Marquez outshines at the Opening Event; Sungil and Joon also bag trophies

The Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2016 II kicked off another action packed day of festivities at Resorts World Manila with the Battle of the Nations, the Pot Limit Omaha High Rollers, and the Ante Up for Charity all on the poker menu. The highlight of the day however was undoubtedly the APT-RWM Opening Event US$50,000 Guaranteed, drawing in a large crowd to witness Filipino player Richard “Hotsauce” Marquez outshine the field to capture the first trophy of the festival.

APT-RWM Opening Event US$50,000 Guaranteed recap

The two-day APT-RWM Opening Event US$50,000 Guaranteed resumed play with 67 players returning to the felt for one last battle to the top. Entering the final day with the largest stack was Marquez with USA’s Armand Bermudo second-in-command. Impressively, both of these players would maintain their high stature throughout the day, dusting many players in their path. The official final table of eight was eventually formed when Bermudo delivered one of the most exciting double whammies of the tournament, winning a three-way all in situation with his Q Q dominating against 8 8 and Q J on a wild board of 10 A 9 7 10. With two players getting the boot, the room erupted and action was moved to the RFID featured table.

At the final table, Bermudo was well in command with a monstrous stack while Filipino player Ernest Punzalan brought up the rear with a very short stack of seven big blinds. Action began with Punzalan quickly picking up a double up while Korea’s John Kim was not so fortunate. Kim burned out in 8th place with his A 6 full house getting the slam from Marquez’s 9 9 that landed quads on a board of 2 9 9 A A. Action continued to be fierce with Punzalan’s stack swinging up and down until he finally met his end in 7th place.

For Japan’s Tomoyasu Arai, his elimination in 6th place was certainly the most crushing of defeats. Arai was all in with A A and was looking good against Bermudo’s A 5. To everyone’s shock, the board ran 4 8 Q 2 6, improving Bermudo to a crazy nut flush and cracking Arai’s aces in the process. Next to bow out was Filipino player Jojo Bai in 5th place.

With four players remaining, a deal was struck and action picked up in turbo fashion. Marquez masterfully read Filipino player Chris Mateo’s bluff to send him to the rail in 4th place then Bermudo’s ducks found its likeness on the board for a winning set against Filipino Jay R Villanueva’s pocket tens. With Villanueva out in 3rd place, the heads up round was between the day’s entering chip leaders Marquez and Bermudo. With Marquez protected by over two-thirds of the chips in play, it took just one hand to ship in the rest of it with his J 6 top pair besting Bermudo’s 8 9 on a board of J 4 5 5 4. Marquez earned the first place cash prize of US$9,270 and a well-deserved APT trophy to add to his shelf.

Opening Event Champion, Richard Marquez

Final 8 Payouts:
1st Richard Marquez – Philippines – US$9,270 
(deal made)
2nd Armand Bermudo – USA – US$7,500 (deal made)
3rd Jay R Villanueva – Philippines – US$7,500 (deal made)
4th Chris Mateo – Philippines – US$7,500 (deal made)
5th Jojo Bai – Philippines – US$3,220
6th Tomoyasu Arai – Japan – US$2,600
7th Ernest Punzalan – Philippines – US$2,090
8th John Kim – Korea – US$1,700

China’s Zhinning Chen, Filipino Regie Ann Delos Reyes, UK’s Samad Razavi, Korea’s Kimura Lee Jongyeol, and Japan’s Jun Funabashi were some of the players who also cashed at the opening event.

Pot Limit Omaha High Rollers recap

Pot Limit Omaha High Rollers Champion, Choi Sungil

Out of the three side events in the line up, the Pot Limit Omaha High Rollers event was the least popular with only five players coughing up the US$2,200 entry fee. Due to the low turnout, it was a winner-take-all pot of US$9,700. The heads up round saw Japan’s Iori Yogo seeking out his first victory at the festival in hopes of increasing his lead further in the APT Player of the Year 2016 rankings. To do so, all he had to do was get past Korea’s Choi Sungil who was having a great run at the table. Yogo went toe-to-toe with Sungil, and even picked up a nice pot with a full house, but several hands later, Sungil answered back and earned himself a big double up holding top two pair. Although Yogo’s stack was still playable, he was unable to boost it up any further and Sungil eventually claimed it all to earn his first-ever APT event trophy.

Ante Up for Charity recap

Ante Up for Charity Champion, Yoon Hyun Joon

The Ante Up for Charity event for the benefit of Foundation for These-Abled Persons Inc. attracted 33 players for a prize pool of US$3,300. The event also raised US$1,650 for the charity organization. Many APT regulars were present for the cause but only a couple of them would see a profit. Coming out on top was Korea’s Yoon Hyun Joon who eliminated Guam’s Toniyong Degracia during the heads up round. Joon earned the first place cash of US$1,330 and his first-ever APT trophy. Other players who cashed out some winnings were Korea’s Kimura Lee Jongyeol in 3rd place, Filipino player Peter Lowell Tan in 4th, and China’s Han Liu first at the cage in 5th place.

Battle of the Nations recap

The Battle of the Nations event saw 15 teams sign up for a total of 30 players in the field. Regulation play was stopped with three teams remaining, Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa/Jun Funabashi, Japan’s Kosei Ichinose/Yoichi Uesugi, and Korea’s Ji Young Kim/Sungho Park. The teams are now in the money. The total prize pool generated for this event was US$6,600 with a separate pot for the Last Team Standing which was awarded to Filipino tandem of Manuel Mascunana and Julian Lagman. The event will resume its final day at 1pm tomorrow with one team destined to claim the APT event trophy.