Taiwan’s Chao Ting Cheng crowned 2023 APPT Cambodia Main Event champion


“Game over!” exclaimed Chao Ting Cheng as he slapped down quads to crush Filipino Junnie Pamplona’s full house and win the APPT Cambodia Main Event. Cheng captured his first major title, the coveted PokerStars shard trophy, and a career high ICM deal payout of US$ 94,448.

“I feel so good! As a poker pro, this title is so important to me. This is my first Main Event title, and I am so very happy.”


At three-handed, Cheng was the shortest stack, and dropped to 12 big blinds. With an aggressive Eric Tsai to his right and the massive stacked Pamplona to his left, Cheng waited for his best chance to double up. It soon arrived with Ad8h dominating Pamplona’s As3s. Cheng went on to defeat Tsai in 3rd place with QdQs standing firm against AhQc. He shared how he felt upon railing his fellow countryman Tsai,

“I was both upset and happy because I am now heads up and I wanted to take down this tournament.”


At the start of heads up, Cheng had 50 big blinds and was behind Pamplona’s 69 big blinds. On the tenth hand, Cheng doubled up to switch the counts. On a board that completed 8h5h2sKh5d both players were all in on the flop. Cheng won it with QhQs over 8c7s.

Three hands later the final hand arrived. On a board 9c9s9d4d8h with bets on the flop and checks on the turn, Pamplona called Cheng’s three-bet jam with AcAs full house, Cheng had the nuts 9h5d.

For runner up Pamplona it was another missed title right here in Cambodia. However, due to an ICM deal payout at heads up, he still banked the largest payout of  US$ 101,647 for his second ever six figures. A rags to riches story, impressively, Pamplona won his seat to the Main Event via a Manila Satellite that included airfare, accommodation, and Main Event ticket all for just PHP 6,000, equivalent to ~US$ 110.


Main Event

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Cambodia festival ran its featured Main Event from May 12 to 15, 2023 at the Grand Ballroom of the NagaWorld Integrated Resorts in capital city Phnom Penh. It drew a 476-entry field for a prize pool of US$ 623,322. The money flowed at Day 2 starting at 71st place. The biggest cuts were claimed on the final day.


Main Event – Final 9 payouts

Place Player Payouts in USD
1 Chao Ting Cheng 94,448*
2 Junnie Pamplona 101,647*
3 Eric Tsai 54,290
4 Jimmy Torres 42,670
5 Evgenii Nekrasov 33,597
6 KIen Tat Heng 26,242
7 Hua Wei Lin 19,759
8 Curtis Lim 13,775
9 Bien Mai 10,908

*Heads up deal

You can read up on the Main Event Final Table race via the live updates link below.


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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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