APPT Cebu: Day 4, levels 26&27, blinds 25000-50000
7:58pm: Fabiano Michael eliminated in 2nd place; Young-shin Im is the first female champion in APPT history!
After an extensive heads-up battle, Fabiano Michael and Young-shin Im somehow got 4 million chips in the pot pre-flop. Michael started by opening the button to 150,000, a raise of 100,000. Im went to three-bet but put only 200,000 into the middle, 50,000 short of the minimum raise. It was ruled that she must complete the raise to 250,000.
Michael then shoved all in for roughly 2 million in chips. Im deliberated less than a minute before calling with A♦6♣. She was in a race against Michael's 5♣5♥. With 3rd-place finished and romantic partner Kim Gap Young watching from the rail, the flop came 7♣2♦A♣ to pair Im's ace. Michael was crushed and never recovered on the K♠ turn or 2♠ river.
Michael's elimination in 2nd place earned him PHP 3.66 million. But the lion's share of the prize pool goes to PokerStars Qualifier Young-shin Im of Korea. Her take for becoming the first female winner in the history of the APPT is PHP 5.81 million.
A full recap of the day's events will appear on the PokerStars blog later tonight.
7:49pm: Michael turns the aggressor
Fabiano Michael is definitely trying to force Young-shin Im to play big pots. He's moved all in pre-flop two hands in a row, first by limping his button and then three-bet shoving over Im's raise to 250,000, then by raising all in after Im opened her own button for 125,000. Each time Young-shin Im folded.
The two players are now roughly level in chips.
7:37pm: Some more curious hands
We've had two more slightly puzzling hands here in Cebu. First, Fabiano Michael opened the button pre-flop for 180,000 and was called by Young-shin Im. She checked the 6♣8♥4♥ flop and must have been surprised when Michael shipped his whole stack of 1.3 million into the middle. Im folded.
A few hands later, Im opened the button to 125,000, with Michael making the call. Michael checked and called 90,000 on a flop of 9♠6♦2♣ and another 120,000 on the 2♥ turn. When the river came the 5♦, Im appeared to give up. She checked behind after Michael checked a third street. Michael's unimproved K♣T♠ was the winning hand.
7:29pm: Im doesn't mis-calls her hand
We're not sure exactly what was going through Young-shin Im's mind during her last hand with Fabiano Michael. Michael opened to 175,000 pre-flop, the second time he has opened to 3.5 times the big blind since coming back from the break. Im called, then both players checked to the river, J♠A♥2♥4♠8♠. At the river, Im strung out a 200,000-chip bet which was ruled to be only a 100,000-chip bet. Michael called, prompting Im to say, "queen-high". She flipped open her cards, Q♠3♠, to reveal that she had backdoored a spade flush. Michael mucked.
7:24pm: Play resumes
We're back and ready to go here in Cebu. Young-shin Im still has the chip lead in the heads-up confrontation with Fabiano Michael.
APPT Cebu reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Heath "TassieDevil" Chick and Dave "F-Train" Behr.