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The Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) has had more than one winner. Even though the regular event may have come with a $243,000, the High Roller event was definitely one of the shiniest jewels of the overall competition. Throwing together as many as 124 entrants, the event was a far greater success than the previous edition taking place in Korea.

Of Events Past and New

The high rolling event had Yan Li compete alongside the other challengers. Li managed to rough it against 60-odd players in 2016, fetching herself the total cash prize of $74,000. In this week’s iteration though, it was Hon Cheong Lee nabbing the first place and adding $87,504 to his bankroll.

And if we mention the name of Li, it’s just because to remind you that she had a pretty decent chance of winning the event yet again, but she ran into strong competition and was ultimately left out of the top 9 players to clinch a piece of the prize pool. The high-roller event was quite the diverse affair. Players flocked from all over the world and the final 9 came from a variety of places, including China, Korea, India, Russia, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United States.

Sriharsha Doddapaneni from India finished last, bringing home $10,401. The US representative, Randy Lew managed to clinch 5th spot with $30,714 and he was shortly behind Maxim Befus from Germany with $38,087. Both were outpaced by Konstantin Pogodin from Russia at $46,006.

Second place went to Lee’s most serious challenger Sahil Agarwal from India who left the race with a bite into the prize as substantial as Lee’s. He managed to clinch over 87,000 but shortly below Lee’s own prize.

It wouldn’t be difficult to argue that the event saw quite the hefty competition even though players were less likely to join in droves. But it’s quite typical of a high roller event to end up with a rather shorter number of people. However, one distinct feature of the APPT is that it hasn’t been the top-heavy affair some poker tournaments turn out to be.

For the most part, there has been an equal distribution of the cash prizes and poker players weren’t asked to wager an arm and a leg to participate. Even by high rolling standards, the APPT High Roller has been a mild affair, which places it on the map as one of the most-desirable high-rolling gigs out there.

A Future for the APPT

The APPT has been treading carefully. Prize pools have been generously divvied up between individual players allowing everyone to have a crack at the very pot. This format has been gaining traction for a while now. The East has a better evened-out prize pools, which is more encouraging for the average gamer to continue trying to participate.

With a low entry-fee, it’s understandable why the interest in the event, whilst still modest, will be significantly better than exclusive pow-wows such as the Triton Series in Jeju and Moscow. Asia has something to say about how events should be held.