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APT Taipei 2023: Main Event Registers Record Numbers With 2 Flights Remaining; Jasven Saigal Lone Indian Survivor From Flight B

APT Taipei 2023: Main Event Registers Record Numbers With 2 Flights Remaining
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis May 3, 2023
  • 5 Minutes Read

The APT Taipei 2023 has ushered in a new era for the Asian Poker Tour alright, with records falling left, right, and center. If the first few days were an indication, the TWD $30 Million GTD APT Main Event more than delivered on the high expectations by setting a new turnout record mid-way through its second starting flight.

PokerGuru host Saumya Paithankar is on the ground recording daily recaps and exclusive player bytes from APT Taipei 2023. Take a look at the Day 5 highlights:

Hosted at the state-of-the-art CTP Asia Poker Arena, Asia’s most expansive permanent poker room, the second Main Event starting flight attracted 317 entries (243 unique). Combined with the 437 Flight A entries and an additional 194 online qualifiers from Natural8, the Main Event field stands tall at 948 entries, with the last two flights – Flights C and D yet to unfold. This achievement establishes the APT Taipei 2023 Main Event as the largest in APT history, crushing the previous 722-entry benchmark set at the 2022 APT Ho Chi Minh Vietnam.

While Flight A saw a healthy number of six Indians qualifying for Day 2, Flight B only had one. Jasven Saigal, Deepak Bothra, and Raja Sekhar Puttamsetty were the Indian flagbearers joining the flight, but Saigal was the only one who survived the day’s onslaught, bagging 87,800 in chips among 144 qualifiers.

Jasven Saigal
Jasven Saigal

 

Saigal, a renowned domestic live circuit reg, has been in phenomenal form since 2022. Last September, he lifted his career-second APT trophy in the 2022 APT Philippines II Event #13: ₱22K NLHE, less than a month after he won his maiden WPT trophy in the WPT Prime Cambodia Event #23: $300 NLHE – Superstack (6-Max). His first APT title had come in the 2013 APT Manila $270 NLHE (6-Handed).

The former PokerBaazi Ambassador has continued his stellar form into 2023, winning the World Poker Championship Loyal Hanoi Event #23: High Roller Single Day in January. Saigal’s live poker resume boasts eight wins; however, he has yet to win a Main Event, and a victory in the largest-ever APT Taipei Main Event would be a sweet way to get there.

Japan’s Hiroyuki Noda emerged as the Main Event Flight B chip leader after the stipulated ten 45-minute levels of play, accumulating 230,000 in chips, currently placing him among the top ten Day 2 stacks. However, this may shift as the two starting flights unfold.

Hiroyuki Noda
Hiroyuki Noda

 

Vincent Li (201,000) from Hong Kong was the only other player to bag a stack of over 200K on Tuesday, while Li’s compatriot Wai Sum Ng (196,500) secured the third-highest stack in Flight B.

You can read the APT Main Event Flight B live coverage on the Asian Poker Tour website.

As the Main Event reached new heights, the TWD $70,000 Event #24: Single Day High Roller – 8 Max also unfolded, attracting an impressive 121 participants (93 unique) and amassing a staggering TWD $7,394,310 prize pool. It took a hard-fought thirty-one 30-minute levels to crown a winner, and Natural8 Ambassador Phachara Wongwichit came up trumps on the challenge. The Bangkok resident won the TWD $1,860,410 grand prize after an intense two-hour, four-level-long heads-up duel against Hong Kong’s Dicky Tsang. The victory marks Wongwichit’s remarkable fourth APT High Roller title, including two Super High Roller titles, increasing his total APT title count to five.

Phachara Wongwichit
Phachara Wongwichit

 

Wongwichit and Superstar Challenge champion John Tech stand as the only two players in APT history to possess the previous APT High Roller trophy and the contemporary golden lion silhouette High Roller trophy.

Tsang, the 2019 APT Incheon Main Event champion and contender for his fourth APT title, claimed TWD $1,257,000 for finishing second.

You can read Event #24: Single Day High Roller – 8 Max live coverage on the Asian Poker Tour website.

Only 31 players from the 207-strong starting field returned for the conclusive day of the TWD $10K Event #19: NL – Hold’em – Single Re-Entry, all vying for a share of the TWD $1,807,110 prize pool. The tournament reached its climax after fifteen intense 25-minute levels, culminating in Hong Kong’s Charles Wong lifting the APT trophy and the TWD $382,410 grand prize.

Charles Wong
Charles Wong

 

Wong triumphed over fellow Hong Kong player Burton Lam in a demanding two-hour heads-up confrontation, securing his first-ever APT title and the striking golden baby lion side event trophy. Lam, meanwhile, earned TWD $257,300 as the second-place finisher.

Despite the waning popularity of Freezeouts in the contemporary poker landscape, the TWD $25,000 Event #25: Freezeout proved otherwise, attracting an enthusiastic 155-player field that helped collect a hefty TWD $3,382,875 prize pool. Coinciding with the Main Event, the competition commenced at 1 PM (local time) on Tuesday, May 2, and ran twenty-nine 20-minute levels. Malaysia’s Ben Loo emerged victorious, clinching the TWD $786,675 top prize after defeating Australia’s Yang Lei heads-up, marking his personal best score and his second APT title. Lei, in pursuit of his first title, had to settle for the TWD $532,800 prize awarded to the runner-up.

Ben Loo
Ben Loo

 

Loo now belongs to an elite group of six players, including newly-crowned Single Day High Roller champion Phachara Wongwichit, Superstar Challenge champion John Tech, Omaholic champion Yah Loon Lim, Mystery Bounty champion Kiwanont Sukhum, and Event #21: NLH / PLO – Turbo – 8 Max champion Lok Ming Chan, who have all won both a traditional APT trophy and one of the eye-catching new era APT trophies.

The TWD $5K Event #21: NLH / PLO – Turbo – 8 Max unfolded in the early hours of Tuesday morning, drawing a 102-player field (76 unique) and amassing a TWD $445,230 prize pool. Hong Kong’s Lok Ming Chan championed the tournament after beating South Korea’s Wooram Cho heads-up to seize the TWD $113,830 top prize. Cho earned TWD $78,400 for his second-place finish.

Lok Ming Chan
Lok Ming Chan

 

With over USD $500K in live tournament earnings, Chan claimed his sixth APT title and can now proudly display the gleaming golden baby lion side event trophy in his well-furnished trophy cabinet.

Another side event drawing to a close in the wee hours of Tuesday (May 2) morning, the TWD $15K Event #22: Turbo – 8 Max attracted 102 players, all vying for a portion of the TWD $1,335,690 prize pool. South Korea’s Hyun Do Jung ultimately prevailed, besting Hong Kong’s Fuk On Wong heads-up to secure his first-ever APT title and the TWD $341,590 grand prize.

Hyun Do Jung
Hyun Do Jung

 

Wong, who previously placed second in Event #11: Single Day High Roller – 8 Max, was once more denied his debut APT title, settling for TWD $235,100 in second place.

 

Content & Images Courtesy: Asian Poker Tour

Keep following PokerGuru for more updates from the APT Taipei 2023!

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