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LWPS XX:  20th Installment Sets New Record, Old Sea Legs Set the Standard

Posted by : DM101 on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 permalink

Yet another high-octane weekend flew by as the Leisure World Poker Series celebrated its fifth birthday, and its twentieth tournament weekend. The Main Event drew two hundred and thirty-one runners, setting yet another record for LWPS attendances and prize-pools.

Main Event

Fifty-four runners clawed their way into Day 2, with no player having established a significant overnight chip advantage. With barely two levels of play gone by however, circuit veterans Aaron Lam and Terence Lai had forged ahead into the chip lead. Also still in the hunt were former champions Muhd. Dasreen, Lim Min Soon, current title holder Jimmy Yar, and the community’s most beloved player ‘Uncle’ Bobby Cheong.

A thirty-six runner payout meant that bubble play was upon the players in no time, and five tables of hand-for-hand play saw the big stacks tighten the noose against the smaller stacks. The bubble was burst from a scene straight out of Cooler Town. One of the medium stacks found action folded round to him in late position, and was happy to put the lot in with Jacks in the hole. Unfortunately, the player on his immediate right was siting on Queens, and more critically, a larger stack. The bursting of the bubble also marked another first for the LWPS: a Day 2 absentee folding and blinding into the money.

The need to chip up for a run at the final table saw a flurry of activity over the next few levels, with several big favourites hitting the rails. Narrowly missing out on final table appearances were ‘Major’ Ricky Foo, Daryl Tham, James Cheong, Louis Lee, and LWPS XIX tenth place finisher Corine Shi.

The final table, laughingly described by floor staff as the oldest ever, got off to a flying start with a swift elimination. Raising preflop from late position, Dhanesh Chainani led out a continuation bet on a board of J72 rainbow against Lim Min Soon, who’d elected to defend his big blind. Min Soon check-raised the board, and snap-called Dhanesh’s shove, his J7 flopping top two against his opponent’s rockets. The board would brick out, sending Dhanesh to the rails in 9th position, rocketing Min Soon into the chip lead.

Next to fall was first time final-tabler Daryl Tan, who had the misfortune of finding AK lying in wait as he moved his short-stack into the middle preflop with AT.

Following him to the exit not long after was Cheng Cher Whey. The enormously entertaining Cheng, looking for a spot to pick up some easy blinds, moved his remaining chips into the middle. Chip leader Aaron Lam, liking the look of his AcJc, obliged from the cutoff. The small blind hastily got out of the way, while Lim Kian Seen in the big blind quickly got his lot in as well, promptly tabling his Aces in the hole. Five seconds was all it took for triumph to turn to tragedy for Kian Seen. The flop brought one club, the turn a second; with a third on the river completing Aaron’s improbable flush, eliminating Kian Seen and Cheng in one fell swoop.

Nicholas Goh was enjoying a superlative outing in his maiden LWPS voyage, having seen his stack see-saw dramatically over the course of two days. Now short-stacked, and having enjoyed a couple of payout jumps courtesy of the Aaron Lam Express Train, he moved the rest of his chips in with A5 to Lim Min Soon’s preflop raise. Min Soon made a quick call with QT and paired the flop, consigning Nicholas to a fifth-place finish.

Next to fall was Joseph Kim, who’d been steadily but surely navigating his way though the large tournament field, parrying the verbal thrusts of his opponents with a wry smile and a stoic silence. Shortly after play turned 4-handed, he found himself all in preflop and looking good for a big double-up; his AK a massive favourite against his covering opponent’s A9. Alas, the cruel narrative of dominant hands finishing second best at this final table would continue, and the tournament lost Joseph in 4th place.

What followed would go down on record as the toughest 3-handed battle in LWPS history. Min Soon's strategy of big-stack bully was handily repelled by his opponents, themselves battle hardened circuit veterans. Lasting just under three hours, the fight saw multiple light skirmishes between Aaron Lam and Lim Min Soon, while Terence Lai looked content to stay out of harm’s way and pick up the odd small pot. For a brief period Aaron took command of the chip lead and the session’s momentum, before being pegged back by the other two.

Then, abruptly and dramatically, the defining moment arrived. The remaining players suddenly found themselves in a three-way all-in, with short stack Terence holding a pair of lovely ladies. Min Soon had the chip lead, and was drawing live against the crestfallen Aaron’s A6. When it rains however, sometimes it pours gold. We’re all familiar with the sequence. Innocuous flop, gutshot draw on the turn, gutshot straight on the river. Amid the howls and screams of the delirious railbirds, Terence’s brilliant run had come to an end.

Sensing blood and his first LWPS title, Aaron looked to pile the pressure on Min Soon, who was looking to become only the second player to ever win two LWPS Main Event titles. What followed was an exercise in controlled aggression, with both players taking measured swings without quite being able to eke out a significant advantage. Sensing weakness on a preflop raise from Aaron, Min Soon 3-bet shoved with 5c6c, knowing that he’d either be drawing a fold, or racing with an un-dominated hand. Aaron made the call, correctly guessing he was ahead, turning over QJ. The TJ8 flop put Aaron well in front, requiring Min Soon to pull a runner-runner to remain in contention. A 7 on the turn brought Min Soon the faintest glimmer of hope, even if only a 4 on the river would do. An inconsequential 3 found its way to the river, ending Min Soon’s run and crowning Aaron Lam the new Leisure World Poker Series champion!

Full Results

The Pokerstars Freeroll:

1st – Lee Wei Li - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Jereld Sam - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Mohd. Redzwan - Seat + Merchandise
1st – Mahdi Rasouli – Seat + Merchandise
1st – Melanie Wong – Seat + Merchandise
1st – Chew Meng Hor – Seat + Merchandise
7th – Liew Teck Wee - Merchandise
8th – Jack Leong - Merchandise

Main Event:

1st – Aaron Lam - $12,500
2nd – Lim Min Soon - $7,300
3rd – Terence Lai - $5,400
4th – Joseph Kim - $4,600
5th – Nicholas Goh - $3,800
6th – Lim Kian Seen - $3,100
7th – Cheng Cher Whey- $2,500
8th – Daryl Tan - $2,000
9th – Dhanesh Chainani - $1,600
10th – Louis Lee - $1,300
11th – Ricky Foo - $1,300
12th – James Cheong - $1,300
13th – Daryl Tham - $1,000
14th – Pang Chee Beng - $1,000
15th – Ryan Vincent - $1,000
16th – Corine Shi - $700
17th – Muhd. Dasreen - $700
18th – Eric Soh - $700
19th – Lumagbas Frandello - $500
20th – Tang Tin Leng - $500
21st – Alex Lee - $500
22nd – Yan Yong Cheng - $500
23nd – Vo Minh Duc - $500
24rd – Ngui Jian Yang - $500
25th – Soebakti Hartanto- $500
26th – Poh Leng Wee - $500
27th – Andrina Yeo - $500
28th – Ho Shunhe - $350
29th – Bobby Cheong - $350
30th – Ler Cher Chian - $350
31th – Jereld Sam - $350
32th – Rain Cai - $350
33th – Jolyon Loo - $350
34th – Alvin Tan - $350
35th – Mahdi Rasouli - $350
36th – Kelvin Sim - $350

The LWPS Head-Hunter:

1st – Ho Bao Qiang - $3,000
2nd – Alvin Siow - $1,700
3rd – Alan Lee - $1,000
4th – Christopher Hobday - $600
5th – Bobby Cheong - $350

The Leisure World Poker Series thanks all participants for making LWPS XX another record-setting weekend. Congratulations to all winners, and we’ll see you again next time!

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