After five days of WPT National Philippines Main Event action, Malaysia's Ying Lin Chua bested a field of 268 entries to capture the first place cash purse of $86,130, and his first-ever Main Event win.
Chua started the final table of six with a healthy stack of over one million chips. His overall strategy, he said, "I planned to play my A-game. My specialty is six max, I play better short-handed." He further added, "I was also hoping to get more chips from the Chinese player (Cui Jia Bin) because he was very aggressive. All I needed was to get good cards and he would pay me off."
WPT National Philippines Main Event Final Table
At the final table, Swedish player Louis Nyberg was the first player to fall. He was in a three-way all in against Norway's Markus Garberg and Bin. Holding pocket twos against Garberg's ace-king and Bin's ace-eight, the board felted a king on the river. This hand also brought down Bin's chips until he was later eliminated by Hua with pocket jacks dominating ace-nine. While Hua earned himself a nice chunk of chips to add to his arsenal, Chua was also on the rise. He won a hand against Garberg who tried to bluff a pot on the river with a missed straight draw. Chua called with bottom pair and won the pot. He proceeded to win several more pots and rose to the chip leader's seat holding over 2.5M chips.
The heat at the final four was intense that Hua was unable to survive with his set of fives dominated by Norway's Kai Paulsen's flush. Hua settled for 4th place. At three-handed, Chua faced the two Norwegians, Garberg and Paulsen. It took 16 orbits before the next casualty. Chua eliminated Paulsen with his pocket tens landing a full house.
At heads-up against Garberg, both players battled for the chip lead as it swung back and forth.
Heads Up Play
Chua shared his thoughts on Garberg, "I could tell he was a very experienced player. He even made me fold a pocket pair when he raised." Chua told us the story of the final hand, "his raise all in was so big and I felt he had ace-king or ace-queen so I called with my pocket twos. If he raised instead of going all in, then I would have folded. Players who make raises like that usually have those big hands."
Chua eliminated Garberg in 2nd place to claim the Main Event championship title.
Malaysia's Ying Lin Chua
As a cash game specialist, Chua started playing tournament poker six months ago. He said, "I would not have come to Manila if my friends weren't coming and if the pros weren't coming like Phil Ivey, Richard Yong, and Paul Phua. I really wanted to watch them play." Prior to today's win, Chua's best cash was at the APPT 9 Manila last year, taking home $10,927. When asked what his next stop is, he said, "the Macau Millions and hopefully I can win there too."
Final Table Payouts:
– 1st Ying Lin Chua $86,130
– 2nd Markus Garberg $60,490
– 3rd Kai Paulsen $38,890
– 4th Michael Wee Tse Hua $28,790
– 5th $21,600
– 6th Louis Nyberg $17,270