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SPC XI Report: Season 3 Finale, Three Freshly Minted Champions!

Posted by : DM101 on Thursday, December 20, 2018 permalink

As the countdown to the end of the year begins, the Aegean Paradise played host to the Season 3 finale of the Singapore Poker Championships last weekend. The SPC crowned 3 new champions in the High-Roller, Main Event and Short-Deck tournament. Current POTY Mark Wong edged out a strong field to claim his first SPC High-Roller title. Benjamin Chew's first final table appearance saw him outwit veterans, and a field of 317 runners, to secure his first ever Main Event title. The Short-Deck tournament meanwhile, also saw a new champion crowned in Jack See.

The SPC XI High-Roller

With 21 runners reaching Day 2 of the High-Roller Event after a gruelling 7 hour grind on Friday night, Saturday promised to continue being edgy and fiery. Reigning High-roller champion Cheng 'Chengster' Cher Whey was among those that reached Day 2, and he was fighting hard to defend the title he won in June this year.

Despite some strong moments on Day 2, the Chengster was the first player in the money to fall. Deciding to put all his chips in the middle pre-flop with QJs, Jason Chin defended his Big-Blind with JTs. Cheng's hand hit the rail and was felled, ending his run in 9th place. With defending champion Cheng out of the equation, the race to being crowned as the next SPC High-Roller champion heated up.

Kenny Tay was the next to fall in 8th place, his Aces unable to hold despite turning top set. Haresh, Kenny's opponent, rivered a 7 to complete a straight, scooping a massive pot in the process.

Former Main Event Champion Lew Yin How found a good spot soon after, and went all-in Pocket 8s in the hole. Unfortunately for him, Waltson Tan woke up with Kings. Waltson's Kings managed to hold and dodge an 8 on the board to defeat his opponent, causing Yin How to bust out at 7th place.

The short-stacked Calvin Tan found himself next in line, exiting the tournament in 6th. Going in to a 3-way pot with Q7, he came up against Mark Wong's Pocket Kings. Calvin failed to catch up, and walks away with yet another deep finish.
Mark Wong was again in the heat of the battle after going up against Terence Lai's AK, the former tabling TT for an almost dead-heat race. The board helped neither player, and Terence became Mark's next victim in High-Roller final table, eliminating Terence in 5th position.

The final 4 remaining in the High-Roller table featured 2 new faces who were gunning for their first SPC title. However, the 2 faced had tough competition in veteran player Haresh and 20-year old extraordinaire Mark Wong. Mark Wong had already busted 2 players in the final table, with Calvin Tan and Terence Lai the 2 victims. Mark continued his dominance and made Jason Chin his latest victim. After 4-betting with Ace King, both Mark and Jason went all-in pre-flop with the same cards: AKs vs. AKos. In a supposedly dead-heat, Jason's tournament life abruptly hit crashed to a halt when Mark's Ace King made a flush on the board, consigning him to 4th place.

With Mark holding a sizeable chip-lead, both Haresh and Waltson were cautious about poking the giant, yet cognizant that they had to chip up to contend. Matters soon drew to a head when Haresh claimed the scalp of Waltson Tan. A new face at the High Roller FT, Waltson had been navigating the tough field with some adroitness. With his stack depleting, he found occasion to collect some cheap blinds with Q7, and was unlucky enough to find Haresh lying in wait with TTs. The board would brick for Waltson, and he would finish for a very respectable 3rd place.

This left SPC crowd favourite Haresh heads-up with wunderkind Mark Wong for the High-Roller title. After an intense battle saw Haresh claw his way back to just under evens, the players decided on an ICM deal, leaving just under 2k and the trophy to play for. With the pressure off, both players amped up the aggression, before Mark finally prevailed with AJ on a J 6 2 board, the turn J putting paid to Haresh’s 63s. Congratulations to Haresh for another sensational run in an SPC event, and to Mark, who will add this to his already impressive resume of accomplishments on the felt.

The Natural8 Main Event

The Natural8 Main Event saw the second biggest entrant field in SPC's history with 317 runners engaging in battle to be named as the next SPC Main Event champion. After an intense 11 levels of grinding in both Flights 1A and 1B, we saw 87 runners stacking up chips to hit another round of poker on day 2. The road to the final table saw many notables fall by the wayside, unable to find a run of hands to claim more chips. The final table was finally assembled for the last SPC Main Event of 2018 after 9 players outlasted 317 others.

First to fall at the final table was Vijayarengan Visvalingam. Vijay, an adored regular at SPC tournaments, was hunting his first Main Event trophy. Having hit some rough patches on the way to the final table, Vijay was looking for a big double through when he tabled Pocket 7s all-in pre against Cheng Long. To his dismay however, Cheng Long showed up with Pocket Jacks. The miracle 7 failed to show, and Vijay was sent packing. Next to be eliminated was the talented and perennial final-tabler Joey Soh. Going all-in with 8h9h, he got called by Terence Lai's KJos . Terence, aspiring to be SPC's first double Main Event champion, flopped a J and dispatched Joey in 8th position.

The story of SPC XI 2018 was of a phantom player. After making several moves to get eliminated from the tournament, the player found himself the winner of a couple of double-ups, and sitting on a colossal stack. Rushing to get on the 2.45pm ferry, the player decided to abandon his chips for his girlfriend waiting on the shores of Singapore. Love trumping poker indeed. Against all odds, this phantom player's stack found himself on the final table, and his chips were finally blinded-out in 7th position.

Han was the next to go at the final table, pushing all-in on the turn with A8 on a board of Td 3h 5c 3s. Han's opponent snap called with TT, leaving Han drawing dead, and eliminated in 6th.

Alvin Tan had been having a great tournament, but found good spots at the FT few and far between. He eventually took a stand with A8, which was looking good against risking his chips against Benjamin Chew's JTs, until a T materialised on the river - dashing his hopes for a deeper run, but still good for a very credible 5th place.

With 4 players remaining in the Main Event, only Terence could boast of some experience to call upon at this stage. The other 3 players were making their first ever appearance at a final table, some of them in their first tournament even. The final four had an intense battle with one another, each trying to get an edge over another player. The first notable skirmish was between Terence and Jaden Lim. Terence’s made a call on the river 66 when Jaden led for 50k, crippling Jaden's stack. Both Jaden and Terence locked horns again, after leading out 105k on the turn Terence pushed his chips in the middle and Jaden thought better of it and folded. Jaden's stack took another massive hit when he doubled-up Cheng Long, another final table debutant. His race was finally run when he faced Cheng Long in yet another hand. Going all-in with 6h7c, Jaden flopped a nice draw with a board of 7D 5C 4C. Cheng Long's Kh9d turned top pair and the river delivered another 5. The maiden final-tabler’s all action display came to an end in 4th position.

In another massive pot, Terence, Benjamin and Cheng Long locked horns 3-way to the pot. Benjamin scooped a huge 535k pot from Cheng Long, creating a large dent in the latter’s stack. Cheng Long finally succumbed, falling to Benjamin's Jh9h when his Kc4c failed to catch up. Terrific run from Cheng Long.

And then there were 2 - Terence Lai and Benjamin Chew. One a former champion and targeting to become SPC's third double Main Event Champion. The other was making his first ever appearance at a final table, looking to grab his first poker title. Terence Lai (reasonably) fresh off a 5th place showing at the High-Roller, was looking to put the icing on his Christmas cake.

Terence initially had the chip lead until he doubled up Benjamin's Pocket 9s. Having established somewhat even terms, the players decided on a chop, leaving a small amount and the trophy to contend for. In what would be the ultimate hand, Terence and Benjamin faced off for all the marbles; Benjamin with Kc7c and Terence with a shiny pair of rockets. The flop of 6C JH 5C gave Benjamin an abundance of hope. The turn dropped an Ace Club, delivering for Benjamin the nut flush and Ternce top set. A mighty anxious pause preceded the river before the Qd river put paid to Terence’s efforts, while crowning Benjamin the newest SPC Main Event Champion!

Full Results -

High Roller:

1. Mark Wong - $19,600*($18,000+$1600)
2. Haresh - $14,000*
3. Waltson Tan - $9,100
4. Jason Chin - $7,000
5. Terence Lai - $5,400
6. Calvin Tan - $4,400
7. Lew Yin How - $3,400
8. Kenny Tay - $2,700
9. Cheng Cher Whey - $2,000

N8 Main Event:

1. Benjamin Chew - $19,000*
2. Terence Lai - $17,500*
3. Alex Lee - $10,800
4. Lim Chor Heng - $8,200
5. Alvin Tan - $6,500
6. Zheng Han - $5,300
7. Bryan Teh - $4,300
8. Joey Soh - $3,300
9. Vijayarengan Vivalingam - $2,500
10. Javin Uthirapathy - $2,000
11. Koh Lin Jun - $2,000
12. Deric Lee - $2,000
13. Hii Wang Kiong - $1,600
14. Leel Ian Wei Leonard - $1,600
15. Lee Guang Jie - $1,600
16. Goh Suet Fern - $1,300
17. Wee Eng Chong Dion - $1,300
18. Liew Kok Kong - $1,300
19. Zabis Bin Hairi - $1,100
20. Wong Wen Hao - $1,100
21. Tan Sey Kuang - $1,100
22. Phuah Yi Yuan - $1,100
23. Tay Chee Ping - $1,100
24. Nicholai Jay Tan Yi Tao - $1,100
25. Kenneth Anthony - $1,100
26. Lim Kai Yi - $1,100
27. Anthony Gan Jun He - $1,100
28. Aditya Jain - $800
29. Hoo Bai Ming Henry - $800
30. Ong Jia Wei Benjamin - $800
31. Mark Wong - $800
32. Keith Ong Xun - $800
33. Mahdi Rasouli - $800
34. Cheng Xin Jin - $800
35. Hor Wing Kit - $800
36. Muthukumaran Govindasamy - $800

Short Deck NHL:

1. Jack See - $3,400
2. Teo Zi Sheng - $2,200
3. Mark Wong - $1,500
4. Ang Kai Loon - $1,000
5. John Low - $650

The SPC congratulates all winners and thanks all participants for making this Season our biggest yet. We hope Season 4 will be even grander. See you all again Q1 2019!

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