It’s all over folks! The APT Asian Poker Series Manila 2015 Main Event champion has been crowned and standing in glorious victory is Singaporean player Yah Loon. Loon overcame a fierce final table to claim PHP 3,503,600 in cold hard cash plus his first-ever APT championship title.
Loon’s rise to the finish took a lot of work, most especially in day 3 with 12 players left in the field. Playing short-handed, Loon played conservatively, watching the big stacks tangle in pots until he landed a massive double up with his rockets against China’s Weiyi Zhang. Upon speaking to Loon, he expressed, “I played tight, and the players were very aggressive. But when I doubled up with my pocket aces, that was definitely the turning point.”
Entering the final day as the overall chip leader, Loon resumed his tight table image. This earned him a decent amount of small pots but not anything to ring home about. Upon sharing his thoughts on the final table, Loon stated, “having Weiyi to my left was tough because he is aggressive; I have to be careful because he has position over me”. When the field downsized to three players, Loon called Zhang’s three-bet while holding 7♣ 4♣. His gamble paid off when the flop ran 10♣ 5♣ 2♣, giving him an immediate flush. One thing led to another and both players were all in. Loon’s hand was good to the end giving him a massive double up and the overwhelming chip lead.
After Jun Javalera was eliminated in third place, it was time for heads up with none other than the same two players who entered the day in first and second position, Loon versus Zhang. Loon had a big advantage with over 5m chips against Zhang’s 1.6m chips. It was a swift round, with only two hands dealt. The final hand saw Loon calling a 140k raise by Zhang, cheap enough for him to see the flop. The board ran 8♦ 7♣ 6♦ and immediately, Zhang bet 200k. Loon raised to make it 580k, Zhang responded with an all in, and Loon snap-called. Zhang had A♣ 8♠ for top pair but Loon had a straight with his 9♥ 5♦. The turn and river were no help to Zhang and Loon reigned victorious.
Mainly a cash player, this is Loon’s first major tournament win. When asked about his experience at the APT, he said, “I played at the Pavilion once and I actually bubbled but this is the biggest field I’ve played.” The Main Event saw a total of 341 entries spanning three day one flights. On strategy, Loon added, “I just played my game, the way I would play in cash games. Because they see I am tight, I also bluffed several times and stole pots.” With this achievement under his belt, Loon is looking forward to entering more tournaments. Congratulations to Loon for his impressive victory at the APT Main Event!
Final Table Recap
The Final Eight saw Vietnam’s Le Ngoc Khanh, Filipino player Jun Javalera, and Zhang as the main aggressors all day. The first elimination happened in the first hour with Le ousting Herbert Baum. Le had A♣ K♥ that dominated Baum’s K♦ Q♠ the whole way. Soon after, Le followed it up with another boot when his K♣ 10♥ connected with a pair on the board against Luke Pangan’s (Philippines) A♦ 7♥. Prior to the next elimination, lots of exciting action took place. Zhang won numerous pots, most of which were without a showdown; Javalera and Korea’s SJ Kim each won a huge double up that sent their stack zooming over a million; and Le continued to trouble players with his presence in many hands.
At one point, Javalera rose to the chip leader’s seat when he won a pot holding ace-king offsuit. It was the first time a player had reached 2m. Then China’s Yao Hui fell in 6th place with Zhang claiming all his chips. Zhang proceeded to dominate the table and scalped another, Le in 5th place. With those wins, Zhang had a big lead at four-handed, holding 3m, nearly half the total number of chips on the felt. Zhang added another scalp to his collection by sending Kim to the rail in a full house over full house situation. Kim was all in with A♥ 5♣ and Zhang called with 9♥ 9♠. The board ran A♠ 5♦ 5♥ giving Kim an immediate boat, but with a 9♣ turning up on fourth street, Zhang took the lead and shipped it after the 2♦ river.
At three-handed, it was Zhang versus Javalera, both aggressors battling it out like bulls, until Loon ended that party by eliminating Javalera in second. For a great read on the Final 8 action, and the days leading up to the final day, head to the Live Updates section of the website.
Final 8 Payouts: (in PHP)
1st Yah Loon – Singapore – 3,503,600
2nd Weiyi Zhang – China – 2,400,000
3rd Jun Javalera – Philippines – 1,445,000
4th SJ Kim – Korea – 1,019,000
5th Le Ngoc Khanh – Vietnam – 821,600
6th Yao Hui – China – 654,300
7th Luke Pangan – Philippines – 517,300
8th Herbert Baum – Germany – 410,800