APPT Cebu: Kim Gap Young survives the storms


As the clouds rolled in and the thunderstorms arrived in Cebu, we thought all was safe inside the comforts of our humble poker tent at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. The tournament floor today provided us with a few lulls in action but a couple enormous storms swept through the APPT Cebu Main Event resulting in devastation that was beyond repair for some of our players.

Seven of our 35 starting players will be feeling a little regret about their time in Cebu. Rather than enjoying the beautiful lagoon pools, the afternoon cocktail "Happy Hour" or swimming with tropical fish on the private beach, these guys spent over two days locked inside a dark poker tent, to emerge with nothing to show for their efforts. Cho Hsu-fang was particularly unlucky when his pocket queens were outdrawn by the ten-nine of Gordon Black, and the emotionless expression on Hsu-fang's face said it all...

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When Thomas Spegar's last chips went into the middle and never returned, the bubble had burst and we were in the money. Usually in poker tournaments that means a rapid succession of eliminations as the fearless short stacks look to gamble it up. Well we saw some gambling, but incredibly it took over an hour for our next elimination to arrive. Once Yves Sy departed in 28th place it opened the floodgates for a rapid succession of eliminations. In Wook Choi (27th), Gordon Black (23rd), Caroline De Weerdt (21st) and Max Bloom (18th) will all be a little disappointed not to progress further but the hard luck story of the day goes to Belgian Alexander Beeckx.

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Beeckx had proven he was a force to be reckoned with over the past two days and with a sizable stack he was looking set for a final table berth. That is, until his pocket aces ran into the flush of Jukka Juvonen in the largest pot of the tournament. Beeckx was eliminated soon after in 15th place as Juvonen found himself in the chip lead.

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Again play tightened up and we thought we were in for a long night ahead, however another break brought about a succession of eliminations. Ivan Tan lost a raise to Kim Gap Young to depart in 11th place before Nathanael Seet and his ace-nine couldn't get past the pocket jacks of Daren Yoon to leave us with our final table of nine.

Leading the way is once again Korea's Kim Gap Young. The overnight chip leader slipped back into the pack in the early stages of play before surging towards the end of the day. The elimination of Tan shot him up over the one million chip mark and he'll carry more than 25% of the chips in play into tomorrow's final table.

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It's an interesting final table line up in that the average age is significantly older than some of the final tables we've seen in recent times. While Kim Gap Young will carry a big chip lead, there's a diverse mix of players returning tomorrow with plenty of talent, experience, youth and a couple of loose cannons who could provide us with some spicy moments.

Here's how they will line up tomorrow:

Seat 1: Richard En - 198,000
Seat 2: Jukka Juvonen - 583,000
Seat 3: Kim Gap Young - 1,193,000
Seat 4: Raymond Lapitan - 158,000
Seat 5: Fabiano Michael - 231,000
Seat 6: Daren Yoon - 677,000
Seat 7: Mikael Rosen - 670,000
Seat 8: Young-shin Im - 639,000
Seat 9: Basilios Diakokomninos - 177,000

The PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event final table will recommence at 12:15pm tomorrow (GMT +8) with the PokerStars Blog your best bet for live updates, photos and videos from the tournament floor.

Before we sign off this evening we would like to also send a congratulations to PokerStars Team Asia Pro Tony Hachem who was successful in winning the Six-Handed side event here in Cebu. "Back-to-back Hash" is on fire in 2010 and this trophy is another notch of the belt of the great man!

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While we recognize Tony's achievements on the felt, he's also a very talented man off the felt. Just check out his skills behind the cocktail bar!

That's it from us in Cebu, but please join us again tomorrow as poker in paradise, sadly, must come to an end.