After holding the Asian Poker Tour India 2021 online at PokerBaazi.com, the APT made a return to live tourneys for their Taiwanese leg. Over the course of a month-long festival starting on February 19 and ending on March 15, the series crowned 19 event winners including a new APT Taiwan Main Event champion.
This year the Main Event title went to Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo. This is her first event title since 2015. Winning an event in her own country was a special honor, as she said in a post-game interview.
“I don’t play in many Asia events, especially in Taiwan,” Kuo said. “So it’s very special for me. I took a long break from playing live poker. So, now that I am back live again, I have a fresh mind and a great mindset.”
As well as taking down NT$724,200 (~US$25,480) for her trouble, she also wins an APT Gold Ring and an APT Golden Lion main event trophy.
Playing for keeps
242 players ponied up the TN$16,500 (~$580) entry fee for the main event. 196 of them over the three Day 1s. An additional 46 made it in under the wire during the remaining late registration period on Day 2.
With 20 players paid, the tourney was relatively top-heavy and the competition fierce. Players had traveled from around the world, but the majority of them were locals, whom Kuo views as particularly tough opponents.
Kuo said of her fellow Taiwanese players, “I would say [they are] definitely top 3 in Asia. They study a lot and play lots of international events. So the quality is very good. There was a decent field.”
Kuo tweeted about day 3 of the main event as the game was approaching the 8-player mark.
“Day3 in APT main event in Taiwan,” she wrote. “[Natural8] team pro look very sleepy.”
Final table drama
In the end, the final table saw an almost clean slate of Taiwanese players. The only tourist at the final table was Kar Wee Chee, a Malaysian player, who took 8th place.
Chee started with the 3rd biggest chip stack, but after less than an hour’s play, he was down and out. First, he lost to a rivered two-pair, then the rest of his chips went out the door when his pocket-nines got cracked by pocket-sevens.
Then Chen Yi “Serina” Liu was next out in seventh, leaving two women in the remaining field of six. However, when the dust settled, it was the ladies who were left standing.
Heads-up for the trophy
Kuo ended up in heads up with Chi Ying Tsai, but it was a close-run thing. With three players left Kuo had just 6 big blinds left. Her stack was dwarfed by the others’ who both had well over 35 bb each.
But a pair of double-ups put Kuo back in the game. Even so, she was far behind when it came down to heads-up play. Tsai had a 3:1 lead in chips and Kuo set about slowly cutting into that lead.
When the final hand started, Kuo was up by just 1 big blind.
Tsai raised from the button with K♦ T♦ and Kuo called with K♥ 7♠. The flop came out 2♦ 6♥ 7♦, giving Kuo top pair and Tsai a winning flush draw. Kuo shoved, and Tsai snapped her off in an instant.
The turn and river were the 9♠ and 7♣, giving Kuo three-of-a-kind and the title. Tsai won NT$482,200 (~US$16,925) for second place.
Final table results
1st – Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo – NT$724,200 (~US$25,480)
2nd – Chi Ying Tsai – NT$482,200 (~US$16,925)
3rd – Po Cheng Yang – NT$335,600 (~US$11,807)
4th – Kun Yu Chiang – NT$242,400 (~US$8,528)
5th – Yu Sheng Lin – NT$181,300 (~US$6,378)
6th – Zhi Hao Huang – NT$139,900 (~US$4,922)
7th – Chen Yi “Serina” Liu – NT$111,100 (~US$3,909)
8th – Kar Wee Chee – NT$90,500 (~US$3,185)
Featured image source: Twitter