Wilson Lim Tops Record-Breaking Field at APPT Manila Main Event

Wilson Lim Tops Record-Breaking Field at APPT Manila Main Event

The Philippines has a thriving casino industry that in 2017 generated $2.92 billion in revenue, up by a whopping 13.8% compared to the previous year. The country’s poker market has similarly grown to become an attractive destination for poker players all across Asia, with its rising reputation reflected in the latest turnout at its APPT Manila Main Event.

Record-Breaking Field

The APPT Manila Main Event took place from August 9-12, and managed to attract a huge field of 1,364 players, setting an all-time record for the most number of entries during a Philippines based poker tournament. Furthermore, that total was almost double that of the previous record reported for an Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) event held in the country.

Three days later, and Singapore player Wilson Lim would ultimately triumph over his competitors to claim a huge top prize of PHP12.97m (US$243,324), in addition to a PSPC Platinum Pass worth $30,000. Commenting upon his victory, Lim said that he slept for less than six hours every night, and that the tournament was an “awesome and overwhelming” experience for him. He also added:

“I have been playing poker for about 10 years now, it was about one or two years in that I started to realize poker was more than just gambling and I can improve myself. After a few years I started improving and now I earn most of my money just from poker.”

APPT Manila Main Event

The APPT Manila Main Event cost 55,000 Philippine Pesos (PHP) to enter, resulting in an astounding PHP65,492,460 (US$1.2m) prize pool. The action subsequently took place at a fast pace and by Day 3 just 41 players remained. Interestingly, Lim had just one big blind when only two tables remained, but as he explained he decided to up his aggression levels and “went all-in blind” and doubled and doubled again until eventually he was a big stack.

Final Table

By the time the final table of nine had been reached, however, Lim was still the shortest stack in contention. Nevertheless, the remaining finalists then tightened up their style of play, in the process allowing Li to take advantage of the situation by bullying his opponents and raising them at every opportunity.

Wilson Lim (A-K) subsequently eliminated Daesoon Kang (A-10) in 7th, before later being dealt pocket fives and sending Jiang Ho Huang (Q-9) to the rail in 5th. Next, Lim (K-8) called Bin Zhang’s (10-9) all-in move from the button, and after the board rolled out Q-7-4-3-6, Zhang exited in 3rd place, allowing the heads-up phase of the competition to commence.

Wilson Lim vs Yuan Chao Li

Wilson Lim started the final battle at a 12.32m to 28.59m chip disadvantage against China’s Yuan Chao Li. Nonetheless, Lim managed to reverse the tables by the time the deciding hand was played with Lim (Ac-5c) raising to 1.2m preflop, inducing an all-in shove by Yuan Chao Li (Qd-7c) for his remaining 7.9m in chips. Lim made the call, and after the dealer produced a 2h-Jc-Js-8c-9c board, Lim’s flush took down the contest. It also completed a remarkable comeback by a player who at one stage was reduced to just a chip and chair.

Final Table Result (US$)

1: Wilson Lim (Singapore) $243,324
2: Yuan Chao Li (China) $149,334
3: Bin Zhang (China) $89,019
4: Samuel Welbourne (UK) $64,500
5: Jiang Ho Huang (Singapore) $43,487
6: Sebastian Wong (Singapore) $31,217
7: Daesoon Kang (Korea) $26,276
8: Kenny Shih (US) $22,606
9: Jun Zhou (China) $19,305

APPT Manila Success

The APPT Manila featured six events during its run from August 4-12 at the City of Dreams Manila. The series had originally offered a guaranteed prize pool of PHP37 million (US$690,500), but by the time the hugely popular competition ended the prize pool had soared to an incredible PHP178.4 million (US$3,348,219).