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One of the biggest poker festivals in Asia, Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Manila has closed out a record-breaking edition. Featuring 22 events, this nine-day poker extravaganza kept the poker fraternity captivated with its enticing guaranteed events that attracted huge turnouts. The cherry on the top was of course, the five PSPC Platinum Passes that were given to winners of the APPT Kickoff Event, National Event, Megastack, Main Event and the Saturday SuperStack!
Opening on August 4, the series saw record-breaking action on many fronts. The APPT National crushed its guarantee this year, attracting a never-before entry field of 829 players across two starting flights. Topping this record was the Main Event that registered 1,364 entries, becoming the biggest-ever poker tournament to be hosted in the Philippines till date.
Many more exciting journeys were witnessed on the poker felts and the series concluded with the ₱200,000 High Roller that was won by Ivan Hon Cheong Lee for ₱4,656,260 (₹60.65 Lakhs), while, Taiwanese pro Tzu Chieh took down the 6-Handed Shot Clock for ₱1,460,000. Norwegian player Kai Danilo claimed the ₱10,000 NLH Turbo title for ₱414,000.
Closing the doors to the tournament, Sunday was truly eventful for the Indian contingent who kept the momentum up on the closing day of the Series.
Kunal Patni (₱960,000 – ₹12.50 Lakhs) stole the show with his runner-up finish in 6-Handed Shot Clock event. Varun Gupta also final tabled the event and posted a fifth place (₱300,000 -₹3.90 Lakhs) finish, while GPL India Mumbai Jetsetters`s Team Manager Kavin Shah finished 20th (₱62,000 – ₹80,792) in the same event.
29 Indians had entered the ₱30,000 Saturday SuperStack event and three among them, Jaydeep Dawer (18th for ₱130,000 -₹1.69 Lakhs), Varun Gupta (46th for ₱61,000 – ₹79,489) and Sahil Chutani (53rd for ₱61,000 -₹79,489) added to the team’s scorecard.
Sam Srinivas Polishetty was the only Indian player to run deep in ₱10,000 NLH Turbo event and he represented Team India well on the final table by finishing sixth (₱91,200 – ₹118,842).
Taking a look back at the series, Team India’s performance can only be termed remarkable and headlining the stellar Indian scores was the title win of NLH Turbo event by Chiraag Patel (₱350,000~ ₹4.56 Lakhs).
The runner-up finishes by Akshay Nasa (₱2,822,000 -₹36.67 Lakhs), Sahil Agarwal (₱4,656,260 -₹60.67 Lakhs) and Patni in the APPT National,₱200,000 High Roller and 6-Handed Shot Clock events respectively, and Jasven Saigal’s (8th for ₱108,400 – ₹1.40 Lakhs) run in Turbo Megastack, were the other top highlights for Team India.
While these scores are certainly a remarkable benchmark for the Indian performance at the series this year, the fact remains that Indians have an ever-growing presence in the Asian circuit. In the Main Event alone this year, Indians featured among the top five countries in terms of participation numbers, with a total of 101 entries including 41 unique participants, comprising 7.4% in the overall participation charts.
Besting a 521-strong field, 26-year old Irish player Gary Thompson won the closing event at the super exciting Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Manila, ₱30,000 Saturday SuperStack. Along with adding a sizeable ₱3,002,000 (~₹39.11 Lakhs) to his bankroll, Thompson also punched his ticket to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Players NLHE Championship (PSPC), that is scheduled for January 2019!
Team India’s run in the event was energetic, and 29 Indians entered the event. Three of them, namely Jaydeep Dawer (18th for ₱130,000 – ₹1.69 Lakhs), Varun Gupta (46th for ₱61,000 – ₹79,489) and Sahil Chutani (53rd for ₱61,000 – ₹79,489) reached Day 2 and posted scores. Chutani with a stack of 400,000 and Dawer with 341,000 took the fourth and seventh biggest stacks into Day 2 while Gupta resumed play with an average stack of 163,000.
Meanwhile, Thompson who’s native to Dublin and resident of Manila took home his career-best live score and also become the sixth Irishman to claim a PSPC Platinum Pass.
“I think going to the Bahamas should be good,” Thompson who is an online semi-professional said, after the event was over. On his way to victory, Thompson faced many challenges from poker bigwigs like former APPT Korea Main Event champion Tae Hoon Han and Korean pro Vivian Im.
A prize pool of ₱13,644,990 was created in the event that featured a buy-in of ₱30,000 and 63 players took home a minimum assured ₱55,000.
Final Table Results (PHP)
1. Gary Thompson – ₱3,002,000
2. Maxwell Curtis – ₱1,876,000
3. Jian Liu – ₱1,160,000
4. Chih Chun Chang – ₱873,000
5. Hiroshi Naito – ₱600,000
6. Tae Hoon Han – ₱478,000
7. Chih Kao Lin – ₱390,000
8. San Hon Pang – ₱328,000
9. Koji Asaka – ₱273,990
Attracting 262 entries, the 6-Handed Shot Clock with a buy-in of 25,000 created a massive prize pool of ₱5,718,150. Indian challenger Kunal Patni missed the title by a whisker to finish in runner-up place even as Taiwanese pro Tzu Chieh claimed the title for ₱1,460,000.
The top 29 spots were paid in the event and Patni pocketed ₱960,000 (~₹12.50 Lakhs)for his second place finish. While Patni is a master in pulling in big scores and has over $409,355 in live poker earnings to his name, this is one of Patni’s deepest runs this year. He added a big cash to his scorecard in the January-held WPT European Championship Berlin € 1,350 + 150 NLHE WPTDeepStacks where he finished second to bank $115,819 (~₹81,09,646). This summer, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) saw Patni making modest runs in various events and he scored well in various side events.
Varun Gupta was the second Indian to reach the final table and his run ended in fifth place (₱300,000 -₹3.90 Lakhs). Team Manager of GPL India Mumbai Jetsetters Kavin Shah (20th for ₱62,000 – ₹80,792) also posted a deep run.
Final Table Results (PHP)
1. Tzu Chieh Lo – ₱1,460,000
2. Kunal Patni – ₱960,000
3. Martijn Johannes Gerrits – ₱572,000
4. Masatoshi Tanaka – ₱423,150
5. Varun Gupta – ₱300,000
6. Thananat Therdtskoonrat – ₱215,000
7. Anthony Man Chun Wong – ₱160,000
8. Andrew An – ₱130,000
9. Tong Tan – ₱130,000
The ₱10,000 buy-in event NLH Turbo was one of the last tournaments in the 2018 APPT Manila edition and even as most players were packing to leave Manila, the poker tables saw participation from 194 players at the series-concluding event.
A healthy turnout led to a prize pool of ₱1,655,984 and it was finally Norway’s Kai Danilo who claimed the title. Danilo beat Canadian player William Evans in the heads-up play to win the top prize of ₱414,000.
A number of Indians were seen in the mix and riding strong into the final table was Indian pro Sam Srinivas Polishetty, who finished in sixth place for ₱91,200 (~ ₹1.18 Lakhs).
Final Table Results (PHP)
1. Kai Danilo Paulsen – ₱414,000
2. William Evans – ₱273,200
3. Chong Foo Tan – ₱173,900
4. Brent Bibiby – ₱140,800
5. Christopher Mateo – ₱111,800
6. Sam Srinivas Polishetty – ₱91,200
7. Jiang Wang – ₱74,500
8. Sompop Jittrakul – ₱57,900
9. Munkh Erdene Natsagdorj – ₱41,400