Bulgaria’s Dimitar Blazhev wins WPT Philippines Main Event for his first major live title

Bulgaria’s Dimitar Blazhev will have more to spend with while vacationing in the Philippines. He became the newest WPT Asia Pacific Season XVIII Main Event champion pocketing a handsome Php 4,812,000 (~US$ 95,200) first prize. This was his first-ever major live victory and largest live career score.

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Dimitar Blazhev

Talking to Somuchpoker, he confessed that he had to cancel his flight to the beautiful island of Palawan, Philippines to play the final table. It has been rescheduled. He plans to celebrate his victory on the island tomorrow.

Blazhev also shared that he is an avid cash game player. He has more than ten years of experience as a cash game player both online and live in Bulgaria. To capture the title here today, Blazhev dominated Kunwoo Kim at heads up.

Final table payouts

1st Dimitar Blazhev – Bulgaria – Php 4,812,000 (~US$ 95,200)
2nd Kunwoo Kim – Korea – Php 3,372,000 (~US$ 66,700)
3rd Mark Dela Cruz – Philippines – Php 2,168,000 (~US$ 42,900)
4th David Erquiaga – Philippines – Php 1,397,000 (~US$ 27,600)
5th Rogel Del Rosario – Philippines – Php 1,077,000 (~US$ 21,300)
6th Christos Vlahos – Austraila – Php 891,000 (~US$ 17,600)
7th Ryo Naito – Japan – Php 784,000 (~US$ 15,500)
8th Vikaash Shah – India – Php 613,000 (~US$ 12,100)
9th Jongjun Park – Korea – Php 481,000  (~US$ 9,500)

Relive the final table action via our live updates. Brief recap also provided below.

Final Table Live Updates

The Php 75,000 (~US$ 1,500) buy-in Main Event drew 344 entries for a guarantee-smashing prize pool of Php 22,523,400 (~US$ 445,400). Only 43 were paid. The biggest cuts were claimed today.

Final table recap

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Final Table

The final table kicked off with Australia’s lone warrior Christos Vlahos bringing in the largest stack. On the opposite end was Korea’s Jongjun Park. On just the fifth hand tabled, Park was eliminated in 8th place by Rogel Del Rosario with JcJh staying ahead of AhQh. Out next was India’s only hope, Vikaash Shah whose JcJs ran into Dimitar Blazhev’s AdAh. Del Rosario claimed his second victim and a big chip lead after railing Japan’s Ryo Naito in 7th place with AdAs over AcKc. The first three eliminations were in the same pecking order as when they entered the final table.

The six-handed round would see 28 hands before the next elimination. Along the way Del Rosario amassed 40 percent of chips in play. The only APAC Player of the Year contender, David Erquiaga, saw his stack go out of control with steep inclines and harsh dives. He dropped to 13 bbs on a hand against Blazhev. The board completed to 3h3d5s10hQs, Blazhev check-raised all in on the river. Erquiaga doubled up on the next hand with KsJc both pairing up to cripple Vlahos who had Ad8h. Vlahos managed to double up with pocket threes, Erquiaga also doubled up earning off Del Rosario for his straight over trips. On Vlahos‘s next shove-called, his pocket twos was out-flipped by Del Rosario’s overcards.

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Rogel Del Rosario

Up until this time, Del Rosario was clearly in command. However, the winds shifted, breaking down his towers. Erquiaga took a big chunk calling with a winning second pair and Mark Dela Cruz doubled up with top pair. Del Rosario fell in 5th place with AdQd outdrawn by Erquiaga‘s As2s flush.

Four-handed action saw the chip lead move around the table missing only Dela Cruz. Blazhev banked a huge double up off Erquiaga with KcKs over 10c10d. From there, Erquiaga went downhill and out in 4th place. He pushed with pocket nines on a 7-7-5 board and fell to Kunwoo Kim‘s pocket tens.

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David Erquiaga

The Philippines last hope, Dela Cruz, was denied in 3rd place. After his pocket aces lost to Blazhev‘s trips, he was unable to recover, emptied out by Kim on the 114th hand of the day.

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Heads up

Heads up count had Kim 5 bbs ahead. Blazhev came out firing winning a majority of the larger pots. By the 14th hand, he had a 2:1 lead. 53 hands went by before Kim stole it back though briefly. Blazhev continued his relentless attacks, claiming the lead again. By heads up hand #81, and over two hours in the ring, the first and only heads up all in showdown came down. Blazhev three-bet jammed with Ac9d, Kim tank-called for his tournament life with KdJc. The final board was 7sQs3sQc7d.

Asia Pacific Player of the Year leaderboard

With David Erquiaga unable to finish 1st or 2nd, joint leaders Hari Varma, Hamish Crawshaw, and Brian Tougias remain on top of Asia Pacific Player of the Year leaderboard. All three have 1500 points. Erquiaga‘s 4th place finish earned him 630 points to bring his combined tally to 1380 points. He catapulted from 21st rank to 4th rank, just below the leaders. Only the top 30 players of the Main Event were awarded points. Blazhev gets on the leaderboard with 900 points.

WPT Philippines Coverage

Watch: Dimitar Blazhev wins WPT Philippines Main Event

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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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