APT Mystery Bounty Weekend: Jeorge Lagatuz takes down the Main Event; Richard Marquez wins the opener; Nicolo Valenton bags two events; APT Phu Quoc Vietnam up next

After a two year halt, the
Asian Poker Tour returned to the live beat with four days of festivities at popular hub Resorts World Manila in the Philippines. Players were treated to a brand new series called, APT Mystery Bounty Weekend, taking place from March 3 to 6. Popularized in the United States, this was the first time a format of this kind was introduced in the country. In the excitement, guarantees were breached, amassing an overall PH₱  6,551,000 (~US$ 126,100) prize pool. Main Event champion Jeorge Lagatuz emerged as the biggest winner followed by Nicolo Valenton who won two of the four side events. Also delivering a strong performance was well known local pro Richard “hot sauce” Marquez” at the series opener. We’ve got all those highlights for you.

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Photo Credit: Asian Poker Tour

With borders slowly opening up around the region, the APT quickly seized the opportunity to cement six events, three in Vietnam and three in the Philippines. First up is APT Phu Quoc Vietnam 2022 which takes place on April 8 to 17 at Corona Resort & Casino on Phu Quoc Island. More details at the bottom of the page. 

Main Event: JEORGE LAGAZUZ – PH₱ 676,450 (~US$ 13,000)

The tour came out with the headliner Main Event carrying a PH₱ 3M guarantee. After four flights, it drew a smashing crowd of 346 entries to easily surpass the guarantee for a sweetened prize pool of PH₱ 4,176,000 (~US$ 80,000). Out of that pot, PH₱ 1,392,000 (~US$ 26,660) went to the bounty pool. Only players that reached the money had a chance at the mystery bounty rewards, which in this case was the top 35 places. Local player Jeorge Lagatuz went the distance for a career high takedown of PH₱ 600,400. In addition, he scored another PH₱ 76,050 in bounties for a combined PH₱ 676,450 (~US$ 13,000) payday. This was Lagatuz’ second ever win with the first one also an APT title back in 2015. 

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Jeorge Lagatuz – Main Event champion – Photo credit: Asian Poker Tour

According to APT reports, Lagatuz blasted through the final table, railroading the last five players. His first victim was well known Japanese pro Iori Yogo in 6th place. This was another strong finish for Yogo who recently final tabled the PS Manila Super Series in 4th place. After Lagatuz cleaned out Singaporean Lim Choon Kwang (5th), he put a stop to local player Renniel Galvez. Before reaching the final table, Galvez knocked out six players and drew an astounding PH₱ 377,200 in mystery bounty rewards. This was the largest bounty collection by any player. Added to Galvez’ winnings was PH₱ 201,000 for 4th place for a combined PH₱  578,200 (~US$ 11,070), making him the second highest earner of the Main Event and third highest earner of the entire series. This was also the biggest score of his career. Out in 3rd place was local player Terence Navales who reached his first ever final table, and for runner up Lester Timonera, it was the closest bid for a title for a career high score of PH₱  472,950. 

Outside of the final table, notable players in the money were WSOP bracelet holder Mike Takayama in 13th place, Mystery Bounty Deep Stack Turbo champion Neil Lawrence in 15th place, and Joe Mark Vasay in 32nd place. 

Date: March 4 to 6
Buy in: PH₱ 13,200 (~US$ 256)
Guarantee: PH₱ 3,000,000 (~US$ 58,270)
Main prize pool: PH₱ 2,784,000 (~US$ 53,300)
Bounty prize pool: PH₱ 1,392,000 (~US$ 26,660)
ITM: 35 places

Final table payouts

1st Jeorge Lagatuz – Philippines – PH₱  600,400 + PH₱  76,050 bounties = PH₱  676,450
2nd Lester Timonera – Philippines – PH₱  400,200 + PH₱  72,750 bounties = PH₱  472,950
3rd Terence Navales – Philippines – PH₱  278,20o + PH₱  31,900 bounties = PH₱  310,100
4th Renniel Galvez – Philippines – PH₱  201,000 + PH₱  377,200 bounties = PH₱  578,200
5th Lim Choon Kwang – Singapore – PH₱  150,300 + PH₱  21,000  bounties= PH₱  171,300
6th Iori Yogo – Japan – PH₱  116,000 + PH₱  15,100 bounty = PH₱   131,100
7th Mark Joson – Philippines – PH₱  92,100 + PH₱  8,800 bounty = PH₱  100,900
8th Janno Alvarez – Philippines – PH₱  75,000 + PH₱  8,800 bounty = PH₱  83,800

Two wins: NICOLO VALENTON – PH₱  666,650 (~US$ 12,770)

The only player to walk away with two titles under his belt was local player Nicolo Valenton who topped both the Mystery Bounty Single Day High Rollers and Mystery Bounty Super Deep Stack Turbo. For his superb run, Valenton locked up a combined PH₱ 666,650 (~US$ 12,770). Based on his stats on The Hendon Mob, these were just his second and third live tournament cashes. 

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Nicolo Valenton – Photo credit: Asian Poker Tour

At the high rollers event, Valenton topped the 24 entry field, outlasting final table bigshots Mike Takayama, Florencio Campomanes, and Richard Marquez. All three pros missed the money round. At ITM, Valenton railed local player EJ Guevarra (3rd) and Sweden’s Magnus Karlsson (2nd) to scoop up the PH₱  165,800 plus all the bounty rewards amounting to PH₱  239,600. In this event, he earned a combined PH₱  405,400 (~US$ 7,800). He also cashed at the Main Event in 15th place for an added PH₱  36,200. 

Date: Friday, March 4
Buy in: PH₱ 32,000 (~US$ 620)
Entries: 24
Main prize pool: PH₱  458,800 (~US$ 8,800).
Bounty pool: PH₱  239,600 (~US$ 4,600)
ITM: 3 places


1st Nicolo Valenton – Philippines – PH₱  165,800* + PH₱  239,600 = PH₱  405,400
2nd Magnus Karlsson – Sweden – PH₱  154,099*
3rd EJ Guevarra – Philippines – PH₱  138,500*
*ICM deal

The last event of the weekend series was the Mystery Bounty Super Deep Stack Turbo with 77 turning up for a prize pool of PH₱  693,000 (~US$ 13,280). The final 8 players claimed a piece of the main pot worth PH₱  462,000 (~US$ 8,850) After Allan Daypuyart railed Vicente Pena in 8th place, Alvin Sembrano went on a killing spree, eliminating the next three players – Ahmed Noor (7th), Armand Castaneda (6th), and Daypuyart (5th) – to earn PH₱  PH₱  99,550 in bounty rewards. Down to four players, Valenton went in high gear, sweeping the rest of the field to collect a combined PH₱  122,750 in bounties. Runner up Sembrano walked away with more bounty rewards than main pot payout of PH₱  92,300 for a total of PH₱  191,850 (~US$ 3,675). 

Date: Sunday, March 6
Buy in: PH₱  9,900
Entries: 77
Main prize pool: PH₱  462,000 (~US$ 8,850)
Bounty pool: PH₱  231,000 (~US$ 4,420)
ITM: 8 places


1st Nicolo Valenton – Philippines – PH₱  138,500 + PH₱  122,750 bounties = PH₱  261,250
2nd Alvin Sembrano – Philippines – PH₱  92,300 + PH₱  99,550 bounties = PH₱  191,850
3rd Alex Giva – Philippines – PH₱  64,200
4th Ferdinand Apas – Philippines – PH₱  46,300
5th Allan Daypuyart – Philippines – PH₱  34,700
6th Armand Castaneda – Philippines – PH₱  26,700
7th Ahmed Noor – Philippines – PH₱  21,200
8th Vicente Pena – Philippines – PH₱  17,300

Introduction Event: RICHARD MARQUEZ – PH₱  124,200 (~US$ 2,380)

The series opened with the Mystery Bounty Introduction Event, set up for players to get an early taste of the format. Backed by a PH₱  300K guarantee, it was easily crushed by the 246 entries. The remaining 25 players were looking at a piece of the PH₱  715,900 (~US$ 13,710), of which PH₱  246,000 was reserved for the mystery bounty draw. 

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Richard Marquez – Photo credit: Asian Poker Tour

Banking his fifth ever APT title was well known local pro Richard “hot sauce” Marquez for a combined score of PH₱  124,200. Marquez knocked out four of the eight final table players. Sharing the spotlight was runner up Allan Daypuyart who drew two out of the three top mystery bounty rewards worth PH₱  44,000 each. In total, Daypuyart scooped up PH₱  191,300 (~US$ 3,665), making him the biggest earner of this event. 

Date: Thursday, March 3
Buy in: PH₱ 3,300 (~US$ 64)
Guarantee: PH₱ 300,000 (~US$ 5,827)
Entries: 246
Main prize pool: PH₱  469,900 (~US$ 9,000)
Bounty prize pool: PH₱  246,000 (~US$ 4,700)
ITM: 25 places

Final table payouts

1st Richard Marquez – Philippines – PH₱  94,800* + PH₱  29,400 bounties = PH₱  124,200
2nd Allan Daypuyart – Philippines – PH₱  94,800* + PH₱ 96,500 bounties = PH₱  191,300
3rd Rommel Angeles – Philippines – PH₱  52,800 + PH₱  3,500 bounties = PH₱  56,300
4th Joseph Carbonell – Philippines – PH₱  38,100 + PH₱  60,250 bounties = PH₱  98,350
5th Joseroy Jeremias – Philippines – PH₱  28,500 + PH₱  6,300 = PH₱  34,800
6th Junnie Pamplona – Philippines – PH₱  22,000 + PH₱  10,200 = PH₱  22,000
7th Renato “JR” Villanueva – Philippines – PH₱  17,500
8th Rory Magallanes – Philippines – PH₱  14,200
*Heads up chop

Deep Stack Turbo: NEIL LAWRENCE – PH₱  144,700 (~US$ 2,800)

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Neil Lawrence – Photo credit: Asian Poker Tour

Malaysian player Neil Lawrence earned his second ever APT title after taking down the Mystery Bounty Deep Stack Turbo event. Lawrence overcame a deficit at heads up against crowd favorite, Grace Takayama, to secure the top cash prize and the biggest amount in bounties of PH₱  69,600. Lawrence walked away PH₱  144,700 (~(US$ 2,800) richer. 

Date: Saturday, March 5
Buy in: PH₱ 6,600 (~US$ 128)
Entries: 46
Main prize pool: PH₱  175,700 (~US$ 3,365)
Bounty pool: PH₱  92,000 (~US$ 1,760)
ITM: 5 places

Final table payouts

1st Neil Lawrence – Malaysia – PH₱  75,100 + PH₱  69,600 bounties = PH₱  144,700
2nd Grace Takayama – Philippines – PH₱  43,500 + PH₱  22,400 bounties = PH₱  65,900
3rd Gerry Flores – Philippines – PH₱  26,900
4th Steve Chua – Philippines – PH₱  17,800
5th Scott Alm – Canada – PH₱  12,400

Up next: APT Phu Quoc Vietnam 2022

Just announced, the tour will plant its flag on a new destination next month. Coming April 8 to 17 is APT Phu Quoc Vietnam 2022 which takes place at the Corona Resort & Casino on the gorgeous island of Phu Quoc. A total of 22 events line the schedule highlighted by the Main Event VN₫ 3 Billion guarantee. The series opener will be a two day Mystery Bounty event featuring a VN₫ 1 Billion guarantee.

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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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