LWPS XIV: New Champions, and the Rise of the Young Guns
Posted by : ikelos on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 permalink
The 14th installment of the Leisure World Poker Series flew by this weekend amidst a flurry of absorbing competition, high-octane action, and unceasing drama. In spite of the increased Main Event buy-in, the Series managed to record its second $10,000 first place prize. The LWPS has already posted record participation numbers and prize pools in its 3rd Season, which augurs well for the development of this poker community, and is testament to the sustained growth of poker in the region.
The weekend was marked by the influx of new faces at the LWPS. While these were faces new to the scene, they certainly weren’t new to poker. The wave of young, online bred phenoms made their presence felt this weekend, as they proceeded to dominate almost every event with their sound fundamentals, control, and reflexive knowledge of odds and sizing.
27 runners took their seats for day 2 of the Main Event, led resoundingly by overnight chip leader Jonathan Lau, who'd managed over the course of the previous day to amass 150,000 chips; a boggling 60,000 more than his closest pursuer. Also still in the hunt was defending champion Richard Lim, who was looking to bag a historic trifecta of ME titles, along with Neo Zhi Han and Dhanesh Chainani, who were both looking to bag their first.
A flurry of eliminations marked the first few levels, before screeching to a near halt with the approach of the money bubble. Chris Chong in particular found himself on a knife’s edge when his AK lost a massive flip to Lee Kwang China’s QQ, right on the money bubble. With next to no chips remaining and automatically all-in on the next hand in the big blind, Chris miraculously managed to triple through, at the exact moment that Gabriel Tan broke the bubble on the adjacent table in equally dramatic fashion, to the relief of the remaining thirteen players.
With players now safely in the money, the floodgates opened with many of the shorter stacks looking to chip up for a final table run. In rapid succession, the tournament lost Chris Chong, Chew Ern Boon, Keith Seah, and Neo Zhi Han to the rails, assembling an almost complete line-up of LWPS Main Event final table first-timers.
Jonathan Lau, who’d crushed his Day 1 flight by some margin, was unable to muster any momentum in the tournament’s later stages, and after coming in second best over several pots, was eventually eliminated in 9th spot. He was soon joined at the rail by Chua Zee Wei and Tan Chow Lin, the latter having spent most of Day 2 deftly maneuvering a short stack. In addition to his strong ME finish, Chow Lin would also go on to bag the runner up spot in the inaugural LWPS Heads-Up Challenge.
A dominant chip lead was established several hands later, and in dramatic fashion. Ong Ee How limped from UTG, only to find defending champion Richard Lim moving all his chips in the middle from late position. Gary Yow, one of the shortest stacks, made the call for his stack in the SB. Ee How would tank for several minutes, and, realizing he had both players covered, made the call with AK. A King on the flop and bricks on the turn and river bested Richard’s A2 and Gary’s 77, and both players were duly eliminated, giving Ee How a commanding chip advantage moving into 4-handed play.
Next to depart was Julien Muel, who’d been nursing a short stack since the bubble burst. The Frenchman, attending his first LWPS, was eventually forced to make a stand in lieu of the escalating blinds, and was unceremoniously dispatched by Ong Ee How in 4th place for $3,000. What followed was an extensive 3-handed battle that lasted several levels, with Ong Ee How and Lee Kwang Chian trading the chip lead back and forth. After being unable to make much headway, the excellent Wong Wai Loon was sent to the rail in a 3-way all-in that pitted his KQ against the KJ of Ee How and 99 of Kwang Chian. A nine on the flop sealed the hand for Kwang Chian, and had both opponents drawing dead on the turn. Wai Loon would pocket $3,900 for his 3rd place finish.
The heads-up battle was brief and dramatic. With Ee How still holding a slender chip advantage, both players got the lot in pre-flop. When the cards were placed on their backs, it was off to the races with Ee How’s AQ up against Kwang Chian’s 33. With neither player connecting with the board, Kwang Chian established an insuperable 15-1 chip lead. Two hands later, it was done and dusted when Kwang Chian’s KQ outran Ee How’s A6 for the championship. Ee How heads home to Malaysia with $6,300 extra for his troubles, while Kwang Chian commemorates a truly remarkable weekend with the winner’s purse of $10,000, in addition to the coveted LWPS Main Event trophy.
The Pokerstars Freeroll:
1st - Nicki Sun - Seat + Merchandise
1st - Mohd. Redzhuwan - Seat + Merchandise
1st - Tan Chow Lin - Seat + Merchandise
4th - Norbert Koh - Merchandise
5th - Lionel Loh - Merchandise
6th - Saravanakumar Rajagopalan - Merchandise
7th - Leonard Kong - Merchandise
1st - Lee Kwang Chian - $10,000
2nd - Ong Ee How - $6,300
3rd- Wong Wai Loon $3,900
4th - Julien Muel - $3,000
5th - Richard Lim - $2,300
6th - Gary Yow - $1,300
7th - Tan Chow Lin - $1,300
8th - Chua Zee Wei - $950
9th - Jonathan Lau - $700
10th - Neo Zhi Han - $550
11th - Keith Seah - $550
12th - Chew Ern Boon - $550
13th - Chris Chong - $550
1st - Daniel Chua - $2,165
2nd - Tan Chow Lin - $1,100
3rd - Norbert Koh - $550
4th - Lin Ruizi - $550
The Rebuy Frenzy:
1st - Zhou Hongming - $2,100
2nd - Kenny Wong - $1,550
3rd - Eddie Seetho - $1,000
4th - Saravanakumar Rajagoplan - $500
The LWPS thanks all participants for making LWPS XIV a success, and congratulates all winners.