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The Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau 2018 has stormed over the poker world completely and the action is only going to escalate further in the coming two days that will see a new APPT Macau Main Event champion etch his name in poker history.
The event is now down to 13 finalists who will return for Day 5 today and this is a special day for the Indian rail back home as one of the country’s biggest poker superstars and the sole Indian PokerStars Team Pro Aditya Agarwal has put up one of the best performances of his career so far to come within striking distance of his first major live title.
Agarwal first cruised through to Day 4 as the second biggest stack and now he has entered the penultimate day with 1,353,000 in chips. Besides Agarwal, Indian-origin player from Australia Ashish Gupta has also made Day 5 and will start with 709,000 in chips.
Notables like Davidi Kitai and John Juanda have also advanced to Day 5 so expect fireworks as some of the best poker players in the world clash for the prestigious title.
Also doing the country proud was Young Gun Sahil Chutani, who was another strong contender in the running but fell shy of making it to the final table, eventually finishing 15th for a HK$167,500 (~₹13.87 Lakhs) payday.
Meanwhile, Takashi Ogura shipped the Single Day High Roller for HK$2,751,000, while Lu Zheng, Dong Chen, Fang Xing and Mingcheng Zhang won side event titles.
Main Event – Day 4
After four days of grueling poker action at the APPT Macau Main Event, the 356-entry field has whittled down to just 13 players. Day 4 started with 27 survivors, all of whom had their eyes glued on the HK$3,095,000 (~₹2.56 Crores) top prize and so fast were the pace of eliminations that the day wrapped up after just four 90-minute levels.
Continuing his stellar performance, India’s sole PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal continues his march towards what would be his first major live title. Agarwal started Day 4 as the second biggest stack and ended the day in similar fashion in an almost replay from the previous day. Agarwal will start Day 5 with a stack of 1,353,000 behind Thailand`s Phanlert Sukonthachartnant who leads the survivors with 1,481,000 in chips. Sukonthachartnant is currently leading Thailand’s All Time Money list with over $1.12 million in live earnings.
However, Agarwal is likely to see another busy day today as some of the toughest players of the field are still in contention for the title in the likes of three-time WSOP bracelet winner from Belgium – Davidi Kitai who returns will a stack of 1,090,000.
Apart from Kitai, Poker Hall of Famer and five-time WSOP bracelet winner John Juanda is also in the running and will be looking to add an APPT title having bagged 579,000 in chips.
Giving Agarwal company on Day 4 was Young Gun Sahil Chutani, a poker prodigy who managed to keep his own even in such elite company. Chutani was gunning for the final table but hit the rail in 15th place for HK$167,500 (~₹13.87 Lakhs).
Meanwhile, Australia based player of Indian origin, Ashish Gupta is also going strong and has stormed his way into Day 5 with a healthy stack of 709,000. Gupta started out strong and eliminated a number of players including Xiabo Zhou & Kosei Ichinose to keep himself in the running.
Chip Counts at the End of Day 4
1. Phanlert Sukonthachartnant – 1,481,000
2. Aditya Agarwal – 1,353,000
3. Martin Gonzales – 1,352,000
4. Lin Wu – 1,323,000
5. Davidi Kitai – 1,090,000
6. Jen Chun Chiu – 809,000
7. Ashish Gupta – 709,000
8. Max Lehmanski – 696,000
9. John Juanda – 579,000
10. Victor Chong – 507,000
11. Yong Cheng – 298,000
12. Pete Chen – 282,000
13. Alexandre Chieng – 200,000
Aditya Agarwal’s Day 4 Journey
Agarwal started the day with a stack of 968,000 and got down to work immediately continuously trying to pick up good spots and steals. On Level 19, he locked horns with fellow countryman Sahil Chutani. The hand in question saw Chutani opening for 21,000 from early position, and Agarwal on the button 3-bet it to 70,000. Chutani folded and the two Indians shared a smile.
In the next hand itself, Agarwal min-raised from the cutoff for 20,000 and got one caller in Sheng Chen. On the flop , Chen checked, Agarwal c-bet and Chen folded and with that, Agarwal neared the million mark.
Agarwal’s stack however couldn’t peak for long as he lost a small yet important hand to Michael Tchong. Martin Gonzales min-raised, Agarwal called and Tchong joined in too. The flop was checked around and on the turn, Tchong bet 30,000, Gonzales folded and Agarwal check-called. The river completed the board, Tchong bet 28,000, and Agarwal check-called again. Tchong showed for trips, and Agarwal mucked to slide down to 850,000. The loss may not seem huge, but almost every hand was significant at this stage.
The determined pro started raking in a few pots here and there again and by the second break, he had amassed a stack of 1,145,000.
Soon thereafter, Agarwal managed to near the 1.5 million mark after taking back some chips from Tchong and Davidi Kitai. Agarwal opened and both Tchong and Kitai called to see the flop . Tchong bet 30,000. Kitai check-called, and Agarwal raised it up to 105,000. Tchong, called while Kitai folded and on the turn , Agarwal fired a bet of 155,000. Chong gave up and Agarwal`s stack went up to 1.45 million.
Then despite doubling up Jen Chun Chui, he again got back to work and recovered. In the last level of play, both big stacks Agarwal and Kitai clashed once again and this time Agarwal came out ahead. Agarwal opened for 28,000, Kitai called and the flop opened Agarwal bet 30,000, and Kitai check-called. The turn got no action and the same happened on the river . Agarwal showed while Kitai tabled to get Agarwal the pot.
When the bags were brought out, Agarwal was a close second in chips behind Thailand`s Phanlert Sukonthachartnant. Agarwal will start Day 5 with 1,353,000 in chips.
Sahil Chutani’s Day 4 Journey
Sahil Chutani was another Indian all geared up for a big day and started with 152,000 in chips. Some early losses did not deter Chutani who went on to eliminate Mian Wei in 22nd place. The hand in question saw Ashish Gupta open for 22,000 and next to act Chutani called. Wei 3-bet it to about 140,000 with 40,000 behind. Gupta folded, and Chutani stood up and excitedly tabled while Wei showed and lost the hand to hit the rail.
Chutani however came down to 225,000 after doubling up Yong Cheng. Ashish Gupta bet 26,000, Chutani called and action folded to Cheng who shoved all-in for 147,000. Action folded back to Chutani who decided to call with and he was in bad shape against Cheng’s . The board ran and just like that Chutani took a big hit.
Chutani got back his mojo but the momentum did not stick. One hand in particular that got reported saw Chutani make an open, Max Lehmanski called and Davidi Kitai joined in too. On the flop , Lehmanski fired a bet of 35,000, Kitai folded and Chutani called. On the turn, Lehmanski bet again, this time for 42,000 and Chutani check-called again to see the river . Chutani checked a final time, and shouted in disappointment when Lehmanski checked back as he held for rivered quads but couldn’t squeeze out proper value with such a monster hand. Post the hand, his stack stood at 425,000 but the swingy journey for Chutani was far from over.
Davidi Kitai and Chutani next got involved in a pot when Kitai opened and Chutani called. The flop got checked around and on the turn , Chutani led out for 65,000. Kitai re-raised to 150,000, and Chutani tanked for a minute before calling. On the river , Chutani checked and Kitai jammed which prompted the former to fold.
It all came crashing down for Chutani in Level 22 when he shoved with just about ten big blinds over end-of-the-day chip leader Phanlert Sukonthachartnant’s cutoff open and saw his in bad shape against Sukonthachartnant’s . Chutani got no help on the rundown and his dream run ended in 15th place for a consolation HK$167,500 (~₹13.87 Lakhs) payday.
Single Day High Roller
The second and the last Single Day High Roller event featuring a HK$200,000 buy-in found its champion in Japan’s Takashi Ogura who defeated a tough final table to pocket his largest-ever career score of HK$2,751,000.
The 35-year-old who plays mahjong professionally in Japan defeated none other than Isaac Haxton in a short-lived heads-up battle to lift the trophy. With this score, Ogura now sits in 2nd spot on Japan’s All Time Money list.
Post his victory, the elated champion said, “This is the best time of my life, I’m so happy!”
The event drew 43 entries (31 unique entries + 12 re-entries), to form a HK$8,090,000 prize pool that was distributed among the top six finalists.
As has been the case with other high roller events at this series, the field boasted of some of the top names from around the world with the likes of 2017 GPI Player of the Year Adrian Mateos, Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, Stephen Chidwick, Bryn Kenney, Steve O’Dwyer, David Peters, and Dan Smith, all in the running.
Among the aforementioned, only Kenney and Seidel made it on the final table with Mateos busting in 10th place.
Other big guns that missed the money line included Kristen Bicknell, Marius Gierse, Sergio Aido, and Kahle Burns.
Final Table Recap
USA’s Ben Tollerene boasts of over US$5.69 million in live earnings earned at some of the toughest tournament around the globe, but he still hasn’t cashed once in Macau and he will have to wait some more to change that as he was first one to walk out from the final table.
Short stacked Erik Seidel was the next to depart in eighth place to bring the event down to the money bubble, which finally burst with the departure of China’s Canlin Chen.
Germany’s Manig Loeser was the first player to exit in the money and Wayne Zhang quickly followed suit in fifth place. Zhang wouldn’t be elated but should be somewhat relived at cashing given the fact that he has bubbled three consecutive High Rollers in a row.
Bryn Kenney was chip leading at one point but incidentally fell in fourth place.
Ogura was short at this point, but soon managed to double up through Canada’s Luc Greenwood and went on to eliminate him in third place to set up the heads-up battle against USA’s Isaac Haxton with the former’s 3.45 million chips against Haxton’s 846,000.
Ogura ensured to keep the battle short lived and soon lifted the trophy while Haxton had to settle for a second-place finish.
Final Table Results (HKD)
1.Takashi Ogura – HK$2,751,000
2. Isaac Haxton – HK$1,901,000
3. Luc Greenwood – HK$1,214,000
4. Bryn Kenney – HK$930,880
5. Wayne Zhang – HK$728,000
6. Manig Loeser – HK$566,000
Event 11: Bubble Rush
The HK$3,000 buy-in Bubble Rush event was attended by 81 players that helped form a HK$212,139 prize pool with the top 10 finishers making it in the money. Local player Lu Zheng claimed the title after New Zealand’s Nicholas Leonard Horton lost the heads-up match. Zheng walked away with the HK$57,300 top prize for his finish.
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Lu Zheng – HK$57,300
2. Nicholas Leonard Horton – HK$38,200
3. Keng Po Wong – HK$25,439
4. Kelvin John Beattie – HK$21,200
5. Yue Wang – HK$17,000
6. Terry Gonzaga – HK$14,800
7. Fan Zhang – HK$12,700
8. Jixue Yin – HK$10,600
9. Po Hung Lai – HK$8,500
Event 13: $20,000 NLH (Single Re-Entry)
The HK$20,000 NLH (Single Re-Entry) event witnessed a strong field of 152 entries that generated HK$2,653,920 in prize money. China`s Dong Chen eventually came out on top after outlasting USA’s Maria Konnikova heads-up. Chen banked the HK$676,700 first place purse for his finish while Konnikova collected HK$451,200.
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Dong Chen – HK$676,700
2. Maria Konnikova – HK$451,200
3. Roger Spets – HK$292,020
4. Robert Heidorn – HK$225,600
5. Linh Tran – $185,800
6. Nicholas Vincent Petrangelo – HK$152,600
7. Xuming Qi – HK$126,000
8. Alex Foxen – HK$99,500
9. Takao Shimizu – HK$73,000
Event 15: Hyper Turbo
The HK$2,000 Hyper Turbo event saw a modest field of 75 runners which created a HK$130,950 prize pool and the lion`s share of this kitty went to China’s Fang Xing who claimed the title and the HK$35,360 top prize after defeating Canada`s Oscar Fernando Liu heads-up!
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Fang Xing – HK$35,360
2. Oscar Fernando Liu – HK$23,570
3. Yan Rao – HK$15,710
4. Justin Pak Kwan Justin Chan – HK$13,080
5. Lambros Vrakas – HK$10,480
6. Shuo Li – HK$9,170
7. Erich Stadler – HK$7,860
8. Jinhai Zhang – HK$6,550
9. Yusuke Moriyama – HK$5,240
10. Jie Xu – HK$3,930
Event 17: HK$5,000 NLH Turbo
The HK$5,000 NLH Turbo registered a field of 75 entrants generating HK$327,375 in prize money with the top 10 places making it in the money. The last player standing was China’s Mingcheng Zhang who defeated fellow countryman Nan Hong heads-up to pocket the HK$88,400 top prize.
1. Mingcheng Zhang – HK$88,400
2. Nan Hong – HK$58,975
3. Yunsheng Sun – HK$39,300
4. Po Jui Wang – HK$32,700
5. Kai Kwong Man – HK$26,200
6. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Hamouda – HK$22,900
7.. Jiayu Ruan – HK$19,600
8. Xingbiao Zhu – HK$16,300
9. Linghan Yu – HK$13,100
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