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SPC VI: Event Report

Posted by : DM101 on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 permalink

What a weekend. The Singapore Poker Championships VI drew to a close late Sunday evening, and for the first time, some of the final tablers and tournament staff were in danger of missing the last ferry. The cruise’s air-conditioning was also experiencing some ailment over the weekend and, in spite of their best efforts, the ship’s engineers were unable to manipulate the temperature below 25 degrees. Despite the unsettling conditions, one seasoned campaigner was heard to declare, ‘I go to war in any weather’. Such is the resilience of the poker player.

The prospects for a decent size field and prize-pool looked very good when the SPC hit its first Flight 1A sell-out in the $400 era, with 15 alternates waiting by the wings. By the time the dust had settled on late entries and re-entries in Flight 1B, the SPC had set a new Main Event personal best of 295 runners. Best of all, the 102,000 prize-pool smashed the previous best of 87,000, entailing a champion’s purse of $20,000.

The Natural8 Main Event

An unprecedented 74 runners weaved, thrust, and parried their way to Day 2 of the Main Event. The field was packed with SPC luminaries, amongst them former champions Ho Bao Qiang, Lim Min Soon, Aaron Lam, Jimmy Yar, and Lew Yin How; in addition to many experienced stalwarts who’ve won fistfuls of dollars regionally.

Finding early success in these shark-infested waters were Mark Wong and Low Zi Cheng, both of whom closed out their Flight 1s with more than 100k in chips. The star of Day 1 however, was first-timer Toh Choon Keong, who’d amassed a whopping 188k heading into Day 2 without appearing to break much of a sweat.

With the money-bubble lasting a mere six hands and the remaining 36 players now assured of a min-cash, the jostle for the final table began in earnest. In the space of two levels, Prashant Chainani, Jimmy Yar, Cheng Cher Whey, and Deric Lee were elbowed to the rail, with Tan Tong, Ho Bao Qiang and Lew Yin How following soon after. Narrowly, and unluckily missing out on the final table were the extremely consistent Zhang Changjie, and the gifted Ceesvin Abdulla.

The charge towards the SPC N8 Main Event’s third final-table of the year was led by Corine Shi who - having recently decimated the unfortunate Changjie,- was holding just about ¼ of all the chips in play. She soon consolidated her position further when the 3bb stack and K6 of Shawn Khoo found her sitting pretty with AQ in the hole. The A 5 6 flop gave Shawn some hope, but when neither a K or a 6 materialised on the turn or river, Shawn was sent to the rails in 9th position.

A pivotal hand shortly after changed the complexion of the final table. Mervin Ng, who had hitherto been coasting along to his first final table, found himself in a tricky spot on a T 9 3 Q board, facing Charles Lesmana’s all-in. The aggressive Charles had been involved in more pots than most, and his turn jam sent Mervin deep into the tank. Eventually electing to bluff-catch, Mervin turned over T7, only to discover that Charles had him drawing slim with KQ. The river card brought no help to Mervin, and he was eliminated in 8th place.

7-handed play saw Corine and Charles neck and neck for the chip lead, with barely a few thousand separating them. Charles however, would soon edge ahead after taking down a few small pots post-flop.

The extremely animated Li Hang, who’d been nursing a short stack for most of Day 2, had already gotten all his chips in the middle on multiple occasions, each time emerging from said confrontations smelling of roses. No one however, can dodge bullets indefinitely, and so it proved when he got the lot in once again with KJ. Mark Wong, who’d found AQ in the hole, was more than happy to oblige. This time, the board would bring no salvation for Li Hang, and he was consigned to a 7th place finish.

Next on the chopping block was the quiet, unassuming Leon Tay, who’d been navigating his first final table thus far with some aplomb. Sandwiched between the big stacks of Corine Shi and Charles Lesmana to his right, and the smooth, take-no-prisoners Jiang Yong Bo on his right, it’s safe to say spots were hard to come by. Eventually short, he got his chips in after the umpteenth raise from Charles, only to find his A6 and tournament life in jeopardy against Charles’ AJ. When the board gave Leon no help, he unceremoniously hit the rails in 6th.

The excellent Mark Wong was next to be sent packing, after several small pots left him short. Having gone all-in preflop with A4, he must have been pleased to find himself ahead against Corine’s KQ, especially since he spiked top pair on the Ad 6d Td flop. The momentary relief was immediately erased upon the realisation that Corine was drawing to both an inside straight and a four-card flush. He dodged the first arrow when the turn brought a 4s, but the second arrow found its Mark when the river delivered a 9d. Mark earns a very respectable 5th, and walks away with 6,200 shekels to ease the pain.

A particularly brutal 4-handed battle ensued, with none of the remaining 4 contestants willing to give up ground. Charles was attempting to direct proceedings with brute force, while Corine was playing an extremely decent brand of tight-aggressive spot picking. Jiang Yong Bo was shifting gears and attempting to out-Charles Charles, with some degree of success, and Daniel Chow was doing his level best to stay out of danger.

Having already doubled-up through Charles several hands before, Yong Bo was gradually wrestling control of the table, and was elated when he found himself up against Charles in another all-in preflop situation, his AK dominating his opponent’s KT. Sometimes however, the best laid traps cannot outrun misfortune. An improbable T on 4th street turned the tables on Yong Bo, leaving him drawing to three outs with 1 card to come. A king was never going to be likely there, and so it proved, cruelly dispatching Jiang Yong Bo to a 4th place finish, and a tidy $7,500 in pocket money.

That whisper of destiny soon became a full-throated shout, as Charles and Corine found themselves all-in preflop, with Charles’ KJ up against Corine’s KK. The elation of Corine’s railbirds soon turned to despair when dealer flopped two jacks, leaving the unfortunate Corine drawing to 1 out. There was no miracle on 5th street, and Corine was eliminated in 3rd place, albeit with a hefty consolation prize of $9,400

Heads-up play began with Charles holding a 6-1 chip advantage. Daniel chose to take a stand early, and found a crucial double-through for some breathing space. He went one better when he got the lot in with AA, which handily bested Charles’ K4, restoring both players to chip parity. The Charles Lesmana brand of freight-train poker however, was soon back in full flight. He slowly chipped away at Daniel, soon re-establishing his 6:1 chip lead. Daniel finally found a hand to make a stand with, moving all his chips into the middle with KT. Charles however, had AJ, and was for the first time ahead preflop during heads-up play. The 9 8 2 flop brought no help to either player, while the turn 5 left Daniel drawing to 6 outs. The river brought a 3, and Daniel was sent packing in 2nd place, good for a very respectable $12,600.
Congratulations to Charles Lesmana, our SPC VI N8 Main Event Champion!

Full Results

Main Event:

1st – Charles Lesmana - $20,000
2nd – Daniel Chow - $12,600
3rd – Corine Shi - $9,400
4th – Jiang Yong Bo - $7,500
5th – Mark Wong - $6,200
6th – Leon Tan - $5,000
7th – Li Hang - $4,000
8th – Mervin Ng - $3,300
9th – Shawn Khoo - $2,700
10th – Ceesvin Abdulla - $2,200
11th – Zhang Changjie - $2,200
12th – Mark Yeow - $1,600
13th – Alvin Low - $1,700
14th – Sean Tan Guo Liang - $1,700
15th – Lee Wei Li - $1,700
16th – Martin Koenen - $1,300
17th – Dave Teo - $1,300
18th – Donovan Wong - $1,300
19th – Lew Yin How - $1000
20th – Hou Kai Jia - $1000
21st – Alvan Tan - $1000
22nd – Toh Choon Keong - $1000
23rd– Ho Bao Qiang - $1000
24th– Ong Zhao Cheng - $1000
25th – Teo Zi Yi- $1000
26th – Tan Tong - $1000
27th – Deric Lee - $1000
28th - Thomas Po - $700
29th - Alvin Lau - $700
30th - Cheng Guang Fu- $700
31st - Cheng Cher Whey - $700
32nd - Li Miao - $700
33rd - Prashant Chainani - $700
34th - Kong Jian Qiang - $700
35th - Jimmy Yar - $700
36th - Ivan Yeow - $700

The SPC Head-Hunter:

1st – Edmund Eng - $2,775*
2nd – Dion Chew - $2,775*
3rd – Desmond Yow - $1,650
4th – Phuah Yi Yuan - $1,100
5th – Chung Kuan Ping - $800
6th - Daniel Simons - $700

*2-handed chop
The Singapore Poker Championships congratulates all winners, and thanks all participants for helping us scale heights we never imagined possible. See you all in December!

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