4 Mins Read
Held over a period of three days, the ₱20,000 Megastack – Shot Clock & Big Blind Ante Event was one of five events at the 2018 Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Manila that offered the winner a Platinum Pass to the Bahamas-based PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC) to be held in January 2019. Attracting a field of 650 runners, the event amassed an impressive prize pool of ₱11,349,000.
Topping the massive field to claim not only his maiden APPT title, but also his career-best score of ₱2,440,000 ($45,913), was Singapore’s Tzai Wei Phua. A relatively lesser known figure in the poker circuit, Phua only has three more cashes to his name, with his previous best score coming in the â‚«30,000,000 + 3,000,000 No Limit Hold’em – Championships Event at the 2018 Asian Poker Tour (APT) – Vietnam Ho Chi Minh where he finished 35th for â‚«49,070,000 ($2,135).
This victory couldn’t have come at a better time for the Asian champion since it coincides with his country’s National Day. Talking about his win Phua said, “I was talking to my friend’s yesterday and they said it was fated for me to win today as it was Singapore National Day, I had the chip lead and the way I ran it felt like fate.”
“The entire journey was so tough, from Day 1 until today. At one point, I had the second shortest stack for a period of time and I started with the chip lead. I think I showed stamina and endurance. Learned to not give up, picked my spots well, and of course, at the end of the day, I felt I got really lucky. So luck played a big factor as well. After I won, I didn’t know how to react. It’s so surreal. I can’t believe this has happened. I am at a loss for words,”he added discussing the final table play in the post-event interview.
A strong contingent of 30 Indian runner had entered the event on Day 1, out of which 16 made it to Day 2 with Siddarth Singhvi (279,500), Zarvan Tumboli (269,000) and WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant (244,000) among the top stacks.
However, only five finished in the money starting with Varun Gupta (18th for ₱91,000 – ₹1,17,362), Singhvi (19th for ₱79,000 – ₹1,01,886), Abhinav Iyer (27th for ₱61,000 – ₹78,671), Chiraag Patel (38th for ₱50,000 – ₹64,484) and Sushant (43rd for ₱50,000 – ₹64,484).
Day 2 also witnessed the eliminations of Kuok Fong Chan (11th for ₱147,000), Khiam Wei Teo (12th for ₱147,000), Benjamin Gonzva (13th for ₱119,000), Jack Yow Hui Ng (14th for ₱119,000), Ivan Klaric (15th for ₱119,000), Yakai Li (16th for ₱91,000) and Albert Paik (17th for ₱91,000), while Joseph Sia (10th for ₱181,500) bubbled the nine-handed final table.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Tzai Wei Phua – 5,675,000
2. Wang Meng – 2,220,000
3. Bertrand Ortiz – 2,035,000
4. Darian Kok Tan – 2,000,000
5. Masakazu Miyamoto – 1,710,000
6. Konstantin Pogodin – 1,310,000
7. Piet Pape – 925,000
8. Yisha Chen – 850,000
9. Ming Hong Teoh – 284,000
Final Table Recap
Tzai Wei Phua had entered the final table with a massive chip lead of 5,675,000, but midway through the day’s play he became one of the shortest stacks. He eventually fought his way back and made it to the heads-up confrontation against China’s Yisha Chen.
On the final hand of the event, Chen held against Phua’s . With both players putting their tournament lives on the line, the community cards ran . Phua flopped a straight flush draw and went on to hit the wheel on the river, prompting Chen to muck his hand as the Singaporean took home the trophy and his career-first APPT title.
Final Table Results (PHP)
1. Tzai Wei Phua – ₱2,440,000
2. Yisha Chen – ₱1,512,000
3. Ming Hong Teoh – ₱936,000
4. Konstantin Pogodin – ₱709,000
5. Bertrand Ortiz – ₱482,000
6. Darian Kok Tan – ₱369,000
7. Masakazu Miyamoto – ₱306,000
8. Wang Meng – ₱255,500
9. Piet Pape – ₱216,000
Stay tuned to PokerGuru for more updates from APPT Manila 2018!