will run until the Final 8 is established. Payouts begin at 27 players. You can read up on the action of the Main Event, view the chip counts and payouts in the Live Updates page.

There were 186 total entries for the USD 1,650 Main Event for a total prize pool of USD 270,630. The eventual winner will earn USD 67,660, the APT Championship Ring, and the APT Championship trophy.