J88Poker Tour 2019 kicked off on March 29 at CTP Club – Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association – with the Team Event as its opener. 12 teams comprised of four members each signed up representing various Asian nations and clubs. Over the course of three days, they competed in four game formats – NLH, PLO, Hyper Turbo, and Short Deck – concluding early this afternoon with Team SPL (Singapore Poker League) rising to victory.
Final Day recap
The final day set up was slightly different from the previous rounds. For having topped the charts at Day 2, Team Mahome end with the largest stack of 50,000.
Team SPL entered with 40,0000 and Team HKPPA with 30,000.
Instead of four game formats running simultaneously, they competed in three games – NL Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, Short Deck – rotating at every level.
The first level saw Edward Yam (HKPPA), Sebastian Tan (SPL), and Leung Chun Kit Rico (Mahome) compete in the NLH format. SPL claimed the round with Tan taking a good portion of Rico’s stack. This sent the starting day leader Team Mahome to the bottom of the chip rank.
Level 2 (PLO) saw no change in standings with Daniel Lim (SPL) keeping his team ahead. He too grabbed chips from Team Mahome besting Patrick Liang in a couple of hands. HKPPA captain Sparrow Cheung kept his team cool in the middle.
Next level was the Short Deck format. This witnessed the first showdown. Stephen Lai (HKPPA) shoved on a board and Andy Li (SPL) snapped. Both had J-10 offsuit for a split pot. Again, the standings remained the same – SPL, HKPPA, Mahome.
Then Level 4 (NLH) came around and with it a big shift. Team Mahome captain Wei Ning Ma stepped in. She was up against Yam (HKPPA) and Tan (SPL). Wei proceeded to win numerous pots off both of her opponents to slide into the chip lead. SPL dropped to mid rank and HKPPA in third.
Team Mahome’s momentum continued into Level 5 (PLO) with Liang back on facing Cheung and Lim once again. Liang claimed a big one against SPL’s Lim with a full house over a straight. However, by the end of the round, Lim was able to recover some of the lost chips to keep his team in the middle.
The Short Deck event was clearly the Achilles heel for Team Mahome as both SPL and HKPPA successfully attacked Anson Wong’s stack. The round (level 6) closed with Li four-bet shoving Yam to claim a big pot without a call. SPL retook the lead, HKPPA in mid, and Mahome plunged to the bottom.
With Level 7 blinds now at average 40bbs, big bets were laid out. Within the first ten minutes, sb Wei (Mahome) shoved with and BB Alan Lau – joining the action for the first time – looked down at and snap-called. The board ran to end Team Mahome in 3rd place.
Heads up began with SPL ahead in the count. It took another ten minutes to see both players all in. Lau with , Tan with , the board ran dry and it was all over. Team SPL championed the Team Event and shipped NT$242,960 (~US$8,000) for their achievement.
Cash prize pool: NT$492,960 – Buyin: NT$60,000 – Entries: 12 – ITM: 3 teams
1st Team SPL – NT$ 242,960 (~US$8,000)
2nd Team HKPPA – NT$ 150,000 (~US$4,800)
3rd Team Mahome – NT$ 100,000 (~US$3,200)
Day 1 and Day 2 Recap
The Team Event began with 12 teams namely: Mahome, SPL, HKPPA, OT, Nice Hand, 3Bet Monkey, AlphaGO, OTZIE, Beautiful & Handsome, Sashimi, CTP Pro, and KONG.
At the end of Day 1 qualifying round, six teams advanced. Team Nice Hand scored the highest and Main Event seats (deducted from the prize pool) were awarded to each of their members. For accruing second highest, Team OT was awarded one seat per member to the J88 Cup (deducted from the prize pool). Other advancing teams were Mahome, HKPPA, SPL, and 3Bet Monkey.
The bottom half of the roster competed in the Resurrection Round where AlphaGO, OTZIE, and KONG reigned to earn their way back in. 9 teams moved on to Day 2. At Day 2, Mahome, SPL, and HKPPA scored the highest to secure their spot into the final day.