Korea’s SJ Kim seizes the APT Finale Macau Main Event title

After five days of APT Finale Macau Main Event action, Korean poker pro, SJ Kim overcame the Final 8 showdown to seize his first-ever APT championship title and thef HKD647,300 (USD83,433) first place cash prize.

SJ Kim (Photo APT)

Final 8

The Final 8 saw a lot of action at the get-go with players looking to get an early stack boost. Kim was no exception. While several of them successfully chipped up, India’s Praveen Dwarkanath was not so fortunate and fell out of the running in 8th place. He was eliminated by Asia’s GPI leading player, Xi Xiang Luo.

With many decorated players at the felt, the next fallout didn’t happen for another couple of rounds. It was tournament novice Yuan Hang Zhong who couldn’t get past the pros and was ousted in 7th place by Kim. In a surprising turn of events, Luo was sent to the rail next, exiting in 6th place.

Five handed match

The five-handed match saw chips move in many directions. Germany’s Big Tiger was one of the benefactors, slowly clawing his way out of the short stack zone. Then there was Kim who had multiple run-ins with poker pro YIfan Zheng and eventually landed a big double up that set the pace for his coming victory. The day’s entering chip leader, Chinese pro Lu Yunye, eliminated Xie Wei Jian in 5th place, awarding him a dominating big stack entering the final four.

Final Four

With blinds escalating, action continued with heavy bets generated between the players. Big pots began to weigh down the middle of the felt. It was at this moment that Kim shipped in a massive double up against the leader Yunye to swoop into the top spot. Several hands later, the biggest pot of the day made landfall with Kim shutting the door on two players simultaneously. It was a three-way all in showdown with Kim holding pocket aces that crushed Yunye’s pocket kings in 3rd place and Big Tiger’s pocket sevens in 4th place.

Heads Up Play

Heads Up Round (Photo APT)

With nearly all the chips in play at his disposal, it didn’t take long for Kim to finish off the last player in his path. He eliminated Zheng in 2nd place with pocket tens defeating pocket fives. This victory earned Kim one if  his largest live tournament score.

The Main Event saw a total of 273 entries for a prize pool of HKD2,620,800 (USD337,797). Many notable players were in attendance however a majority of them fell before the money round. Among them were Poker King Club President, Winfred Yu, defending champion Dong Guo, Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Korea’s Lim Yo Hwan, Singapore’s Alex Lee, and current leader of the APT POY race, Japan’s Iori Yogo.

Final 8 Payouts
1st Soojo Kim – Korea – HKD647,300
2nd Yifan Zheng – China – HKD369,500
3rd Lu Yunye – China – HKD249,000
4th Big Tiger – Germany – HKD175,600
5th Xie Wei Jian – China – HKD141,500
6th Xi Xiang Luo – China – HKD112,700
7th Yuan Hang Zhong – China – HKD89,100
8th Praveen Dwarkanath – India – 70,800

The APT Finale Macau 2016 festival is coming to a close with a few more side events to wrap up, including the Super High Roller event that began yesterday. We will have those final highlights along with the crowning of the APT Player of the Year champion.

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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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