2015 ACOP: The Race to Two - Part 2

Last year, I wrote a piece about the race to two Spadies and wasn't planning on a Part 2. In fact, I fully expected to be amongst heated arguments about how to compare ACOP title counts - such as open tournaments vs. restricted tournaments (e.g. Ladies Events) or whether two Main Event's Gold Spadies are worth more than three standard Spadies.

But none of those debates are in play.

Three years of running the annual Asia Championship of Poker has solved nothing. In that time span, 37 ACOP Title Events have been won by 37 different players and there's no clear way to answer the question, "Who's the ACOP's greatest of all time?"

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That's not to say that 2014 was without historical context. If close calls awarded fractions of a trophy then Sunny Jung's performance last year would no doubt garner him 1.9 Spadies. Jung, the 2013 ACOP Main Event champion, was denied back-to-back winner status as his runner-up success last year was both remarkable and agonizingly painful at the same time. The fact that no player at that time had ever won two main event titles on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (2013 APPT Seoul winner Aaron Lim won his second title just this season at APPT Manila) only made the opportunity to do so that much more amazing while the loss to Canadian Gabriel Le Jossec surely added more salt to the wounds.

Sunny Jung.jpg

Sunny Jung


But as they say, close only matters in horseshoes and hand grenades.

So who are the other 1.9s in the mix that just need a lucky break to win their second Spadie?

MONEY
Some believe that earnings is the purest way to measure poker skill and if you're of like mindset then Steve O'Dwyer is clearly the man as the Irish-American has HK$14,112,100 (USD $1.82m) in ACOP winnings. That's well ahead of Main Event champions Jung (HK$8,602,000) and Jossec (HK$6,300,000).

Fabian Quoss (HK$5,271,000) and Jeff Rossiter (HK$5,227,000) round out the Top Five for all-time earnings from players with a Spadie title.

CASHES
If making it 'In the Money' is Step 1 to the winners circle then Japan's Yoichi Fujiya and his all-time leading six cashes should definitely be part of the conversation. Edison Nguyen (5 cashes), Sparrow Cheung (4), Jonathan Karamalikis (4), and Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin (5-way tie with 3 cashes) are others to keep an eye on.

COUNTRY
Perhaps it's easier to ask 'Where' rather than 'Who" and look at the winningest regions. Australia and China each boast 5 title winners. The United Kingdom owns 4 Spadies. While Hong Kong, India, and Japan have 3 apiece.

The race to two begins on October 30 at the 'PokerStars LIVE Macau' poker room.

ACOP 'Spadies' Event Winners
Raymond Wu (Chinese Taipei) -- Deepstack Championship (2012)
Hirotoshi Nakabo (Japan) - Six-Handed Championship (2012)
Yoichi Fujiya (Japan) -- Rebuy Championship (2012)
Jeffrey Rossiter (Australia) -- ACOP Warm-up (2012)
Anton Astapau (Belarus) -- Turbo Championship (2012)
Xing Zhou (China) -- Main Event (2012)
Sam Razavi (UK) -- KO Big Bounty (2012)
Bo Wu (China) -- $15,000 NLH (2012)
Chuanbin Yao (China) -- $8,000 NLH (2012)
Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia) -- 250k High Roller (2012)
Emi Hibuse (Japan) -- Ladies Asia Championship (2012)
Ioan Taizs (Romania) -- Rebuy Championship (2013)
Thomas Zhang (UK) -- Deepstack Championship (2013)
Apoorva Goel (India) -- 6-Max Championship (2013)
Jian Yang (China) -- ACOP Warm-up (2013)
Jay Tan (Hong Kong) -- Ladies Asia Championship (2013)
Edison Nguyen (Australia) -- PLO Championship (2013)
Ken Demlakian (Australia) -- KO Big Bounty (2013)
Sunny Jung (Korea) -- Main Event (2013)
Michael Mariakis (Australia) -- Turbo Championship (2013)
Jan Schwippert (UK) -- $15,000 NLH (2013)
Senh Man Ung (UK) -- 250k High Roller (2013)
Celina Lin (China) -- $8,800 NLH (2013)
Kunal Patni (India) -- Rebuy Championship (2014)
Anju Abrol (India) -- Deepstack Championship (2014)
Jose Alberto Rivas (Venezuela) -- 6-Max Championship (2014)
Klaus Pautrot (France) -- PLO Championship (2014)
Orjan Skommo (Norway) -- KO Big Bounty (2014)
Chris Chong (Singapore) -- 2m GTD Spadie (2014)
Kamonchanok Tammchaiyangkoon (Thailand) -- Ladies Asia Championship (2014)
Stephen O'Dwyer (Ireland) -- Super High Roller (2014)
Wai Tung Lo (Hong Kong) -- ACOP Warm-up (2014)
Gabriel Le Jossec (Canada) -- Main Event (2014)
Dmitry Ivanov (Russia) -- Turbo Championship (2014)
Scott Davies (USA) -- $8,800 NLH (2014)
Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) -- $15,000 NLH (2014)
Fabian Quoss (Germany) -- High Roller (2014)


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Fred Leung
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour