After twelve grueling hours, Malaysia’s Aik Chuan captured his first-ever APT Main Event Championship title along with the USD 14,790 first prize and the exclusive APT Championship Ring.
Instead of calling today the Final Day, it would be more apt to rename it “Typhoon Chuan” because this young Malaysian thunderbolt absolutely decimated the final table. He entered with a commanding chip lead, one he amassed at Day 2, and then he poured on the relentless storm that eventually sent his opponents packing up.
The first player to go was Malaysia’s Sam Ng. He was railed in 8th place by China’s Liu Yi who held a winning pocket aces. Not long after, Australia’s Daniel Tan, the shortest stacked player in the lineup, followed to the rail. He moved all in with A-2 but Chuan had him dominated with A-J. This was the first of Chuan’s five kills at the final table.
With six players remaining, it was bubble time and since no one had bubble protection, the round lasted for quite some time. During this stage, Chuan was highly aggressive with his massive stack, often betting and raising making it very difficult for the short stacks to move. Even Yi, who had the second largest stack, was frozen in his tracks and in jest, voiced his frustrations repeatedly.
But the bubble had to burst and it came down on Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa whose K♥ 3♥ drew no sunshine against Chuan’s 9♦ 9♥.
Money round with five players remaining
The money round saw all of Chuan’s opponents take chunks of his enormous stack that for a moment it seemed to humanize him. At one point, Yi stole the chip lead but was only able to hold on for barely an orbit as typhoon Chuan poured on the raising storm and claimed multiple pots including all of Paphawin Laodee’s chips. During the hand, the Thailander was all in with pocket nines and looked to be in fine shape to double up against Chuan’s pocket threes. But the poker gods would not have it as a three spiked on the flop to improve Chuan to a set and send Laodee out in 5th place.
Back on top with four left, the charging Chuan lost a big portion of his stack with Yi as the happy receiver. Yi doubled up with pocket queens over pocket sevens. This sent Chuan to the bottom of the ranks however it didn’t compromise his aggressive style. He continued to dominate and claimed his fourth kill by ousting Huang in 4th place. With the shoves happening at the flop of 4♠ 2♦ J♣, Huang held K♥ K♦ overpair while Chuan held J♦ 4♦ two pair. The turn 8♦ and river 9♦ completed the board.
At three-handed, the players agreed on a deal that paid out USD 12,000 per player plus an additional USD 2,790 to the winner. After several heavy hitter pots, Japan’s Mitsuru Sano got the best of Yi to end Yi’s run in 3rd place. Sano’s A♦ K♦ outdrew Yi’s 7♥ 7♦ with an ace spiking on the flop. This was actually justice for Sano because in a previous hand, he attempted to eliminate Yi with his pocket nines against pocket sevens but a seven landed on the board.
Road to victory
The heads up round began with Sano ahead in chips, roughly 2.5:1. After a series of small pot exchanges, the big one arrived. Chuan limped in, Sano shoved his big stack, and Chuan snap-called. Chuan turned over 9♥ 9♠ while Sano had a meek Q♥ 7♥. The board ran A♦ 8♠ 4♠ 9♦ 9♣ for a roaring quads and a huge double up.
From there, it was all Chuan. Sano simply could not compete. Chuan grinded down his opponent that even when Sano doubled up with pocket aces, he was still way behind Chuan’s firepower. The final hand saw a completed board of 10♦ 9♦ 4♠ 8♠ Q♦ with all the chips in the middle at the turn.
Chuan J♣ 10♣
Sano 8♣ 6♦
Chuan becomes the first-ever APT Southeast Asia 2017 Main Event champion. This is a massive victory for Chuan who has shied from the tournament scene for nearly two years.
Congratulations to Aik Chuan for his crushing victory at the APT Main Event!
Main Event payouts
1st Aik Chuan – Malaysia – USD 14,790 (deal made)
2nd Mitsuru Sano – Japan – USD 12,000 (deal made)
3rd Liu Yi – China – USD 12,000 (deal made)
4th Hailong Huang – China – USD 5,340
5th Paphawin Laodee- Thailand – USD 4,370
You can read up on all the action of the Final Day in the Live Updates
You can also enjoy the daily highlights of the APT Southeast Asia 2017 in the APT YouTube channel