APT Taipei, Taiwan 2023



#18: Superstar Challenge





TWD 3.4M

John Tech Wins the APT Superstar Challenge For TWD $3,434,700 (~USD $111,500)

PostedJust now


The Philippines' John "jojo" Tech is our APT Superstar Challenge champion at the CTP Poker Room in Taipei. Tech bested an elite field of 26 unique players including bracelet winner Jack Sinclair, Thailand all time live earnings leader Punnat Punsri, Natural8 ambassador Phachara Wongwichit, local poker superstar Ting Yi Tsai, Australian poker pro Sean Ragozzini, and Austrian poker pro Daniel Rezaei just to name a few among the superstars that made an appearance in the star-studded field.

"It feels very, very nice to win because it’s been a long time since I won a trophy – it's been like three years." said Tech in his post-match interview.

"Basically because I stopped playing tournaments for a while and was focusing on my cash game," this being Tech's first ~USD $10,000 buy-in tournament in quite some time.

The Filipino came in late, taking his seat during level nine with friend James Mendoza, who also played, but busted before the final table.

The event attracted a total of 33 entries including re-buys, creating a prizepool of TWD $9,282,900 (~$301,500), with Tech defeating APT high roller regular Hon Cheong Lee to claim the lion's share of the prize pool, and the brand new APT golden lion silhouette trophy.

"I love the new look trophies, I heard they were 24k gold plated, which is… wow! Very good, this new APT is very good!" gushed an enthusiastic Tech after claiming his tenth APT title and the TWD $3,434,700 (~$111,500) top prize.

Superstar Challenge Results

PlaceFull NameCountryPrize TWD (USD)
1John TechThe Philippines3,434,700 (~$111,500)
2Hon Cheong LeeHong Kong2,367,100 (~$76,850)
3Bao Qiang HoSingapore1,508,500 (~$50,000)
4Jack SinclairUnited Kingdom1,090,700 (~$35,400)
5Changjie ZhangSingapore881,900 (~$28,650)


This might be one of the toughest final table we will see during the Asian Poker Tour here in Taipei, with the following line-up.

1Bao Qiang HoSingapore
2Hon Cheong LeeHong Kong
3John TechThe Philippines
4Punnat PunsriThailand
5Changjie ZhangSingapore
6Sung Joo HyunKorea
7Yita ChoongAustralia
8Cheng-I YehTaiwan
9Jack SinclairUnited Kingdom

First player to fall was Punnat Punsri from Thailand, after losing a flip early on to Hon Cheong Lee, then running into pocket kings a few hands later, Punsri was left with a short stack and busted in the hands of Bao Qiang Ho.

APTTaipei2023_Event18_SuperstarChallenge_030 (1).jpg

Next to fall was Sung Joo Hyun who has a carreer earnings of US $1,844,415. Hyun was simply card dead and couldn't find a double-up. Hyun got last of his chips in bad with J♣ T♣ and lost to K♦ Q♣.

Then we have the only local player Cheng I Yeh, who was one of the short stacks coming in to the final table. Just like Hyun, Yeh failed to get much going and soon found himself in a bad all in situation and lost to the eventual winner, John Tech.

Yita Choong from Australia was our bubble boy. Choong went all in with only a few blinds left, but ran into the pocket jacks of Bao Qiang Ho who flopped a set leaving the Aussie dead in the outback.


After the bubble burst, Bao Qiang Ho went on a heater and won five hands in a row to take the chip lead.

Changjie Zhang from Singapore busted in fifth place for TWD $881,900 ($28,650). Just like Choong, the bubble boy, Zhang ran into pock jacks which also flopped a set. However, Zhang topped his best career winning which was the APT High Rollers here at APT Taiwan back in 2019 for TWD $859,500 (~$27,905).

Jack Sinclair, a bracelet winner and easily the most decorated poker player in the field, came fourth for a prize of TWD $1,090,700 ($35,400). Sinclair's advanced poker skills left a mark on everyone who played with him today, his final hand was started with a limp pre-flop by Hon Cheong Lee, a move only he has done before on this final table. And Lee used it against him.


After Sinclair's departure, Tech took a commanding chip lead after winning a crucial hand against Lee. With this momentum going, he was able to bring this match to heads-up after busting Bao Qiang Ho with pocket aces.

Bao Qiang Ho took home TWD $1,508,500 ($50,000) for his third place finish. Ho also topped his best career winning here today, so not a bad day for the Singaporean.

Heads-up between Hon Cheong Lee and John Tech only lasted eight hands, Lee lost to a nut straight of Tech in his final hand when his all in was snap-called by Tech. Lee, who is a high roller specialist, is taking home TWD $2,367,100 ($76,850) for his effort.

The Main Event flight A was also wrapping up just around the same time John Tech lifted his trophy. A massive turn out of 437 entries for the Main Event, Flight B will be starting tomorrow at 12:00pm.

Congratulation to all the superstars who made the money and we will provide coverage for the main event tomorrow.

This live report is bought to you by lifeofpoker.com.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Hon Cheong Lee Finished in 2nd place ($76,850)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker- Joris

#78 : Preflop it was Hon Cheong Lee that limped his small blind. John Tech checked his option.

The flop came 7♥ 6♦ J♠, what made Lee min-bet. Tech bumped up the prize to 205,000 and Lee made the call. The 5♦ turn delivered real fireworks as Lee checked to Tech who now betted out 300,000. Lee came over the top all-in and Tech snap-called.

Tech got out of his chair while he flipped open 8♦ 9♥ for the nuts. Lee showed K♥ 6♣ and he was drawing dead to Tech's hand. The A♦ made no difference already and Tech loudly cheered.

Hon Cheong Lee's amazing run ended in 2nd place winning TWD $2,367,100 ($76,850). APTTaipei2023_Event18_SuperstarChallenge_039.jpg

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Heads Up!

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kwun

#70 First hand into the heads-up match and it's a friendly start, untill the flop at least. It came K♠ 8♣ 8♠ and Tech took it down with a bet.

#71 Both players went to the flop again without a raise and saw a flop of A♣ 3♦ 5♥. Lee bet 80,000 in position and won the pot.

#72 Tech opened for the first time during this heads-up and won the pot.

#73 Lee has yet to opened and both players saw a flop of K♥ 5♥ 6♦. Both players went on to check the rest of the way with the A♣ Q♦ completing the board. Tech won with 7♠ 5♣.

#74 Tech limp and Lee won with an all in.

#75 Lee limped once again and Tech raised to 205,000, Lee called. Flop 4♥ T♦ 9♣, Tech won with a single bet.

#76 Lee got a walk.

#77 Tech checked his option when Lee limped and on a flop of K♦ 2♦ 6♠, Lee took it down with a bet.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Bao Qiang Ho Busted in 3rd ($50,000)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Joris

#69 The action started with a limp from Hon Cheong Lee, John Tech from the small blind limped as well, but Bao Qiang Ho from the big blind spiced it up as he announced all-in. Lee quickly folded, but Tech called already with a little smile on his face.

Tech was holding A♣ A♦ for the bullets and saw he competed against Ho's 4♥ 4♣.

The board ran out very clean for Tech 9♠ Q♦ T♥ 9♣ K♣ ending the tournament life of Bao Qiang Ho. The great run from Ho ended in 3rd place cashing TWD $1,508,500 ($50,000).


Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Lee Surviving

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kwun

#63 Lee jammed and won the blinds.

#64 Lee got a walk.

#65 Lee won the blinds again by an all in. He has about 800,000 now.

#66 Lee went all in again and got action from Ho. Lee: 2♠ 2♣ Ho: A♦ 5♥. Board came T♦ 8♦ 4♠ 4♦ J♠. Lee's pocket deuces held and is back in the game.

#67 Tech opened to 125,000 on the button and Lee made the call from the big blind. Flop 8♣ Q♥ 5♥, Tech's c-bet of 60,000 got raised to 225,00 and he folded immediately.

#68 Lee completed the small blind and Tech checked his option. Flop Q♣ 5♦ 8♠, Tech won the pot by betting 80,000.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Tech In a Commanding Lead

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Joris

#62 Hon Cheong Lee raised to 210,000 from the small blind and John Tech made the call from the big blind.

The flop came 5♦ 7♦ K♠, Lee's c-bet of 200,000 got called.

Both players saw a 2♠ on the turn. This was a sign for Lee to put out a big stack of chips worth 600,000. Tech was staring him down before making yet another call.

The 7♥ on the river made Lee check. Tech took over the action betting 1,380,000. Lee threw in a single chip indicating a call and soon see the bad news of Tech's holding : As: 7♣.

John "Jojo" Tech now has 80% of the chips in play.


Level 19: Blinds 30000-60000, 60000 ante

Jack Sinclair Eliminated in 4th ($35,400)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Joris

#60 Hon Cheong Lee limped from the button, a move only done by Sinclair on this final table so far. Tech went out of the way from the small blind, but the Brit jammed over the top all-in, Lee snap-called.

Sinclair showed 4♠ 4♣ while Lee had him crushed holding Q♥ Q♦.

The Q♣ in the window let Sinclair say: "That does it". Other flop cards were the J♣ 5♥, what meant no help for Sinclair. On the J♦ it was all over for the British WSOPE Main Event bracelet winner.

The dealer counted out 1,330,00 and Lee had him covered.

Jack Sincair busted out in 4th place for TWD $1,090,700 ($35,400).


Level 19: Blinds 30000-60000, 60000 ante

Tech the Table Captain

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kwun

#52 Jack Sinclair got a walk first hand after the break.

#53 Lee opened to 120,000 and Ho on the big blind called. The two players chopped on Q♠ 9♥ 5♠ T♥ 5♣ after they checked all the way. Ho: A♣ 4♦ Lee: A♥ 4♥

#54 John Tech opened to 125,000 and won the blinds.

#55 John Tech got a walk.

#56 Lee opened to 120,000 on the button, Tech 3-bet from the small blind and took this one down.

#57 Sinclair and Ho from the blinds went to the flop of Q♥ 9♥ 5♠ without a raise, Sinclair then led for 60,000 and Ho called. Turn 7♣, both players checked. River K♠ and Sinclair bet 80,000 got called, then showed A♥ 9♠ to win the pot.

#58 Tech opened and won the blinds.

#59 Ho opened to 120,000 on the button and Lee went all in from the small blind, everyone folded to him.

#60 Hon Cheong Lee busted, more details above.

#61 Ho completed the small blind and Lee checked his option. Flop 5♣ T♣ T♠ and Ho won with a single bet.

Level 19: Blinds 30000-60000, 60000 ante

Last 4 Chip Counts

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Joris

NameChip Count
Bao Qiang Ho2,750,000
John Tech2,250,000
Hon Cheong Lee1,300,000
Jack Sinclair1,125,000
Level 19: Blinds 30000-60000, 60000 ante

15-minutes Break

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Joris

The players are on a 15-minute break.

This live reporting blog is brought to you by lifeofpoker.com.