The only way to describe Day 2 of the Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2016 Main Event was “brutal”. From 123 players down to 32 at the end of the night, stacks rose, stacks fell; and everyone was vulnerable to the day’s madness. Rising above them all as the chip leader was New Zealand’s Thomas Ward with a monstrous 904,000 chips.
Ward kept a steady pace of accumulating chips throughout the day. His stack was always healthy and above average… that is… until he crossed paths with another big stack, Saipan’s Victorino Torres. The hand began with both players beefing up the pot preflop bringing it to 170k chips. At the flop of 10♠ 9♥ 8♥, it was pumped up even more with Ward betting 50k and Torres check-calling. On the turn of 10♦, Ward continued to bet and sent out a hefty 108k, and again, Torres check-called. Then on the river of 9♠, Ward went all in for 199.5k chips sending Torres into mind frenzy. After several minutes, Torres called and Ward revealed his A♥ 10♥ full house. This was undoubtedly the biggest pot of the day with Ward shipping in a massive stack close to 900k.
Coming in second-in-command was the chip leader coming into Day 2, Malaysia’s Kah Boon Teh with 779,000 chips. Picking up where he left off in Day 1b, Teh was consistent all day, winning many pots and eliminating a slew of players. A couple of his glorious moments were when he eliminated Hong Kong’s Kit Kwan Kwok with a straight, and barely had time to arrange his chips when he railed two more players with his K♦ K♥ holding strong against an A♥ Q♣ and J♦ J♠. He closed out the day winning a challenging hand against fellow countryman Marcuss Liow.
Taking the third highest spot in the chip rung was Filipino player Terry Gonzaga with 708,000 chips. Moments before starting the last level of the day, Gonzaga bagged a wild double up in a set-over-set situation against Canada’s Christian Haggart. Gonzaga had 10♣ 10♠ and Haggart had 6♣ 6♥. They were all in at the flop on a board that completed to 6♦ 10♥ 9♥ A♠ J♣. After that, Gonzaga eliminated the ailing stacked Torres, and then seized all of Singaporean player Chiew Ern Boon’s chips to bring him up to where he ended the day.
There were an impressive number of previous APT Main Event champions at Day 2 with seven of them surviving the heat at the felt. Korea’s Seung Soo Jeon closed out the day with a 556,000 stack earning him the fourth spot in the chip rank; Singapore’s Feng Zhao was also up in the ranks with 450,000 chips; Filipino player Czardy Rivera bagged up 262,000 chips, just slightly under the average stack; and for Canada’s Linh Tran, Norway’s Henrik Tollefsen, Japan’s Gerard Bringley, and Vietnam’s Huy Pham they made it through but will have their work cut out for them in Day 3 due to their short stacks.
Other notable players and regulars who also survived the day were Hong Kong’s Raiden Kan, Korea’s Simba Jae Kyung, and Korea’s SJ Kim. For Kim, one of his biggest hands happened halfway past the day against Singapore’s Bryan Huang. Kim had A♣ A♥ and Huang had A♠ K♠. From there, Kim went on a steady rise to finish the day ranked fifth in chips with 494,000.
Among the champs who fell today, Japan’s Iori Yogo was the first one to bow out. With a very short stack coming into the day, Yogo’s A♠ Q♠ fell to Hajime Mogi’s A♥ K♣. In the middle of the day, Germany’s Julius Malzanini enjoyed an intimidatingly large stack, one he amassed early when his A♦ A♥ got paid, however, that stack boost took a harsh beating when his A♦ K♥ ran into Torres’s K♣ K♠ to which he couldn’t recover. Filipino Mike Takayama also hit the rail and pocket jacks were his demise, losing one big hand with them against big slick and the final one against pocket queens.