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James Mendoza wins APPT Manila SHR; Main event voids warranty

James Mendoza

Take a look at what’s happening at PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Manila festival if you need proof that live poker is booming in the Philippines. PokerStars has placed a ₱20 million ($359,559) guarantee on the ₱65,000 ($1,168) APPT Manila Main Event buy-in, but a bumper crowd of 355 entrants on Day 1a means that guarantee has already run out. been reached!

Only 77 of those prospects emerged from Day 1a unscathed, and no one pocketed more chips than the 348,500 of Edilberto Gopez. South Korea Ju Ha (347,000) came close to Gopez but ultimately fell short.

As the APPT Manila Main Event reduced the first of the first flight, the buy-in of ₱500,000 ($8,988) Super High Roller was busy crowning his champion, and that champion was none other than an APPT regular James Mendoza.

Mendoza was one of 44 players to compete in the APPT Manila Super High Roller, which helped create a prize pool of ₱20,699,800 ($371,121) shared by the top six. Mendoza has fought on the popular APPT circuit since 2012 and managed to win an event seven years later. His victory came in the APPT Final Manila 2019 and came up with ₱410,600 ($7,817). This last outright victory came with a prize weighing 15 times that amount!

The eventual champion entered the final table stage with 24 big blinds and the unwanted final table short stack title. However, Mendoza kept his cool and managed to improve his position before eliminating China Kong Yue give themselves ammunition to mount a charge for the title.

The money bubble burst when Steve Yes got his last ten big blinds in the middle with ace-king of spades, and Mike Takayama called with ace-trey of diamonds. Yea flopped two kings, but Takayama had a flush draw, which came on the river.

Jean Tech fell to sixth when his tens failed to hold against Takayama’s ace-queen; Takayama hit a flush again.

With only five players remaining, Mendoza went on a solo destruction spree, and he was responsible for eliminating his last four opponents. The queens of Mendoza held against Takashi Ogura‘s queen-ten, then his ace-seven beat Takayama’s queen-ten. Mendoza then eliminated Zhingang Chen who was only four big blinds away before popping.

The heads-up duo reached an ICM deal that significantly reduced salary jumps, and the pair continued to fight for the title and the trophy. Mendoz cut Victor ChongThe stack narrowed to 15 big blinds over the next 40 minutes, prompting Chong to take a stand with a pair of threes for his stack. Mendoza called with jack ten, flopped two pair and became the 2022 PokerStars APPT Manila Super High Roller Champion.

APPT Manila Super High Roller Final Table Results

*Square Player Country Price Price (USD)
1 James Mendoza Philippines ₱6,206,000 $111,563*
2 Victor Chong Malaysia ₱5,697,000 $102,413*
3 Zhingang Chen China ₱3,105,000 $55,820
4 Mike Takayama Philippines ₱2,381,000 $42,804
5 Takashi Ogura Japan ₱1,863,000 $33,492
6 Jean Tech Philippines ₱1,447,800 $26,027

* Reflects heads-up agreement