Malaysia’s Michael Soyza was the man of the hour at the APPT Korea after he bested the largest-ever seen Main Event field of 449 entries. Soyza came from behind at the heads up round against Japan’s Mitsuhiro Shiga to seize the ₩158,700,000 (US$148,629) and the coveted PokerStars Players Championship Platinum Pass worth (US$30,000). As soon as the winning hand was delivered, his rail celebrated, “ “We’re going to Bahamas, baby! Woo!”
A highly profitable tour for Soyza
The APPT Korea festival was a highly profitable tour for the Malaysian pro who recently crossed US$1 million in live earnings at the APPT Macau High Rollers event last month after finishing 17th. In Korea, Soyza had jumped off with immediate small cashes at the Kickoff event and Turbo events then turned a victory at the No Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha for ₩10,510,000 (US$9,800).
With one title bagged, he took on the Main Event next, and survived into Day 2 outside of the big stack range. All that changed in the late stages with everyone well in the money. He booted Hideaki Ohashi followed by Kohei Nakai. After another batch of players went down, Soyza sent Celina Lin packing in 20th place on a nasty runner-runner flush to defeat her top two pair. In the PokerStars live reports, she stated “I should have shoved the turn.” This hand gave Soyza the chip lead which he brought into the final day with 14 players remaining.
The final day had quite the lineup gunning for the title. In addition to Soyza were top dogs Taehoon Han (12th) and Yuki Ko (8th) whom fans thought may land themselves a possible third match up, however it wasn’t to be. Randy Lew took 5th and Bryan Huang fell in 3rd place. Huang went head-to-head against Soyza several times well before the three-handed round and claimed the chip lead during one of those winning bouts. However, he met his end at the hands of Shiga with pocket aces dusting pocket tens.
The heads up round began with Soyza on a chip deficit but an hour later, he evened it up and took control. He secured himself a trip to the Bahamas with pocket kings finishing the job against Shiga’s jack-eight open-ended straight draw that missed on the river.
Final Table payouts
Prize pool: ₩705,558,600 – 54 paid
1st Michael Soyza – Malaysia – ₩158,700,000
2nd Mitsuhiro Shiga – Japan – ₩99,468,600
3rd Bryan Huang – Singapore – ₩61,380,000
4th Tomita Ryo – Japan – ₩46,570,000
5th Randy Lew – USA – ₩33,870,000
6th Toru Wakamatsu – Japan – ₩26,810,000
7th Kojiro Mizukami – Japan – ₩21,170,000
8th Yuki Ko – Korea – ₩17,640,000
9th Eric Wasylenko – Canada – ₩14,110,000
Article by Tricia David