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SPC X: New Events, New Champions, New Records!

Posted by : ikelos on Friday, September 14, 2018 permalink

The M/V Aegean Paradise played host to the Singapore Poker Championships X once again on September 8-9, a full 8 years since the very first LWPS Main Event was launched on the high seas. With cabins sold out a full three weeks prior, there was little surprise when Flight 1A of the Main Event was sold out within five minutes of Level 1, with another 20 alternates standing by. After a flurry of last minute entries and re-entries late into the evening of Flight 1B, the Main Event had seated 321 runners for a new attendance and prize pool record.

The Natural8 Main Event

With multiple luminaries unable to survive the trials and tribulations of a brutal Day 1, 87 players swept into the Aegean Paradise’s Jubilee Lounge to contest Day 2 of the Main Event, with overnight chip-leaders Kenneth Anthony, Alex Er and Christian Christopher leading the charge towards the final table. Also making the Day 2 cut were former ME champions Liew Kok Kong, Charles Lesmana, Lew Yin How, David Soin, and reigning High Roller champion Cheng Cher Whey. The latter three especially, were keen to consolidate their places at the top of the Natural Player-of-the-Year leaderboard; which pays the champion a year’s worth of SPC Main Event entries.

The frenetic pace of Day 2 soon screeched to a crawl as play inched towards the bubble, which proved to be the lengthiest in SPC history. When the money bubble eventually popped, the occasion was met with about ten seconds of uninhibited jubilation and relief, before players snapped their game faces back on for the business end of the tournament.

Making the early running for the juicy champion’s purse was Richman Tan, who’d been positively crushing the field for much of Day 2. Having begun the session with an average chip stack, he steadily built himself a fortress of ceramic (composite), and with 15 players remaining could boast of just about 20% of the chips in play.

When the final table assembled it was still Richman who held pole position, and he would find himself up against a mix of first-time final-tablists in Kenneth Anthony, Jonathan Lee, Roy Cheng and Dave Chen, in addition to some old hands in Sean Tay, Lim Yan Ming, phenom Marvin Tay, and local legend Major Ricky Foo.

After the final table had taken some time to metaphorically feel each other out, it was the ultra-consistent Sean Tay who was first to fall. Sean has a habit of going deep at almost every SPC he attends and, according to our archivist, has one of the SPC’s highest ITM percentages. On this occasion however, he had the misfortune of running his 99 in to Dave Chen’s AA all-in pre. The Q high board bricked out for Sean; a premature end to another remarkable run.

Kenneth Anthony had accomplished that rare feat of shepherding an overnight chip lead into a final-table appearance, and was looking for a double through or two to swing himself into contention for the title. He found himself in great shape when Ricky Foo moved all-in on the button, his SB AK dominating the Major’s A7. The 5 T J flop solidified his lead, before an improbable 7 on the turn swung the tide. Another 7 on the river was the nail in the coffin, and Kenneth was dispatched to the rail in 8th.

At 7-handed play, Dave Chen was beginning to take charge of proceedings, and was beginning to chip away at Richman Tan’s previously mountainous lead, despite already doubling Roy Cheng twice at the final table. His next victim was Jonathan Lee, who’d decided to commit his short stack with JcTc. Unhappily for him, Dave found the price to be just about right, and he made the call with JQ. Both players connected with the Jh 5s 9c board, with the 4c turn bringing Jonathan a small boatload of outs. A Ks on the river however, sealed Jonathan’s 7th place exit.

Having lost a couple of scuffles in the last level, Roy Cheng soon moved all in again and found two callers. Marvin Tay, who’d been card dead for the longest time, reshoved to isolate. To his horror, Dave Chen, having spent some moments calculating the price of poker, elected to join the melee with 66. We were off to the races with live cards aplenty as Roy turned over Q9, and Marvin AT. Roy stormed into a big lead when Q 4 3 rainbow found the felt, a lead he would hold on to as the turn brought a 4 and the river a 9. Dave had Marvin bested for the side pot, and his chip advantage sent the latter to the rails in 6th for his best ever SPC ME finish.

The affable and skilled Lim Yan Ming, making his 2nd final table in a year, was next to find occasion to move all his chips into the middle. Dave Chen, who was now clearly determined to beat up as many people as he could, obliged from the small blind. The rail birds were all a titter when Richman Tan in the big blind quickly called behind Dave, setting up another explosive three-way contest. Yan Ming’s QT was in terrible shape against Dave’s KQ, but both were big ‘dogs in the face of Richman’s bright and shiny Rockets. The crowd roared when the dealer delivered the K Q 5, with all concerned made to sweat even further when the 3h turn brought Yan Ming a flush draw. An inconsequential 6d on the river however, was enough to give Dave a massive chip-lead, and eliminate Yan Ming in 5th.

With four players remaining, Dave Chen and Richman Tan took a flop of 5 3 2, which was duly checked down. Dave led on the 5 turn card, and Richman quickly came over the top for all his chips. Dave made the call even more quickly, tabling 56 for trips. Richman’s J3 was drawing dead, and he was sent packing for a terrific 4th place finish.

Now 3-handed, and with a mighty wind in his sails, Dave must have smelled blood. He was however, up against the unpredictable, all-action style of Roy Cheng, whom he had already doubled up on no fewer than four occasions at the final table. He was also up against Major Ricky Foo - a veteran with more regional cashes than this writer has had rice - who had hitherto been conducting a masterclass in spot-picking. All the railing supporters, investors and shareholders buckled in for what would surely be a drawn-out struggle.

Any predictions of a lengthy affair however, were quickly dispelled when, on the second hand of 3-handed play, Roy Cheng moved all-in preflop from the button. Ricky Foo, correctly sensing he had Roy beat, quickly reshoved. Dave, who was in the big blind, briefly paused to calculate the price of poker. Having found it reasonable, he too made the call, tabling A3. Roy tossed his Q9 on its back, while Ricky turned over his statistically superior AT. The 2 4 5 board upended the mathematics, flopping Dave a straight, with Ricky needing a 3 to chop, and Roy drawing to a runner runner chop. The turn 6 kept both Ricky and Roy drawing to 3 outs, with the river Q eliminating them both. Roy bags a hefty $10,800 for his efforts, while Ricky, with more chips preflop, brings home $14,700 worth of bacon.

Heartiest congratulations to Dave Chen, our SPC X Natural8 Main Event Champion!

Full Results

Main Event:

1st – Dave Chen Guoxiong - $22,000
2nd – Ricky Foo - $14,700
3rd – Roy Cheng - $10,800
4th – Richman Tan - $8,300
5th – Lim Yan Ming - $6,600
6th – Marvin Tay - $5,400
7th – Jonathan Lee - $4,300
8th – Kenneth Anthony - $3,300
9th – Sean Tay - $2,500
10th – Dennis Lim - $2,100
11th – Mark Yeow - $2,100
12th – Joe Yieu - $2,100
13th – Thomas Po - $1,700
14th – Eddie Lim - $1,700
15th – Yeo May Sum - $1,700
16th – Cheng Cher Whey - $1,400
17th – Liew Kok Kong - $1,400
18th – Uwarajapathy Regupahy - $1,400
19th – Ryan Ong - $1100
20th – Zhou Hang - $1100
21st – Wee Zhi Xiang - $1100
22nd – Jaesh Balachandran - $1100
23rd– Mark Wen - $1100
24th– Haw Jin Jian - $1100
25th – Eugene Lee - $1100
26th – Michael Wee - $1100
27th – Jason Ng - $1100
28th - Thang Ming Lyen - $800
29th - Li Hang - $800
30th - Low Zi Cheng- $800
31st - Vijayarengan Visvalingam - $800
32nd - Dominic Tye - $800
33rd - Khoo Chin Guan - $800
34th - Hou Kai Jia - $800
35th - Benson Ng - $800
36th - Eric Teo - $800

The SPC Short Deck:

1st – Andy Toh - $3,300
2nd – Mick Koh - $2,400
3rd – Cham Yong Wee - $1,700
4th – David Soin - $1,200
5th – Christopher Hobday - $950
6th - Cheng Xin Jin - $700

The Singapore Poker Championships congratulates all winners, and thanks all participants for helping us break yet another prize pool record. Special thanks also to our sponsors Natural8 and our venue partners the Aegean Paradise. See you all in December!

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