2021 APL Online Series III Closes First Week with $1.6M in Awarded Prizes

The opening four events of this season’s Asia Poker League series once again found major success across its Natural8 – GGNetwork offerings, having so far surpassed all of its prize pool guarantees. Closing in on its first week, the festival is halfway through its 20-Jade Trophy Event lineup and has awarded over $1.6 million in prizes. Five more champions, “XuBo”, “Sevenseven77”, “DaNieL_Zhang”, “BaNkRoLISuX”, and “shanhhh”, claimed exclusive APL trophies with five-figure scores to boot throughout Events #5-9. 

Asia Poker League 2021

Coming up next is the final day for Event #11: Autumn Championship. With a prize pool that is already set at over $700K, the lucky champion is soon to receive close to $100K for an impressive run. Starting flights for the ¥10,000,000 guaranteed Golden Week Main Event are also underway, leading to its concluding day on October 3rd where the winner will take home what is, most likely, the biggest single six-figure prize of the series.

Event #5: Ho Chi Minh City Championship – “XuBo” ($27,756.34)

Mid-week Event #5: Ho Chi Minh City Championship saw China’s third champion bag $27,756 in winnings after outlasting the 1,604-entry field. Player “XuBo” emerged victorious after beating Israel’s “NoFoldEquity” in a heads-up play. Similarly, the said Vietnam event followed through the first four events, surpassing its original prize guarantee of ₫3,000,000,000 for an additional 60% in prize money.

Final Table #Event 5: Ho Chi Minh City Championship

The event’s final table saw a mix of nationalities with only half being Asian. Runner-up finisher “NoFoldEquity” led the pack with a massive chip lead of 131 big blinds, followed by “Xubo” with 52. Short stack “LuckyErnest!” was the first to go after losing a flip with pocket Nines against “N Im going2021”’s Ace-King. Opponents “Xekooteamm”, “AlgirdasKa”, “PepeLegal”, and “Nguyen Sang” were then eliminated by the running hot “NoFoldEquity” as he spiked lucky boards all to give bad beats to the 5th through 8th placers. While this tournament was not a Knockout, “NoFoldEquity” cracked big hands such as pocket Queens and Kings with single overcards. On the other hand, his pocket Jacks held out against “Im going2021”’s Ace-Five, thus sending another player to the rail.

With only three players left, the bad beats continued as third-place finisher “ggwudiwa” was sent to the exit after “Xubo”’s Ace-Ten outran his Ace-Queen. Heads-up play finished in less than five minutes despite both players having almost equal stacks of 30 big blinds. It didn’t take long for “NoFoldEquity” to move all-in against “Xubo”’s open with Ace-King, to which “Xubo” answered with a call of pocket Fives. “Xubo” instantly flopped a set with no help for “NoFoldEquity” to come on the turn and river, leaving him with less than one big blind behind. While everyone thought “NoFoldEquity” was doomed, he managed to double not once but five times, pushing his stack back to 19 big blinds. The final hand, however, lost “NoFoldEquity” the race and awarded “Xubo” the ₫630,364,216 top prize and coveted APL trophy.

Final Hand of Event #5

Buy-in: ₫3,300,000 ($145.31)

Date: September 22, 2021

Entries: 1,604 entries (1,043 unique, 561 re-entry)

GTD: ₫3,000,000,000 ($132,096.67)

Prize pool: ₫4,869,744,000 ($214,425.66)

ITM: 269 places

Final Table Results

Top 9 of Event #5

Event #6: Manila Metro Million – “Sevenseven77” ($8,548.99)

Another successful event played through in this season’s Asia Poker League series with the sixth event in a row surpassing the prize pool guarantee by a mile. Event #6: Manila Metro Million posted the most affordable buy-in of the festival at  ₱1,100 for a shot at the  ₱3,796,012 prize pool, with the champion alone receiving a  ₱430,187.69 payday. To date, the Manila Metro Million tournament has recorded the largest single-day event field of the series with a total number of entries at 3,751 runners.

Entering the final table with the chip lead was player “Loki3”, who quickly lost a chunk of his stack to “Sevenseven77” right on the first hand with a failed bluff. “Loki3”, however, would soon climb back, sending “tran tran”’s pocket Aces to the muck after the board ran a one-card flush to his Ace of clubs. “Agger89” also stacked off to “Loki3” with Ace-Ten when both players flopped trip Aces with “Loki3” having the better kicker. A crucial flip for his 26 big blind stack, “T good” called off with pocket Sevens after “Loki3”’s three-bet jam with Ace-King. The terrible flop for “T good” left his pocket pair in a dire state and gunning for a two-outer which, unfortunately for him, did not come. 

Final Table of Event #6: Manila Metro Million

As five players were left and the scales tipped in favor of big stacks “Loki3” and “Sevenseven77”, the rest of the short stack players were waiting on each other on who would bust out first. “Vinbro”, unluckily, ran into two Aces to exit in 6th place (hand shown above). “Sevenseven77” then quickly eliminated short stacks “EM_10” and “sididoma”, giving “WhereIsMyBeer” a huge pay jump, considering his three-big-blind stack. Aggression between the top two players continued on with “Loki3” getting it all in three-handed with Ace-Two offsuit against “Sevenseven77”’s King-Jack suited, despite the small stack behind. With his Ace-high holding up, it was time for “WhereIsMyBeer” to try his luck. While he did get it in ahead, “Sevenseven77” continued to run hot, spiking two-pair with King-Eight, which was enough to scoop “WhereIsMyBeer”’s remaining chips.

Ten minutes was all “Sevenseven77” needed to claim the win as a massive hand played out early on gave him a huge advantage. Despite having opened for five big blinds, “Loki3”’s pocket Queens were in for a disaster as a King-high flop ran on the board. “Loki3” fired a half-pot bet, to which “Sevenseven77” continued to call. “Loki3” then fired a small bet of 6.7 million on the turn and was met with “Sevenseven77” raising for 17 million more. Hyper aggressive “Loki3” jammed for “Sevenseven77”’s remaining 7.8 million, giving him a full double up with now an 83 big blind stack. As a last effort to come back, “Loki3” went with King-Jack offsuit for his last 17 big blinds, which failed to beat “Sevenseven77”’s Ace-Nine for the final hand of the tournament.

Final Hand of Event #6

Buy-in: ₱1,100 ($21.86)

Date: September 23, 2021

Entries: 3,751 entries (2,325 unique, 1,426 re-entry)

GTD: ₱2,500,000 ($49,681.76)

Prize pool:  ₱3,796,012 ($75,437.02)

ITM: 611 places

Final Table Results

Top 9 of Event #6

Event #7: Taipei Bounty Hunter – “DaNieL_Zhang” ($6,999.94 + $6,155.50 bounty)

Another exciting bounty event played out last Friday with China’s “DaNieL_Zhang” successfully bagging NT$364,327.56 in combined winnings. Event #7: Taipei Bounty Hunter recorded 2,371 entries to generate a NT$4,742,000 prize pool, well above the initial NT$3,000,000 guarantee. This time around, the final table was dominated by Asian players, with “DaNieL_Zhang” ranking first with 75 big blinds.

Final Table of Event #7: Taipei Bounty Hunter

Hong Kong’s “Kongbul” however, scored the first two eliminations to jump into the lead, sending players “fishqyihao” and “abc huang” into 9th and 8th place respectively after a good run of cards. Vietnam’s “HeroAAKK” followed in the 6th place after slamming through his 25-big-blind stack with Ace-Four suited from under the gun, only to run into “DaNieL_Zhang”’s pocket  Kings on the button. A three-bet pot then brewed after a few hands, with both “Rebirth Z” and “Kongbul” having hit the flop and raising to get all the chips in the middle (hand shown below). “Kongbul” exited in 5th place as his draws missed on the turn and river, while short stack “AluAlu” settled for third place right after.

Three-bet pot in Event #7 final table

At this point, “Rebirth Z” had roughly a 6:1 chip advantage to start the heads-up play. However, “DaNieL_Zhang” scored the first race and the rest was history. The two battled on for the next 15 minutes, with “DaNieL_Zhang” scooping up small pots here and there to eventually gain the lead. In the final hand, “Rebirth Z” needed some luck when his Ace-Four was up against “DaNieL_Zhang”’s Ace-Jack hand. As both players missed the board, “DaNieL_Zhang”’s Ace-Jack high was enough to secure him the overall win and the additional NT$170,470.76 in bounties.

Buy-in: NT$2,100 ($75.83)

Date: September 24, 2021

Entries: 2,371 entries (1,544 unique, 827 re-entry)

GTD: NT$3,000,000 ($108,326.44)

Prize pool: NT$4,742,000 ($171,227.99)

ITM: 332 places

Final Table Results

Top 9 of Event #7

Event #8: Jeju Jade Dragon – “BaNkRoLlSuX” ($15,758.40)

Two Korea events were scheduled for this action-packed Saturday with Event #8: Jeju Jade Dragon as the first to play through. A total of 1,387 entries were recorded for the eighth tournament, more than expected to go over the initial ₩100,000,000 prize pool guarantee. After a long grind, it was Russia’s “BaNkRoLlSux” who secured the lion’s share of the ₩140,364,400 prize pool, taking home ₩18,597,755 in winnings and an exclusive APL trophy.

Final Table of Event #8: Jeju Jade Dragon

The final table play began with “BaNkRoLlSux” holding a significant lead with 96 big blinds, followed by fellow decorated player “F7588” with 77. The first casualty was “asq201”, who saw a nice profit despite entering for a total of 5 times, having run his Ace-Jack into “F7588”’s Ace-Queen. China’s “LeeKun33” on the small blind would then get lucky to flop top pair Aces against “R3mbo”’s pocket Tens from the big blind to send him off for 8th place. With the pressure of the increasing blinds continuing, “KKKKKKY” went with King-Nine suited, only to be smashed by “abxxpoker”’s pocket Aces for 7th place.

With six players left, it was “F7588” who followed next, having jammed his 17-big-blind stack with Ace-Seven offsuit after “ZERG_LV” limped on the button. Calling off with pocket Nines, “ZERG_LV” scooped up a sizable pot to boost his stack and carry on to take over “LeeKun33”’s short stack for the chip lead four-handed. However, his lead wouldn’t last long as “BaNkRoLlSux” was due for a run, eliminating both “abxxpoker” and “Heads” one after the other. With both players sitting with less than 30 big blinds by heads-up stage, the final hand quickly came up with “ZERG_LV”’s Ace-Jack beaten by “BaNkRoLlSux”’s Ace-Eight for the win.

Final Hand of Event #8

Buy-in: ₩110,000 ($93.20)

Date: September 25, 2021

Entries: 1,387 entries

GTD: ₩100,000,000 ($84,732.78)

Prize pool: ₩140,364,400 ($118,934.67)

ITM: 233 places

Final Table Results

Top 9 of Event #8

Event #9: Seoul Starleague Bounty – “shanhhh” ($9,810.87 + $16,763.19 bounty)

Six out of the nine completed events have given China more champions than any other country so far with “shanhhh” being the latest one. Event #9: Seoul Starleague Bounty proved to be another Asian-filled affair with the finalists of this tournament all emerging from Asian countries. For his win, “shanhhh” claimed a combined total of ₩31,362,351 in prize money after besting the 1,395-entry field. Much like the other events, this second Korea event exceeded its prize pool guarantee, boosting it to an exciting ₩279,000,000 with 206 players receiving a minimum payout.

Final Table of Event #9: Seoul Starleague Bounty

Playing a bounty game, Russia’s “ImLuckPads” didn’t hesitate to get it all in with Ace-King against chip leader “K O R E A N” who held pocket Kings on the button, only to be the first casualty in this final table. If you thought that was a terrible cooler, “andychen33” soon found himself running a three-way with pocket Aces against “DucDungDo”’s pocket Jacks and “RaySong1”’s Ace-King. Unfortunately, two Jacks showed up on the board, giving “DucDungDo” quads and a massive chip up along with “RaySong1”’s bounty (hand shown below).

Three-way hand in the final table of Event #9

“DucDungDo”’s pocket Jacks however wouldn’t hold for the next round as another three-way all-in was up, this time against “yoxinsoul2”’s pocket Queens and “Steviepp88”’s pocket Nines, who exited in 7th. Despite racking up the win, “yoxinsoul2” soon found himself as the shortest stack after losing some small pots. With his last 8 big blinds, “yoxinsoul2” moved all-in with Ace-King, only to be outrun by “K O R E A N”’s Queen-Seven when a Queen showed up on the board. “K O R E A N”’s luck didn’t stop there as he scooped up “andychen33”’s remaining 15 big blinds with King-Ten for a Broadway straight (hand shown below).

Winning Broadway-straight hand

His lead would, however, soon fall short as “shanhhh” sneakily bagged a chunk of his stack in an interesting hand. Opening from the cut-off, “shanhhh” was met with a three-bet from “K O R E A N” from the small blind. Following a call, Ten-Ten-Five with two diamonds showed up on the flop, giving “shanhhh” trips with Jack-Ten suited. “K O R E A N” fired a huge continuation bet of almost pot size to which “shanhhh” tank called. A blank Three showed up on the turn, pushing “K O R E A N” to move with an overbet jam with pocket Nines. With no help on the river, “shanhhh” scooped up the massive lead, leaving his three opponents short-stacked.

“DucDungDo” was first to go in a four-handed play as his Ace-King drew slim against “shanhhh”’s pocket Nines. From there, “shanhhh” quickly moved to seal the deal, eliminating “Mugii” followed by “K O R E A N” in an apparent cooler. The final hand saw “shanhhh” with a flopped King-high straight against “K O R E A N”’s flopped two pair, leaving “K O R E A N” to settle for a runner-up finish and ₩20,679,813 in prize money.

Buy-in: ₩210,000 ($178)

Date: September 25, 2021

Entries: 1,395 entries (921 unique, 474 re-entry)

GTD: ₩200,000,000 ($169,463.30)

Prize pool: ₩279,000,000 ($236,401.30)

ITM: 206 places

Final Table Results

Top 9 of Event #9