The third season of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour was in full swing after starting with stops in Macau and Auckland. On November 12, the tour hit the Philippines, and the Shangri-la Mactan Resort in Cebu was the place to be for some APPT poker action.
The 100,000 PHP buy-in tournament had two starting days, the first one bringing in 105 players, and the second drawing another 214, making for a total field of 319 players. Though the cap was originally set at 300 players, organizers allowed extra players in so as not to turn them away. The subsequent prize pool came to approximately $600K, and the top 40 players would be paid.
Some of the big names in the field included David Steicke, Tony Dunst, Nam Le, Eric Assadourian, Dennis Huntly, Celina Lin, and Tony Hachem. But when both Day 1 flights were over, there were only 153 players remaining in the field, and it was Terry Fan from Day 1A and Brian Bumpas from Day 1B with the biggest chip stacks.
Day 2 took the field from 153 down to the money, while players like Lin and Dunst took leave of the tournament before that bubble. As the day began to come to an end, it was at the end of Level 14 that hand-for-hand play led to Till Umbach pushing his last 28,300 chips all-in with , but it was Mike Kim who called with . The board brought nothing to help the short stack when it ran out , and Umbach was the 41st place finisher. The last 40 players retired for the night with Dong-bin Han in the lead with 478K.
Day 3 was a long one that consisted of thinning the field to find the final nine players. Robert Chow was the first to exit, taking $3,000 for 40th place, and notable brother duo Tommy Le and Nam Le both busted as the day wore on, Tommy taking 28th place and Nam conceding to 12th. Eventually, it came down to ten players seated at one table, and Oleg Poluzhnikov decided to move all-in for his last 172K. Mark Pagsuyuin called with pocket tens, which dominated the pocket eights of Poluzhnikov. The board produced , and Poluzhnikov received no help. He left in tenth place with $8,200.
The final table was then set for the fourth full day of play, with seat assignments and chip counts as follows:
|Seat 1:||Mark Pagsuyuin ||497,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Sim Somyung ||1,442,000 |
|Seat 3: ||David Hilton ||995,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Terry Fan ||610,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Alexandr Tikholiz ||231,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Phillip Willcocks ||791,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Dong-bin Han ||862,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Nick Pronk ||563,000 |
|Seat 9: || Kevin Clark ||191,000 |
Hilton and Fan were making moves early, but it was one of the short stacks who decided to put his tournament at risk within the first 30 minutes of play. Tikholiz pushed with on the button, but Dong-bin Han called with from the big blind. The board came down , and Alexandr Tikholiz was the first to leave the table, taking with him $10,500 for the ninth place finish.
The other short stack made all-in moves that worked out better, allowing him several double-ups early in the action, once through Somyung and again through Han. Fan was the next to take a double, and he claimed it through Somyung, and Somyung later came back to double through Han to reclaim some of his chips.
Willcocks decided to push his stack all-in preflop with , but Pagsuyuin was able to call with pocket queens. The flop left Willcocks with few outs when it came , and the notion of a double-up looked bleaker. The hit on the turn, and the finished it on the river to send Phillip Willcocks out in eighth place with $14,000.
The next to move was Pronk, who started the hand with Han and a flop of . Pronk bet out, but Han check-raised all-in. Pronk thought about it for awhile and called with for bottom pair and the gutshot straight draw, and that was ahead of the of Han. The on the turn changed nothing, but the on the river gave the best pair to Han, knocking out Nick Pronk in seventh place with $17,500.
Pagsuyuin and Han limped in to see a flop of . They checked to see the turn and again to see the river. Pagsuyuin pushed all-in for his last 132K holding for top pair, but Han check-called with for that same pair with a better kicker. Mark Pagsuyuin left the tournament in sixth place with $23,000.
Fan was low on chips as compared to his opponents and pushed his last 555K all-in with pocket eights. But Han was able to call with pocket queens from the small blind. The board came , and Terry Fan was eliminated in fifth place with $29,000.
Play slowed down quite a bit with four players remaining. But it was Clark who found the need to move, despite having doubled earlier to 1 million chips, as half of those chips disappeared during four-handed play. That 500K went all-in preflop with , but Hilton called from the big blind with pocket nines, eliminating some of Clark’s outs. The board did bring a flush draw for Clark when it came , but a on the turn and on the river didn’t allow him to get there. Kevin Clark was ousted in fourth place with $40,728.
The last three players saw Han in the lead, though Hilton slowly but surely chipped up and took it. It was Somyung who had trouble gaining any momentum and finally pushed with . Han called with pocket eights, and the board ran out to send Sim Somyung out in third place with $58,000.
Heads-up play began with the following chip counts:
|Dong-bin Han ||3,270,000 |
|David Hilton ||3,110,000 |
Han extended his lead from the start, but Hilton soon took a pot that allowed him to climb into a nearly 3-to-1 lead. But Han climbed again and slowly took the lead with some aggressive play. The two went back and forth, but Han stayed steady and extended his lead. Hilton was able to double to stay alive when his A-K stayed good over the K-9 of Han, but the latter continued to stay ahead.
Finally, Hilton was ready to move again. He pushed with , but Han called immediately with pocket queens. The two watched the dealer give them a flop, which gave Hilton straight outs, but the on the turn and on the river gave David Hilton nothing but a second place finish and the $101,800 that went with it.
Dong-bin Han won the APPT Philippines tournament, and along with the title, he collected $148,200 for the accomplishment.