APT Philippines II: Korea’s Sung Ho Kim wins the Main Event; Pros win side events

The Asian Poker Tour concluded its latest event, the APT Philippines II, held at Resorts World Manila from September 13-21. On closing day, a new champion was crowned with Korea’s Sung Ho Kim winning the Main Event. In his shadow, were several Asian poker pros claiming side events, along with the awarding of the APT Player of the Series.

Sung Ho Kim charges to victory at the Main Event

Sung Ho Kim - Photo APT
Sung Ho Kim – Photo APT

The US$1,650 Main Event ran a course of five days with 132 total entries and a prize pool amounting to US$192,060. There were numerous past champions vying for another title, however only two of them reached the final 8, Korea’s Soo Jo Kim and Filipino Mike Takayama. For the former, SJ, he was hunting for a second title while the latter, Takayama, was gunning for a third.

The final 8 round got underway with the leader Sung Ho Kim continuing to display his dominance. Sung Ho claimed the heads of Lebanon’s Hanna Khalife (8th) and Japan’s Zentaro Nakayashiki (7th) to bring the field down to six.

Unlike the cruising Sung Ho, Takayama couldn’t get much going and had to settle for a 6th place berth. The only other Filipino at the Final 8 was Eugene Co who was first to shine under the spotlight by winning the festival’s opening event. Although he showed impressive consistency by making the Final 8, Sung Ho sent him to the rail in 5th place.

The next two eliminations were credited to Korea’s Jae Hyun Lim. Lim eliminated amateur player Japan’s Daiki Kohagi in 4th place, and after a long three-handed bout, he got the best of SJ and eliminated him in 3rd place.

Throughout the Final 8, SJ always stayed just one spot behind the leader Sung Ho. With his elimination, Lim entered the heads up round as the new leader. Just a brief background on Lim, he has been running extremely well. He landed a 5th place finish at the PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event last month.

Although Lim had the chip advantage, he could not break Sung Ho down. Sung Ho won two big pots that restored his status as the chip leader then went on to win it. Sung Ho shipped in US$40,250 and the exclusive APT Championship Ring. Runner-up Lim earned his second five-digit payout of his tournament career worth US$28,880.

Final 8 payouts
1st Sung Ho Kim – Korea – USD 40,250 (ICM deal made)

2nd Jae Hyun Lim – Korea – USD 28,880 (ICM deal made)
3rd Soo Jo Kim – Korea – USD 28,530 (ICM deal made)
4th Daiki Kohagi – Japan – USD 14,500
5th Eugene Co – Philippines – USD 12,000
6th Mike Takayama – Philippines – USD 9,890
7th Zentaro Nakayashiki – Japan – USD 8,160
8th Hanna Khalife – Lebanon – USD 6,820

Pros Kosei Ichinose, Iori Yogo, and Martin Corpuz win side events

Kosei Ichinose - Photo APT
Kosei Ichinose – Photo APT

While Sung Ho Kim was busy taking everyone’s chips at the Main Event, there was ample side event action happening with pros taking their stand. At the High Rollers event, there may have only been 15 in attendance however if you wanted to put your skills to the test against some of the best players in the Asian circuit, this would have been the tournament to do so. The two-day event closed with Japanese pro Kosei Ichinose outlasting his fellow pros to win the US$13,280 first prize. Ichinose defeated Finland’s Jukka Jarvinen at the heads up round, denying the Finnish a second title. Days prior, Jarvinen won one of the deep stack turbo events. 

1st Kosei Ichinose – Japan – US$13,280
2nd Jukka Jarvinen –Finland – US$10,000
3rd Linh Tran – Vietnam – US$5,820

One of the APT’s most popular side events has always been the two-day Monster Stack. This event turned up a total of 65 entries for a USD$44,130 prize pool. A few Filipinos were among the 9 players in the money round with Martin Corpuz running the deepest, taking it all the way for a takedown. Corpuz also ran well at the Opening Event, finishing 5th, plus a 9th place berth at a turbo event. He earned over US$13K at the series. 

1st Martin Corpuz – Philippines – US$10,330
2nd Hesham Bucheery – Bahrain – US$9,440
3rd Junichi Nakagiri – Japan – US$5,520
4th Terry Gonzaga – Philippines – US$4,280
5th Daryl James Green – England – US$3,710
6th Doug Young Hyun – South Korea – US$3,220
7th Richard Marquez – Philippines – US$2,820
8th Jared Skinner – USA – US$2,520
9th Andy Li Xueyan – Singapore – US$2,290

Japanese pro Iori Yogo didn’t have as strong of a run as he did at the previous APT series. He also missed the mark at the Main Event, falling just before the money. But he didn’t leave dry either. The reigning APT Player of the Year champion closed out the last side event, the Six-Handed Turbo tournament, and just like Ichinose, he stole away a near second title from his heads up opponent Kohei Kawanishi who lifted a trophy days ago.

1st Iori Yogo – Japan – US$3,600
2nd Kohei Kawanishi – Japan – US$2,220
3rd Dhanesh Chainani – Singapore – US$1,630
4th Yoichi Fujiya – Japan – US$1,260
5th Kazuhiro Ito – Japan – US$1,090
6th Ron Tse – USA – US$950
7th Yuri Odagiri – Japan – US$830
8th Svyatoslav Dvornikov – Russia – US$740
9th Shinichiro Tone – Japan – US$680

APT Player of the Series winners

Dhanesh Chainani - Photo APT
Dhanesh Chainani – Photo APT

The APT Player of the Series is the APT’s newest incentive program introduced at the start of this year. The program awards various prizes to the three players with the most points per series.

After a very tight race, the latest APT POS winners were Singapore’s Dhanesh Chainani (1st), Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa (2nd), and Filipino Martin Corpuz (3rd). Chainani edged Tsuchikawa by just six points while Tsuchikawa was ahead of Corpuz by less than half a point. Tsuchikawa was leading up until the last day of the series with Chainani running deep at the Six-Handed event to overtake for the win.

Final tally
Chainani – 235.51 points
Tsuchikawa – 229.17 points
Corpuz – 228.77 points

At the 2017 APT Player of the Year race, Tsuchikawa maintains his lead and now has a bigger point difference against the second in line, Yoichi Uesugi. Hung Sheng Lin and Iori Yogo are still secure in the next two spots while Chanani has moved up to 5th rank. They will all have to pick up the pace if they want to catch up to Tsuchikawa.

Article by Triccia David

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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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