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LWPS XVIII: Natural 18 on the High Seas

Posted by : ikelos on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 permalink

Credits to guest reporter Necrohavoc

Once again the Leisure World Poker Series has broken all attendance and prize-pool records as it set sail on the M/V Leisure World last weekend. One can only hope this consecutive record-smashing trend foretells an explosive local poker boom.

Main Event

An unprecedented 203 players from two flights participated in the main event, packing the tournament area to the brim, leaving the guarantee in its wake and ballooning the prize pool to just over $52,000. Leading the poker flotilla after Day 1 was Chng Kia Yong ($106,200), with Hong Kong-based Lim Min Soon ($99,700) and online whiz Marvin Tay ($93,500) breathing down the leader’s neck.

The beginning of Day 2 saw the stragglers from Day 1 drop fast and furious as they attempted to catch up with the leading pack, and after several hours the pack was whittled down to the last three tables of players who made it in the money. Among the notable losses were former champion Daniel ‘Dangerous’ Chua, Dhanesh Chainani and crowd favourite Vijay Visvalingam.

Even after the bursting of the money bubble, play trudged along, with players determined to move up the money ladder as much as possible. The short stacks continued dodging the proverbial bullet, but alas, the battle against attrition from the erosive blinds would claim, among others, Geraldine Tan (25th), the only female to make the money, Alan Khow (24th) and Joseph Kim (22nd) for minimum cash.
Later down the road, former champion Freddy Kwek who - despite having started the day with a decent stack size – had found both playable hands and profitable spots in short supply on day 2. Having clung on almightily for the duration of play on Day 2, Freddy opted for a dignified all-in exit before the blinds rear-ended him instead.

“Major” Ricky Foo, who barely scraped into Day 2 with less than 10 big blinds, showed the gumption befitting the nickname as his patient and well-timed plays saw him score a decent 15th place. Online wunderkind Marvin Tay, who showed his skills were more than just digital with his consistent pressure plays, ended his run just short of the final table at 11th place. No doubt a player to look out for in future tournaments.

With that the final table was decided and the presence of consecutive final-tablers Ho Bo Qiang and Lester Pinto, both three in a row, further proves that skill plays a large factor in poker. Lim Min Soon and ex-champion Sean Tan would prove to be major threats as well. The former had consistently kept his place among the chip leaders throughout the day and into the final table by winning the big pots that mattered; while the latter, another member of the online whiz kid generation, made a tremendous comeback after having to rebuilt from a low of 2,000 chips.

After a roller coaster ride during the day where his chip stack fluctuated like the penny-stock market, Joey Soh took a stand with his short stack holding KJo from mid-position. The table folded all round until the big blind where Indonesian stalwart Soebakti Hartanto made the call with pocket threes. It was all over for Joey who fished in 9th place when the turn made a wheel for Soebakti.

Sean Tan’s decent-sized stack was hit badly from losing two consecutive hands to Ho Bao Qiang. The end of the road came when a steal with 9Ts found Acus Lim with Jacks in the hole and an easy call.
The board was of no help to Sean and he exited in 9th place, still contemplating on his series of unfortunate events.

Lester Pinto whose solid play led him all the way to the final table failed to get any positive momentum going. He finally decided to shove his remaining chips in from early position before the skyrocketing blinds hit, only to get called by Ong Wei in mid position, the latter himself badly needing a chip-up. Lester’s A4o was ahead of Ong’s KQ but the flop brought a K and ran out without helping Lester, sending him to the rails in 8th place.

Ong Wei who had inherited Lester’s chips not too long ago could not build upon it and found himself in another all-in situation shortly after; this time him being the player at risk. After contemplating a bit Eric decided to make the call with K7o, which turned out to be ahead of Ong’s QT. A quick King on the flop and harmless turn and river saw Ong Wei finishing in 7th place.

Ho Bao Qiang, who narrowly missed out becoming the first back-to-back champion in the last series, was looking to redeem himself this time round. After surviving three all-ins earlier the death knell fell upon him when Eric Soh , then chip leader, called Bao Qiang’s all-in with A8. Bao Qiang tabled KJ for the underdog hand but despite picking more outs on the turn, failed to connect on the river and Eric’s A8 held up, sending a valiant Bao Qiang to the rail. It’ll be no surprise seeing him in the next series continuing his firebrand-style and on the final table again no less.

Quiet and unassuming Indonesia representative Soebakti Hartanto, who dealt first blood at the final table, had remained mostly under the radar since. However his patience soon ran out and he put his tournament life on the line with 78s. Lim Min Soon in the big blind tanked and then made the call with pocket fives for a 50-50 situation, knowing a loss would be a significant blow to his chances. The flop gave extra gutshot outs to Soebakti much to the chagrin of Min Soon but an uneventful turn and river would see Min Soon breathe a big sigh of relief. A great run for newcomer Soebakti who finished in 5th.

Tai Rong Sen who also avoided any high profile pots since the final table thought he might be third time lucky when his all-in was called by Eric Soh, who failed to eliminate two players prior to this hand. His A2 of spades were unfortunately up against Eric’s dominating A8. His chances looked bleak when the flop failed to deliver a deuce, while an 8 on the turn cemented his elimination and 4th place finish.

Acus Lim found himself short stacked 3-way, knowing he needed to accumulated some chips to compete. He survived the first all in against Lim Min Soon, but his second attempt of A9o ran into Min Soon’s monster matriarchs. Acus needed a lot of help on the board to overturn Min Soon’s QQ but it ran out all low cards. Acus finished a respectable 3rd and with his chips shipped over to Min Soon, heads up play was almost dead even. Min Soon was slightly in the lead with 55% of the chips in play versus Eric’s 45%.

The players tangoed for a while but it was no long drawn battle. Min Soon turned up the tempo and went on the offensive going all in with 7Ts, Eric woke up with pocket sixes and made the call. Min Soon was happy to find his hand undominated and flipping. As the dealer slowly slid the cards for the flop, an air of trepidation hung heavy as players and railbirds realized that this would be the ultimate or penultimate hand considering the stacks. Supporters of both camps let out yells of equal joy and anguish as a 10 revealed itself between pairing 3s on the flop, consigning Eric to just 2 outs. The turn and river brought no help to either player, also bringing an end to Eric’s truly remarkable performance, while inaugrating a new series champion. Congratulations to Lim Min Soon, winner of the LWPS XVIII’s
Main Event!

Full Results

The Pokerstars Freeroll:

1st – Ng Chee Huat - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Yieu Hann Jong - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Zhang Zhichao - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Chan Yee Jen – Seat + Merchandise
1st – Ceesvin Abraham – Seat + Merchandise
6th – Zheng Wei Nan - Merchandise
7th – Welly Suryana - Merchandise
8th – Feng Chengcheng - Merchandise

Main Event:

1st – Lim Min Soon - $13,000
2nd – Eric Soh - $7,700
3rd - Acus Lim - $5,200
4th – Tai Rong Sen - $4,300
5th – Soebakti Hartanto - $3,500
6th – Ho Bao Qiang - $2,800
7th – Ong Wei - $2,200
8th – Lester Pinto - $1,700
9th – Sean Tan - $1,300
10th – Joey Soh - $1000
11th – Marvin Tay - $1000
12th – Alfred Low - $1,000
13th – Ricky Foo - $750
14th – Leonard Lee - $750
15th – Freddy Kwek - $750
16th – Chng Kia Yong - $550
17th – Eric Chan - $550
18th – Donn Chia - $550
19th – Jerry Lee - $400
20th – William Tjiong - $400
21st – Zhou Hong Ming - $400
22nd – Joseph Kim - $400
23rd – Calvin Tan YS - $400
24th – Alan Khow - $400
25th – Geraldine Tan - $400
26th – Adrian Yeap - $400
27th – Zhang Zhichao - $400

The LWPS Head-Hunter:

1st – Mahdi R. - $2,600
2nd – Aaron Lam - $1,500
3rd – Joseph Kim - $800
4th – Yar Gin Gwee - $500
5th – Lucius Chua - $370

The Leisure World Poker Series thanks all participants for making LWPS XVII an extraordinary weekend, and congratulates all winners! See you all next year!

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