Meet the Final 8: The Contenders for the APT Asian Poker Series Manila 2015 Main Event Title

Another Asian Poker Tour champion will be crowned today at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, Philippines with the final day of the APT Asian Poker Series Manila 2015 Main Event set on Wednesday.

From the 341 runners who played in three starting days, only eight will have a chance to win the prestigious poker title and the PHP 3.758M top prize although the worst finisher in the final table will still get nearly half a million pesos.

Meet the Manila finalists and their respective stories on how they got to the final table.

Seat #1: Yao Hui (China) – 1.159M (3rd in chips)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 70,925 (18th)
Day 2 – 342,500 (chip leader)
Day 3 – 1.159M (3rd)

Whatever happens in the main event, Hui has already had a great APT run this week; finishing second in two side events (Head Hunter and Ante Up for Charity) and another ITM finish in the APT-RWM 2M Guaranteed. He also played a bit handicapped during Day 2, admitting in that he nursed a “high fever” but still ended up with the chip lead anyway.

Seat #2: SJ Kim (Korea) – 582,000 (6th in chips)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 95,550 (5th)
Day 2 – 169,500 (7th)
Day 3 – 582,000 (6th)

SJ Kim has been an APT regular for the longest time and has seen a number of side event titles and multiple ITM finishes but has not bagged an APT main event title. Last August, Kim finished 6th in the APT Asian Poker Series Cebu 2015 Main Event and the Korean pro has another shot at going all the way to the elusive championship.

Seat #3: Jun Javalera (Philippines) – 759,000 (5th in chips)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 90,000 (8th)
Day 2 – 220,000 (10th)
Day 3 – 759,000 (5th)

Javalera has been one of the most active players through Days 1 to 3. Javalera is known to mix it up in the tables, sometimes aggressive and sometimes conservative—and most times at the right moments, considering the Filipino has ended up with in the Top 10 of each end of day rankings.

Seat #4: Yah Loon (Singapore) – 1.338M (chip leader)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 89,850 (9th)
Day 2 – 189,000 (12th)
Day 3 – 1.338M (1st)

Like Javalera, Loon is one of the most consistent performers in this main event. In both Day 1 and Day 2, he ended up in 9th and 12th place, respectively and has protected and added more to his stack. By end of Day 3, he has grabbed the overall lead and now enters the final table in pole position for the race for the APT title.

Seat #5: Herbert Baum (Germany) – 371,000 (8th in chips)

 Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 58,900 (30th)
Day 2 – 278,000 (5th)
Day 3 – 371,000 (8th)

Baum has cashed in multiple events in Europe poker tours and had to win a few flips to survive in this main event. The lone non-Asian in this final table, a win here will give him his first major Asian poker title.

Seat #6: Le Ngoc Khanh (Vietnam) – 934,000 (4th in chips)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 48,775 (47th)
Day 2 – 295,500 (3rd)
Day 3 – 934,000 (4th)

A veteran in the Asian poker scene, Le Ngoc is looking for his first APT title and cash. He picked up the pace (and chips) in the latter part of the last level when play was 10-handed and has since remained within range of the chip leaders.

Seat #7: Luke Pangan (Philippines) – 470,000 (7th in chips)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 18,600 (144th)
Day 2 – 86,000 (31st)
Day 3 – 470,000 (7th)

Perhaps, the come-from-behind story of this main event as seen in his rankings at the end of the first two days of play; the Filipino ranked 144th out of 181 players from all Day 1s; then 31st out of 98 players after Day 2. He’s one of the short-stacked players in the final table, and it appears, just the position he wants in pulling off the comebacks and surprises.

Seat #8: Weiyi Zhang (China) – 1.202M (2nd in chips)

Chip Tracker:
Day 1 – 45,150 (55th)
Day 2 – 142,500 (23rd)
Day 3 – 1.202M (2nd)

Zhang was at risk both in being crippled and getting the boot during the money round. In the first one, he held ace-eight against John Tech’s ace-queen and he found the eight on the turn. In the second one, he had ace-four against ace-king; and again, he spiked the four on the river. It wasn’t all luck for the Chinese player however. In one of the hands near bubble time, he held 3-4 on a wet board that included a four. His opponent put him all-in, he called with his final 30,000 or so, and his low-pair was a good against an opponents’ pocket threes.

Which among these eight contenders will win the main event title today? Live Updates of the Final Table will start at 1:30 PM.