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The 2023 Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Cambodia wrapped up on May 15 after 11 days of nail-biting poker action at the NagaWorld Integrated Resorts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Taiwan’s Chao Ting Cheng emerged victorious in the APPT Main Event, bagging a career-best prize of $94,448 after a heads-up deal, and India’s Krishnan Menon shipped the $500 Super Knockout Turbo, securing $3,673.
The APPT Main Event, which had a guaranteed prize pool of $400,000, saw its finale with nine finalists out of an initial 476 entries returning for the final battle at 1 PM (local time) yesterday. Junnie Pamplona of the Philippines began the final day as the chip leader, but after six hours of intensive gameplay, it was Cheng who claimed the title, his first significant live tournament win. Along with the grand prize money, Cheng also took home the coveted PokerStars Shard trophy.
The final table saw a series of all-in showdowns, reducing the field to just four players within the first two hours. Cheng turned the game around, first by eliminating Bien Mai and then making a significant comeback from 12 big blinds to strike a deal with Pamplona, leading to his victorious finish.
Pamplona, who secured his Main Event seat through a PokerStars LIVE Manila qualifier for just $120, earned a significant second-place prize of $101,647.
Cheng was ecstatic about his victory, expressing his happiness about his first Main Event title. He said, “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.”
Cheng had dropped down to become the shortest stack at three-handed play, but he strategically scored a crucial double-up before eliminating Eric Tsai in third place with his pocket queens holding up against Tsai’s ace queen.
“I was both upset and happy because I am now heads-up, and I wanted to take down this tournament,” Cheng said.
The APPT Cambodia Main Event also witnessed an impressive performance from Team India, with six Indian participants making it past the money line. Among them, Asish Ghosh secured the 14th position for $6,732, marking the deepest run from the team.
The top-ranked player on the annual online leaderboard, Ashish Munot (19th for $5,361), Day 2 chip leader Vishal Ojha (33rd for $3,952), Anil Adiani (30th for $3,117), the $300 6-Handed Hyper Turbo champion Mohit Bohra (55th for $2,680), and Vinay B (69th for $2,369) also made money finishes.
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
The first two hours of the final table action witnessed several all-in showdowns that whittled the field to four contenders.
The first casualty was Vietnam’s Bien Mai, who lost his chips to Chengs with his pocket eights dominated by the latter’s quads.
Curtis Lim, Hua Wei Lin, and KIen Tat Heng were eliminated in eighth to sixth places, respectively.
Evgenii Nekrasov followed them to the rail in fifth place after running his pockets tens into Junnie Pamplona’s king-queens that paired up on the board.
At four-handed play, Eric Tsai pulled ahead into the chip lead.
Jimmy Torres then clashed with Junnie Pamplona in a pivotal hand where Torres open-jammed with eight-seven suited, and Tsai called. Pamplona called with pocket kings, even as Tsai folded. Torres was eliminated in fourth place.
Cheng went on the brink of elimination after his stack dropped to 12 big blinds. However, the Taiwanese player found a crucial double-up through Pamplona to get back into contention. He then booted compatriot Eric Tsai out in third place after his ace queen rivered a flush, cracking Tsai’s pocket queens.
Chao Ting Cheng and Junnie Pamplona struck an ICM deal locking their payouts and leaving the PokerStars Shards trophy to play for. Pamplona was assured $101,647, and Cheng $94,448 payout.
It took Cheng just 13 hands from there to victory. Starting out with a small chip deficit, Cheng took over.
Ten hands into heads-up play, Cheng scored a massive double-up from Junnie Pamplona with pocket queens versus the latter’s flopped top pair. Three hands later, it was all over in a hand where Pamplona raised to 350,000, and Cheng called to see the flop open . Cheng bet 200,000, and Pamplona check-raised to 600,000. Cheng made the call, and the dealer peeled out the on the turn. Both players checked through to see the river card open . Pamplona led out for 1 Million, and Cheng tanked before jamming all in. Pamplona called for his tournament life.
Cheng turned over for quads, exclaiming, “Game over!” on seeing Pamplona’s .
Final Table Results (USD)
*denotes a heads-up deal
One of the last events of the series, the $500 Super Knockout Turbo, drew 64 participants and created a prize pool of $12,557. Krishnan Menon of India emerged as the champion, taking home his first-ever live tournament cash prize of $3,673 and the second PokerStars trophy for India in the series. Menon triumphed over APT’s Victor Chong in the heads-up play, the latter banking $2,637 in second place.
The $300 6-Handed Hyper Turbo champion Mohit Bohra finished fifth in the $500 Super Knockout Turbo for $1,005, earning his third cash at the series.
South Korea’s Seunghun Ko shipped the $500 Superstack Turbo Freezeout, outlasting the 58-player field to claim the lion’s share of the $25,317 prize pool, a payday of $7,595.
India`s Asish Kumar Ghosh added to the team’s tally of tournament titles in the series. Ghosh shipped Event #37: $500 Mix PLO/ NLH, outrunning a 39-player field to capture his maiden tournament title and the top prize of $5,787. Only six places were paid from the $17,024 prize pool, and Ghosh defeated compatriot Somashekar Nahadeva Kurkhepally heads-up for the win.
The victory marked Ghosh’s fourth cash at the series, following his ITM finishes in Event #12: $550 Mystery Bounty (26th for $724), Event #13: $2K Mini High Roller (3rd for $16,567), and the APPT Main Event (14th for $6,732).
Kurkhepally banked a runner-up score of $4,001, grabbing his third FT score (fourth cash overall) after a top finish in Event 27: $500 Megastack Turbo (4th for $2,869) and Event #32: $800 Superstack Single Re-entry (8th for $2,662).
France’s Rodolphe Mathais bested a field of 158 entries in Event #36: $300 APPT Mini Main Event, earning $8,071.
Indian runner Young Gun Aayush Arya sailed into the final table, placing fifth for $2,855, posting his second cash at the stop. He previously placed third in Event #2: $200 Turbo Re-entry for $1,241.
China’s Jian Tao came out on the top of a 55-strong entry field in Event #38: $200 Last Chance Super Hyper Turbo to collect the title and the top prize of $3,193.
Note: This report was updated at 8 PM on May 17.
Content & Images Courtesy: So Much Poker
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