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The SPC V Weekend Report

Posted by : DM101 on Thursday, June 22, 2017 permalink

The Singapore Poker Championships V leapt aboard the MV Aegean Paradise over the weekend of 16-18th June, for the 2nd competitive series of Season 2. For the first time ever, the SPC introduced a Mini-Roller event to its tournament line-up, which was taken down by a player who made a big splash at SPC III. The SPC also crowned a spanking new wunderkind Main Event champion; a man who crushed his way to the championships with a sledgehammer.

The SPC V Mini-Roller

65 runners ponied up for the inaugural $888 Mini-Roller, buckling down for a deep structure against a field where soft spots were few and far between. A gruelling Day 1 duly transpired, and after 6 hours of play, Andy Ang, Calvin Tan, and Zen Lim found themselves at the top of the heap, all with chip counts north of 130,000.

Thirty-three runners took their seats to contest Day 2, amongst them Norbert Koh, SPC III champion Terence Lai, Bobby Cheong, Peter de Groot, and Anton Wijaya. and Liew Kok Kong. Play edged towards the bubble, almost coming to a standstill during hand-for-hand play. The hyper-aggressive Zen Lim would find himself coming up just short in his first SPC outing, when his all-action style fell him at the FT/ITM bubble. We’re sure we’ll be seeing more the swashbuckling Zen, who walks away with a bottle of Glengrant and a bucket of Asahi, courtesy of our friends at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

With the bubble burst, players began the serious business of jostling for the Mini-Roller title. Calvin Tan, who had held the overnight chip lead all the way till 18 players, had found the going tough of late. One of the SPC’s favourite players soon found his Mini-Roller chase in peril, when he discovered Le Thai Loc’s KK lying in wait of his AK. He found the faintest glimmer of hope when the KTJ board brought him an inside straight draw, but the bricked turn and river consigned him to a 9th place finish.

In an emerging pattern, Le soon after found himself with AQ in the hole, and obliged Aubrey Tan’s all-in. Cards were tabled at 99 v AQ and we were racing again. A queen on the flop left Aubrey drawing very slim, and when the remaining board cards all materialized broadway, the talented Aubrey was sent packing in 8th.

In a rare hand that didn’t involve Le Thai Loc, the short-stacked Jebson Tan elected to steal from late with QJ, only for Anton Wijaya to wake up with AK. Jebson’s QJ could not catch up, and he was eliminated in 7th.

The merciless Le soon dispatched another, this foe in the shape of Anton Wijaya. The latter, one of the most consistent ITM finishers at the SPC, got the lot in with QJ, only for Le to make the call with A9. The 8T4 board gave Anton an additional 3 outs, but another 8 and T sealed his fate. Le, who was sporting a Siberian Husky shaped hat courtesy of his better half, punched the air with a cry of ‘Husky Power!’ Anton departs the tournament with another very respectable finish under his belt.

Next to go was Hermann Lee, who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar stealing in a SB/BB confrontation. Andy Ang wasn’t having any of it, and adroitly made the call with A9. A9 proved more than a match, and twe lost the skilful Hermann in 5th place, albeit with $4,100 in comfort food.

After losing a massive pot in the preceding hand, the short-stacked Andy Ang was numerically compelled to move all his chips in the middle with any two cards. Andy, who has also been making himself a regular at these SPC final tables, got calls from all three remaining players. After Bobby, Adrian Chiew, and Le had strategically checked the board through, Bobby emerged the winner, sending Andy to the rails in 4th, $5,200 to the good.

Local legend, crowd favourite, and perennial short stack Bobby Cheong soon made a dash for the title when he attempted a heroic bluff on a board of 9cQhTs6s. Le however found no reason to fold KK in that spot, and duly obliged with a call. The river 7h was no help to Bobby, and we lost the man in third, to rapturous applause from the poker room.

Heads-up play for the title was a tense and cagey affair. Adrian Chiew, another player to watch, had navigated the final table with some dexterity; seemingly always able to pick up small to medium pots, without ever quite being in harm’s way. He began to find some holes in Le’s postflop armour, chiselling a 2:1 chip deficit back to 1:1. Le, no slouch himself, began to counter-punch, eking back a 1.5:1 chip lead.

After a prolonged and (it must be said) elegant battle, the two contenders then found themselves inveigled in a Th5h2h board. After an opening bet from Le, Adrian moved all-in, ostensibly to close out any 4-card flush draws. Unfortunately for him, Le insta-called and tabled 55 for middle set, which dominated Adrian’s Ts7c. The turn 9c and river Qh brought no help to either player, and Adrian had to settle for a runner-up finish. The runner-up prize of $10,000 should allay the disappointment somewhat.

Congratulations to Le Thai Loc, who betters his Main Event runner-up finish at SPC III. He wins the inaugural SPC Mini-Roller event, the trophy, and pockets a cool $15,000 for his efforts.

Husky power!

The Natural8 Main Event

With Season 2 in full swing and heaps of POTY points to play for, 232 runners made the trip for the Main Event. 110 runners got us underway for Flight 1A, while the Mini-Rollers who ran deep boosted the 1B count to 122. After 11 levels of play in each flight, 67 runners made the cut for Day 2, and a shot at the $17,000 first place prize. Top of the class were Thay Chong Kiang, with 130,000, and Vijay Visvalingam, with just about 102,000 in chips.
Play was fast and furious from the get-go of Day 2, slowing to a predictable crawl on the cusp of the bubble. Hand-for-hand play lasted almost a full level, until the unfortunate Ricky Foo and Muthu Govindasamy were simultaneously eliminated by the same player in a three-way all-in. Both players chopped up the first min-cash spot.

With players now safely in the money zone, the floodgates opened. With many players attempting stack grabs to build for a final-table run, the Main Event saw multiple eliminations in a short period of time, easing up only when 18 players remained. Two illustrious former champions remained in the running. Muhd. Dasreen, one of only two players to hold 2 Main Event titles, and Champagne Tan, still the only female Main Event winner in the Series’ 6-year history. Short on playable spots and unable to build any momentum, however, Dasreen was sent packing in 11th.

The elimination of Jaesh Balanchandran shortly after gave the SPC its second final-table of the year. Anton Wijaya, (reasonably) fresh off his deep run in the Mini-Roller event, was looking to go one better here and bag his first SPC title.

The first casualty of the final-table was Phua Si Yang. Phua, who had for several levels been nursing a short stack, moved all in, more hoping to find some blinds and antes than a caller. Unfortunately, Anton Wijaya found a pair of Jacks in the hole and made an easy call, eliminating Phua in 9th place.

The other short stack at the table, JR Guo, soon followed suit. He found his AJ good enough to go with, but he ran into Sebastian Wong, who made an easy mathematical call for not the right price, tabling J6. A flop of T64 made JR grimace, but he picked up more outs on the turn when a K appeared. The river 5 however, spelt the end of the line for JR in his first SPC final-table appearance.

Champagne Tan, the beloved first lady of Singapore Poker, was next to hit the rails. Her all-in steal with J9 from the small blind found a quick caller in Kazit, who promptly tabled AQ. Both players connected with the Q92 board, but the turn T and river 5 meant that Champagne would have to wait a little longer to bag her second Main Event title.

The defining hand of the final-table involved chip-leader and medium stack Eugene Zhou. Zhou thought he was in pretty good shape when he found a caller for his JJ, only to turn ashen when Sebastian Wong table KK in the BB. Neither player connected with the Q538A board, and the superb Eugene Zhou was dispatched in 6th, good for $4,000. From hereon, Sebastian Wong Show would begin.

With most of the chips in play in his stack, he took complete command of the table. His next victim was Eugene Lin, who was just about even money for a tournament life-saving double-through; his AsTs up against Sebastian’s 4h4d. Both contestants missed the 8s6h2d flop, but the turn 9s brought Eugene a total of 19 outs. The river Qh brutally ended the drama, sending Eugene Lin home with a 5th place finish and a cool $5,200.

The Sebastian Wong juggernaut was unstoppable, as Anton Wijaya was next to discover. The later got all his chips into the middle with AJ, and was up against the former’s 99. Anton’s AJ failed to catch up, and his 4th place finish for $6,700 rounded off a very decent weekend of deep runs into both the Main Event and Mini-Roller.

Three-handed play was ominous from the get-go, with Sebastian holding just bout 70% of the chips in play. The heroic Vijay Visvalingam, a personality who always puts a smile on everyone’s face, had overslept and dashed into the poker room several levels late. Having navigated a tough field for two days and already on his best ever SPC Main Event finish., Vijay was looking to bag the ultimate prize. The only way to the title though, was through Sebastian.
Short and needing a double-through to have any chance at all, Vijay got the lot in with J9, and, as fate would have it, smack into Sebastian’s Q9. Vijay’s three outs did not materialise, and he was left to seek consolation in his $8,800 payday.

Staring down the barrel of an 8:1 chip deficit, Kazit had a veritable mountain to climb to overturn his disadvantage. With Sebastian relentlessly leaning on him, Kazit found his move with Ks2s, getting his money in ahead against the chip-leader’s Qc9h. Sebastian however, simply could not lose a hand today. The QhJd7s put him miles in front, the turn Qs left Kazit drawing to only several spades, and the 5c river sealed his elimination. Kudos to Kazit, who pockets the runner-up purse of $11,800, no mean feat for a man in his virgin SPC outing.

Congratulations to Sebastian Wong, our SPC V Main Event champion, for the most dominating FT performance this writer has witnessed at an SPC event, for sailing to the top of the POTY leaderboard, and for shipping the grand prize of $17,000!

Full Results

The SPC V Mini-Roller:

1st – Le Thai Loc - $15,000
2nd – Adrian Chiew - $10,000
3rd – Bobby Cheong - $6,700
4th – Andy Ang - $5,200
5th – Hermann Lee - $4,100
6th – Anton Wijaya - $3,300
7th – Jepson Tan - $2,600
8th – Aubrey Tham - $2,000
9th – Calvin Tan - $1,600

The SPC Natural8 Main Event:

1st – Sebastian Wong - $17,000
2nd – Kevin Teng - $11,800
3rd – Vijayarengan Visvalingam - $8,800
4th – Andry Wijaya - $6,700
5th – Eugene Lin - $5,200
6th – Eugene Zhou - $4,000
7th – Champagne Tan - $3,100
8th – Guo Jiarong - $2,400
9th – Phua Si Yang - $2,000
10th – Jaesh Balachandran - $1,600
11th – Muhammad Dasreen - $1,600
12th – Thomas Po - $1,600
13th – Chan Jia He - $1,300
14th – Yap Tian Yong - $1,300
15th – Phuah Yi Yuan - $1,300
16th – Ng Jiunn Yang - $1,000
17th – Kan Ming Zhou - $1,000
18th – Lim Yan Ming - $1,000
19th – Frederick Hung - $800
20th – Sean Tay - $800
21st – Keith Joel Seah - $800
22nd – Thay Chong Kiang - $800
23rd– Lim Kian Seen - $800
24th– Alvin Peh - $800
25th – Nguyen Nhu Huy- $800
26th – Aubrey Tham - $800
27th – Ricky Foo - $400*
27th - Muthukumaran Govindasamy - $400*

*Simultaneous elimination

The SPC Head-Hunter:

1st – KK Liew - $3,000
2nd – Ricky Foo - $1,900
3rd – Kelvin Sim - $1,300
4th – Ceesvin Abdullah - $900
5th – Ng Yi Da - $600

The Singapore Poker Championships congratulates all winners, and thanks all participants for making SPC V the excellent weekend it was. The SPC is also immensely grateful to our marvelous venue partners the Aegean Paradise, and to our fantastic sponsors Natural8 and 18@Bali Lane. See you all again in September!

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