APPT9 Manila: And then there were two!

Our fantastic four has gone from three to two with the eliminations of former Macau Poker Cup champion Terry Fan and local hope Jessie Leonarez.

It was an interesting road for Fan today.

He started out the day in blazing fashion with his pocket kings spiking a set to crack pocket aces for the very first elimination of the day. Perhaps it was an indicator of good things to come.

Fan came into the final table well-placed, but slid back to the short stack in the early goings. A key hand would see Fan find pocket queens and more than double up when Winfred Yu shoved a raggedy ace and Aaron Lim called with pocket jacks.

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From there, Fan looked dangerous as he built a stack to work with and when play reached short-handed, he was a genuine chance to claim another major title in Asia.

However that all came undone in one coin flip. Fan raised the button and then called it off with A♦K♥ after Douglas Olsson shoved his pocket sevens. A seven on the flop and another on the turn for good measure would leave Fan to collect PHP1,588,900 for his fourth place finish.

The local crowd clearly had a soft spot for Olsson, thanks largely to his Filipino girlfriend, as they cheered loudly when the two exchanged a kiss after the hand.

But the crowd would soon be silenced when their main man, Jessie Leonarez was also eliminated.

In a battle of the blinds, Leonarez would limp, Aaron Lim would raise, before Leonarez shoved all in. Lim made the call and showed pocket tens as Leonarez would need some help with A♠3♥. The help arrived too late on a board of 2♣J♥T♠A♣J♦ as Lim landed a set on the flop to take down the pot.

That left the last local hope in Leonarez to depart in third place for a handsome PHP2,083,000 in prize money.

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So we're down to two! It's Swede Douglas Olsson up against Australian Aaron Lim who is looking to make history as the first ever two-time APPT champion!

Lim will start with close to a four-to-one chip advantage as heads-up play gets under way!

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.