2021 APL Online Series III Wrap Up: Estonia’s “Little Pepe” Captures Golden Week Main Event Win; Third Champion for Canada

Closing in on a successful festival, the third Asia Poker League online series for 2021 concluded its final games this Sunday. After a week of postponement, Event #19: Beijing Capital Cup and the awaited Golden Week Main Event finally met its outstanding winners. The series overall awarded over $6.47 million in prizes with 10 out of the 20 events crowning China’s players the respective top payouts.

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Although Asian runners dominated the series, Estonia’s “Little Pepe” claimed the biggest payday of all, amounting to $217,000 after defeating Taiwan’s “Mugii” in heads up play. A third champion for Canada also emerged in today’s games after “Timeout20” bagged the Beijing Capital Cup tournament for $51,000.

Event #20: Golden Week Main Event – “Little Pepe” ($217,658.91)

The highlighted Golden Week Main Event was the tournament to watch in this APL series, as the ¥1,402,498.23 first place payout caught everyone’s attention to the tune of 6,774 entries in total. The massive field generated a healthy prize pool of ¥11,766,167, surpassing the impressive ¥10 million guarantee with only 700 of the top players receiving a return. Notable online players were seen battling for a spot in the final table, including partypoker pro Joao Simao who finished in 50th place. 

The final table saw two Estonian crushers “Little Pepe” and chess grandmaster Ottomar Ladva amidst the bout of Asian players, with the latter as the field’s massive chip leader. Both players boasted major titles alongside seven-figure career winnings. Event #19: Beijing Capital Cup runner-up finisher “Baobaojun2” also made a second final table appearance for the night, booking a highly profitable season for the Chinese runner.

As soon as final table play began, “Baobaojun2” found himself flipping for his tournament life after “Mugii” on the big blind shoved for the remainder of his 23 big blind stack. After minutes of delay, “Baobaojun2” called off with pocket Tens which held against “Mugii”’s Ace-Queen for a nice double up following his earlier final table run. A huge portion of his stack however, would soon be returned to “Mugii” after a cooler bad beat with pocket Kings against the Taiwanese’ pocket Queens ran a one card straight for his opponent.

As chips swung back and forth, it was China’s “asdf3578” who eventually was the first to go, having flopped top pair against Ladva’s pocket Aces. The Estonian pro’s run wouldn’t stop there as he claimed “Baobaojun2”’s stack not long after, with Ace-Queen against Ace-Ten in a blind vs blind situation. Quickly following Ladva’s trail, “Little Pepe” was the next to bag a huge pot, eliminating “CallM3Daddy” in seventh place. The hand began with “CallM3Daddy” raising under the gun, to which “Little Pepe” defended his big blind. A low flop saw “Little Pepe” leading out a third of the pot with “CallM3Daddy” responding with an overbet jam right behind. With a ton of outs, “Little Pepe” called off with his pair-flush draw to successfully capture the 53 big blind pot instantly. (Hand shown below)

The Estonians continued to dominate the final table with Ladva eliminating “AKGBlw” not long after with Ace-Two against “AKGBlw”’s small blind jam with King-Queen. One by one, Asian players fell into the hands of the two Estonian chip leaders. China’s “sxkuaile1” was next to bust against “Little Pepe”’s again better Ace. Four-handed play saw a series of double ups and no eliminations for a while. Inevitably, the two Estonian players soon clashed, with Ladva on the losing end having jammed his 14 big blind stack with King-Queen against run good “Little Pepe”’s Ace-Jack. 

Twenty minutes of play later, “XXL1024” was in with pocket Three’s against “Mugii”’s Ace-Ten for the eventual chip lead. An Ace-high flop quickly left “XXL1024” with little hope and they soon faced a third place finish for ¥788,681. Now with the lead, “Mugii” was in a good spot to bink his biggest career score on the platform, as his total winnings so far amounted to a modest $14,500. However, “Little Pepe” definitely did not make it easy as he took down several pots to claim the lead. Eventually he secured the win in the final hand pictured below, leaving “Mugii” to settle for a runner-up finish.

Buy-in: ¥1,888 ($293)

Date: October 10, 2021

Entries: 6,774 entries (5,102 unique, 1,672 re-entry)

GTD: ¥10,000,000 ($1,551,937.13)

Prize Pool: ¥11,766,167.04 ($1,826,035.15)

ITM: 700 places

Final Table Results

Event #19: Beijing Capital Cup – “Timeout20” ($51,445.14)

The remaining players of Event #19: Beijing Capital Cup had to wait a week as an unexpected interruption hit the network on October 3rd, the series’ supposed concluding day. Resuming on October 10th, the final nine players competing for the lion’s share of the ¥2,434,740 prize pool was finally set after several hours of play. The final table saw four decorated players in the running for the ¥331,489.83 top payout and an APL Jade Trophy – including China’s “Xubo”, who previously took down Event #5: Ho Chi Minh City Championship.

Two-time APL champion “Xubo” would be denied a third win as he became the table’s first casualty of the night. With seven big blinds left, “Xubo” moved all-in with Ace-Jack vs “Yahiinbee”’s open with Six-Seven suited, only to lose the race and exit in ninth place. As exciting as No Limit Hold’em can be, initial chip leader “KRSuckana” found himself out in eighth after running into “Yahiinbee”’s rivered boat. Having opened in late position, “KRSuckana” double barreled the King-high board with “Yahiinbee” calling behind on all streets. By the river, “KRSuckana” finally hit the brakes, yet check-called his opponent’s all-in to reveal Sixes over Twos for the win. (Hand shown below)

Both with ten big blinds left, “Ragna2” and “rushaakkandqq” found all their chips in the middle with “rushaakkandqq”’s pocket Queens eventually holding up against his Singaporean opponent’s Ace-Ten suited. Continuing with his good run of cards, “rushaakkandqq” followed to also eliminate “TennEggGuy” with a better Ace shortly after. 

With the blinds continuously increasing, small pots here and there were crucial in a final table. While “Yahiinbee” previously held the lead for a moment, his fight would soon fail after running Ace-Six from the small blind right into “Baobaojun2” Rockets on the button. The sizable pot gave “Baobaojun2” a huge advantage as four-handed play began, with him holding over 70% of the chips in play and all three contenders working with less than ten big blinds. Fortunately for “NoNotMyKnees”, two of his hands held against “rushaakkandqq” to give his stack a much needed boost. A tricky board however, soon cost him the tournament as he went with top pair on a King-high flop only to lose to “Timeout20”’s turned two-pair. 

With two left fighting for the title, talks of a deal started brewing which “Baobaojun2” eventually declined. Two hands after that, “Baobaojun2”’s decision paid off greatly for Canada’s “Timeout20” as he successfully sealed the deal after spiking a pair on the river against his rival’s King-high.

Buy-in: ¥2,200 ($341.43)

Date: October 10, 2021

Entries: 1,190 entries (937 unique, 253 re-entry)

GTD: ¥2,000,000 ($310,387.43)

Prize Pool: ¥2,434,740 ($377,856.34)

ITM: 197 places

Final Table Results