The first ever Asian Poker Federation 5-million guaranteed Millionaire Maker reached its thrilling conclusion after Robert Lim defeated fellow Filipino poker pro Moe Saquing and took home the tournament’s largest payout of ₱1,343,000.

The tournament attracted 976 entries, not only from the Philippines but from the entire Asia-Pacific who battled it out in the recently opened Asian Poker Federation (APF) poker club in Sheraton Manila Bay from January 12 to 17.

APF Head Mike Kim expressed satisfaction at the huge turnout, which reflects the booming poker community in the Philippines.

“I was really excited by this tournament and the number of players who came just shows how strong and dynamic the community is. It is exactly this type of action that APF wants to promote,” said Kim.

The sweet prize pool enticed some notable tournament crushers such as local seasoned pro Jay Lubas (84th – ₱9,000), tournament hero and recent Red Dragon Manila Series ₱500,000 Super High Roller champion Lester Edoc (80th – ₱9,000), Red Dragon Manila Series Main Event 5th place finisher Gerardo Lubas (67th – ₱10,000), 2018 RVS Main Event Champion Marco Almarez (44th – ₱11,200), Filipino poker hero and WSOP Bracelet winner Mike Takayama (38th – ₱11,200), tournament specialist Neverlose team pro Rick Jason Ambata (33rd – 12,600), and tournament specialist Neverlose team pro Kim Enriquez (23rd – ₱19,500)

Final Day

The final day of the tournament started at blinds 25,000/50,000 and a 50,000 big blind ante.

Rodrigo Sequite Jr. (Philippines) came in as tournament chip leader with 34 big blinds (1,700,000 chips) while his fellow Filipinos Maxwell Phillipe Rosete and Rene Mar David closely trailed behind with 33.2 big blinds (1,660,000 chips) and 27.3 big blinds (1,365,000 chips).

Nyamdorj (Mongolia), Cesar Corpuz (Philippines), Yasutake Oka (Japan), Neverlose Team pro Tsoomoo Venus (Mongolia), Angelo Meija (Philippines), and Adones Carmona (Philippines) all came in to day 3 with less than 10 big blinds. The other unmentioned players that weren’t mentioned came in with stack sizes ranging from 11 big blinds to 20 big blinds.

Cards flew in the air for two and a half hours before the tournament reached its final table. Nyamporj (18th – ₱25,500), Korea’s poker pro David Yuh (17th – ₱28,500), and Meija (16th – ₱28,500) were all eliminated within the first hour of the tournament.

Surprisingly, David (15th – ₱31,500), Sequite (14th – ₱31,500), and Rosete (13th – 36,600), the top three survivors who had most of the chips at the start of the day were the next three players who were sent to the rail.

The slew of eliminations continued when Day 1B chip leader Korea’s Park Hang Yeall (12th – ₱36,600) and Day 1B Turbo chip leader Philippine’s Reiner Magbutay (11th – ₱45,000) were both eliminated.

Delfin Siega Jr. (Philippines) bubbled the final table when his ace-nine failed to improve against Tsoomoo’s ace-queen. Siega was able to cash out ₱45,000 for his 10th place finish.

Final Table Action

The final table promptly began at 3:00 p.m. on 17 January 2020.

In an interesting sequence, the pair of Jacks dictated the fate of the first three players who busted out of the tournament.

Adones Cardona (Philippines) shoved his short stack with King-Three and failed to improve against Saquing’s pair of jacks. Cardona was able to take home ₱56,700 for his 9th place finish.

On the flipside, Tsoomoo’s pocket Jacks sent him to the rails after he shoved all-in against Robert Lim’s three-bet with ace-king. Lim paired his King on the flop to seal Tsoomoo’s fate. Tsoomoo took home ₱83,100 for his 8th place finish.

Cesar Corpuz (Philippines) found himself on the losing side of another Ace-King versus pocket Jacks battle when Yasutake Oka spiked the Ace from space on the turn to defeat Corpuz. Corpuz cashed out ₱114,900 for his 7th place finish.

Angeles was next to go after a tricky blind versus blind situation. The action folded to William Ysmael (Philippines) in the small blind who decided to complete with premium holdings. Angeles took the aggressive route and shoved 11 bigs from the big blind with queen-ten only to be snap-called by Ysmael who was being sneaky with ace-king. The board’s run out came king-high which brought no help to the equity underdog. Angeles bagged ₱149,700 for his 6th place finish.

The slew of eliminations continued with Allan Daypurat (Philippines) busting out on 5th place. Daypurat turned top pair with his queen-jack when a flush completing queen of clubs came on the turn. Daypurat was all-in and was quickly met with bad news as his opponent shows T6 of clubs for a completed flush. Daypurat collected ₱200,000 for his 5th place finish.

Ysmael started the four-handed action second in chips. However, a series of unfortunate flips crippled his stack down to five big blinds. Ysmael jammed with his remaining stack from the button with queen-four suited which was called by Robert Lim who held king-jack. The flop came two-trey-five giving Ysmael a 14-outer to survive and double up. However, he could not catch any of his outs when the turn came a ten and the river came an eight. Ysmael took home ₱265,000 for his 4th place finish.

An interesting deal came up after Ysmael was eliminated in 4th place. The top three remaining players decided for an ICM chop. Yasutake Oka (Japan) locked up ₱663,000, Saquing secured ₱905,000 and Lim who had most of the chips in play was guaranteed a ₱1,043,00 payday. The players agreed that the remaining ₱300,000 in the prize pool would be rewarded to the tournament champion.

Oka soon busted out in 3rd place in a classic blind vs blind situation. Oka shoved his stack from the small blind with ace-jack only to be called by Lim who had him dominated with ace-king. The board did not improve Oka, ending his campaign to become tournament champion.

Lim was able to showcase small but consistent domination throughout his heads-up battle against Saquing. He was able to slowly chip up and pull away with his chip lead.

The tournament came to an end when Saquing went all-in with queen-eight and Lim called with eight-four. Despite being dominated, Lim was able to improve to a pair when four came on the flop. Saquing wasn’t able to improve on the turn and the river.

APF Millionaire Maker Final Table Results

PlaceFirst NamePrize
1Robert Lim (Philippines)₱1,343,000
2Moe Saquing (Philippines)₱905,000
3Yasutake Oka (Japan)₱663,000
4William Ysmael (Philippines)₱265,000
5Allan Daypurat (Philippines)₱200,000
6Rommel Angeles (Philippines)₱149,700
7Cesar Corpuz (Philippines)₱114,900
8Tsoomoo Venus (Mongolia)₱83,100
9Adones Cardona (Philippines)₱56,700

APF Leading the Future

If the success of this tournament is any indication, it appears that the poker scene in Manila is bound to flourish in the new decade.

It signals APF’s emergence as one of the premier hubs for big action and dynamic games in the region.

Come and duke it out in the exciting action that is the APF!