Team Korea celebrated a big win at the Asian Poker Tour Experience Manila 2016 held at the APT Poker Room inside Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino with one of their own, Gyeong Byeong Lee, overcoming a field of 127 entries to capture the Main Event championship title. Lee dominated the Final Eight, eliminating half the field, and defeating Japan’s Tomoyasu Arai at the heads up round to walk away with the massive P1,574,000 first place cash prize, the APT Main Event Championship Trophy, and the APT Championship Ring.
There was nothing anyone could really do at the Final Eight except watch and ponder at how to take down Lee. Lee entered the day running second-in-chips to Canada’s Linh Tran, but he was only behind by a very small amount of chips. All Lee needed to do was win one small pot and he would overtake Tran. That moment came quick with Lee eliminating Denmark’s Michael Kim Falcon in 8th place with his A♦ Q♦ dominating Falcon’s Q♠ J♦ on a queen high board.
Shortly after, Lee gave up a couple of his towering chips to Filipino player Chris Mateo with Mateo’s pocket tens holding strong against Lee’s ace-eight suited. However, Mateo’s double up was short-lived as Lee took it all back when he called Mateo’s all in river bet on a board showing J♠ 3♠ K♥ 5♥ 5♦. Mateo mucked, was out in 7th place, and Lee shipped it without a showdown.
Lee wasn’t the only one scooping up the big pots. The day’s leader, Tran picked up a few as well and landed a big one when he eliminated Korea’s Jae Chul Chang in 6th place. A quick rundown of the hand saw Chang shove on a board of 8♣ 9♦ 8♦ and Tran called. Chang had J♣ 10♣ and Tran with A♣ Q♥. The turn of A♥ and river of 9♥ sealed the win for Tran.
At five-handed, Lee tried to surge past the million chip mark but was prevented by Tran and Arai. Lee lost some chips to Tran by folding on a river bet and then lost an even bigger pot when he doubled up Arai whose A♦ J♦ defeated his 9♠ 9♥ with two aces showing up on the board.
Despite that, Lee continued to quietly pursue pots, playing as many post flops as he could. In the meantime, the short stacks, UK’s Gabriel Carter and Korea’s Jeon Seung Soo were beginning to make their presence felt. Both of them won some chips off Lee but when they found themselves in a pot against each other, it was Carter who got the edge. In a struggle for Jeon to get back in fighting contention, he ended up banging the rail instead, finishing in 5th place. During the hand, Jeon put his tournament life on the line with A♥ J♥ and lost against Arai’s 2♣ 2♠ on a board that ran 10♥ 6♥ K♦ 3♦ 10♣.
At four-handed, the chip lead went from Lee to Arai, while Tran slipped downhill. Arai overtook Lee when he eliminated Tran in 4th place. It was an unfortunate moment for Tran who had it all in with A♠ Q♦ against Arai’s A♥ Q♥ because the board ran 7♥ 5♣ 6♥ 10♦ J♥ giving Arai a nut flush. That left Carter with some heavy duty work to do in order to catch up to the leaders. But it wasn’t to be as Lee went back on a sweeping spree. He won a couple of big pots against Carter, and then zoomed way ahead after winning two big hands against Arai, one was a flush with 7♦ 5♦ and the other was trips with A♠ K♦ on a board of A♦ 8♠ Q♠ A♣ J♥.
Lee climbed even further and into the two million chip range when he eliminated Carter in 3rd place with A♣ J♠ against Carter’s A♥ 7♠. At heads up Lee was against Arai, both of them newcomers to the APT. Lee had an overwhelming lead, protected by nearly 75 percent of the chips in play. Despite that, Arai proved to be a tough competitor, shoving numerous times without getting called, except once, the final hand. Arai shoved with A♥ J♠ and Lee had 10♦ 10♥. The board drew blanks for Arai and Lee was crowned the APT Main Event Champion.
Congratulations to Gyeong Byeong Lee for reigning victorious at the APT Experience Manila 2016 Main Event! You can read up on the action of the Final 8 in the Live Reporting section of the website.
Final Table Payouts:
1st Gyeong Byeong Lee – Korea – P1,574,000
2nd Tomoyasu Arai – Japan – P921,000
3rd Gabriel Carter – United Kingdom – P637,000
4th Linh Tran – Canada – P465,000
5th Jeon Seung Soo – Korea – P385,000
6th Jae Chul Chang – Korea – P317,000
7th Chris Mateo – Philippines – P262,000
8th Michael Kim Falcon – Denmark – P219,000