The APT Philippines Championships 2018 witnessed what could possibly be the most engaging conclusion to the festival with Japanese pro Iori Yogo denying Filipino pro Lester Edoc the victory at the Championships Event. Both players had fantastic runs throughout the twelve-day event to earn them the top two places in the APT Player of the Series race. The festival ran from March 21 to April 2 at Resorts World Manila.
Iori Yogo seizes the Championships Event title
The Championships Event was highlighted on the last five days of the series. This was the festival’s second featured tournament with a PHP110,000 entry fee. While only 100 signed up, among them were a large majority of pros from the region. By the time the Final 8 was reached, it was no surprise to see a very strong lineup. Adding to the awe was the man at the helm, Lester Edoc, the recently crowned APT Main Event champion.
For those keeping track of the action in the Philippines, Edoc has been an absolute beast this year, dominating the local circuit with back-to-back-to-back Main Event titles with a possible fourth consecutive on the way.
APT Main Event champions Iori Yogo and Henrik Tollefsen were the next two down the chip rung with the latter hunting his third title. As for Kosei Ichinose and the rest of the Final 8 contenders, Teng Wei Yang, Fu Bang Huang, Ichiyo Niwa, and Chua Shan Hui, they were all gunning for their first APT major title. They would all miss the mark though with Ichinose finishing in 5th place.
While there was plenty of wild action leading up to three-handed, it was in this round where the game saw some high caliber play. All three champions, Tollefsen, Edoc, and Yogo claimed ownership of the chip lead numerous times until Tollefsen eventually fell in 3rd place. This brought about the heads up round with Edoc ahead of Yogo 2.5:1 in chips.
The heads up round had fans on both sides of the rail glued to the action as well as on the live stream. Edoc displayed dominance over Yogo, winning a majority of the pots and successfully grinding him down. But Yogo bounced back, given renewed life with a double up. This happened three times. Edoc would grind down Yogo, Yogo would shove, win it, double up, then repeat. Yogo doubled up on all three shoves.
On the 84th hand of the heads up match with Yogo slightly ahead in chips, he did what Edoc couldn’t do, he was able to close it out. Edoc had two pair at the flop, Yogo had top pair and flush draw. The turn and river awarded Yogo a runner-runner higher two pair to take the title.
In addition to his big victory, Yogo had three other deep finishes. He won the NLH Two Day Event, placed 14th at the Main Event, and 6th at the MSW sponsored Deep Stack Turbo. This secured him a solid 2nd place in the APT Player of the Series race. Yogo earned over Php3.3 Million (~US$65,000) at the series and is well into the seven digit range of live tournament career.
Final 8 payout
Prize pool: Php9,700,000 – 17 places paid
1st Iori Yogo – Japan – Php2,402,500
2nd Lester Edoc – Philippines – Php1,602,400
3rd Henrik Tollefsen – Norway – Php1,111,600
4th Fu Bang Huang – Taiwan – Php802,200
5th Kosei Ichinose – Japan – Php602,400
6th Teng Wei Yang – Taiwan – Php471,400
7th Chua Shan Hui – Singapore – Php383,200
8th Ichiyo Niwa – Japan – Php324,000
Year of the Edoc: APT Player of the Series 1st place
Although Lester Edoc came up one spot shy of the Championships Event title, it was still a slam-dunk for the APT Player of the Series title. Edoc’s astounding achievements at the festival was a continuation of his already incredible run this year…. and to top it off, we are just entering the fourth month. Edoc won the APT Main Event, besting 325 entries, he finished 2nd at the Championships Event, and 9th at the MSW Sponsored event. In total, he shipped over US$82,000 in cash plus another US$800 for winning the POS race.
As mentioned above, Yogo took 2nd in the APT POS race. Taking 3rd was a new face to the APT, Filipino player Richard Nakila. Nakila played the smaller events, and though he didn’t win any, he cashed in 5 of them. His impressive performance awarded him the last APT POS spot and a trophy to go with it. Both Yogo and Nakila were also awarded US$100.
Article by Triccia David