Shixiang Khoo wins record-breaking APT Summer Series Main Event

Shixiang Khoo wins record-breaking APT Summer Series Main Event

The Asian Poker Tour Summer Series Da Nang crowned a winner this Saturday in the record-breaking Main Event. Singapore’s Shixiang Khoo outlasted a field of 675 entrants to take home the coveted Golden Lion trophy, along with ~$165,280. The total number of entries generated a prize pool of ~$867,000, the largest ever at an APT series in Vietnam. Khoo’s victory is both his first-ever live tournament win and largest score. The Main Event final table players and payouts are listed below.

Khoo’s path to victory

When nine-handed play began at the final table, Khoo held a slim chip lead, with Japan’s Daiki Shingae on a stack of only one big blind less. Vietnam’s Tran Duc Tuan entered the final table on the short stack and, despite an early double up, was the first player eliminated, at the hands of Khoo.

Image Courtesy of Asian Poker Tour

The other Singaporean at the table, Tha Naing, exited the tournament next in rather brutal fashion. Naing, holding pocket tens, had all of his chips in the middle against the pocket nines of Shingae. The dream spot turned to a cruel nightmare as a nine on the turn had him drawing to just two outs. The river failed to provide the miraculous ten and Naing fell in eighth place.

Shingae soon found himself right back in the action, trying to score an elimination with king-queen against the pocket jacks of South Korea’s Koangho Lee. The board ran out low and Lee got the full double up from Shingae. Those well-earned chips weren’t in Lee’s stack for long, however, as his king-four fell to the ace-three of Shingae in an all-in confrontation.

Chang takes the lead

Taiwan’s Yu-Chung Chang, who had slowly climbed the chip count leaderboard, pulled off a well-executed trap with pocket aces to score a full double through Khoo. The Taiwanese player only called preflop against the raise from Khoo. The tricky play worked out for Chang as Khoo made top pair on the flop and could not improve when all the chips went in on the turn. The two tangled again soon after in a hand that saw Chang take over the chip lead when his ace-jack managed to out-flop Khoo’s pocket jacks.

Vietnam’s Manh Hung Nguyen, having bled down to a stack of just two big blinds, was the next player to exit the tournament. Nguyen’s took his final stand with king-six and was called by Chang and Khoo, both hoping to score the elimination. Chang’s rivered flush did just that and Nguyen was sent to the rail in sixth place.

The short stack at the table, Japan’s Shinya Maeda, managed to score two crucial double ups with premium holdings. Nguyen Khac Cuong then assumed the role of short stack, but couldn’t hold on for long as his ace-seven failed to improve against the ace-king of Shingae, ending his run in fifth place.

The chip counts as four-handed play began were tight and fluctuated frequently, with each player taking their turn in the top spot. The increasing blinds led to quick action and it was Chang that found himself on the losing side of the variance when his ace-four received no help against the pocket sixes of Khoo.

Khoo closes it out

The very next hand dealt led to a massive all-in confrontation between Khoo and Shingae, with both players holding pocket pairs. After a pre-flop limp from Shingae, Khoo raised to four times the big blind. Shingae immediately went all in and was quickly called. Unfortunately for him, Shingae’s pocket sevens were no match for the pocket tens of Khoo and, just like that, the Main Event was down to two.

Image Courtesy of Asian Poker Tour

Khoo took a two-to-one chip advantage into heads-up play and wasted no time collecting the rest. After just seventeen hands, Khoo managed to take out Maeda, his final opponent. In the last hand, Khoo took his flopped second pair to glory in a flurry of action. There was a bet, a re-raise, and then a three-bet shove for all of it. Maeda held an open-ended straight draw and needed to improve to keep his hopes alive. The runout refused to cooperate with Maeda and it was all over.

Khoo’s journey to victory saw him accrue 88,500 chips on Day 1, 1,078,000 chips on Day 2, and 5,020,000 on Day 3, earning him the Golden Lion trophy and a big score.

The APT action in Da Nang has now concluded, but APT Incheon, South Korea kicks off in just a few weeks on August 25th.

Final Table payouts

PlacePlayer NameCountryPrize (USD)1stShixiang KhooSingapore$165,2802ndShinya MaedaJapan$102,0403rdDaiki ShingaeJapan$72,9404thYu-Chung ChangTaiwan$55,8705thNguyen Khac CuongVietnam$44,2606thManh Hung NguyenVietnam$34,4807thKoangho LeeSouth Korea$25,1208thTha NaingSingapore$17,1709thTran Duc TuanVietnam$13,600

Images Courtesy of Asian Poker Tour

Author: Philip Anderson