APPT Cambodia: Kickoff Event brings 133 entries; large Chinese presence brewing; Japan’s Takaaki Arai wins the first spadie


The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) is back at the Kingdom of Wonder with eleven days of games running from May 5 to 15 at NagaWorld Integrated Resorts in capital city Phnom Penh. In partnership with Connaissance Management, doors opened with the Kickoff Event featuring a US$ 50,000 guaranteed prize pool. This was the first of three events backed by guarantees totaling US$ 550,000 with the largest of US$ 400,000 marked for the upcoming Main Event.

Kickoff 1A bubble

By the end of registration the turnout was promising with 133 entries (106 unique, 27 re-entry) for Day 1A. Players of varying nations were represented with the strongest showing from China. According to Chinese International Poker Team (CIPT), their group alone will field in up to 50 players. Among the attendees was two-time WSOP bracelet champion Wei Guo Liang however he missed the mark, unlike countryman Guiyang Wang who delivered the bubble and topped the end of day chip counts.

Guiyang Wang

With 20 players advancing to Day 2, at bubble time, Wang was head to head with Australia’s Armon Van Wijk for the chip lead until Wang’s 10h10s eliminated a player with AhKd on a board 2d3h6h10dQc. Here is the list of Day 1A survivors.

Buy in: US$ 350
Guarantee: US$ 50,000
Day 1A entries: 133 (106 unique, 27 re-entry)

End of Day 1A – 20 players

Guiyang Wang 554,000
Armon Van Wijk 426,000
Emil Ukalaev 335,000
Xinshuo Xuo 304,000
Yuwen Pan 279,000
William Bolton 260,000
Yu Ogusu 231,000
Jihao Feng 226,000
Raj Dharmarajan 205,000
Cheng Zhang 202,000
Thomas Walters 180,000
Tom Maguire 154,000
Andrew Kim 136,000
Chengbei Li 107,000
Jounghun Kim 95,000
Oleg Voshchinin 84,000
Jiyang Gan 83,000
Amit Kaushik 75,000
Dave Labrecque 60,000
Rodolphe Mathias 49,000

The next two starters are on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Day 1B kicks off at 1pm and closes at 6:20pm, and Day 1C Turbo hits the felt at 7pm and closes at 9:50pm.

Japan’s Takaaki Arai wins festival’s first spade trophy at the evening Turbo


The first PokerStars APPT Cambodia spade trophy was captured by Japan’s Takaaki Arai at the Turbo Re-Entry event. Arai bested a field of 49 runners (38 unique, 11 re-entry), defeating Korea’s Seongmin Lee at heads up with 8h8s set over Kc10c on a board Kd8d6cAd2d.


This was Arai’s first recorded live victory which also came with a payout of US$ 2,695. As for runner up Lee, it was a strong return to the felt as he came close to winning another trophy to match the APPT Cambodia National shard trophy that he scored last year.

Buy in: US$ 200
Entries: 49 (38 unique, 11 re-entry)
Prize pool: US$ 8,555
ITM: 7 places

1 Takaaki Arai Japan US$ 2,695
2 Seongmin Lee Korea US$ 1,946
3 Aayush Arya India US$ 1,241
4 Zuxiong He China US$ 941
5 Karma Darwa Sherpa India US$ 727
6 Aike Ing Myanmar US$ 556
7 Pheeratham Lerdthammatavee Thailand US$ 5449
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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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