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In this edition of PokerGuru 3-Bet, we shall be bringing forth three big updates from the Asian and international circuits. The first report brings in disappointing news of 2018 Asian Poker Tour (APT) Macau edition being called off. The series was to kick off on August 29th and continue till September 5th but has now been put on indefinite hold.
The second report is on US poker regular Jeff Fielder, who took down the HPT Ameristar Kansas City $1,650 Main Event, topping 290 competitors to pocket $94,713 in first prize.
Meanwhile in Las Vegas, the DeepStack Championship Poker Series (DCPS) that was underway at the Venetian wrapped up with online high stakes pro Joseph Cheong winning Event #42: $400 NLH Closer For $69,000. The casino will be hosting the DeepStack Extravaganza III from September 3rd -23rd.
Disheartening news comes in for the Asian poker regulars who were looking forward to an eventful month with the Asian Poker Tour (APT) scheduled to hold its 2018 APT Korea edition starting August 8th, followed by the 2018 APT Macau edition from August 29th to September 5th. While APT Korea is right on schedule, APT Macau has been called off. Though the series hasn’t been cancelled altogether, APT organizers remain silent on when the series will be hosted this year.
A statement issued last Saturday by the Macau Billionaire Poker (MBP) read, “During the APT Macau August submission process, the associated regulatory departments have begun to draft new measures to govern and regulate upcoming/future tournaments. Hence, we must delay the event pending revised regulations to be established before announcing this event. Thank you all for understanding.”
The APT has been operational since 2008 and the APT events pull in sizeable Indian participation every year. After the APT entered a five-year agreement with MBP in 2017 to host a minimum of two international poker events every year in the city, this year the APT Macau Championships 2018 were held in the Babylon Casino from April 25 to May 6.
The move is being surmised as the result of the Chinese government’s ban on online poker and promotion of the game via all social media channels. The ban affected the gaming industry in Macau, particularly setups that rely on online platforms to generate qualifiers and attract players.
While a series of poker rooms in the city including the Galaxy Macau announced their closure following the ban, the PokerStars Live poker room at Macau also shut shop after the gaming giant parted ways with the City of Dreams Macau in May.
Two key members of the PokerStars Asia Pacific team, Mark Blake and Fred Leung left the company’s Asia-Pacific operations on July 31st and have joined the PokerStars Live Manila crew that is going to be the last PokerStars stop for both of them. Their announced departure from the PokerStars brand shows that the prospects for resurrection of the poker scenario in Macau are bleak.
The APT had however, denied being affected. In May, CEO Jeff Mann had said, “Fortunately, APT has never been dependent or reliant on deriving players from online activities of any type. Our business model is not online focused at all.”
Nonetheless it’s clear that the changing regulatory and legal environment surrounding poker in Macau following the ban hasnot spared the APT that is now forced to take a re-look at future events here.
A known and successful poker pro in the regional circuits in the US, Jeff Fielder has taken down the HPT Ameristar Kansas City $1,650 Main Event to rake in the top prize of $94,713.
Fielder outlasted 290 entries and played tough along his way to the final table, eliminating several highly ranked regulars and accomplished runners to stake claim on the title. With the win, Fielder’s live tournament earnings have crossed $1.6 Million.
The participation numbers coming in through two starting flights built a prize pool of $411,800. While notables including Ryan Gregor, Roger Campbell, Ed Sebesta and Ted Forshey, fell out empty-handed, former event winner Frank Patti (13th for $5,889) scored a deep run in the event.
Indian-origin player Shiva Dudani (10th for $8,030) ended up bubbling the final table after losing out a hand to Fielder.
Seasoned US player Nick Pupillo and WSOP bracelet winner Nick Jivkov were the biggest stacks entering the final table with each holding over 1.6 Million. Fielder had a good stack as well, with 1.2 Million in chips.
Final Table Recap
James Mackey, who had entered the final table as the shortest stack, fought well to improve but he was shown the door in ninth place by Jovan Sudar who held pocket kings against his jack-ten.
Subsequently, Fielder knocked Rohman Viar out in eighth place with his pocket tens holding superior to the latter’s pocket fours.
Soon, Saied Moradi lost most of his stack to Vinny Moscati who held pocket kings against his . Moradi couldn’t recover and was sent to the rail by Sudar in seventh place.
In the next hand, Fielder opened from under-the-gun with aces and seven-time WSOPC ring winner Vinny Moscati picked up pocket eights in the small blind. Fielder’s hand held and Moscati exited in sixth place.
Nick Pupello chipped down drastically when his pocket eights were cracked by Eric Medved’s stronger hand. Unable to bounce back, Pupillo was eventually eliminated in fifth place.
Eric Medved joined the rail soon after. He faced Fielder who held pocket tens while he was dealt ace-queen. The board missed both players and Fielder scooped up the huge pot sending Medved out in fourth place.
Nick Jivkov found pocket tens in the big blind and moved all in when Fielder open-bet from the button. Both players went all in preflop and Fielder found an ace on the board to better his hand, eliminating Jivkov in third place.
Fielder now tangled with Jovan Sudar in the heads-up match. The final hand saw Sudar’s rivered pair of jack losing out to Fielder’s pair of aces. Fielder took the title while Sudar settled for the runner-up finish.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Jeff Fielder – $94,713
2. Jovan Sudar – $60,535
3. Nick Jivkov – $40,562
4. Eric Medved – $28,620
5. Nick Pupillo – $21,414
6. Vincent Moscati – $17,296
7. Saied Moradi – $14,413
8. RohmanViar – $11,942
9. James Mackey – $10,336
Wrapping up a summer full of exciting action, the DeepStack Championship Poker Series (DCPS) is now in the books, with high stakes online regular Joseph ‘sublime’ Cheong winning the closing event i.e. Event #42: $400 NLH Closer for a payday of $69,000.
This was Cheong’s third win at the Venetian, his previous two winning scores posted in 2016 when he took down the Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza III Event #32: $1,100 NLH Turbo for $28,500 and Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza IV Event #50: $400 NLH for $28,247. In April, he claimed his second WSOPC gold ring after winning the $2,200 High Roller at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and went on to win his third ring in a side event at WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee Series. Cheong has now added more than $12.5 Million in live earnings to his name.
The two-day tournament drew 1,079 entries over five starting flights. A prize pool of $400,000 was created including the $33,480 overlay honored by the Venetian.
Cheong stormed into the final, nine-handed table where he eliminated Sharon Levin in the heads-up play to win the tournament.
After tasting success in the event, Cheong took to social media to share the news.
Saving my run good for the tourneys that count https://t.co/6KbDsA7Yfu
— Joseph Cheong (@subiime) July 30, 2018
Prominent pros seen in action were Jason Corrigan (15th for $4,800), 888poker Ambassador Chris Moorman (24th for $2,720), Stacy Fee (39th for $1,360), Aaron Massey (47th for $1,240) and Fei Li (56th for $1,240).
A number of events were held as part of the DCPS through the summer. While David Charalambous won Event #48 Event #148: $300 NLH Rebuy for $9,124, Prasanna Nambi was crowned the champion in Event #147: $300 NLH SuperStack for $7,114, while Maximano Filho took down Event #143: $200 NLH Bounty after a four-way deal for $2,096.
The Venetian will now hold the DeepStack Extravaganza III from September 3rd -23rd featuring 32 tournaments and a combined $1.2 Million in guaranteed prize pools.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Joseph Cheong – $69,000
2. Sharon Levin – $44,100
3. George Glagola – $43,500
4. Rory Brown – $25,401
5. Bobby Poe – $19,401
6. Chris Karson – $15,001
7. Kristen Doyle – $11,801
8. AndrasStumpf – $9,001
9. Michael Sinclair – $7,200