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Young-shin Im Creates History at APPT Cebu

Posted at 00:25 2010-11-17

Cebu is one of the most unique settings for a poker tournament, so it’s fitting that it was the location that made history today by crowning the first ever female champion of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour.

We arrived a week ago in the beautiful tropics of Cebu in the Philippines looking forward to a little fun, a little sun and one big poker tournament as the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa hosted fourth stop on Season 4 of the APPT.

While all the talk was about the spectacular resort with its pristine private beach, gorgeous lagoon pools, range of fun water sports & activities and, of course, the refreshing cocktails, there was a poker tournament to be played.

236 players made their way into the custom-built poker tent, which is a little down on last year’s number, but still producing a near US$500,000 prize pool. Many of Australia’s finest were in attendance including Team PokerStars Pros Joe and Tony Hachem, Aaron Benton, Rennie Carnevale, Jarred Graham, Van Marcus, Andrew Hinrichsen, Hugh Cohen, Tim English, Tom Grigg, Ryan McKay and Jessie McKenzie.

Hinrichsen was the standout performer as he cruised through day one to grab a massive chip lead as he remained amongst the leaders on day two. However once the bubble burst on the final 28 players, Hinrichsen twice ran into aces to bust in 24th place.

When the final table formed today it was Korean Kim Gap Young who was the huge chip leader and he bullied the table relentlessly in the early stages and eliminated several short stacks including ex-Crown regular Richard En in 8th place when En’s king-jack couldn’t connect with the board against Kim's pocket tens.

Another ex-Australian resident in Daren Yoon had also made it through to the final table after surviving into day two with just 8,050 in chips. His tournament appeared set for a virtual chip/chair comeback story but his run ended in 5th place. After losing a chunk of chips early to Kim Gap Young, Yoon three-bet shoved with {kd}{js} but it was another Aussie who brought him undone as Fabiano Michael tabled {ks}{kc}.

The big story of the day started to emerge when we reached short-handed play as the relationship between chip leader Kim Gap Young and Young-Shin Im became important in the table dynamic. While we would forgive a couple in a relationship to take it somewhat easy on each other, the Kim and Im show was nothing but fierce as the two continually bet, check-raised and attacked each other. TD Danny McDonagh was on hand to ensure the integrity of the game was upheld at all times, but he had nothing to worry about as these two displayed surprising aggression towards each other.

Three-handed and with Fabiano Michael on the short-stack the two Koreans played out a huge pot that saw the chip lead swing to Young-shin Im. With raises preflop, on the flop and on the turn, Im moved all in on a paired board to force her man to fold a baby flush. It was a significant moment that left Kim reeling.

Michael doubled up with ace-ten against Im’s pocket queens, and then again with pocket aces against Kim’s pocket threes to leave the overnight chip leader on his knees. Kim found one come from behind double up with ten-six against Michael’s queens, but he couldn’t repeat with jack-four against Michael’s pocket nines and was eliminated in third place.

Young-shin Im held the chip lead and had been the more aggressive player, but things evened up during an intense heads-up battle as both players were rather passive. Occasionally Fabiano Michael would spring a big overbet shove and that always seemed the most likely way this tournament would end.

After almost two hours of heads-up play it was Michael who again made the big all-in shove holding pocket fives, but Im made a surprisingly call with ace-six. An ace on the flop was enough to seal the deal as Michael picked up PHP3,600,000 for his efforts.

After a week of poker in paradise, we crowned our first female APPT champion in Korea’s Young-shin Im. The 30-year with the glistening smile showed rare poise and composure, and an intelligent, aggressive game that we’ve come to expect from the Korean contingent. We expect to see plenty of Im in future as she has the game and the look to be a prominent figure for poker in Asia for years to come.

Final Table Results:

1st Young-shin Im (Korea) (PokerStars Qualifier) - PHP 5,810,000
2nd Fabiano Michael (Australia) - PHP 3,660,000
3rd Kim Gap Young (Korea) - PHP 2,045,000
4th Mikael Rosen (Sweden) - PHP 1,560,000
5th Daren Yoon (Malaysia) - PHP 1,290,000
6th Basilios Diakokomninos (United States) (PokerStars Qualifier) - PHP 1,025,000
7th Jukka Juvonen (Sweden) (PokerStars Qualifier) - PHP 805,000
8th Richard En (Canada) (PokerStars Qualifier) - PHP 645,000
9th Raymond Lapitan (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) - PHP 485,480

 

 

As we pack our bags and sadly get ready to end our week in paradise, we should also mention some of the impressive results from Australians in side events during the week. Raj Ramakrishnan, Jesse McKenzie and Team PokerStars Pro Tony Hachem all captured trophies in side events, while Jarred Graham finished second in the High Rollers event this afternoon.

Tony Hachem
Tony Hachem won the APPT Cebu Six-Handed Event during the week

The next event on the Season 4 of the APPT is the season-ending Grand Final in Sydney and you can qualify now. Just download PokerStars through PokerNetwork and jump into one of the online satellites. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Young-shin Im becomes the first female to win at APPT title with a huge victory at the APPT Cebu Main Event Young-shin Im becomes the first female to win at APPT title with a huge victory at the APPT Cebu Main Event

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