WPT Philippines: Seitaro Aso triumphs the 6 Max; William Kang dominates Superstack; Cao Ngoc Anh ahead at SHR, reg still open

Side events are looking healthier each day as more players arrive at Okada Manila for the third edition of WPT Philippines. The festival opened on February 6th and is set to conclude on February 17th. Eleven players have lifted trophies. The latest winners were Seitaro Aso at the 6 Max NLH and William Kang at the Superstack Freezeout. Both events drew big fields. Also wrapping up was the Super High Roller with two players remaining. Registration is still open but will close at exactly 1pm local time. Recaps and results below.

Event 13: Super High Roller update

We start with the Super High Roller since registration is still open. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, low turnout was not a surprise. Registration was open all day, 7 players coughed up the hefty Php 500k (~US$ 10,000) buy-in. By bagging time, five fell – Lester Edoc, Hamish Crawshaw, Vincent Huang, Jun Obara, and Florencio Campomanes. Luckily they can still get back in the game. Two players bagged up. For those wanting to jump in, registration will close at 1pm in Day 2 – Friday, February 14. 

Buy-in: Php 500,000 (~US$ 10,000)
Entries: 7
Prize pool: Php 3,293,150 (~US$ 65,200)

Cao Ngoc Anh – Vietnam – 1,372,000
Minhee Gim – Korea – 378,000

Opening blinds: 5k-10k ante 10k
Chips in play: 1,750,000
Average stack: 875,000

Event 11: 6 Max NLH – Seitaro Aso – Php 1,320,000 (~US$ 26,100)

Celebratory day for Japanese player Seitaro Aso at the 6 Max NLH overcoming the heavy swings to win the title and the Php 1,320,000 (~US$ 26,100) first prize.

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Seitaro Aso

The two-day event was the choice of many notable players as they sat elbow to elbow around the room. 62 signed up with 18 re-entering for 80 total entries.

Buy-in: Php 55,000 (~US$ 1,100)
Entries: 80
Prize pool: Php 3,880,000 (~US$ 76,700)

Day 1 closed at the brutal fall of Lester Edoc on the bubble. Action resumed today with 10 players remaining. Filipino superstar Mike Takayama was in the lead, Seitaro was running second, and Asia Pacific Season XVIII Player of the Year joint leader, Hamish Crawshaw, in third position. 

Early action saw Takayama plunge while Iori Yogo catapulted to the lead. Blinds 1500-3000 ante 3000, Yogo raised to 6500 from cutoff, button Takayama called, bb Sven McDermott three-bet to 31k, Yogo and Takayama called. At the flop, 6-7-8 rainbow, Yogo shoved, Takayama called, McDermott bowed out. Yogo had 9-9 overpair, Takayama 6-5 bottom pair, the turn and river were Q-J. 

Seitaro took charge next railing Filipino Terry Gonzaga (10th) with K-Q outdrawing A-6 then earned more with top two pair against Takayama. This put Takayama in danger and shortly out in 9th place. Ryan McAllister enjoyed a double up with quad sevens but still crashed in 8th place to McDermott. Christos Vlahos quickly followed after losing a large chunk to Cao Ngoc Anh to push with a desperate Ks5s however Kyungkun Lee had AcAd. This formed the final table. 

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Final Table

Lots of swings at the final table. Crawshaw denied Cao (7th), McDermott took the lead with a flush as Seitaro fell to bottom rank, then Crawshaw stole the top spot. Seitaro lost more chips on a failed bluff against Yogo but recovered on a double up through Crawshaw with Qd8d over Qh4h, all in on the flop on a board 4d3hKd8c5s. Crawshaw struggled but QcQs doubled him up off Seitaro’s As9s. This sent Seitaro down to 9 bbs. The two faced off again with Seitaro winning. The exchange finally ended with Seitaro JsJd winning the flip against Crawshaw‘s AsKh .

Seitaro continued to rake it in, doubling up through Kyungkun Lee to regain the lead. Lee was down to 3 bbs and fell in 4th place. With half the chips in play at three-handed, Seitaro railed McDermott with Jh10h straight to Qh8h on a board 9c9s8d7h6c. All in was on the flop. 

Heads up arrived and it was a Japanese battle. Seitaro was up 2:1 in chips. He proceeded to drain Yogo. The final hand arrived with Seitaro holding QdQh and Yogo 4d4c. Final board was 7sJhQc6d2c

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Seitaro Aso


1st Seitaro Aso – Japan – Php 1,320,000
2nd Iori Yogo – Japan – Php 757,000
3rd Sven McDermott – Ireland – Php 473,000
4th Kyungkun Lee – Korea – Php 320,000
5th Hamish Crawshaw – New Zealand – Php 242,000
6th Cao Ngoc Anh – Vietnam – Php 195,000
7th Christos Vlahos – Australia – Php 173,000
8th Ryan McAllister – USA – Php 152,000
9th Mike Takayama – Philippines – Php 132,000
10th Terry Gonzaga – Philippines – Php 116,000

Event 12: Superstack NLH Freezeout – William Kang – Php 269,000 (~US$ 5,300)

Filling up a large portion of the Coral Lounge was the Superstack NLH Freezeout with 125 entries. William Kang was unstoppable at the final table to eventually claim victory after a heads up deal with John Lee.

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William Kang

Buy-in: Php 12,000 (~US$ 240)
Entries: 125
Prize pool: Php 1,067,000 (~US$ 21,000)

Taking the action from the bubble round, Bryan Santos opened the cash flow by eliminating a player with QdQc dominating 8h8s. Fast dropouts followed to form the final table.

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Final Table

First big action saw William Kang double up through Alvin Sembrano. Both players were all in on a turn board 10h4h5hKd. Kang with 5d5c set, Sembrano with Ah9h nut flush, the river Kc improved Kang to a full house. After Joven Huerto fell in 9th place, Kang railed Joon Hwi Park (8th) to balloon into a massive lead.

Kang‘s dominance continued. His next victim was Alexis Lim who pushed with AhJs but failed to improve against Kang‘s QdQc. John Lee proceeded to take all of Kim Hak Do’s chips, then Anthony Abram denied Koji Takagi’s overcards to bring the field down to four players.

It was Sembrano‘s turn to get lucky. He doubled up through Kang with AcQd full house to crack KdKh on a board 5sAdAh7cQc, however Abram was also hot on the hunt and emptied out Sembrano with AhKc pairing the king to dust JcJh.

The three remaining players, Kang, Lee and Abram attempted to strike a deal but failed so the game continued. Abram was eventually bumped out with Ad8s unable to break Lee’s 10d10c. Heads up followed with Lee ahead 2.5:1. It switched up when Kang doubled up with 2c2h set to Lee‘s Ah8d on a board 2sKc10h5h9s. After several more hands, a deal was struck. Kang had the bigger stack and was immediately crowned the champion.


1st William Kang – Malaysia – Php 269,000 (deal made)
2nd John Lee – USA – Php 232,000 (deal made)
3rd Anthony Abram – Austraila – Php 115,000
4th Alvin Jeff Sembrano – Philippines – Php 72,000
5th Koji Takagi – Japan – Php 53,000
6th Kim Hak Do – Korea – Php 46,000
7th Alexis Lim – Philippines – Php 40,000
8th Joon Hwi Park – Korea – Php 35,000
9th Joven Huerto – Philippines – Php 31,000
10th Lester Timonera – Philippines – Php 27,000
11th Hiroki Yokohama – Japan – Php 27,000
12th Jacque Ramsden – UK – Php 27,000
13th Kentaro Sako – Japan – Php 24,000
14th Mark Lloyd – Australia – Php 24,000
15th Rodrigo Sequite – Philippines – Php 24,000
16th Bryan Santos – Philippines – Php 21,000

Up next is the Main Event… Asia Pacific Season XVIII POY race resumes

Main Event begins tomorrow! Php 12 million guaranteed! 

Dates: February 14 to 17
Buy-in: Php 75,000 (~US$ 1,500)
Guarantee: Php 12,000,000 (~US$ 237,300)
Re-entry: one allowed per day

Day 1A: Friday, February 14 at 4pm
Day 1B: Saturday, February 15 12pm
Day 2: Sunday, February 16 at 1pm
Final Day: Monday, February 17 at 1pm

The Main Event is the only tournament where players earn points towards the Asia Pacific Season XVIII Player of the Year race. Three players currently share the top spot: Hamish Crawshaw (WPT Vietnam), Hari Varma (WPT Australia), and reigning champion Brian Tougias (WPT Cambodia). 

Crawshaw is here and may be the only joint leader able to attend. If this is the case, it gives him a strong advantage to take the lead. He has 1500 points. However, hot in his heels is Korea’s Sim Jae Kyung aka Simba with 1263 points. One dark horse to keep an eye on is David Erquiaga with 750 points. Erquiaga has been running deep in major events since last year. Depending on the numbers, he too has a chance at sliding into the top spot. To further stress his consistency, Erquiaga has already won a side event.

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Hamish Crawshaw

WPT Philippines is the 6th leg of Asia Pacific Season XVIII. The player with the highest points at the end of the season will win $10,000 WPT Passport which can be used at any WPT Asia Pacific Season XIX event including complimentary accommodations at six (6) select WPT APAC events, ground transportation for six (6) WPT APAC events, and Special Trophy and awards ceremony.

For 2nd place, $3,500 WPT Passport and for 3rd place, $1,500 WPT Passport. Both can be used at any WPT Asia Pacific Season XIX event.

The past two WPT Philippines saw the Main Event won by Tetsuya Tsuchikawa (2014) and Ying Lin Chua (2016). We wait to see if these players will attend and try to bag a second tour win in the country.

Live coverage by the Somuchpoker team from start to finish including results, recaps, pics and videos so stick with us. 

WPT Philippines Coverage and Schedule


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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