John Low Zi Cheng triumphs at the Opening Event; Joven Huerto claims the Charity event

The Asian Poker Tour awarded its first two trophies of the APT Philippines Championships 2018 with John Low Zi Cheng taking down the APT-RWM Opening Event holding a gorgeous royal flush, and Joven Huerto awarded the Ante Up for Charity title. We’ve got those recaps for you below along with tomorrow’s upcoming events.

John Low Zi Cheng triumphs at the Opening Event

The APT-RWM Opening Event heated up the room with 82 players out of the 280 entries back to battle it out for the Php485,100 first place prize money and the bragging rights first title of the series. After nearly 12 hours of play, Singapore’s John Low Zi Cheng seized the trophy, overcoming a roller coaster heads up round against Philippines Bernard Chua, and eventually winning it with a royal flush.

Opening Event Champion, John Low Zi Cheng

Final 8 race

Cheng’s bid for the title came into full view when he first doubled up at 10 players remaining. He entered the Final 8 with a healthy stack that placed him right in the middle of the lineup. At the time, the chip leader was John Clyde Tan.

For Tan, the Final 8 was not his table to command. After the fall of Richard Marquez (8th), he followed (7th), losing his chips to Cheng. For the day’s entering chip leader, Jaydeep Dawer, he performed impressively, building his stack and taking it to the final elliptic. Sending Dawer out in 6th was a three-way shove that saw Yasuaki Nakayama win the pot and double up big through Cheng. Cheng fought back for every chip, then ousted Nakayama (5th) with pocket queens over ace-jack.

Cheng continued to rule, booting out Goh Kok Keong next (4th) with A Q over A 10 leaving three players in the running. Aggressive action ensued with the lone female, Wan Mei Lin and Cheng going pound-for-pound. Lin won the first round, doubling up with K Q besting A J when a queen showed up on the river. Cheng retaliated and doubled up with 10 10 over K 8. Lin managed to double up her short stack through Chua, but proceeded to fall in 3rd place, losing it all to Cheng.

Heads up round: Cheng vs Chua

As mentioned earlier, the heads up bout was a wild one. Both players peaked then dropped, going up and down numerous times. The round kicked off with Cheng ahead nearly 6.5:1 and seemed to be headed for a quick trip to victory. However, it was not to be. Chua quickly made up ground, doubling up with A 7 over 6 7. Chua won another double up with his 3-4 landing a straight over Cheng’s Q-Q on a board of 5-A-A-2-7. This evened them up and we had a game.

Cheng went on grind mode, winning a large number of small pots, then Chua shaved Cheng down in one hand, shoving preflop with Q 2 and getting the better spread against Cheng’s called A 8. The board ran 2 Q 7 4 J. For the first time, Chua was way ahead, up 5:1.

This didn’t last. Cheng answered back, doubling up with K-Q two pair over A-8,  and from there, it seesawed with Cheng taking the lead, then back to Chua, stolen by Cheng after four winning pots, to bring them to the final hand of the tournament. Chua had A 5, Cheng with K 5, and the board landed J 10 7 Q A for a commanding royal flush victory.

Final Table payouts
Prize pool: Php2,716,000
1st John Low Xi Cheng – Singapore – Php485,100
2nd Bernard Chua – Philippines – Php323,500
3rd Wan Mei Lin – China – Php224,300
4th Goh Kok Keong – Malaysia – Php161,900
5th Yasuaki Nakayama – Japan – Php121,700
6th Jaydeep Dawer – India – Php95,100
7th John Clyde Tan – Philippines – Php77,400
8th Richard Marquez – Philippines – Php65,500

Notable players in the money

The unofficial final table of 10 players saw the quick fall of local player Jessie Leonarez. At one point in the tournament, Leonarez amassed a dominating stack but lost momentum during the final two tables. He was eliminated by eventual champion Cheng in two hands. Cheng’s 8 8 won a double up against Leonarez’s K Q with the board felting four hearts on the board for a winning flush. Their next meeting came a few hands after with Leonarez busting out in 10th with Q-10 offsuit behind Cheng’s A-Q with both players missing the board. Falling in 9th place was Philippines Algerio Tabacon.

Action on the bubble round

Among those that busted well before the final table were, Yohwan Lim who delivered the bubble but could only go as far as 22nd place; Meneleo Gloria who came in today running second-in-chips but fell in 28th place. Same went for other entering big stacks Jeon Seung Soo in 36th place, Anacleto Quijano in 40th place, and Kim Seung Yeol in 41st place.

Joven Huerto wins the Ante Up for Charity

Ante Up for Charity Champion, Joven Huerto

The Ante Up for Charity event had 35 players contribute to the cause generating Php87,500 to the Foundation for These Abled Persons, Inc. This also created a prize pool of Php175,000 for the players, and by night’s end, Joven Huerto was awarded the title after striking a deal with Atty. Diosdado “Jojo” Allado. Both players earned Php54,700.

1st Joven Huerto – Philippines – Php54,700 (deal made)
2nd Diosdado Allado – Philippines – Php54,700 (deal made)
3rd Joseph Galang – Philippines – Php25,600
4th Martin Corpuz – Philippines – Php17,300
5th Maria Carmen Esdaile – Philippines – Php12,700
6th Ron Tse – USA – Php10,000

NLH Two Day Event bags up with 11 players remaining

The NLH Two Day Event had a total of 46 players and at Php55,000 each, the prize pool amounted to Php2,231,000 with 8 players due to earn a cut. After 12 scheduled rounds of play, 11 players remained with Lim Chee Kuan leading at 294,500 in chips. Rounding out the top three were Torii Ayumu with 276,100 and Yasuyuki Asakura with 261,000. APT POY 2016 champion Iori Yogo also made it through with 163,600. They return at 1pm tomorrow for the race to the title and the Php727,500 first place purse.

Upcoming side events

For Friday, March 23 we’ve got two side events lined up including another satellite to the Main Event. The first side event is the highly popular Head Hunter tournament underway at 1pm. This event has a Php22,000 buy-in. For every head scalped, a Php5,000 bounty will be awarded.

While the bounty event runs, the Ladies of Poker graces the floor at 2pm. We’d like to invite all the lovely lady card sharks to this tournament. Buy-in is Php11,000.

Then at 5pm, we have the second Main Event Mega Satellite. Test your skills against others seeking a seat to the Main Event at a discount price. Buy-in is Php6,000. One seat will be awarded per 10 players. Last night saw 63 players join the satellite with 6 of them winning a coveted seat. 

Full APT Philippines Championships 2018 schedule