It was a day of swinging stacks at the Asian Poker Tour Philippines III 2016 with 76 players ponying up the USD 1,650 entry fee in Day 1a of the Main Event at Resorts World Manila. By the end of regulation play, the field whittled down to 42 players with Vietnam’s Van Sang Nguyen quietly slipping in to take the lead.
The day began with 31 players getting an early start and availing of the Main Event Bubble Protection. As player’s got comfortable at their table, the first clear chip leader was established, Singapore’s Dhanesh Chainani. He jumped to a big lead in Level 2 by knocking out two players simultaneously. During the hand, he cracked Mike Galang’s aces and crushed Taehyun Park’s set with a higher set of his own.
In the middle of the day, Guam’s Toniyoung Degracia caught up to Chainani winning multiple pots and tanking players with her aggression. She zoomed into the 200k chip range when her A♠ K♠ crushed India’s Abhishek Jalan’s A♦ 7♦ on a board of 10♠ 9♣ 5♠ A♥ K♣. Later, Degracia would lose a large portion of her chips to Filipino Ian Marcos with her pocket jacks unable to improve against his pocket queens.
The next player to swoop into the leader’s seat was late entry player Filipino Rodolfo Feliciano. As soon as he sat down, it was nonstop action. While Degracia was getting chunked, he was taking control of his table, laying out big bets and making it difficult for player’s to call. He rose to around 260k chips in a hand against Pakistan’s Imran Iqbal claiming a big pot without a showdown on a board of 6♦ 7♦ 5♠ 5♥ 2♠.
While it seemed that either Degracia or Feliciano would end the day as the leader, multiple hits to their stacks late in the tournament would deny them that status. On the other hand, the quiet Vietnamese Nguyen would claim several last minute pots to finish the day on top with 195,400 in chips. Chainani bagged up 182,900 chips to take the second spot in the chip rung, and Feliciano took the third spot with 174,400 chips.
One player also at the upper tier of the ladder was Korea’s Chang Hun Lee. Lee has already cashed in two events at the series, finishing first at the PLO High Rollers and taking second in the OFC Pineapple High Rollers. He ended Day 1a running fifth in chips right below Marcos who ended the day in the fourth spot.
Other notables who survived the day were Korea’s Gyeong Byeong Lee, Singapore’s Feng Zhao, Japan’s Iori Yogo, Malaysia’s Alex Lee, Korea’s Sim Jae Kyung, and Canada’s Linh Tran.
Day 1a survivors will have a one day break with the final flight of the Main Event on the floor tomorrow starting at 1pm. You can read up on today’s action in the Live Updates page.