Pros of Asia dominate the Final 9 of the APPT10 Manila Main Event

After four days of grueling Main Event action at the APPT 10 Manila, the massive field of 577 entries whittled down to the Final 9 players yesterday evening. These mighty poker gladiators will be returning to the felt on Monday, August 8, 2016 for their final battle with one of them destined to take home the title and the humongous first place prize of PhP6,135,000 (US$130,774). Today’s bludgeoning Day 3 action determined who was in and who was out.

APPTManila2016_MainEvent_Day3 Finalists
Final 9 (Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars)

Here’s a look at the Final 9 players:

Jessie Leonarez – Philippines – 4,595,000 chips

Filipino pro Jessie Leonarez will enter the final table with the largest stack of the bunch, a towering 4,595,000 chips which is almost half of the total chips in play. Leonarez mainly plays in his homeland and is considered one of the best tournament players locally. Back in September 2012, Leonarez made it into his first international caliber Main Event final table finishing in 7th place at the APT Asian Poker Series Manila. A few years after, in July 2015, he placed 2nd at the PokerStars Live Manila P1M Guaranteed Main Event, then 3rd at last year’s APPT 9 Manila Main Event. Since then, he has made it to one more final table with an 8th place finish at the Poker King Cup National Philippines Main Event back in June 2016. Although Leonarez has claimed several poker titles in his career, he is still searching for his first Main Event championship title. With a monstrous stack to back him up, he is well on his way to finally achieving it.

Linh Tran – Canada -1,870,000 chips

Linh Tran
Linh Tran (Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars)

Vietnam’s Linh Tran takes the second spot with a stack of 1,870,000 chips. Tran is fresh off a final table appearance at the APT Philippines II where he finished in 7th place. He is a well-seasoned pro, frequenting poker festivals all over Asia and Australia. Tran is decorated with many titles including an APT Cambodia Main Event championship trophy. His biggest career win was back in November 2015, placing 4th at the APPT 2015 ACOP in Macau, earning US$42,501.

Alan King Lun Lau – Hong Kong – 1,015,000 chips

Alan King Lau
Alan King Lun Lau (Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars)

Alan King Lun Lau, the reigning Asia Player of the Year 2015, is the third man on the list. This Hong Kong pro spends most of his poker time in Macau, participating in many MPC, ACOP, and APPT branded festivals throughout the year. Back in August 2015, Lau nearly captured his first Baby Dragon title but fell one spot shy. Still, he earned his largest poker career keep at that event, US$35,185. Just last month, Lau finished 3rd at the ACOP Platinum Series XIV Main Event and is looking quite ripe to bag his first title of the year.

Seongsu Kong – Korea – 970,000 chips

Korean player Seongsu Kong is a new player to the Asian tournament circuit and has impressively made it to the final table with 970,000 chips. He is the fourth player in the chip count. Kong entered Day 3 of the Main Event tied for the chip leader’s status with Singapore’s Alex Lee. He earned more chips by bouncing players out of the running but his biggest takedown was against Lee with his higher pocket pair holding up on the board. He would have had been over the million mark entering the final table however he was bluffed out of a very large pot by the leader Leonarez just before the close of day.

Bruno Tzu Chieh Lo – Chinese Taipei – 860,000

Chinese Taipei’s Bruno Tzu Chieh Lo falls right smack in the middle of the group with 860,000 chips. Lo has stepped up his game this year, winning two Megastack events so far. The first one was in late February at the Macau Poker Cup  festival, followed by the second one at the PokerStars Live Manila Megastack 5 in early May where he earned his largest payout of US$50,524. Lo is currently running 8th in the Asia Player of the Year 2016 leader board.

Sang Yong Lee – Korea – 795,000 chips

Korea’s Sang Yong Lee takes the sixth position of the chip count. Lee steered clear of crazy situations to maintain a healthy stack throughout the day. He also had his fair share of eliminations to help beef up his stack to 795,000 and earn a seat to the final table.

Mike Takayama – Philippines – 670,000 chips

Mike Takayama finished runner up Mikes Room 2k for 2m event few weeks ago

Filipino pro Mike Takayama struggled with a short stack throughout Day 2 and as well on Day 3, but he managed to inch his way into the final table running seventh in chips. Takayama is a very well known player in the Asian circuit, having consistently cashed at various tournaments since 2013. He largest payday was at the APT Asian Poker Series Manila in September 2014 winning the Main Event for US$79,041. He also has four additional Main Event final table appearances, and a very long list of cashes in various events throughout his ongoing career.

Samad Razavi – UK – 500,000 chips

Sam Razavi
Sam Razavi (Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars)

According to Samad Razavi’s facebook page, he had to be convinced to stay for Day 3 of the Main Event despite having a decent stack. It is a good thing he chose to stay as he is now one of the final tableists with 500,000 chips. Although he is low in the totem pole, he is no stranger to grinding upwards and certainly has all the skills to take it to the finish line. Out of all the players in the final table, Razavi boasts of the most experience and the most winnings. Back in August 2012, he won his first ANZPT Main Event title, taking home his largest payout to date, US$339,745. Last year, Razavi placed 4th at the WSOP $3,000 NLH event and shipped in US$153,682. Those two are just a glimpse into his pages and pages of achievements. Razavi is currently the reigning APT Player of the Year champion, having won the title four consecutive years, 2012-2015.

Joven Huerto – Philippines – 355,000 chips

Joven Huerto
Joven Huerto (Photo Long Guan Courtesy of PokerStars)

Filipino player Joven Huerto completes the Final 9 with 355,000 chips. Having cashed in many events since 2011, Huerto tasted his first final table berth at the PokerStars Live Manila Megastack 4 in December 2015. One week later, the fire was still burning and he won his first Main Event championship title at the APT Poker Finale along with a payout of US$40,624. Despite having a rough ride at the ongoing APPT 10 Manila Main Event, Huerto was able to survive a couple of near eliminations to earn his seat at the final table.

*The Final 9 of the APPT 10 Manila Main Event begins at 2pm on Monday, August 8, 2016 at City of Dreams Manila. We will have a winner’s story for you as soon as it concludes.

Seat Last Name First Name Chip Count
1 Tran Linh 1,870,000
2 Takayama Mike 670,000
3 Razavi Samad 500,000
4 Kong Seongsu 970,000
5 Huerto Joven 355,000
6 Lau Alan 1,015,000
7 Leonarez Jessie 4,595,000
8 Lo Bruno Tzu Chieh 860,000
9 Lee Sang Yong 795,000

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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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