Asian Poker Tour 2009: A Showdown Of Chips And Cash

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Makati City, Philippines - The Asian Poker Tour 2009 held last January 27 to February 2 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, wrapped up with a resounding success as players and guests alike were treated like kings and queens of the poker tables, where games worth millions of pesos in total prizes were at stake.  

Local players and poker enthusiasts who took part in the event were treated with a rare spectacle as they witnessed the mastery and skills of the world poker superstars such as JC Tran, David “Chino’ Rheem, Nam Le, Quin Do, Steve Sung, among others who played for the highly-anticipated Poker Pack.  

Celebrity royalties also graced the event to play for their respective charitable institutions.  Among those who laid their cards on the table were socialite Tessa Prieto-Valdez for Assumption Mission Schools, real-life sweethearts John Estrada (Cancer Patient Kids) and Priscilla Meirelles (Red Cross),  master comedian Gary Lising for Cribs Foundation, cager Eric Mana with Lara Morena for Operation Smile, heartthrob Will Devaughn for Project Brave Kids, Troy Montero with his partner Aubrey Miles playing for Help The Kids To Learn, Vince Hizon for his own Vince Hizon Charity, and a lot more.  The event may have been fun gathering for them, but they took their games seriously as if millions of cash prizes were up for grabs.  In the end, however, the real winners were the institutions that they support. 

The games were also attended by the members of the local press who were given the chance to play and bring home some gifts and prizes.  
On the main event, it was hometown boy Neil Arce who took home the title as the Grand Champion of the Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2009 with a staggering PHP 8,000,000 in prizes.  The total prize pool that was paid to 27 players was PHP 30,000,000 after 262 players from over 40 countries paid 127,000 PHP to take part in the world famous tournament. 

The final day witnessed the showdown between Day 1A chip leader Arce against the Day 2A chip leader Steve Yeah from Korea.  It was a battle of unexpected twists and turns.  In the beginning of the showdown, Arce was behind in chips to his Korean counterpart.  But as the game progressed, the local hero fought back on the heads-up battle and successfully took over the chip lead against Yeah.  
“This is just great,” confessed Arce, who is a well known figure on the Filipino poker circuit through running the Metro Card Club in Manila. “I always felt it would come down to me and Steve. For me the key to winning the tournament was position. I was so lucky that Steve sat on my right – if he was on my left it would have been a completely different final table.” 
Steve Yeah, on the other hand, had to settle for another runner-up finish.  Last year, he failed to snatch the grand title in Asian Poker Tour Macau from Yevgeniv Timoshenko, a Ukranian-born poker champ from the United States.  He is still considered, though, as one of the most promising young poker players in the world.  

The successful staging of the Asian Poker Tour Philippines 2009 was made possible by the support of iPoker Network, Titan, Dafa Poker, PKR, PartyPoker, Everest Poker, 888, JBet Poker, Japanese Poker League, 32 Red Poker, Microgaming Network and the National Poker League. For more details on the players and the winners, please visit

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