USA’s Brian Tougias entered the final day of the Main Event in second rank, proceeded to knock out three players, then overcame a chip deficit at heads up to defeat Malaysia’s Kai Fu Wong and claim victory. Tougias pocketed his largest- ever live tournament score of US$ 131,430.
“I feel great! It’s surreal. My birthday was yesterday so I couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift. Four months ago I was teaching P.E and swimming lessons in Koh Samui, had a couple of big scores online so I stopped teaching. I’ve been playing professionally now for four months, semi-pro for five years. I’ve been to Phnom Penh several times and I’ve not played live in Asia. I had a big score on WCOOP so I figured I’d give this a shot.”
In addition to the cash and the sleek WPT Champion Trophy, Tougias received 1500 points towards Season XVIII WPT Asia Pacific Player of the Year leader board. He shares the top spot with Hari Varma and Hamish Crawshaw.
Final 8 payouts
1st Brian Tougias – USA – US$ 131,460
2nd Kai Fu Wong – Malaysia – US$ 92,152
3rd Sim Jae Kyung – Korea – US$ 59,400
4th Aladin Reskallah – France – US$ 43,941
5th Si Yang Phua – Singapore – US$ 33,574
6th Kue Seong Tchong – Singapore – US$ 26,583
7th Alex Xiang Wei Lee – Singapore – US$ 22,007
8th Yong Cheong Foo – Singapore – US$ 17,504
9th Jiyoung Kim – Korea – US$ 13,146
WPT Cambodia Main Event ran from November 21 to 25 at NagaWorld Phnom Penh. This was the first WPT festival held in the country’s capital city. It drew a WPT APAC record-breaking 750 entries at US$ 1,100 buy-in each for a wealthy prize pool of US$ 727,500. Portions of the money were claimed in Day 2 starting at 94th place, the largest cuts were determined on the final day with 9 players returning.
Final day recap
The race to glory was incredibly fast. It ran a total of 148 hands. As soon as cards were in the air, it was action packed. Sim Jae Kyung (Simba) doubled up through Alex Lee with staying ahead of . This sent Simba jumping from seventh rank to fourth rank.
Immediately after, the WSOP decorated lady, Jiyoung Kim, doubled up through Tougias with surviving against overcards. However five hands later, she faced Tougias again now behind with to his and failed to improve to become the first casualty of the final table.
More fast-paced action continued with Singaporean Yong Cheong Foo getting maximum pay from Tougias for his aces but alike Kim, his rise didn’t last with chip leader Kai Fu Wong ending his run well short of glory. Foo pushed with that fell to Wong’s .
Next out was highly decorated Singaporean pro Alex Xiang Wei Lee. His stack swung wildly until it went southward when his ran into Aladin Reskallah‘s that further improved to a full house. Down to 3 bbs, Simba took the rest with kings over eights.
Singaporeans were having a bad run with the remaining two tumbling in succession. Kue Seong Tchong was all in on the flop then jammed only to see the bad news. Tougias‘s had a set of fives and held to deny pocket tens in 6th place. Falling in 5th place was Si Yang Phua with unable to crack Wong‘s .
The game slowed at four-handed. Wong held the lead and widened the gap by winning six consecutive pots. Tougias also had his fair share of big pots to keep in pace with the leader. But Wong jumped to a commanding lead after railing Reskallah in 4th place.
At three-handed, Wong was backed by over 65% of chips in play while Tougias and Simba were about even for the rest. Both short stacks went head to head, Tougias won the bout with higher kicker over Simba‘s on a board . The shoves were on the turn. This sent Simba down to 3 bbs and was eliminated soon after by Wong in 3rd place.
Heads up got underway with Wong ahead 2.5:1. It ran in uber fast pace, completing in less than an hour with 49 heads up hands tabled.
Tougias came out strong winning a majority of the bigger pots. One of his largest was trips on a board that earned him 4.4m and the chip lead for the first time.
Once on top, Tougias held, He continued to drain Wong even catching a bluff. The final hand arrived on a flop . Wong check-raised and Tougias shoved. Wong called with gutshot that was way behind Tougias‘s . The turn and river sealed the win for the newcomer to the live scene.
Read up on all the action via our live posts.