The Asian Poker Tour crowned its newest Main Event champion with UK’s Neil Raine taking full command of the final day to capture his first-ever APT Championship title at the APT Manila 2017 held at the Winford Hotel & Casino. Raine overcame the 82-entry field and earned the PHP 757,800 first place purse, the championship trophy, and the exclusive APT Championship Ring. Recap below.
For the past few days, Neil Raine appeared in all the APT Main Event headlines having topped the rankings at every stage of the tournament. Last night, he bagged up a monstrous stack which he brought to today’s final race with 12 players remaining.
As soon as the cards were in the air, it was a downpour of raises coming from the Englishman. The first player to fall was short-stacked Yuichi Honda eliminated by another short stack, Yohei Miura to bring on the bubble round. Despite the hand-for-hand down tempo, it didn’t take long for the bubble to burst with Filipino William Ysmael snap-calling Raine’s four-bet shove preflop only to lose the draw. Hand history
With 10 remaining, the field compressed down to the unofficial final table. Japanese pro Kosei Ichinose (10th) couldn’t get anything going with his short stack and claimed the first payout of the tournament. He was followed by Malaysia’s Shyh Chyn Lim (9th), booted out of the running by none other than the commander Raine. Lim was all in with A♣ K♠ and faced Raine’s 10♦ 10♣. The board ran J♠ 2♥ 2♣ A♠ giving Lim a bit of hope, but with the river 10♥, it was instantly crushed by a dominating full house. With 8 players left, they were moved to the RFID feature table.
Entering the Final 8 round, Raine was backed by 47 percent of the chips in play and only went down to the lowest of 45 percent for the rest of the game. With his massive stack, he attacked the table relentlessly and won multiple pots at nearly every orbit.
After the elimination of the short stacks Taro Kimura (8th) and Yohei Miura (7th), Chris Morrison exited next (6th) with his 8-8 running into Joon Won Lee’s A-A. Australia’s Anthony Abram nearly joined them next however his K-K caught a lucky break on the board against Nakajima Shigenori’s A-A, finding a set on the flop to avoid the rail.
Taking 5th instead was Lee putting all his chips on the line with ace high only to see Nakajima’s gorgeous quads. With progressive betting all the way to the river, Nakajima shoved on the river of 7♣ 5♣ 7♠ 2♥ 7♦ holding Q♦ 7♥ and Lee risked it with A♥ 4♦.
With half the field in the dust, Raine took care of the rest with seeming ease. He knocked out Abram in 4th with A♥ 5♣ over K♥ 9♥ then ended Nakajima’s run in 3rd place with A♥ K♠ dominating A♦ 10♥ on a board of 10♠ 8♠ 9♣ 2♣ K♣. This brought on the heads up round with the leader Raine ahead of Koji Asaka 2:1 in chips.
The final duel didn’t last long with Raine showering Asaka with nonstop aggressive bets. The last hand arrived with Asaka all in holding K♥ K♦ and Raine with 2♦ 2♣. Although Raine was behind, the 3♥ 2♠ 6♦ 6♥ 4♥ board improved him to a victorious full house.
Congratulations to Neil Raine! He entered the final day as the overwhelming chip leader and not once did he relinquish his high status. Upon speaking to Raine, he told us this was his first tournament in Asia and will most likely be seeing more of him in the live ciruit. He became the APT’s newest champion and qualified into the upcoming APT Game of Champions. Koji Asaka also qualified to the GOC with his runner-up finish.
Main Event Payouts
Prize Pool: PHP 2,783,900 (~USD 54,300)
1st Neil Raine – UK – PHP 757,800 (~USD 14,780)
2nd Koji Asaka – Japan – PHP 462,700
3rd Shigenori Nakajima – Japan – PHP 334,600
4th Anthony Abram – Australia – PHP 256,700
5th Joon Won “James” Lee – Korea – PHP 220,500
6th Chris Morrison – Scotland – PHP 190,400
7th Yohei Miura – Japan – PHP 165,400
8th Taro Kimura – Japan – PHP 145,300
9th Shyh Chyn Lim – Malaysia – PHP 131,400
10th Kosei Ichinose – Japan – PHP 119,100