A milestone for Asia Poker League’s inaugural event in Pampanga, Philippines

The Asia Poker League concluded a highly successful first event of the year with players from various nations attending the APL Road Series Vol.1 Philippines. Unlike most events held in the country, the APL defied the norm and held their inaugural Philippine festival in the province of Pampanga instead of the bustling metropolis of Manila. Their boldness paid off handsomely with the Main Event seeing 276 entries to surpass the 5M guarantee.

Main Event Field
Main Event Field

Throughout the six day festival that ran from February 24 to March 1, players from Korea, India, and China produced a solid bulk of the foreign contenders. This alone displayed the rapid growth and following of the brand. Of course the home country was represented with a large force flooding the felt on the third day. The attendance was further padded by numerous foreign nationals residing in the country.

A historical Main Event win for Lester Edoc

Lester Edoc
Lester Edoc

Last night, the Main Event concluded with one of the host country’s leading pros, Lester Edoc, claiming the championship title. This was just the second major international title of his career. He earned the Php1,478,700 first prize. To attain victory, the Filipino pro performed top-notch at the final table, making crucial calls and placing his opponents under constant pressure.

You can read up on Edoc’s action-packed race to victory here:

More: Philippine pro Lester Edoc claims the APL Road Series championship title

10 Side events

Side events
Side events

At the side events, it was the Koreans that dominated lifting up 5 out of the 10 trophies. The Philippines earned 3, and one each for China and Canada. Several players illustrated themselves well in these side events: Mike Takayama captured the Hyper Turbo and finished runner-up at the High Roller, bested only by Jaeheung An; Tae Joon Cho took down the Warm Up; and one of the last trophies of the festival went to Eric Wasylenko.

All results of the side events are available below.

Read more: APL Road Series – All Results: Main Event and Side Events

For details on how the action unfolded in each of these side events, a short recap can be found at the end of each of our daily recaps:

Recaps of the last 3 side events (Deep Stack / NLH Freezeout / 6 Max) can be found at the end of this article.

What’s next for the APL?

This festival is a big milestone for the young Asia Poker League. They brought their brand to the Philippines, a country that already has a mature market of well established brands, and proceeded to host a highly successful event at a location outside of Manila.

The APL attracted a large contingent of players from different nations and provided them a poker experience comparable to events offered by the major players in the country. They became the first brand to offer a major international poker event in Pampanga, Philippines. This is a big accomplishment for the young brand.

For the organizers, the challenge now is to build on this success and develop the APL brand for the long haul in the Philippines and other countries in Southeast Asia. Rumor has it, their next event will take place in Vietnam.

Recaps of the last three side events

Lee Chang Gon wins the Deep Stack

Lee Chang Gon
Lee Chang Gon

The two-day Deep Stack event wrapped up with Lee Chang Gon taking the gold. Lee topped the 29 players to claim the Php168,750 first prize. Before he ran away with the trophy, Lee endured a very long bubble round followed by another long session after it burst with four remaining.

By the time it reached heads up, Lee engaged in a roller coaster battle against Richard Allen with the chip lead switching hands a few times. The final hand saw Lee push on the river of a 4d2d6dAh2h board which saw bets at every stage. Despite knowing he was behind, Allen called for his tournament life with As6s and lost to Lee’s 3d9d flush. This is a fine victory for Lee who also cashed at the Main Event in 23rd place.

Deep Stack payouts
Prize pool: Php421,850 – Buyin: Php16,500
1st – Lee Chang Gon – Korea – Php168,750
2nd – Richard Allen – USA – Php118,100
3rd – William Ysmael – Philippines – Php76,000
4th – Tony Khoang – Netherlands – Php59,100

Yoon Kyosung wins the NLH Freezeout

Yoon Kyosung
Yoon Kyosung

The NLH Freezeout side event concluded with Korea’s Yoon Kyosung turning the tables at 7-handed to capture the title, the trophy, and the Php144,500 cash. Catching the action at the money round, Yoon shipped in a game-changing double up with his [as][2c] flush when four clubs appeared on the community board. This sent Rugal Advani’s stack tumbling and was eliminated by Yoon on the next hand in a double bust with Jon Jon Lumanlan.

With 5 remaining, Eric Wasylenko took all of Lloyd Fontillas’s chips with 4-4 besting 3-3 on a set over set 6-K-J-3-4 board. Down to four-handed, Yoon doubled up through Wasylenko with JcJd set against KcQh on a board Js4d8sTs3d to jump into a big chip lead. He ballooned further after railing Yoo Ho Seung and Luke Pangan with a winning pocket tens on both encounters.

Kicking off the heads up round, Yoon was up 4:1 in chips. Wasylenko managed to trim the gap winning a double up with his AsJd over Kh9h however, it wasn’t enough. The final hand arrived with Yoon’s 9d9c unbeaten by Wasylenko’s AdJc on a board that ran 2cKd5h2sTc.

NLH Freezeout payouts
Prize pool: Php465,600 – Buyin: Php8,800

1st Yoon Kyosung – Korea – Php144,500
2nd Eric Wasylenko – Canada – Php102,400
3rd Luke Pangan – Philippines – Php69,800
4th Yoo Ho Seung – Korea – Php51,200
5th Lloyd Fontillas – USA – Php37,200
6th Jon Jon Lumanlan – Philippines – Php32,600
7th Rugal Advani – India – Php27,900

Eric Wasylenko closes out the 6 Max

The last side event of the APL Road Series went to Canadian Eric Wasylenko. Wasylenko bested the 33-entry field to finally land himself a trophy while denying Hwang Jae Yeol his second.

Kicking off the heads up round between them, Wasylenko had the advantage but Hwang evened it up. Several hands later, the game-changing hand arrived with Wasylenko five-betting all in holding KsQs. Hwang tanked then called with AcJh. The board ran Qc3d9c9hJc for a double up to Wasylenko. Crippled down, Hwang was soon all in with Kc8s that fell to Wasylenko’s KdJh and a final board of TsKh7dJc4d.

6 Max payouts
Prize pool: Php256,080 – Buyin: Php8,800

1st – Eric Wasylenko – Canada – Php89,680
2nd – Hwang Jae Yeol – Korea – Php64,000
3rd – Rajesh Goyal – India – Php43,500
4th – Michael Kim Falcon – Denmark – Php33,300
5th – Edgardo Gonzales – Philippines – Php25,600

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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