Three hours is all it took for Day 3 of the Main Event to go from 18 players down to the Final Table of Eight at the Asian Poker Tour Experience Manila 2016 held at the APT Poker Room in Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino. Although it was quick, action was quite brutal with stacks swinging up and down as big hands were dealt at every turn. Among the Final 8 was Canadian pro Linh Tran who dominated the latter part of the day to end with the largest stack of 548k chips.
The day began with short-stacked player, Nilo Heinikangas from Finland, loosening up the table after busting out in 18th place when his A♠ Q♠ overcards were unable to find any partners on the board against Korea’s John Kim’s J♠ J♦. Action continued with Korea’s Gyeong Byeong Lee and Denmark’s Michael Falcon winning multiple pots at their table until they went head-to-head for a big pot. Lee shipped it with a massive double up holding K♣ K♥ against Falcon’s J♥ J♣. Falcon’s stack fell even more when he doubled up Korea’s Lim Yo Hwan with pocket kings over pocket queens.
Short-stacked player Japan’s Mitsuru Sano was then eliminated in 17th place by fellow Japanese player Tomoyasu Arai, while Lee continued to dominate by eliminating Kim in 16th place with Q♣ Q♥ over 8♣ 8♦. By this time, Lee was the overwhelming chip leader with nearly 600k chips.
Next to go was Japan’s Junya Nagano in 15th place who won a few small pots to maintain his stack but then fell to UK’s Gabriel Carter with his A♦ Q♥ not performing well on the board against Carter’s 10♣ 10♥. Shortly after, Canada’s John Beveridge was eliminated in 14th place by none other than the chip leader, Lee. It was a nasty blow for Beveridge who went all in on a turn board of 10♥ 2♦ 9♥ A♠ holding A♥ Q♦ ahead of Lee’s J♠ 9♣. When the river slapped a J♣ Lee overtook Beveridge with two pair, and claimed all his chips.
At this point, a couple of players started picking up some momentum at their table, namely, Carter and Filipino player Chris Mateo. For Carter, he ended Japan’s Jun Funabashi’s run in 13th place with his Q♦ Q♣ against Funabashi’s 10♠ 8♥. As for Mateo, he crippled down Hwan to just an ante with his A♥ 10♦ landing an ace on the board against Hwan’s 9♣ 9♠. The next hand saw Hwan eliminated in 12th place by Lee.
Despite Mateo’s chip up, he lost two pots nearly back-to-back, one against Korea’s Jeon Seung Soo and the other against Falcon. Mateo doubled up Jeon whose A♣ A♦ stayed on top against Mateo’s K♠ 8♦, and Falcon doubled up with his 10♥ 9♥ shove landing a flush against Mateo’s A♦ 2♦. But with Mateo always in fighting form, he recovered some of those lost chips when he eliminated Filipino pro John Tech in 11th place.
With ten players remaining, the tables merged and it was all Tran at this point. Tran won a pot against Mateo on a board showing 10♦ A♥ 8♥ A♣. Tran bet out and Mateo folded. Tran revealed one card, A♦. Tran won two more pots without a showdown, and then scalped two players simultaneously, Korea’s Sung Ho Kim and Japan’s Jun Saito. Kim had 9♣ 9♠, Saito with K♣ K♥, and Tran with 10♠ 10♥. The board ran 2♦ 10♦ 7♠ 5♦ 3♥ and with Tran improving to a set, the day ended and the Final 8 was established.
Final 8 Chip Counts
Linh Tran – Canada – 548k
Gyeong Byeong Lee – Korea – 542k
Chris Mateo – Philippines – 442k
Gabriel Carter – UK – 325k
Tomoyasu Arai – Japan – 213k
Jeon Seung Soo – Korea – 179k
Jae Chul Chang – Korea – 149k
Michael Kim Falcon – Denmark – 131k
The Final 8 will resume at 1:30pm tomorrow. We will be posting live updates on all the action so just head to the Live Reporting section of the website to catch all of that! You can also view the Main Event payouts right here.