Dek Cruz down to one chip, defends Hyper Deep Stack Turbo title; 60 advance to APT Championship Day 2

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Filipino Federick Cruz mounted the unlikeliest of comebacks to defend his Hyper Turbo Deep Stack (Event #17) championship despite being reduced–in the Heads-Up finale–to just one chip even as Day 1B of the APT Championship saw 60 players go through as one of the wildest days in the Asian Poker Tour (APT) 2022 Philippines played out here at the Grand Wing Casino, Newport World Resorts.

Cruz, whose only APT trophy came last May in this same event, looked to be out the door against compatriot Luis Bernardo II as he was left with only one chip representing a mere one Big Blind and an Ante. But he valiantly fought back through a series of double-ups that had him eventually reclaiming the chip-lead, much to the amazement of those railing. 

The comeback turned into triumph when on the last hand Cruz shoved and Bernardo called, ahead with Kh9s against his Ks7c. The Flop came Kc6s3d as both hit top pair but Cruz was outkicked. The Turn revealed the 8c but then the 7s arrived on the River giving Cruz the winning two-pair as the entire gallery erupted into cheers and expressions of disbelief in witnessing one of the sickest reversal of fortunes in APT history.

Dek Cruz (PHI), with the hand that began his comeback, defied the odds to defend his H-DST championship

Cruz picked up his third cash of these proceedings with PhP189,800.00 (US$3,312.00) and becomes the first player to defend his championship in this series. Bernardo got his twelfth career APT cash and this second place finish nets him PhP126,500.00 (US$2,207.00). Third place went to another local bet in Royly “Chipblaze” Oracion for PhP87,900.00 (US$1,533.00). 

Meanwhile, Day 1B of the APT Championship saw 108 entries and ended hostilities with 60 advancing led by Korea’s Park Joo Hyun with an overwhelming overall chip-lead of 347,000 in total holdings. Second place is currently held by Bat Janag of Mongolia with 270,500 while Malaysia’s William Teoh is at third with 259,500 in chips. The closest Filipino to the leaders is Edilberto Gopez, Jr. with 217,500–good for seventh overall. 

Park Joo Hyun (KOR) now emerges as the APT Championship’s overall chip-leader

Day 2 will still be accepting registrants until the end of the break after Level 10. The APT Championship Event has a PhP10M (US$175,270.00) Guarantee but with a total of 187 entries thus far, that prize pool now eclipses the PhP14M (US$244,610.00) mark with the registrants from early Day 2 still at large. 

Earlier in the day, (Event #16) the Super Deep Stack Turbo competition went to Singapore’s Sean Hwa Teik Chuan as he upended Takuo Serita of Japan in the final duel. Chuan, who has had two APT cashes previously, earns his biggest so far of PhP324,300.00 (US$5,655.00) besting his haul of $1,409.00 at the APT Summer Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam earlier this year.

Sean Hwa Teik Chuan (SGP) wins the Super Deep Stack Turbo for his biggest career payout

Serita is denied of his second APT trophy after claiming his only one way back in the 2013 APT Jeju in the same event. He pockets PhP216,000.00 (US$3,766.00) for his second place finish. Raymund Tambis of the host nation took third for PhP150,200.00 (US$2,618.00). 

The APT Players Party is now in full swing at the entertainment area here with some of the best DJs in town churning out the decibels in a much deserved respite after almost two weeks of competition.

Tomorrow (September 16th), Day 2 of the APT Championship will be accompanied by (Event #18) the PhP22K 2-day Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) tourney along with (Event#19) the first of two PhP8.8K Deep Stack Turbo tilts. 

Like the recently concluded Main Event, Day 2 of the APT Championship will also have a Featured Table Livestream that will begin at 1:30PM (UCT+8), half an hour after the resumption of the tournament. The broadcast will be handled by veteran international sports broadcaster Noel Zarate and YouTube sensation Greg Liow of “Greg Goes All-In“.