In superb display of poker prowess, seasoned pro Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo came from behind to capture the APT Taiwan 2021 MAIN EVENT title at the CTP Club Taipei (Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association). This was Kuo’s first ever APT Main Event win. For her achievement, she locked up the APT Champion’s Ring, APT Golden Lion Main Event Trophy, and the NT$ 724,200 (~US$ 25,980) first prize. Congratulations to the champion!
The race to glory was no walk in the park for Kitty Kuo. She started the day ranked 7th with 22 bbs, grinded all the way to chip leader without a single double up, plunged down to 6 bbs, then recovered and soared to deliver one knock out that awarded her all the chips and the coveted title.
Immediately after her victory, Kuo took to Twitter to share the moment with her friends and followers. If you missed the action, just head on over to APT Twitch. You can also read up on the highlights down below.
The APT Taiwan 2021 – MAIN EVENT – got underway on February 26 with 196 entries across four days. With buy in at NT$ 16,500 (~US$ 590) each, it built a guarantee smashing prize pool worth NT$ 2,851,800 (~US$ 102,320). At Day 3, the money flowed starting at 20th place, then bagged up at the emergence of the Final 8 contenders.
Dates: February 26 to March 3
Buy in: NT$ 16,500 (~US$ 590)
Guarantee: NT$ 2,000,000 (~US$ 71,500)
Total Entries: 196
Prize pool: NT$ 2,851,800 (~US$ 102,320)
ITM: 20 places
Final Table payouts
1st Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo – Taiwan – NT$ 724,200
2nd Chi Ying Tsai – Taiwan – NT$ 482,200
3rd Po Cheng Yang – Taiwan – NT$ 335,600
4th Kun Yu Chiang – Taiwan – NT$ 242,400
5th Yu Sheng Lin – Taiwan – NT$ 181,300
6th Zhi Hao Huang – Taiwan – NT$ 139,900
7th Chen Yi “Serina” Liu – Taiwan – NT$ 111,100
8th Kar Wee Chee – Malaysia – NT$ 90,500
Final 8 recap
Entering the final table in charge was Po Cheng Yang with 85 bbs. Within the first hour, the game went way south for Malaysia’s Kar Wee Chee, the only non-Taiwanese player at the table. Chee entered with a healthy 3rd in chips however he suffered two crushing defeats to fall in 8th place. The first hand was against Kun Yu Chiang who spiked a higher two pair on the river. Taking the rest was chip leader Yang who delivered a bad beat with 7♦ 7♥ set over 9♥ 9♣ on a board 6♥ 7♣ 4♦ J♦ 5♣. Chee earned NT$ 90,500 (~US$ 3,247).
Chen Yi “Serina” Liu started the day at the bottom, showed aggression by shoving on the first hand of the final table, but found no callers. Unable to gain momentum, Liu met her end in 7th place with Chiang cleaning her out. She was all in with K♣ J♥ that missed the board against Chiang’s Q♥ Q♣. Liu earned NT$ 111,100 (~US$ 3,986)
Like Liu, APT Taichung Mini Main Event runner up Zhi Hao Huang could not bring bring his stack out of the slump to bow out in 6th place. His final stand was 5♣ 5♠ that ran into Yang’s K♣ K♠. Huang added NT$ 139,900 (~US$ 5,020) to his series winnings.
One hour after Huang’s fall, it was Yu Sheng Lin biting the bullet. Lin entered the race ranked fourth in chips, won several pots to keep him at par with the mid stacks however a couple of big hands sent him plummeting then out. The first was against Chiang whose 4♦ 9♦ full house crushed Lin’s 10♠ 8♠ flush on a board 3♠ 4♣ 7♠ 3♥ 4♠. The next hand cost Lin nearly everything with 9♣ 9♠ outdrawn by Kuo’s A♣ K♣ with an ace on the flop. Shortly after, Yang put the crippled Lin out of his misery in 5th place. Lin earned NT$ 181,300 (~US$ 6,505).
Four handed was the longest round, clocking in at three hours. Yang was still the player to catch however as the game wore on, each player found their way to the top. Chi Ying Tsai was first to get there. After winning a double up with K♣ J♦, king on the board, against Yang’s 6♥ 6♣, she grinded to leadership. One of her impressive hands was getting Chiang to fold K♦ K♥. (Hand pictured below)
Despite the drop in chips for Chiang, he recovered and went on to steal the chip lead off Tsai. The hand was 9♣ 7♠ higher straight against 7♣ 6♦ on a board 4♦ 5♦ 6♠ 8♥ 10♥.
Chiang’s stay up top was brief, reclaimed by Tsai which was then stolen by Kuo. However, Kuo lost her grip on it when she paid two double ups. The first was to Yang whose K♠ K♦ turned quads to crush her J♣ J♦. Shortly after, it was Chiang capitalizing with K♣ Q♣ pairing the queen to overtake 10♥ 10♣. This sent Kuo down to just 6 bbs while Chiang soared to second in chips just behind Yang.
With a steep climb ahead of her, Kuo caught a break, laddering up when Chiang and Tsai went head to head on a cooler. Tsai A♦ A♣ emptied out Chiang K♦ K♠ in 4th place to reclaim the lead. For Chiang’s first ever APT cash, he earned an impressive NT$ 242,400 (~US$ 8,697).
This left three players. Tsai and Yang were nearly even with easily over 40 bbs while Kuo was at 6 bbs. Kuo doubled up twice to amass a threatening stack which she grinded up to second in chips. On the flip side, Yang was on a decline until Tsai sent him packing in 3rd place. Yang’s final hand, he shoved with 6♥ 6♦, Kuo called with K♥ Q♣, Tsai A♥ 10♦ re-popped to successfully push out Kuo and isolate Yang. The board ran J♠ 8♦ 4♠ K♣ Q♠ for a winning straight to Tsai. Yang earned NT$ 335,600 (~US$ 12,040).
Heads up kicked off with Tsai backed by 68 bbs and Kuo with 12 bbs. On the first hand, Tsai shoved then lost to award Kuo some much needed ammunition. (Hand pictured below)
The next big pot went to Kuo J♣ 9♦ who raise-shoved on a bluff bet by Tsai A♦ 2♦ with the board showing J♥ J♠ 7♦ 6♦ 8♥. Tsai folded, Kuo took the lead.
From there, both players tugged at the chip lead but neither could hold on to it for very long. An hour and a half into the heads up match, with Kuo up by just 1 bb, the victory hand finally arrived. Button Tsai K♦ 10♦ min-raised, Kuo K♥ 7♠ three-bet, Tsai called. At the flop 2♦ 6♥ 7♦, Kuo c-bet, Tsai jammed her flush draw, Kuo called with top pair. The turn 9♣ and river 7♣ sealed the win and the title for Kuo.
For Tsai, she earned a very respectable NT$ 482,200 (~US$ 17,300), for her largest APT cash. She also bested her previous APT Main Event and Championships Event results.
All players in the money at the Main Event were awarded points towards the APT Player of the Series race. You can view the standings via the link provided.