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The Singapore Poker Championships XIV: Event Report

Posted by : DM101 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 permalink
The Singapore Poker Championships soared onto the high-seas once again on September 7th, for the penultimate installment of Season 4. SPC XIV bade a welcome return to the series for numerous veterans of the Singapore scene, alongside the swathes of young-bloods, fearsome regulars, and multinational cliques. It was a small contingent of Malaysians however, who shone brightest this weekend. Gabriel Lim nabbed the Short-Deck NLH event, while his compatriot Ong Ee How fell just short at the Main Event; narrowly ousted by maiden final-tabler, and the SPC’s newest ME Champion Justin Han.

The Natural8 Main Event

81/305 runners made the cut for Day 2, with Ronald Acosta and Keith Wong emerging top of the pile after two grueling Day 1 flights. Hot on their heels were Mark Remnant, Pan Jie, and Mark Wen, all of whom had broken the 100k chip mark. Several ex-champions were also still in the fray, with Lim Min Soon and Aaron Lam boasting competitive stacks, while more recent victors Jaden Lim and Samson Yu were struggling to get going.

Day 2, however would prove a bad day for SPC ex-champions, with many falling to the wayside in the first few levels of the Day. David Soin managed to cash, while Aaron Lam went one better with a tidy 17th-place finish. Best of the bunch was Jaden Lim, who clawed his way into contention from pretty much a starting stack on Day 2, before being ousted in 14th. His elimination would guarantee a new SPC ME champion.

Gracing the final table were frequent FT exponents in the shape of Malaysians Ong Ee How and Raymond Yong, as well as Singaporean star Tan Tong, who currently sits 19th on Singapore’s all-time money list. Leading the charge however, were first-timers Jimmy Te, Justin Han, and Keith Wong, the latter a stalwart SPC crew-member enjoying a sojourn as a competitor.

Striking first blood was Justin Han, who found himself in a relatively straightforward spot a few hands in. With play folded around to the button, the short-stacked Jason Ng moved all-in. Jimmy Te in the small blind skipped nimbly out of the way, and Justin wasted little time in tabling AT, catching Jason’s 76os with its hand in the cookie jar. Neither player connected with the J 4 2 board, and a T on the turn was enough to leave Jason drawing dead, and eliminated in 9th.

Barely 5 hands later, and having been badly bruised by Tan Tong in an earlier hand and now short on chips, Keith Wong found a hand under the gun and got his chips into the middle. Keith must have had a sinking feeling when Jimmy called with some confidence from the cutoff, and his worst suspicions were confirmed when Kimmy tabled JJ for a big lead over his 66. The T 2 7 board kept Jimmy firmly in the driver’s seat, with Keith needing to spike one of two outs to stay alive. The bricked 2 on the turn and Ace on the river however, were enough to send Keith to the rails in 8th.

Jimmy was now in possession of 1/3 of the chips in play, and was ooking to leverage his chip advantage into an insurmountable one. He looked well on his way to his first SPC title when he dispatched Raymond Yong in 7th, in a SB/BB all-in preflop situation. Play was folded around, and the short-stacked Raymond found A6 in the hole with not much else to think about. Jimmy made his calculations, and decided he was priced in to call with any two cards; on this occasion Jh2h. The Kd 7h 7h board gave Raymond plenty to sweat about. He managed to dodge multiple bullets with the 9d turn, but his fate was sealed when the river brought 9h. Another terrific and deep run from the veteran, who finishes in 7th.

Play slowed substantially 6-handed, with the escalating pay jumps forcing the increased exercise of caution. The hour however, was not without drama. Ong Ee How had the opportunity to eliminate Justin Han with AJ, but lost the race against the latter’s pocket 4s. Not long after, Tan Tong lost a huge chunk of his stack when his 77 came out 2nd best against AK.

Now short and looking for a way to wrestle himself back into contention, Tan Tong found A4 and made his move against Sean Tan. Sean, who’d only just escaped elimination with a big double-though in the hand prior, immediately made the call with AA. Tan needed some big help from the board, and he got some when the turn card delivered 4-outs for an inside straight. Unfortunately, it was not to be, and the river Q consigned Tan to the rails in 6th position.

Jimmy Te and Justin Han were neck-and-neck for the chip-lead at the start of 5-handed play, and it was here that a seismic shift in momentum began. Malaysian Ong Ee How took a big bite out of Sean’s stack when his Ah8h flopped a pair and the nut flush draw on the flop, with the flush completing on the turn.

Jared Seah, who’d been card dead since the FT began, looked poised to arrest Ee How’s progress when he took a stand with AQ and found the former defending with KQ. Unfortunately for Jared, Ee How spiked a King on the board, and when no miracle Ace appeared on later streets, and he was sent packing. A very good finish for Jared, who pockets a tidy $6,300 for his troubles.

On the very next hand, Ee How extended his lead even further when the shortest stack at the table moved all-in. Priced in to call, Ee How tabled 82, which was dominated by Sean Tan’s 85. Sean was in terrific shape when the flop brought Q 6 7, giving him an unneeded up and down straight draw. The turn delivered an irrelevant Ace, but the river brought a dramatic 2, bringing Sean’s excellent run to a crashing halt. Sean bags 4th place for $8,000.

Now wielding a massive chip lead, the Malaysian began putting the squeeze on his opponents. Jimmy Te would crack first. Losing two medium-sized pots to Ee How and Justin Han left his stack at a pushable size, and Jimmy soon found a spot with 7d9d. Ee How paused briefly before making the call with 88. Neither player connected with the 4 4 3 flop, while the T turn gave Jimmy another 3 outs for the chop. A 3 on the river however, was good enough to see another big pot go Ee How’s way. The plucky Jimmy walks away in 3rd, 10,400 shekels to the good.

With Ee How holding a 2:1 chip advantage and closer than ever to his first SPC title, he was beginning to find Justin Han a more than worthy adversary. Barely had ten hands passed before Justin had clawed his way to even with some deft post flop play. Both men paused briefly to discuss a deal before resuming play, and it wasn’t long before the tournament drew to a dramatic finish.

With Justin now having edged his way in front, heads-up play limp-checked into a board of J 4 3 rainbow. Ee How checked-called the flop, before checking the 7 turn again. Justin put in a sizable bet, and Ee How moved all-in after some deliberation. Justin instantly responded by tabling 56 for the nut straight, with Ee How turning over J 4 for two pair, leaving the Malaysian drawing to 6-outs. A King on the river sealed the deal for both contestants, with Ee How having to settle for 2nd place, and a handsome $16,000 payday.

Congratulations to Justin Han, SPC XIV N8 Main Event Champion!

N8 Main Event:

1. Justin Han - $19,000*
2. Ong Ee How - $16,000*
3. Jimmy Te - $10,400
4. Sean Tan - $8,000
5. Jared Seah - $6,300
6. Tan Tong - $5,000
7. Raymond Yong - $4,000
8. Keith Wong - $3,200
9. Jason Ng - $2,600
10. Sim Jian Horng - $2,100
11. Mark Remnant - $2,100
12. Zhang Jia Cheng - $2,100
13. Khor Junxiong - $1,700
14. Jaden Lim - $1,700
15. Lim Li Jie - $1,700
16. Tan Keng Yeow - $1,300
17. Aaron Lam - $1,300
18. Anton Widjaya - $1,300
19. Mark Wen - $1,000
20. Martin Koenen - $1,000
21. Kevin Teng - $1,000
22. Collin Lim - $1,000
23. Rahul Chin Chalkar - $1,000
24. Ng Yi Da - $1,000
25. Ronald Acosta - $1,000
26. Nicholas Teoh - $1,000
27. Cheng Cher Whey - $1,000
28. Poh Leng Wee - $700
29. Sean Rowe - $700
30. David Soin - $700
31. Lim Yan Ming - $700
32. Pan Jie - $700
33. Peter de Groot - $700
34. Renzo Tu Zhi Hao - $700
35. Loh Zhao Hao - $700
36. Kelvin Sim - $700

*Deal agreed

Short Deck NLH

1. Gabriel Lim - $3,600
2. Champagne Tan - $2,500
3. Joel Justin Singam - $1,800
4. Raganathan Hemagiri - $850
5. Norbert Koh - $850
6. Mark Wen - $750

The SPC congratulates all winners and thanks all participants for making joining us this weekend. See you all December 13-15, 2019!

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