We have reached the Final 9 players! After five days of action, the Asia Poker League is one day closer to awarding its first Main Event champion of the APL Road Series Vol.1 Philippines. The highlight tournament guaranteed 5M, and with 276 entries at Php27,500 each, that number was easily surpassed for a grand total of Php6,693,000 (~US$128,400).
At Day 3, the money began to flow starting at 36 places with the lowest payout at Php45,000. The final table-ists are now all guaranteed Php147,900 but all eyes are of course on the big prize, the Php1,478,700 (~US$28,300) first place purse.
Final table action begins at 1pm on March 1st. Play begins at Level 24 with blinds at 12000-24000 ante 4000. The clock is at 30:39. As always, we will have live updates for you on all that thrilling action.
And now, let’s meet the final 9 contenders…
Harold McDonald – USA – 1,894,000
Harold McDonald staged one of the best runs this event has seen. He entered Day 2 as the shortest stack, delivered the bubble in Day 2 to close it out running 10th out of 36 players, then took command in Day 3 to secure the leadership status with his massive stack. McDonald is a familiar face in Pampanga, seen playing daily tournaments once in a while at Wild Aces. His live tournament performance only has him running deep in two major events in Manila, both in 2016. His deepest was 21st place at the APPT Manila. At the APL series, he has already locked in his largest-ever live score.
Bell John Perez – Philippines – 1,098,000
Bell John Perez is part of a group of emerging young Filipino players doing the rounds in the local circuit since 2015. He has cashed minimally in numerous events around the country, and earned his first major international tournament score after finishing 18th at the APT Kickoff 2016 Main Event. Here at the APL Road Series, Perez is already a big winner. No matter what spot he finishes, he is certain to collect his largest-ever live score.
Guak Do Gyeong – Korea – 981,000
Korean player Guak Do Gyeong has been playing poker for five years, though mostly in the online arena where he attained Supernova status in PokerStars. While attending a live poker event is rare for him, at the ongoing APL Road Series Main Event, he seems to have adjusted quite easily. He entered Day 2 as the overall chip leader with his monstrous stack and returns for the final day running a very healthy third-in-chips.
Lester Edoc – Philippines – 894,000
Lester Edoc is one of the leading poker players from the Philippines and a well-known figure in the Asian circuit. His long list of accomplishments dates all the way back to 2009. In 2013, he earned his first five digit payout for his runner-up finish at the APT Asian Poker Series Main Event. Two years after, he captured his first major title, winning the International Poker Open Main Event. 2016 was a particularly good year for Edoc, cashing nearly every month, and running deep in two APPT 10 Manila events. He currently ranks 7th in the Philippines All Time Money List.
Cho Hyung Woon – Korea – 719,000
Cho Hyung Woon has been playing poker for two years however his drive lies more in being a businessman than a poker player. The few times that he has attended a live festival, he managed to cash in small side events held in Manila, Beijing, and Macau. With Woon running deep in this major event, he is now looking to earn his biggest live tournament payout.
John Tech – Philippines – 591,000
John Tech ranks 2nd in the Philippines All Time Money List with over US$1M in live tournament earnings. Among his numerous achievements are 2nd at the APT Asian Series 2011 Main Event, 3rd at the APT-RWM 2014 Poker Finale Main Event, 1st at the APT Asian Series Cebu 2015 Main Event, 2nd at the APT Philippines 2015 Main Event, and after a dry spell, he triumphed at the 2017 Macau Billionaire Poker Summer Showdown for HK$4.6M earnings.
Choi Jae Young – Korea – 269,000
Out of all the Korean players at the final table, Choi Jae Young has the most experience with 10 years under his belt however like them, it will be his first time at the final table of a major international tournament. Choi finished at the top of the chip count in Day 1C, entered 2nd overall in Day 2, and finished Day 3 running second again. Due to this consistency, it is no surprise to see him at the final table.
Mike Takayama – Philippines – 241,000
Currently ranked in 1st in the GPI Philippines, Mike Takayama is one of the most highly decorated Asian pros in the circuit. He is a two-time APT Main Event champion; he has a long list of deep runs throughout his career which includes a 4th place finish at the PokerStars Manila Main Event last year. Earlier this month, he took runner-up at the Macau Poker Cup Baby Dragon event which is his biggest achievement outside of his home country. Upon his return to home soil, he proceeded to win the Manila Super Series Main Event to capture the exclusive PokerStars Players Championship Platinum Pass.
Joseph Sia – Philippines – 215,000
Joseph Sia is another well known player in the Philippines. He attends nearly every event in his home country, consistently cashing at numerous side events. The last two years has seen him very busy in the local circuit with his efforts paying off in May 2017, winning the Manila Super Series for his first-five digit score.
Main Event Day 3 eliminations
Day 3 took off running just as fast as the action in Day 2. With everyone in the money, it was go for the gold or go for broke for many of the short stacks. Among the early eliminations were Czardy Rivera (30th), Eric Wasylenko (28th), Martin Gonzales (25th), and Florencio Campomanes (24th).Despite doubling up in the first hand of the day, Eugene Co still got the boot well before the final table in 22nd place. For the day’s entering chip leader Rajesh Goyal, his mighty stack suffered two big hits bringing him down to par. He was eliminated in 17th place.
The biggest movers and shakers of Day 3 were Harold McDonald and Bell John Perez. Both players were racking it up at separate tables and were the only two to cross the seven-digit mark. The official final table was formed when Lester Edoc eliminated Sigi Stockinger in 10th place.
We have all the exciting Day 3 action our live updates post. Read up on the rise and fall and in between that took place at the APL Road Series Main Event felt.