APPT Cebu: Day 3, Levels 16 & 17 (blinds 3000-6000, ante 500)

4:30pm: Ten-minute break

4:29pm: Valero doesn't make the break

On the final hand before the players took their break, Roberto Vincent Valero was all in once again, this time with A♥K♦ up against the J♥9♣ of Kim Gab Yong. The board ran out 9♠2♦Q♦T♥8♥ to give Yong a straight and end Valero's valiant run in 17th place.

With that elimination, the players headed out to their break and will redraw for the final two tables of play when they return.

4:28pm: When did Kenny Tran arrive in Cebu?

Mikael Rosen doesn't look a damn thing like Kenny "Sick Call" Tran, but Rosen just made a river call that left most of his table in awe. With 75,000 in the pot on the river of a 3♦[10h]J♥9♥5♥ board, Rosen checked to his lone opponent, Kim Gab Yong. Kim placed ten yellow (5,000) chips into the pot. Rosen debated for about a minute and a half before calling. Kim didn't seem to want to open his hand, but did finally table unimproved A♣Q♦. And what did Rosen call with? Q♠9♠ for just third pair, a pair of 9s.

4:25pm: Diakokomninos rides again

We've been certain for most of the day that Basilios Diakokomninos is destined for the exit. He keeps proving us wrong. He's doubled up again at Nat Seet's expense. Seet called a raise to 15,000 made by Raymond Lapitan before Basilios shoved for 60,000 from the big blind. It was enough to fold Lapitan, but Seet called with 9♥9♣ against Diakokomninos' J♠J♦. The dealer cued up a blank board, 3♣7♠K♠6♥2♣ and Diakokomninos was on a new life.

4:20pm: Those bloomin' aces again!

Max Bloom couldn't recover after being crippled in the previous hand and was recently sent to the rail. He pushed his last chips in preflop from the button with K♣Q♦ but Ivan Tan woke up in the big blind with A♥A♦.

It was all over on the flop of 7♣A♠7♥ as Tan flopped a full house to leave Bloom drawing stone-cold dead. The Q♥ turn and 2♣ river completed the board as Bloom heads to the cashier in 18th place to collect PHP215,000 in prize money as Tan jumps to 320,000.


Max Bloom has crashed out of the APPT Cebu Main Event in 18th place

4:11pm: Benasa flips out in 19th

We didn't call Mark Benasa's name much today. He seemed to be card dead, slowly grinding down. He finally pushed his last 48,500 into the middle with A♦8♦ and found himself in a race against Nat Seet's 7♥7♣. Seet found a matching 7 on the flop, J♦7♠2♥, which was incredibly bad news for Benasa. He was left drawing at running straight cards or running flush cards. The [10c] was a straight card, but the 3♣ on the river was not. Benasa's elimination pushes the tournament one step closer to the final table.

4:04pm: Ladies kind to the last lady standing

Young-shin Im has jumped up to be with the chip leaders in a huge battle of the blinds with American Max Bloom.

We arrived on the flop of Q♠8♣7♦ to see Im fire out 14,000 before Bloom raised another 27,500. Im responded by making it 75,000 and Bloom raised again by declaring himself all in. However Im was ready to snap-call with her Q♥Q♣ for top set as Bloom was left with just two outs with his A♥A♦.

The turn was the 6♣ and river the 7♠ to see Im double up to around 500,000 as Bloom slips to just 50,000.

4:03pm: Aberg not lucky with 7s

Kenneth Aberg got his short stack into the middle with pocket 7s but was out-pipped by Paul Foltyn, who tabled pocket 8s. Nothing changed for either player on a board of A♣J♦5♠J♥2♣. Aberg is therefore the 20th-place finisher.

3:59pm: Caroline De Weerdt eliminated

A day of massive swings for Belgian Caroline De Weerdt has come to an end at the hand of the overnight chip leader, Kim Gab Yong. Kim opened pre-flop from two off the button for 15,000, with De Weerdt calling the raise in position. Kim continued for 21,000 on an 8-high flop, 7♣8♠2♠, and De Weerdt came right along with him to the K♠ turn. That seemed like a card that might slow Kim down but he fired again for 26,000. De Weerdt opted to raise all in for 150,000 and was snap-called by Kim, who turned up J♠4♠ for a made flush. De Weerdt showed A♠8♦, a pair of 8s and the nut flush draw. The river ran red, 9♦, to send De Weerdt packing and push another pot in Kim's direction.

3:48pm: Russian on the rail

Raymond Lapitan opened to 16,000 before Andrey Alexandrovich Lobzhanidze moved all in from the button for an additional 31,000. Play folded back to Lapitan who committed to a call.

"You first..." motioned Lapitan and Lobzhanidze obliged to reveal A♠J♥ as Lapitan was happy to hold live cards with his K♥Q♥.

The flop of 7♥5♥8♠ was also pleasing to Lapitan as he flopped a flush draw. And it just got better from there. The Q♦ hit the turn to take the lead and the T♥ river delivered his flush. Russia's Lobzhanidze is out in 22nd place as Lapitan is up to 200,000 in chips.


Andrey Alexandrovich Lobzhanidze and his sunglasses have been eliminated

3:41pm: Valero sweats it out

After Mikael Rosen opened for 15,000, big-stacked Kim Gab Yong decided to flex his muscles from the small blind and three-bet to 40,000. Roberto Valero was in the big blind and quickly called all in for less, 32,000 total. That was enough to fold Rosen and take the two players to the reveal: A♦J♠ for Valero and an embarassing [10c]4♥ for Kim.

"I'd rather see ace-ten than that," remarked Valero. But he had no cause for concern on a board of 3♦8♥7♣2♣7♠. He's doubled up -- again! -- to continue his run in the tournament.

3:35pm: Black out

Gordon Black opened with a raise to 15,000 before Nathanael Seet popped it up to 40,000. The table folded back around to Black who moved all in, with Seet taking a moment to make the call.

Black opened K♠Q♥ and was racing against Seet's pocket jacks. The board ran out 9♠A♥7♥8♠5♥ to leave Seet in front and eliminate Black from the tournament in 23rd place.

3:30pm: Level up, blinds 3000-6000, ante 500

3:25pm: Confused Caroline doubles up Valero

Roberto Valero was in early position and opened all in for his last 11,000. Caroline De Weerdt was next to act and called raise. She put 11,000 into the pot, then seemed confused when Mikael Rosen folded. She also seem perplexed by the size of Valero's raise and couldn't decide how much to raise to. She finally settled on 21,500, an amount that folded all other players.

"Do you have aces?" Valero asked, suspicious of De Weerdt's act. But she did not; she opened A♠7♦, a hand that was an underdog to Valero's A♦Q♣. Both player made two pair by the river of a 7♥8♠Q♥9♥A♣ board, but Valero's aces and queens were best. He remains in the hunt.

3:10pm: Im staying alive

Young-shin Im got it all in pre-flop for 111,000 with A♠Q♠. Fabiano Michael was there to greet her with A♦K♦, then could only let out a frustrated sigh as the flop came queen-high, Q♥3♣4♥. There was no turn-around king to be found for Michael ont he 2♦ turn or J♣ river. He slips to 155,000 while Im rises like the phoenix to 225,000.

3:05pm: Hinrichsen runs into aces again

Andrew Hinrichsen is out in 24th place when he moved his short stack into the middle with A♦4♣ but once again he ran into Richard En's pocket aces!

The board ran out K♣3♥K♦7♥8♥ to eliminate Hinrichsen and jump En to over 500,000 in chips.

2:55pm: And here they come!

It was a matter of time. The short stacks are finally giving in to the strains of the rising blinds.

Yves Sy was first to go in 28th place when his K♠Q♥ lost the race against Alexander Beeckx's pocket tens when a third ten fell on the flop.

In Wook Choi was next to depart in 27th when his pocket tens lost a race against Jukka Juvonen's A♥K♣ when a king spiked on the turn.


In Wook Choi departs the APPT Cebu event in 27th place

He was soon followed by Ross Parkhill who had been actively moving his chips in all day, but ran his A♥Q♦ into the pocket kings of Fabiano Michael. The board fell 4♣8♣6♥J♣2♦ to see Parkhill head to the cashier in 26th.

Finally Juan Herrera moved all in for his last 72,500 with A♠T♦ but ran into the dominant A♦Q♠ of Ivan Tan which held on the board of 7♠8♣6♦2♠8♥. Herrera will finish in 25th place.

2:43pm: What's going on here?

We're starting to wonder if Rod Serling is hiding under one of the tables here in the poker tent. It's been more than an hour since the bubble burst and yet not a single player has busted. There were two more all-in battles in the last five minutes, and each time the short stack came out ahead.

On Table 2, it was Gordon Black (whose stack has been, to put it kindly, all over the place today) making pocket 8s work against Paul Foltyn on a board of Q♣3♠Q♦J♠3♣. Right behind Black, at Table 7, the lone Russian in the field, Andrey Alexandrovich Lobzhanidze doubled through Inwook Choi with pocket 10s, K♣[10h]3♠9♣A♥. His double-up was worth 61,000; Black's was worth about 100,000.

It's not twilight here yet, but strange happenings are afoot in the poker tent.

2:40pm: Now for something different...

Not really. It's another double up.

Kenneth Aberg moved all in from under the gun for 31,500 and play folded around to Basilios Diakokomninos in the big blind who peeked down at his hole cards and made the call.

Aberg showed A♣K♦ as Diakokomninos was marginally in front with 6♦6♣. That all turned around when the flop landed 3♥K♠2♣ to pair Aberg's king. The 5♦ turn and A♦ river were equally kind to him and he doubled to 73,000. Diakokomninos drops to 100,000.

2:34pm: Kings finally kind to Caroline

Caroline De Weerdt hasn't had the best luck with pocket kings today. She's had them beaten several times and must have felt the slightest bit nervous when she was dealt them shortly after the first break. De Weerdt opened for 11,500 in front of Mikael Rosen, who popped it to 27,000. De Weerdt moved all in for 86,000 and Rosen made a very unhappy call. His bare ace, A♥[10c], was behind De Weerdt's K♦K♣. This time kings held up, [10s]2♣8♣9♥Q♥. De Weerdt is living large again with about 180,000 in chips.

2:30pm: Play resumes

After a slightly extended break to color up the black 100-denomination chips, the cards are now back in the air. We thought we'd see a few quick eliminations following the money bubble, but that level produced a real stalemate at 28 players as the short stacks refused to die.

With the blinds kicking up, expect to see some carnage in this level!

APPT Cebu reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Dave "F-Train" Behr.