It took 16 and a half hours on Day 2 for the PokerStars Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) to find a winner for its PHP200,000 High Roller tournament. Hon Cheong Lee out of Hong Kong was awarded the victory after a decision to chop the pot with his showdown opponent, India’s Sahil Agarwal.
A total of 124 entries set a new record for an APPT tournament. The previous record, for the APPT Korea, attracted just 82. The turnout made the PokerStars APPT tourney the largest high roller tournament of the season and the largest in the history of the APPT Manila. The largest turnout for an APPT Manila event was in 2016, when 58 players showed up before China’s Yan Li was crowned champion with $74,889.
Li was back at the table this year and made it close to the final table before busting out in eleventh place with only $8,533. She barely outlasted Taiwan’s Kitty Kuo, who left in twelfth place with $7,479. Kuo has racked up almost $2 million in live-tournament action and most recently took second place at the $10,000 NLHE WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic for $248,380.
Out of the 124 players, 38 made it to Day 2. When registration for the event closed, 37 players remained. Out of these, 17 would ultimately finish in the money. Thomas Floan would be the first to receive a cash payout when he was eliminated in seventeenth place, and it didn’t take long for others to follow.
Things got interesting as three-handed play continued for about an hour with several large pots and a few double-ups around the table. Russia’s Konstantin Pogodin would fall with an all-in shove while holding Q-J. Lee was only too happy to call with his A-Q, and Pogodin hit the rail in third with $45,954.
Pogodin begrudgingly collected his winnings and headed out the door. With his chips on the table still warm, Lee and Agarwal began hashing out details for a chopped pot. They talked for about an hour, while still playing, before it was decided that Lee would take the title, the trophy and the top prize. He pocketed $87,848 as the tournament winner and Agarwal took only a little less—$87,472.