APT Philippines early highlights: Christopher Mateo wins the Main Event; Iori Yogo & Narutoshi Otsuka win High Rollers

The Asian Poker Tour is currently running its fourth event of the year with APT Philippines 2019 ongoing at Resorts World Manila. Games began on April 24th and is scheduled to conclude on May 5th. Through the years, this leg has proven to be the most popular. With this year’s festival falling during Japan’s Golden Week, it certainly has reflected on the numbers. The Main Event said it all with a new series record set of 503 entries and a prize pool of P24,395,500 (~US$ 470,700). Owning all the glory was Filipino Christopher Mateo.

The festival also wrapped up several side events. Among the biggest winners were Japanese players Iori Yogo and Narutoshi Otsuka. Each one shipped a High Rollers event. Other big winners were Low Zi Cheng and Louis Bilodeau.

Christopher Mateo wins the Main Event

The Main Event set a new APT Philippines series record of 503 entries and a prize pool of P24,395,500 with buy-in at P55,000 (~US$1,064). This figure more than doubled the advertised P10M guarantee. 51 players earned a cut. Emerging victorious was Filipino player Christopher Mateo to capture his first-ever major career title and his largest score of P4,376,000 (~USD 84,400).

Christopher Mateo
Christopher Mateo – Photo APT

The Main Event ran a course of five days from April 26 to 30. Well known players were of course in attendance with a couple of them grabbing headlines. Singaporean pro Alex Lee topped the starting days overall count, Filipino pro Marc Rivera led at the end of Day 2, and Mateo entered the final 8 round in charge. Among the players also looking to ship it was German pro Marvin Rettenmaier. He eventually finished in 7th place.

Throughout the final race, Mateo held the chip lead and knocked out four players along the way. At heads up, he struck a deal with Singapore’s Lu Zhenghao. Despite a brief switch in stack leadership, Mateo quickly reclaimed it and went on to win it.

Final 8 payouts

1st Christopher Mateo – Philippines – P4,376,000 (deal)
2nd Lu Zhenghao – Singapore – P4,100,000 (deal)
3rd Vamerdino Magsakay – Philippines – P2,357,100
4th Su Tianhong – China – P1,702,500
5th Jung Seungmook – Korea P1,273,200
6th Keichiro Sugimoto – Japan – P982,600
7th Marvin Rettenmaier – Germany – P780,300
8th Jessie Supnet – Philippines – P635,700

Iori Yogo wins the High Rollers #1

The APT announced there would be six high rollers events in the lineup. The first one was the High Rollers #1 with a buy-in of P107,500. It ran for two days attracting 43 runners for a prize pool of P4,171,000 (~US$80,000). Japanese pro Iori Yogo triumphed over John Tech at heads up to pocket a lion’s share P1,308,900 (~US$25,000).

Iori Iogo

Final 8 payouts

1st Iori Yogo – Japan – P1,308,900
2nd John Tech – Philippines – P872,500
3rd Tobias Peters – Netherlands – P606,600
4th Argyle Alejandria – USA – P438,100
5th Kannapong Thanarattrakul – Thailand – P327,600
6th Linh Tran – Vietnam – P252,900
7th Hirasawa Fumimasa – Japan – P200,800
8th Markus Garberg – Norway – P163,600

Narutoshi Otsuka wins the High Rollers Single Day #1

The next High Rollers was a single day event with the shot clock activated to help speed things up. Buy-in was P86,000 (~US$1,700) for a prize pool of P2,871,200 (~US$55,000). Another Japanese player navigated his way to the top. Narutoshi Otsuka overcame the 37 entries to win the P986,800 (~US$19,000) first place purse. This was Otsuka’s first-ever recorded live tournament victory.

Narutoshi Otsuka Photo APT
Narutoshi Otsuka – Photo APT


1st Narutoshi Otsuka – Japan – P986,800
2nd Koichi Aiba – Japan – P634,100
3rd Kosaku Akashi – Japan – P427,500
4th Lester Edoc – Philippines – P301,200
5th Roger Spets – Switzerland – P221,000
6th Ryo Kotake – Japan – P168,200
7th Tobias Peters – Netherlands – P132,400

Low Zi Cheng wins the Dream Maker opening event

Awarded the first trophy of the festival was Singapore’s Low Zi Cheng for his triumph at the Dream Maker opening event. Impressively, Cheng also won last year’s opener at the same series. The draw of the Dream Maker was its payout structure with only 5% of the field earning. With 88 entries at P16,500 each, the prize pool amounted to P1,280,400 (~US$24,500). Only 5 players gained with Cheng defeating Christopher Mateo at heads up to claim P547,000 (~US$10,500).

Low Zi Cheng Photo APT
Low Zi Cheng – Photo APT


1st Low Zi Cheng – Singapore – P547,000
2nd Christopher Mateo – Philippines – P317,100
3rd Samad Razavi – UK – P196,300
4th Netnapit Muksatean – Thailand – P129,400
5th Hiroyuki Yoshimura – Japan – P90,600

Louis Bilodeau wins the No Limit Hold’em #1

The largest side event so far was the No Limit Hold’em #1 pulling in 143 entries for a pot of P2,496,800 (~US$48,000) with buy-in at P19,800 (~US$382). Out of the 24 players paid shipping the largest share of P593,600 (~US$11,500) was Canadian Louis Bilodeau. This was his first-ever APT victory.

Louis Bilodeau Photo APT
Louis Bilodeau – Photo APT

Final 8 payouts

1st Louis Bilodeau – Canada – P593,600
2nd Kohei Kawai – Japan – P395,600
3rd Roger Spets – Sweden – P275,000
4th Keisuke Okamura – Japan – P198,600
5th Otake Michitaka – Japan – P148,600
6th Wei Xu – China – P114,700
7th Sato Yoshinori – Japan – P91,00
8th Matt Ericson – Thailand – P74,200

APT Philippines 2019 is now running its second featured event, the Championships Event – P10 Million (~US$193,300) guarantee. Buy-in is P82,500 (~US$1600). Somuchpoker will have that result for you once it concludes along with other big winners of the series.

Article by Tricia David

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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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