4 Minutes Read
It has been a solid Macau outing for our Indian challengers and things can only move north now as the country’s pioneering poker pro and the sole PokerStars Team pro from India, Aditya Agarwal has made it to the final day of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau 2018 Main Event.
Agarwal and Macau have not exactly been the best of friends but things have changed these past days. He was the 2nd biggest stack coming into Day 3, the same for Day 4, and well, he remains consistent on this count – he is the second largest stack heading into the final day of the Main Event. Agarwal for the third time this event, bagged the second biggest stack of 2,035,000 and once again trails Thailand’s All-Time Money List topper Phanlert Sukonthachartnant (2,965,000) as we enter the final day of the tournament.
The Indian PokerStars team pro is chasing his first major live title having missed various similar opportunities in the past including the WSOP 2015 Main Event title where he finished 71st among 6,420 players. He picked up $96,445 but a fourth-place finish here should be enough to qualify as a career-best live score for Agarwal. We did get a chance to speak to him briefly today and if there is one thing we know for sure, he has his sights set on the title that comes along with a top prize money of HK$3,095,000 (~₹2.56 Crores), which includes a 2018 ACOP Main Event seat worth HK$100,000 and the $30,000 Platinum Pass.
The only other Indian in the running today, Ashish Gupta came close to making the final day, eventually finishing 10th for HK$245,000 (~₹20.29 Lakhs).
The Indian rail has other reasons to celebrate as India’s High Roller specialist Raghav Bansal finished 18th in the High Roller event for HK$218,000 (~₹18.06 Lakhs).
Main Event – Day 5
The Day 5 of the Main Event saw the 13 remaining players returning back for action and the plan was to play down till only six were left. The plan was executed in exactly six hours with a group representing six different countries advancing through to the final day.
Short yet dramatic, the day saw two of the toughest players in the field i.e. Davidi Kitai and John Juanda busting and ultimately, 52-year-old 2015 Asia Championship of Poker High Roller Champion Phanlert Sukonthachartnant who started the day in the lead, managed to hold on and further consolidate to 2,965,000 in chips.
Similarly replicating the Day 4 chip counts, trailing Sukonthachartnant was none other than India’s sole PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal who will resume play tomorrow with 2,035,000 in chips.
It has been smooth sailing for the Kolkata-based pro who has kept a consistent pace all through Day 3 and Day 4. He has avoided getting into awkward spots so far, and has not yet faced the danger of elimination. He slipped down in the chip counts early on today as the elimination of the short stacks boosted the others, but he was patient and his vast online experience was put to the test today.
Australia based Indian-origin player Ashish Gupta had a swingy day and despite a hearty effort, he got coolered in a huge three-way pot that earned him a tenth place finish, good for a HK$245,000 (~₹20.29 Lakhs) payday.
The short stack at the start of the day – the 2013 APPT Macau Main Event champion Alexandre Chieng had a solid run that started with a quadruple-up early on, followed by another double and there was no looking back by him as he stormed into the final day with 1,730,000 in chips.
Young Cheng was the first one to hit the rail when he ran his pocket fours into Juanda’s queens.
Next out in 12th place was Pete Chen who lost with king-eight to Martin Gonzales’ king-jack and after a lengthy stretch, Victor Chong hit the rail in 11th place when his pocket sixes were no good against Lin Wu’s pocket nines.
Ashish Gupta and Davidi Kitai were both eliminated in the same hand that saw a dramatic three-way all-in showdown. Gupta’s queens and Kitai’s ace-queen were dominated by Alexandre Chieng’s pocket aces and Kitai took the ninth place while Gupta who was the shortest of the three, exited in tenth place for HK$245,000 (~₹20.29 Lakhs).
With that, an eight-handed final table was formed and search for the final six resumed.
Martin Gonzales was the first to walk out after he was all but done for doubling up Maxi Lehmanski and as expected, he busted shortly thereafter in eighth place.
The final hand of play today saw Poker Hall of Famer and one of the most feared players remaining in the field, John Juanda busting in seventh place after jamming queen-six that were no match for Sukonthachartnant’s ace-nine.
Final Day Chip Counts
1. Phanlert Sukonthachartnant – 2,965,000
2. Aditya Agarwal – 2,035,000
3. Lin Wu – 1,940,000
4. Alexandre Chieng – 1,730,000
5. Maxi Lehmanski – 1,040,000
6. Jen Chun Chiu – 907,000
Aditya Agarwal’s Day 5 Journey
Agarwal started the day with a stack of 1,353,000, a close second to chip leader Sukonthachartnant who held 1,481,000 in chips.
Within an hour of play, Agarwal raked in his first significant pot of the day through Max Lehmanski. Agarwal opened to 50,000 from the button and Lehmanski called to see the flop. Agarwal continued for 27,000 and Lehmanski check-called. On the turn, Agarwal fired a big bet of 125,000 forcing Lehmanski to check-fold.
A short lull saw Agarwal’s stack slide down below the 1 million mark but he recovered to climb up to 1.1 million chips after winning a significant pot. Poker Hall of Fame member John Juanda opened for 100,000 which got called by Agarwal to take us to the flop which got no action. On the turn, Agarwal bet 70,000 and Juanda check-called. The river completed the board and Juanda checked again. Agarwal put 220,000 in the middle, enough to get Juanda to lay down his hand.
Agarwal seemed content watching the short stacks fight for survival and before long the 8-handed final table was set. He started off third in chips with a stack of 960,000 and not long thereafter came a hand that gave us a glimpse of his brilliance. Sukonthachartnant opened to 85,000 from the cutoff and got two callers in Lin Wu and Agarwal who saw the flop. All three checked around and the same was repeated on the turn as well to take us to the river card the . Action checked to Sukonthachartnant who tanked and bet 95,000 to which, Wu folded. Agarwal went into tank for a while and after staring the Thai native and the board, made the call showing for bottom pair. Sukonthachartnant turned over for complete air and with that soul read, Agarwal`s stack took a healthy bump up to 1.45 million.
Soon enough, Agarwal accumulated 1,650,000 in chips and that’s when he showed the table his prowess that helped him break the 2 million-chip mark! The hand in question saw him making an eye popping cold four-bet pre-flop that managed to get both Alexandre Chieng and Lin Wu to fold their hands. To put things in perspective, Chieng had opened for 100,000, Wu 3-bet it to 285,000 and action moved over to Agarwal who took some time and eventually jammed.Cheing took a long pause and decided to fold and Wu wasted no time in following suit. Before the dealer collected the cards, Chieng turned over and Agarwal mucked his cards as he stared down at his towering 2.1 million chip stack.
Once the last hand for the day was dealt, Agarwal bagged the second largest stack of 2,135,000.
Ashish Gupta’s Day 5 Journey
Australia based Indian-origin player Gupta started the day in the middle of the heap with 709,000 in chips and his ride all through the day was as swingy as they come.
Gupta picked up the momentum early, as just on the second hand of the day Pete Chen raised to 50,000 and Gupta forced the former to fold after shoving from the big blind.
He however, went on to lose a healthy chunk of his chips in a hand that rewarded Alexandre Chieng with a quadruple-up. Chieng shoved his short stack of 100,000 and got three callers in Martin Gonzales, Gupta, and Pete Chen. All three streets were checked and the finally the board opened . Chen showed for two pairs, Chieng showed for better two pairs and took down the pot after both Gonzales and Gupta failed to muster any competition.
Not longthereafter, Gupta became the short stack after a major collision with Lin Wu. Wu opened and Gupta defended his blind to see the flop. Gupta then check-called Wu’s bet, and again checked on the turn. Wu bet 155,000 and Gupta called. River was the and Wu shoved for 251,000 prompting Gupta to fold.
Gupta fought back valiantly but his hopes of making it to the final day kept diminishing with each lost pot. First he took a big hit in a hand against Alexandre Chieng where his rivered top pair just wasn’t good enough against Chieng’s flopped two pairs and if that was not enough, he went on to double up Victor Chong. Gupta`s open with was enough to put the short-stacked Chong all in, who snap called with . The board spread out and Chong got a double up while Gupta tumbled down even further.
Gupta did somewhat recover after doubling up through Martin Gonzales the very next hand. Gonzales opened and Gupta shoved holding . Action folded back to Gonzales who called tabling . The board ran and Gupta managed to get back to 335,000 in chips.
Gupta`s deep run came eventually to an end at tenth place. Gupta open shoved with , Davidi Kitai re-shoved from two seats over holding and action moved to Alexandre Chieng who woke up with and made the easy call. The board blanked out and Kitai exited in ninth place while Gupta became the official tenth-place finisher and collected HK$245,000 (~₹20.29 Lakhs) in prize money.
PokerStars Asia Open
The second of four Platinum Pass events at this series, the PokerStars Asia Open attracted a total of 494 entries and the top 59 shared the HK$2,587,572 prize pool. When all was done and dusted, China’s 42-year-old advertising agency worker Jian Chen emerged the champion and collected the HK$575,700 top prize along with the coveted Platinum Pass after defeating fellow countryman Fei Sun heads-up for the title.
Post claiming the title, the champion said, “I’m very excited to be going to the Bahamas and thank you PokerStars for this prize. I’m happy about winning this because other poker players will be able to see that I was able to win my way into the Players Championship. Winning the Players Championship is my next poker goal so I’ll have to keep getting better to be able to win.”
Among our Indian challengers, Kalyan Chakravarthy continued his hot run and added another big score to his fast-growing poker resume. Chakravarthy finished at 16th place for HK$25,900 (~₹2.14 Lakhs).
Another Indian to make waves was one of the rising superstars of the country – Raghav Bansal who finished 28th for HK$15,500 (~₹1.28 Lakhs).
Other notables who made it to the money included Australia’s Bobby Zhang (11th for HK$36,300), Asia Player of the Year Alan Lau (13th for HK$31,100) and Team PokerStars Pro Randy Lew (46th for HK$11,600).
The final table of the event was full of PokerStars LIVE Macau regulars including Yunsheng Sun (5th place), Alex Lee (7th place) and Wai Kiat Lee (8th place).
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Jian Chen – HK$575,700
2. Fei Sun – HK$362,300
3. Qi Shen – HK$219,900
4. Preston Lee – HK$165,600
5. Yunsheng Sun – HK$116,400
6. Tao Fan – HK$90,600
7. Alex Lee – HK$73,700
8. Wai Kiat Lee – HK$62,100
9. Ning Zhang – HK$51,972
Yuri Ishida wins Ladies Event for HK$30,500
The HK$5,000 buy-inLadies Event attracted 15 players that generated a HK$61,110 prize pool with the top three places making it in the money. Japan’s Yuri Ishida defeated China’s Chunjing Zhai heads-up to bank the top prize worth HK$30,500. Ishida claimed her second Ladies and her total live earnings now amount to $301,974 while Zhai made her first live cash of HK$18,300.
Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin was one of the 15 in contention but busted short of the money.
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Yuri Ishida – HK$30,50
2. Chunjing Zhai – HK$18,300
3. Christine Hia – HK$12,310
Event 21: HK$5,000 NLH Turbo
The HK$5,000 NLH Turbo event witnessed a field of 94 runners that generated a HK$410,310 prize pool with the top 10 places making it in the money. A winner emerged in Bosnia and Herzegovina based Ognjen Jakara who pocketed the HK$110,800 top prize after defeating Team PokerStars pro Celina Lin in the heads-up battle. Lin banked HK$73,900 for her efforts.
Final Table Results (HKD)
1. Ognjen Jakara – HK$110,800
2. Celina Lin – HK$73,900
3. Qi Shen – HK$49,310
4. Tatiana Barausova – HK$41,000
5. Kwun Ngai Vincent Li – HK$32,800
6. Tin Lam Wong – HK$28,700
7. Jianqiang Yu – HK$24,600
8. Chun Kit Leung – HK$20,500
9. Howard Joseph – HK$16,400
Keep following all the updates from APPT Macau 2018 right here on PokerGuru!