For players in the Philippines, nothing was more thrilling this past weekend than the inaugural Asian Poker Championship hosted by the Metro Card Club. The four-day series packed the country’s most popular card room from January 31 to February 3. Players of all levels were in attendance. Bringing everyone in was the Php 22,000 (~US$ 430) buy-in Main Event amassing a Php 10,495,400 (~US$ 206,800) prize pool at the 541 entry turnout. Mixed in with the high percentage of locals were a large contingent of KMGM (Korean Mind Game Members) players.
The festival concluded with Philippine player Noel “the Kid” Araniel earning the title along with Php 1,525,877 (~US$ 30,000) for his largest live score to-date. Immediately following his win, Araniel brought his momentum to the last side event – High Roller – and took that one down as well to add another Php 670,000 (~US$ 13,200) to his winnings.
We’ve got the results for you below.
The Main Event kicked off with three starting heats. Metro Team Pros were in full force with several making it through to Day 2. However, once it reached the final day with 18 players qualifying, only WSOP bracelet winner Mike Takayama and Joven Huerto remained in the running. Another well known local figure in the lineup was hot-running Florencio Campomanes, fresh from his Red Dragon victory. Also through were Martin Gonzales, Seungjun “Judic” Kim, Seok Young “Tiger” Lee, and Christopher Mateo.
Before the final table, Kim was out in 14th, Mateo out 16th, the final 10 was formed at the fall of Hooyup Kim to Campomanes.
Carrying in the most ammo was Martin Gonzales who knocked out three players. The day’s entering chip leader Derrick Hernandez was bumped down to second rank, Campomanes in third, and Araniel in fourth rank.
Day 2 overall chip leader Seung Min Kang lost a flip to Takayama that crippled him and eventually out in 10th place. Another two busts followed Jay Tolon (9th) and Kim Sun Kyum (8th) then the last of the KMGM players was eliminated in brutal fashion. Seok Young “Tiger” Lee three-bet jammed on the flop with a commanding set of tens, Gonzales called holding pocket kings that found a king on the river. This gave Gonzales half the chips in play at his disposal.
Hernandez exited next, joined by Campomanes who suffered a beat before falling. He pushed with two pair on the turn, got called by Araniel with top pair that improved to a higher two pair on the river. At four-handed, an ICM deal was struck with the eventual winner pocketing an extra Php 80,000.
Araniel‘s luck continued, doubling up through Takayama All in preflop, his pocket sevens improved to a full house to defeat pocket kings. Gonzales then delivered the boot to the WSOP champ. Immediately after, Emmanuel Segismundo fell to Araniel to bring about heads up. For the first time, Araniel had the chip lead. Ten hands later, the trophy was claimed, Araniel grinded down Gonzales until the latter gambled all his chips with bottom pair that fell to Araniel‘s had top pair.
Final Table payouts
1st Noel Araniel – Php 1,525,877 (deal made)
2nd Martin Gonzales – Php 2,238,066 (deal made)
3rd Emmanuel Segismundo – Php 1,006,885 (deal made)
4th Mike Takayama – Php 1,454,572 (deal made)
5th Florencio Campomanes – Php 500,000
6th Derrick Hernandez – Php 380,000
7th Seokyoung “Tiger” Lee – Php 300,000
8th Kim Sun Kyum – Php 240,000
9th Jay Tolon – Php 200,000
10th Seung Min Kang – Php 160,000
Later that evening, Araniel also shipped the High Roller event. He overcame a field of 68 entries to pocket the lion’s share of Php 670,000 of the Php 2,040,000 (~US$ 40,200) prize pool.
The next Asian Poker Championship was announced at Day 2. The event will take place on April 15 to 19 at the Metro. More details to follow. The next Metro event is the Philippine Poker Tournament Php 2 Million guaranteed Main Event from February 26 to March 2. Buy-in is Php 4,500 (~US$ 90).