The Asia Pacific Poker Tour stopped in Incheon, Korea from 5th to 14th April 2019 and it was a success all around.
There were 3,247 total entries (including re-entries) over the 21-event festival, who competed for a whopping KRW 3,654,222,800 (~USD 3.22 million) in prize money, but it was the Main Event that was the highlight.
Sparrow wins the APPT Korea Main Event
Hong Kong’s Sparrow Park Yu Cheung defeated a record APPT Korea field to win the Main Event, which concluded on 14th April. This is the first major title for the 37-year-old poker pro.
The Final Table was a tough one and boasted a former Asia Player of the Year in Hung-Sheng Lin, with Super High Roller runner-up Jiang Chen, and National runner-up and KRW 250k NLH Champion Xinglong Huang just two of the nine players seeking the APPT Korea Main Event crown.
Sparrow Cheung drew on his ten years of experience and a lot of close calls, but as in most tournaments luck was also a factor in his victory.
“The hand that stands out the most was having pocket tens against Shaq‘s ace-ten for around 36-37 big blinds – that was a big pot. And then when he flopped the ace… Oh! I’m ready to leave, and then the river… Ten! A one-outer ten, yeah… that’s poker. And all my friends on the rail were shouting together for me, it was a special moment.”
“This is my tenth year playing PokerStars tournaments and this is the first Main Event title for me, and I’ve known Danny [McDonagh], Lorie [Lagrosas] and everyone for a long time… We are like family, and for me to take the Main Event title here [Paradise City, Korea] and have them celebrate with me is very special – and very exciting for me!” said an elated Cheung immediately after his victory.
Cheung battled through this 581-strong field and eventually beat Japanese player Tomomitsu Ono heads-up for a KRW 198,100,000 (~USD 175,000) score.
APPT Korea’s last participation record of 449 was smashed and all other numbers were up as well.
Main Event Final Table Results
1st: Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) — ₩198,100,000 (~USD 175,000)
2nd: Tomomitsu Ono (Japan) — ₩122,800,000 (~USD 108,000)
3rd: Hung-Sheng Lin (Taiwan) — ₩76,250,000 (~USD 67,000)
4th: Jiang Chen (China) — ₩58,150,000 (~USD 51,000)
5th: Tao Fan (China) — ₩40,150,000 (~USD 35,000)
6th: Tetsuro Tomita (Japan) — ₩31,950,000 (~USD 28,000)
7th: Huidong Gu (Macau) — ₩26,000,000 (~USD 23,000)
8th: Mengdian Peng (China) — ₩21,900,000 (~USD 19,000)
9th: Xinglong Huang (China) — ₩18,283,400 (~USD 16,000)
Soyza crowned Super High Roller champion
Malaysia’s Michael Soyza strikes again in Korea, taking down the KRW 10 million (~USD 8,800) Super High Roller. This is the sixth PokerStars LIVE title for the defending APPT Korea Main Event champion.
Soyza latest payday in this Super High Roller is for a juicy KRW 178,90,000 (~USD 157,000). He entered the heads-up play with a dominant 4-1 chiplead and his opponent, China’s Jiang Chen, could not stop Soyza’s run, losing in the final hand with 8♦6♦ against 6♣3♣.
“What can I say, you run like God and you’re gonna win – get it in bad and then just suck out,” said an upbeat Soyza immediately after hoisting the trophy.
Soyza’s recent success, especially in Korea, is very impressive and when asked about the secret to his success, he replied, “There’s no secret to it, I just run good in Korea I guess. You just need to play a lot, play tons and put the practice in and the results will come.”
The majority of cashes, that make up Soyza’s 5th place Malaysian All Time Money List ranking with $5.2 million, have been from the past 18 months. But Soyza’s focus is not as much on the glory rather than on the financial success.
“I don’t have any goals, I’m not chasing any all time money lists, or any rankings or whatever, I just hopefully keep on making some money, that’s enough for me. It’s all about the money, the trophies don’t matter so much.”
Super High Roller Final Table Results
1st: Michael Soyza (Malaysia) — ₩178,890,000 (~USD 157,000)
2nd: Jiang Chen (China) –₩128,432,000 (~USD 113,000)
3rd: Huahuan Feng (China) — ₩83,480,000 (~USD 73,700)
4th: Irshat Shaykhov (Russia) — ₩62,992,000 (~USD 55,600)
5th: Wayne Heung (Hong Kong) — ₩48,925,000 (~USD 43,200)
6th: Yake Wu (China) — ₩37,920,000 (~USD 33,500)
7th: Wai Wa Chan (Hong Kong) — ₩29,970,000 (~USD 26,500)
8th: Jun Obara (Japan) — ₩23,240,000 (~USD 20,500)
9th: Hideki Izutsu (Japan) — ₩17,736,000 (~USD 15,600)
Keiji Takahashi takes down largest-ever Korean APPT High Roller
Just as Soyza in the Main Event, Japanese player Keiji Takahashi started the final day in this KWR 5,000,000 (~USD 4,400) High Roller event as the chipleader and was unstoppable, taking down the largest-ever Korean APPT High Roller event for KWR 143,890,000 (~USD 126,600).
The 2-day event had 181 entries that created a prize pool of KRW 649,609,000 (~USD 572,000) and 27 made it into the money in Day 2.
APPT Korea High Roller Final Table Results
1st: Keiji Takahashi (Japan) — ₩143,890,000 (~USD 127,000)
2nd: Jian Yang (China) — ₩97,114,000 (~USD 85,700)
3rd: Yan Li (China) — ₩66,845,000 (~USD 59,000)
4th: Yongwei Mo (China) — ₩54,500,000 (~USD 48,000)
5th: Calvin Lee (USA) — ₩43,460,000 (~USD 38,000)
6th: Wayne Zhang (China) — ₩33,390,000 (~USD 29,000)
7th: Yasreel Doddaiavar (India) — ₩24,295,000 (~USD 21,000)
8th: Shinryo Nonin (Japan) — ₩17,605,000 (~USD 15,500)
9th: Yunye Lu (China) — ₩14,550,000 (~USD 12,800)
Toshiyuki Onda triumphs to win High Roller
And not to forget that there was another High Roller, the KWR 5,000,000 (~USD 4,400) 1-Day event. The event was held alongside the Super High Roller and the opening flight of the Main Event and attracted 75 entries for a total prize pool of KRW 341,925,000 (~USD 300,000).
This one was taken down by further Japanese player, Toshiyuki Onda, battling it out in an all-Japanese heads-up with Kengo Sakurai.
In the early morning hours both players decided on an even money chop with both receiving KRW 80,440,000 (~USD 70,600). They shortly played on for the trophy and title and Onda came out victorious.
The final table featured several well known Asian players, with Malaysia’s Wai Kiat Lee, 2018 APPT National and High Roller champion Yuki Ko, Hong Kong’s Vincent Li, and the USA’s James Lee.
APPT Korea High Roller Final Table Results
1st: Toshiyuki Onda (Japan) –₩80,440,000 (~USD 70,600)
2nd: Kengo Sakurai (Japan) — ₩80,440,000 (~USD 70,600)
3rd: Daniel Smiljkovic (Germany) — ₩43,765,000 (~USD 38,600)
4th: Wai Kiat Lee (Malaysia) — ₩33,680,000 (~USD 29,700)
5th: Yuki Ko (Korea) — ₩26,670,000 (~USD 23,500)
6th: Vincent Li (Hong Kong) — ₩20,855,000 (~USD 18,400)
7th: James Won Lee (USA) — ₩16,410,000 (~USD 15,000)
8th: Haoqi Xie (China) — ₩12,820,000 (~USD 11,300)
9th: Shinji Kashima (Japan) — ₩9,745,000 (~USD 8,600)
10th: Danny Tang (Hong Kong) — ₩8,550,000 (~USD 7,500)
11th. Jun Obara (Japan) — ₩8,550,000 (~USD 7,500)