LWPS XVII: Sweet Seventeen on the High Seas
Posted by : ikelos on Monday, September 23, 2013 permalink
The cruise liner M/V Leisure World this weekend played host to the largest Leisure World Poker Series since its inception, smashing all attendance and prize-pool records; truly a fitting way to herald the third anniversary of what was, exactly three years from the day, the first LWPS.
47 players clawed through an opening day field of 174 to earn themselves a spot in Day 2 of the Main Event, and an opportunity for a share of the juiciest prize-pool in LWPS history. Leading the charge on the 2nd Day of competitive play were Gordon Black, Neo Zhi Han, and most notably Deric Lee, who began the day in pole position with a massive chip advantage.
Several hours later, the field was whittled down to 19 players. The remaining contestants hunkered down for hand-for-hand play, hoping to avoid at all cost the tragedy of bubbling the Main Event. Prashant Chainani was first to put his neck on the chopping block with his short stack, and found himself on the brink of elimination until a critical river card won him the hand, much to the dismay of the other short stacks.
Next to confront the bubble demon was former champion and chronic ITMer Freddy Kwek. Freddy found himself with next to no chips, and had his all-in policed by three other players, who were happy to check down the entire board to showdown. When the cards were tabled however, Freddy had made two pairs, and when the rest of the players had tossed their cards into the muck, Freddy found himself alive and kicking, with 4x the chips he began the hand with.
Relief finally came for 18 contestants when another short stack found pocket 10s in the hole, and got the lot in. The covering player Mark Wen however, had awoken with a pair of cowboys. The river brought a futile set for the departing player, since it also gave his opponent a straight. The bubble had finally burst, to rapturous applause and cheering.
With a minimum payout now guaranteed, 18 pairs of eyes trained their sights on the first place prize. With the need to accumulate chips now even more pressing, the shorter stacks knew it was pretty much time to do or die. It was here that the poker gods decided that Freddy Kwek had dodged one bullet too many, duly dispatching him railwards. The extremely experienced Aaron Lam was next to fall, having never quite recovered from a double-barrel bluff that diminished a sizeable portion of his stack
Joining them in fairly rapid succession were Gary Lim, Khor Jun Xiong, Cheng Cher Whey, and ‘Bomberman339’ Lau Heng Seng, all making their maiden LWPS cashes; no small feat considering the dense field. Lau and Cheng can also draw consolation from finishing as the top 2 players in the LWPS Solo Endurance Challenge, each bagging a not untidy sum for outlasting 14 other runners.
The next two players to exit were also first time LWPS Main Event cashers. Riovee Lim was eliminated in 12th and Goh Ming Liang at 11th, with both players managing a small pay jump for their strong finishes. The latter’s departure also brought about the formation of the LWPS XVII Final Table.
Shaung Phang must have thought he had a big chance for advancement when his AK was met by the A7 of Chris Rio in an all-in pre-flop confrontation at the early stages of final table play. Unfortunately probabilities deserted Shaun that moment, sending him packing in 10th.
Mark Wen, no stranger to the Series and certainly no stranger to final tables, also found his run at an end not long after. Mark found himself all-in preflop against defending champion Ho Bao Qiang, whose ATos wasn’t in the best of shapes against Magic Mark’s QQ. A prompt Ace on the flop however, was enough to eliminate Mark in 9th.
Gordon Black had been having a rough time of it in the previous few levels, after dominating for the majority of Day 1 and the first half of Day 2. Finding himself somewhat below the table average stack and a table completely folded around to him in the small blind, Gordon found an opportunity to pick the pocket of the big blind with an open shove. Deric Lee in the big blind, nursing one of the biggest stacks at the table, was having none of it and made a quick call, tabling 44 for the showdown win.
Gordon was followed to the exit by Prashant Chainani soon after. Prashant, who nearly bubbled and could not find the cards to elevate him past a small-to-medium stack, found himself short again and needing a boost. On this occasion however, he found his all-in pre-flop A5 dominated by Chris Rio’s AK. With no help to either player arriving on the board, Prashant would depart in 7th.
Looking to make a little history himself was Ho Bao Qiang, LWPS XVI and defending champion. A win here would make him the first man to ever earn successive LWPS Main Event titles. Bao Qiang, who for the larger part of Day 2 had seen his stack size swing up and down more violently than anyone else, took the initiative against Muhd. Dasreen in a blind versus blind battle. Dasreen, who’d lost the keenly contested heads-up battle against Bao Qiang in LWPS XVI, was here looking to make amends, calling and turning AJ. It was off to the races when Bao Qiang turned over TT. This time, the battle would swing Dasreen’s way, a Jack on the flop ending the defending champion’s chance for a historic two-peat.
Lester Pinto has been making final tables a bit of a habit of late, and this time proved no exception. An icy cool and rock solid presence at the tables, Lester had bested a good 169 other runners enroute to his position, without ever seeming to have his stack at risk. Now looking to go one better, he found his AK up against the 66 of Chris Rio, who didn’t have him out-chipped by very much. The all-in pre-flop confrontation was short and brutish, when a turned set for Chris Rio sent him to the rail in 5th position.
4-handed play found the remaining contestants closely matched by way of chips, punctuated by a slew of skirmishes that never quite developed into full battles. The remaining players took turns trading blinds, save for the wildly entertaining and straight talking Chris Rio, who’d found himself card dead for an extended period of time. Forced into action by his dwindling stack and escalating blinds, Chris took an eventual stand with Qs8s, which he ran straight into Muhd. Dasreen’s 99, eliminating him in 4th.
The dominant Muhd. Dasreen was now taking it to a higher gear, and it was he who now held the overwhelming chip advantage moving into 3-handed play. Keith Seah and Deric Lee, as if recognizing they would need each other’s stack to contend with Dasreen, duly launched themselves at each other. The defining hand came when Keith got his KQ in pre-flop, only for Deric to call with Ad9d. A made nut flush had Keith drawing dead by the turn, and eliminated in 3rd for a princely $5,200.
Heads-up play was almost over before it even began. Muhd. Dasreen, who was outchipped by the most slender of margins, needed his A7 to hold up against Deric’s KT, lest he be consigned to his 2nd successive runner-up finish. His A7 came through, and when all the chips were tallied he had crippled Deric and established a colossal chip advantage. Clearly not one to roll over, Deric had the crowd on its feet when he won the next 6 hands, 4 of them all-in showdowns to retake the chip lead. The next 10 hands saw the contestants swapping leads back and forth, with neither quite securing an advantage.
The pivotal hand came not long after, when Dasreen, sensing weakness on a K high, two-to-a-suit board, jam-bluffed his opponent’s bet. After deliberating for several moments, Deric made the call, tabling K2 for a massive lead over Dasreen’s J9. What the poker gods had taken from Dasreen at LWPS XVI however, they here returneth. The turn card brought an implausible runner-runner flush draw, and when the final spade hit the river, an unfortunate end was brought to the talented Deric Lee’s tournament, and with it, the coronation of Muhd. Dasreen as the newest LWPS Champion!
The Pokerstars Freeroll:
1st – Chen Yuan Xi - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Eugene Lim - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Koh Jun Ming - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Ong Jing Xiang – Seat + Merchandise
5th – Chew Weng Hor - Merchandise
6th – Mike Guo - Merchandise
7th – Chris Tong - Merchandise
8th – Chris Rio - Merchandise
1st – Muhd. Dasreen - $12,000
2nd – Deric Lee - $6,400
3rd- Keith Joel Seah $5,200
4th – Chris Rio - $4,200
5th – Lester Pinto - $3,400
6th – Ho Bao Qiang - $2,700
7th – Prashant Chainani - $2,100
8th – Gordon Black - $1,600
9th – Mark Wen - $1,200
10th – Shaun Phang - $800
11th – Goh Ming Liang - $800
12th – Riovee Lim - $800
13th – Cheng Cher Whey - $600
14th – Gary Lim - $600
15th – Lau Heng Seng - $600
16th – Khor Jun Xiang - $600
17th – Aaron Lam - $600
18th – Freddy Kwek - $600
The LWPS Head-Hunter:
1st – Yeo Junwei - $2,160
2nd – Feng Zhao - $1,400
3rd – Chen Yuan Xi - $900
4th – Fuad bin Abdullah - $500
The Leisure World Poker Series thanks all participants for making LWPS XVII a phenomenal one, and congratulates all winners!
Big thanks also go out to our partners Pokerstars and the MV Leisure World for making it all possible.
See you for our Grand Finale in December!
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