LWPS XII: the Young Gun and the Veteran take Centrestage; Team S Wins Causeway Team Challenge
Posted by : ikelos on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 permalink
On those rainy days that are increasingly becoming part of the tropical December experience, hordes of kakis made the push towards LWPS XII over the weekend, determined not to let the damp and chill to get in the way of several guaranteed days of quality poker, camaraderie, and non-stop laughter. They came, they saw, and they duly made the weekend the biggest LWPS to date.
Fan favourite Bobby Cheong had the crowd on its feet when he ousted the Razer sharp Erique Tan for the Season 2 Finale Deepstack Freezeout, while online wunderkind Sean Tan bagged the Main Event to claim his first live tournament win. At the other end of the poker room, Team S brought home the first ever Causeway Team Challenge with a resounding 4-1 victory, while Eugene Lee, without question one of the season’s most improved players, capped off an impressive 4 consecutive final-table run with a win in the Corona Extra 13-Card Poker Classic.
The Finale Deepstack Freezeout
You know an event is going to be no walk in the park when the top 18 of the Season 2 Leaderboard have automatic entry. Christmas came early for Norbert Koh and Terence Lai, the 20th and 19th placed leaderboard finishers, when they scooped forfeited seats to this event after two of the top 18 failed to show.
If you like your fields tough and aggressive with a chunky sized buy-in to boot, then this would have been right up your alley. 50 kakis buckled in for battle, and a Battle Royale it truly was. The bubble broke after approximately 12 hours of play, the field having lost many illustrious names in the process. Left standing were the in-form Travers Tan and Eugene Lee, ‘Uncle’ Bobby Cheong, Battle of the High Seas double Champion Erique Tan, Daryl Christopher Loh, Andy Toh, and Pokerstars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang.
With a lot at stake, play was cagey from the get go, and it was close to an hour before the top 7 found its first scalp. Travers Tan hit the rail in 7th, lady luck deserting him once again at the pivotal moments. The balance of power continued to shift, with no player seemingly able to distance himself from the pack. Andy Toh came close to elimination once or twice, surviving several all-ins at the expense of Eugene Lee and Bryan Huang. Finally, it was Bryan who blinked first, and he was sent to the rail in 6th position. Eugene Lee and Daryl Christopher Loh would follow shortly after, departing in 5th and 4th respectively, with Erique Tan and Bobby Cheong taking turns to deal the damage.
Play at 3-handed proved short and brutish. Andy Toh finally found his impressive run at an end at the hands of ‘Uncle’ Bobby Cheong, who has developed the habit of producing his best during these big finale events. The runner-up at last season’s $888 Finale event, Bobby was looking to go one better here, while seasoned tournament champion Erique Tan was looking to add to his trophy haul. With Bobby holding the chip lead coming into heads-up play, it was barely five hands before both players found occasion to get the lot in pre-flop, with Bobby’s pair dominating Erique’s pair to a two outer. Bobby would all but seal the win on the flop with a set, and the confirmatory turn card had Bobby punching the air in celebration. Massive kudos to both players on a masterful tournament, in particular to Bobby Cheong, the LWPS Season 2 Finale Deepstack Champion!
The Causeway Team Challenge
Who says poker players don’t do their bit for bi-lateral relations? The Causeway Team Challenge brought the players of Singapore and Malaysia together for the first time in a unique format; pitting players across a series of heads-up, doubles and trios matches. After a brief opening ceremony and the Captains’ welcoming address, the captains sent forth their players for the first rotation.
The simultaneous action had spectators scurrying to and fro. Daniel Chua was doing battle heads-up with Chang Huan Bin, Vincent Khaw and Wong Wai Hong were matched against Freddy Kwek and Eugene Lee in the doubles, while Calvin Ong, Sean Tan and Gary Lee were up against Mark Pui, Kenny Khow and Celestine in the trios.
It was Calvin Ong who drew first blood for Singapore in the trios, when he found Kings in the hole to cripple Malaysian captain Mark Pui, who had the misfortune to be holding AK. Meanwhile, a big swing hand went the way of Team Singapore in the doubles, with Eugene Lee making a big call against Wong Wai Hong’s river bluff. Freddy and Eugene went on to seal the first match for Singapore shortly after to make it 1-0.
Daniel Chua, who was holding a slight chip lead against Huan Bin, managed to get his stack in pre-flop with QQ against the latter’s Ah 9h, and looked in plenty good shape until the Th 7s 6h flop turned his hand into a slight underdog. Amidst massive shouting from the rail, the Ladies managed to hold up and Daniel Chua made it 2-0 for Singapore.
Team Malaysia put themselves back in contention after they eliminated Singapore’s Sean Tan in the trios, but a big all-in preflop win with KJ against 77 swung the momentum back in Singapore’s favour, leaving Team Malaysia with a large chip deficit in the trios. The disadvantage proved too big a hurdle, and the Singaporeans duly went 3-0 ahead, needing only one more win from the remaining three matches to seal overall victory.
Team Malaysia pulled one back in the proceeding heads-up tie, with Chang Huan Bin ably besting Singapore captain Bryan Huang in a see-saw match. With any loss hereon resulting in overall defeat, the pressure was on Team Malaysia to grab every remaining point. The next match pit Singaporeans Daniel Chua and Erique Tan up against Mark Pui and Kenny Khow in a doubles contest.
In a day when all seemed to be going the Singaporeans’ way, this match would prove no different. To vociferous support from the rail, Daniel and Erique acquired the chip lead early on and never looked back, closing out the contest in just under 2 hours to give Team Singapore an insurmountable 4-1 lead, in addition to the first Causeway Challenge Trophy!
The LWPS extends its congratulations to both teams for putting up a great showing, and for the camaraderie, warmth and graciousness displayed by all competitors over the course of the competition.
With the LWPS posting its best Season 2 numbers at LWPS XII, there were lots of good reasons to be out on the high seas playing poker this weekend. 6,500 reasons to be exact. In a season where a collection of dominant players have emerged, the final table of this Main Event served up a slew of fresh faces. Before the money bubble had even burst, it was certain that a new champion would be crowned.
Play was cautious from the outset of the final table, with no player seemingly keen on taking too much risk too early. The first three eliminations came in slightly under an hour, and they all came in a big way. Soh Chye Wei, making his sophomore appearance at an LWPS final table, moved all chips in the middle and was promptly sent to the rail by Jerry Lai, who tabled aces. Joseph Kim was next to fall in 8th place, when he shoved his short-stacked AT smack into the big blind’s pocket rockets.
Teo Khiam Wei, who’d played a solid tournament throughout, was unlucky to come out second best when his AK found Eric Chen’s QQ awaiting; the low card board offering nothing by way of help. Khiam Wei’s exit was quickly followed by Michael Loke (who at one point had only 3BBs remaining and had artfully reconstructed his stack), whose steal was quickly snapped off by the endlessly entertaining Soh Yan Da, whose Kc5C was proved an overmatch for Michael’s 24os.
Jerry Lai fell in 5th place when he moved all-in to a raise from late position from Eric Chen, the latter deliberating for some time before making the call with TT. Call turned out good as Jerry flipped over K10, leaving the plucky Jerry drawing mighty slim.
Things still looked pretty even coming into 4-handed play, no with no player having established a significant chip advantage. Soh Yan Da, easily the chattiest player at the table, could frequently be found cajoling his fellow contestants to relax and talk a little more. The exuberant Soh, who we hope will be a fixture for many LWPSes to come, found himself in a tricky spot as the shortest stack, and unfortunately moved his QT all-in preflop into Dhanesh Chainani, who woke up with KK in the big blind. The board bricked out for Soh, and he was sent packing in 4th.
The biggest hand of the tournament occurred shortly after between Sean Tan and Dhanesh Chainani. Dhanesh raised it up pre-flop, c-bet the A 8 9 board, and moved the rest in on the turn 7. Sean paused very briefly before making the call with A7, eliminating Dhanesh by the narrowest of chip margins, and taking with him a 4:1 chip advantage into heads-up play. Sean, the quiet, unassuming college student already making waves in the online scene, was now in pole position to bag his first live title.
Eric Chen, the reigning 13-Card champion and also final table sophomore, found the going rough heads-up, and after 6 hands, found the chip lead widened to 8-1. When Eric ultimately moved his stack into the middle with J8, Sean insta-called with A8. The board of 3 4 6 gave neither player any help, but an 8 on the turn and a 9 on the river put paid to his hopes, and the LWPS would crown its twelfth champion!
The Season 2 Finale $500 Deepstack Freezeout:
1st: Bobby Cheong - $4,000*
2nd: Erique Tan - $3,385*
3rd: Andy Toh - $3,385*
4th: Daryl Christopher Loh - $3,385*
5th: Eugene Lee - $3,385*
6th: Bryan Huang - $3,385*
7th: Travers Tan - $900
*6 way deal.
The Pokerstars Freeroll:
1st: Bryan Michael Cutter - LWPS XI ME Seat + PS$50
1st: Gina Sim – LWPS XI ME Seat + PS$50
3rd: Sean Tan - PS$50
4th: Chris Chong – PS$50
5th: Mick Koh – PS$50
6th: Roland Luke – PS$50
7th: Clement Lun - PS$50
8th: Humphrey Tan – PS$50
9th: Calvin Ong – PS$50
10th: Thomas Po – PS$50
$250 Main Event:
1st: Sean Tan - $6,500
2nd: Eric Chen - $4,400
3rd: Dhanesh Chainani - $2,800
4th: Soh Yan Da - $2,100
5th: Jerry Lai - $1,600
6th: Michael Loke - $1,200
7th: Teo Khiam Wei - $900
8th: Joseph Kim - $700
9th: Soh Chye Wei - $600
10th: Stephen Ng - $450
11th: Paul Wee - $450
12th: Kevin Fang - $450
13th: Travers Tan - $450
The Causeway Team Challenge:
Winners – Team Singapore
(HU) Daniel Chua bt. Chang Huan Bin
(Doubles) Freddy Kwek/Eugene Lee bt. Wong Wai Hong/Mark Pui
(Trios) Calvin Ong/Sean Tan/Gary Lee bt. Mark Pui/Celestine/Kenny Khow
(HU) Chang Huan Bin bt. Bryan Huang
(Doubles) Daniel Chua/Erique Tan bt. Mark Pui/Kenny Khow
The Corona Extra 13 Card Poker Classic ($500 Courtesy Corona Extra):
1st: Eugene Lee - $1,400
2nd: Calvin Ong - $700
3rd: Norbert Koh - $400
4th: Daniel Chua - $300
The LWPS congratulates all winners, and thanks all participants attending. Massive thanks are also in order to our venue partners Leisure World, and our sponsors Pokerstars, Corona Extra, Cartamundi Asia-Pacific, and Youbet.com.