POKER

Le earns Manila Millions; Kitai’s triple crown at EPT Berlin; EPT Grand Final awaits

TAGs: asian poker tour, European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour

EPT-Berlin-APT-Philippines-WPTAllan Le has won the Manila Millions super high-roller event at the Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2012, earning a whopping HKD $13.08m (US $1.7m). Le outlasted 30 of the poker world’s biggest big-game names, including Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, John Juanda, Joe Hachem and JC Tran. Despite the influx of the western world’s poker royalty, the final table at Resorts World Manila’s Genting Club had a decidedly Asian flavor. After an hour of heads-up play, China’s Devan Tang ran headlong into Le’s pocket queens, but Tang’s second place prize of HKD $8.175m (US $1.05m) marks the biggest cash of his career, so he can only be so pissed. Sun Sheng finished third, earning HKD $4.9m; Richard Yong earned $3.6m for finishing fourth and Keith Kipson took fifth and $2.9m.

Meanwhile, the APT Philippines main event Day 1A is in the books. Some 120 players bought in on the first day of play and, of the 59 survivors, Oliver Speidel finished as chip leader, with Conrad Coetzer not far off the pace. Also sitting pretty are APT veteran Philip Padron, Mclean Karr, Kai Paulsen and 2012 Aussie Millions runner up Ken Wong. Day 1B gets underway Sunday at 1pm local time.

Back in Europe, Davidi Kitai has triumphed at the European Poker Tour Berlin main event, earning €712k for outlasting a 745-strong field at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The addition of the EPT title to Kitai’s 2008 World Series of Poker bracelet and 2011 World Poker Tour victory at the LA Poker Classic Invitational has made the Belgian only the fifth poker player in history to earn the coveted triple crown. (Jake Cody and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier being the most recent entries into the exclusive club.) Andrew Chen was the last to fall at Kitai’s hands, earning €613k. Interestingly, Kitai told PokerNews’ Lynn Gilmartin that he and Chen had shared a cab from the airport, so somewhere out there is a cabbie against whom every poker player should be rubbing up for luck. The rest of the final table finished as follows: Andre Morath (€290k); Mario Puccini (€220k); Bahadir Kilickeser (€172k); Cesar Garcia (€133k); Marc Wright (€97k) and Pratyush Buddiga (€72k).

The stakes only get higher with the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo beginning April 23. The €10,600 main event gets underway on the 25th, but before that comes the €100k buy-in Super High-Roller, which will be the priciest tourney ever held on the continent. The hoopla has attracted a flood of big names, including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Patrik Antonius, Erik Seidel, Eugene Katchalov, Jason Somerville, Sorel Mizzi and Viktor Blom, who won the Super High Roller at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January.

Across the pond, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown is down to 15 players from the starting field of 290. Sunday will see the remaining players battle until the six-handed final-table is set and the TV cameras get set up. Joe Serock is currently chip-leader, but remains only a single big-blind ahead of Robert Georato.

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