For the past week, the Asian Poker Tour has been heating up the poker room of Resorts World Manila with the APT Philippines 2016. Through the years, this festival has undoubtedly become the most popular APT stop in their annual calendar. By the turnout of the Main Event, it seems, it is only gaining more recognition in Asia and around the world.
With the increased buyin of $3,300 and a new structure offered, there were 180 entries to the Main Event – 84 for day 1a and 96 for day 1b – consisting mainly of players outside of the Philippines. The prize pool amounted to $523,800 with first place looking to clear $133,900. After four days of nonstop action, the Final 8 was decided last night. Here’s a look at them:
The Final 8 (Photo APT)
Thomas Ward – New Zealand – 2,145,000
Thomas Ward is not a newcomer to the APT circuit nor is he to the APT final table. He placed 8th at the APT Asian Series Manila Main Event in September 2012 and came close last year at the APT Asian Series Cebu Main Event, finishing in 10th place. Ward is a familiar face in the Asian circuit, especially for his accomplishment in November 2015 when he placed 2nd at the APPT 2015 ACOP Main Event in Macau. At the APT Philippines 2016 Main Event, he shipped in the biggest pot of day 2 when he doubled up against Saipan’s Victorino Torres. Since then, has held a high ranking chip status and is the leader coming into the Final 8.
Thomas Ward (Photo APT)
Seung Soo Jeon – Korea – 1,965,000
Korea’s Seung Soo Jeon is a regular in the APT circuit. He almost always doesn’t miss an APT event, especially the ones in Manila. Jeon is an APT champion having won the Main Event back in January 2013 at the APT Asian Series Cebu. He nearly claimed another back in January of this year at the APT Kickoff but fell one spot shy of the title. Jeon has consistently been in the chip leader’s bracket since day 1b of the APT Philippines Main Event.
Kah Boon The – Malaysia – 1,885,000
This is the first time Malaysia’s Kah Boon Teh is in the Final 8 of the Main Event. Teh may not frequent the APT circuit however his massive stack only proves that he is a seasoned player. He entered day 2 as the overall chip leader and was second to Ward upon entering day 3. Last night, he earned the third spot in the chip rank of the Final 8 after eliminating Hong Kong’s Raiden Kan with a backdoor flush against a set of kings.
Czardy Rivera – Philippines – 875,000
Filipino Czardy Rivera is another decorated player in the APT circuit. Like Jeon, he has one APT Main Event championship title under his belt which he won at the APT Asian Series Manila in 2013. Rivera is a well-known poker player in the Philippines and he plays in many of the big tournaments held in the country and in Macau.
Jim Bonanno – Guam – 665,000
Jim Bonanno is a recreational poker player who recently did very well at the APT Kickoff 2016 in January. He was one of the final 8 and finished in 8th place. This will be his second Main Event final 8 appearance in Manila.
Zack Lazarus – Canada – 590,000
Not much is known about Canadian player Zack Lazarus and it is possible he is a new face in the APT circuit. Lazarus placed 3rd at the $50,000 Guaranteed Opening Event of this festival and is well on his way into profiting much much more.
Michael Lee – Canada – 575,000
At day 2 of the Main Event, Canada’s Michael Lee eliminated one of the Asian circuit’s well-known players, Victor Chong. Lee earned his spot into the final 8 grinding out pots and winning a big pot with his full house against Raiden Kan.
Chris Edgar – Australia – 305,000
Chris Edgar may have the lowest stack however he has previous experience at the APT Main Event final table. Last year, he placed 3rd at the APT Asian Series Cambodia. He recently placed 10th at the Main Event of the New Caledonia Poker Open in March.
The Final 8 will resume tomorrow, we will have a recap for you once it concludes.