For many spectators, one of the most exciting side events to watch at a poker festival is the High Roller event, and unsurprisingly so, as this type of tournament attracts only the cream of the crop and the big spenders. Spectators are then treated to an intense game between the pros who usually battle for a very large first place cash prize.
At the ongoing APPT 10 Manila, the two-day High Roller event drew in 58 entries, most of them heavy-hitters and well-known pros from the Asian poker circuit. Big names such as Bryan Huang Diwei, China’s Celina Lin, Chinese Taipei’s Chen-an Lin, and Canada’s Linh Tran were all in attendance. Returning champion from last year’s APPT 9 Manila High Roller event, Norway’s Henrik Tollefsen, also came out to defend his title. There was also a big crowd on the sidelines that turned up for Korea’s Lim Yo Hwan who made the final table. But all of these big guns would however fall before reaching a piece of the juicy Php10,689,400 (US$227,130) prize pool.
The biggest story of the High Roller event was China’s Li Yan. Just last month, at the APPT 10 Seoul, Yan found herself finishing in runner-up position at the same exact event. She was defeated by Australian pro Aaron Lim, the only player decorated with a two-time APPT Main Event title. Today, Lim entered day 2 of the High Roller event with the largest stack, well prepared for another takedown. However, things didn’t quite go his way and he busted out way before the money. As for Yan, her story was glorious.
She grinded her way into the final table, hung on with a decent stack, and then eliminated local favorite Filipino pro Lester Edoc in third place to face Ireland’s Liam O’Donoghue at the heads up round.
Although the Irishman would double up, it was not to be his moment to claim as Yan was destined to go the distance and seize the title. It was indeed a special win for Yan as she claimed the first place cash prize of PhP3,527,400 (US$74,930).
Other players who cashed at the High Roller event were Englishman Tom Alner, Australia’s Jason Quarmby, Frenchman Yousef Zalagh, and Chinese Taipei’s Jack En Ching Wu. Wu earned himself another boost in points towards the Asia Player of the Year 2016 standings where he currently ranks second.
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