Day 3 of the APT Asian Poker Series Manila 2015 Main Event kicked off with the remaining 51 players all present and ready to engage the battlefield. Clearly, in everyone’s mind, the ultimate goal was to amass towers of chips and secure one of those coveted final table berths. After an intense eight levels, the final eight warriors was set.
The Final 8 (Photo APT)
Yah Loon (Singpore) – 1,338,000
Leading the crew is Singapore’s Yah Loon. Loon was fairly quiet all day watching the big stacks at his table tangle back and forth. When the field compressed down to 12 players, Loon popped out of hiding and entered a preflop raise war against New Zealander, Thomas Ward. He won the hand with a three-bet and then followed it up with another small win. This seemed to be just a warm up because two hands later, Loon was at it again. He three-bet Chinese player Weiyi Zhang’s raise and then snap-called Zhang’s four-bet shove. Loon had pocket aces and Zhang had pocket tens. The board bricked and Loon celebrated his massive double up to 950k chips. Loon crossed the million mark after eliminating Ward in tenth place, ending the day with a massive 1,338,000 chips.
Weiyi Zhang (China) – 1,202,000
Running second in chips was Zhang who eliminated Marc Rivera (Philippines) and later, Japan’s Tanaka Masatoshi, to bring him very close to the million mark. As reported above, Zhang doubled up Loon, plunging his stack way down to 250k chips. With only ten players left, Zhang was in bad shape but luckily, his ace-four shove would table two pair against ace-king bringing him up to half a million. Zhang doubled up once more, this time against Ward. Zhang had pocket kings against Ward’s pocket queens. Zhang ended the day with 1,202,000. What a comeback!
Yao Hui (China) – 1,159,000
Next on the rung was China’s Yao Hui. Hui entered day 3 as the chip leader and maintained a healthy stack all day. In the late stages of the Main Event, Hui took down two players, Norway’s Kai Paulsen and Sweden’s Roger Spets. In the hand against Paulsen, Hui landed a full house with his pocket kings and rivered a flush against Spets. Before the final table was set, he claimed two sizable pots and bagged up a sweet 1,159,000 chips.
Le Ngoc Khang (Vietnam) – 934,000
Vietnam’s Le Ngoc Khanh was one of the most active players all day. Khanh probably played five hands per orbit, winning many pots without a showdown. Khanh also had his fair share of scalps, but two hands late in the day brought his stack to where it is for the final day. In the first one, Khanh engaged in a preflop war against Ward that switched back and forth until Ward eventually folded to a four-bet. On the other, Khanh claimed a beefed up pot against Zhang with his trip queens besting Zhang’s pocket eights. Le Ngoc Khanh ended the day with 934,000 chips.
Jun Javalera (Philippines) – 759,000
The lower half of the rung has Filipino player Jun Javalera with 759,000 chips. Javalera was the reason Singaporean pro Bryan Huang was sent to the rail along with three others late in the day. Javalera was a bit of a wild card at the felt. Playing loosely, or seeming so, players had a difficult time getting a read on him, which worked very well to his advantage.
SJ Kim (Korea) – 582,000
Korea’s SJ Kim is back at the final table. In August 2015, Kim placed 6th at the APT Asian Poker Series Cebu Main Event. Kim was one of the players who had a taste of both the million mark and the chip lead after eliminating Kim Do Kwuen in 13th place, but then suffered two big pots late in the game to bag up 582,000 chips.
Luke Pangan (Philippines) – 470,000
The only other Filipino player to secure a final table berth was Luke Pangan. Pangan was the man who delivered Min Soo Kim the axe at the bubble stage. Despite that, Pangan seemed to have difficulty getting any momentum for the rest of the day and was in danger of elimination several times. At nine-handed, Pangan had one of the shortest stacks but he railed India’s Paawan Bansal in 9th place thus creating the final eight. Pangan ended his day with 470,000 chips.
Steffen Endres (Germany) – 371,000
Capping the final table is Germany’s Steffen Endres. Endres had a wildly swinging stack all day until he was on the verge of elimination. But all it took was a good hand and a hefty pot to give him new life. Endres eliminated Filipino player Edwin Marzan in 11th place, ending his day with 371,000 chips.
The Final 8 will be returning to the Main Event felt for one more heated battle. The eventual champion will take home the big kahuna cash prize of PHP3,758,200 and the championship title. Congratulations to all the players and good luck at the final table!