Seat 1, Linh Tran (Canada) – 1,870,000
Linh Tran hails from Canada and plays full time on PokerStars, where you’ll find him grinding cash games at the $1/2 limits. He’s been playing poker for ten years now and learned the game on TV.
Tran cites winning APT Cambodia as his best result to date. That victory in Sihanoukville earned him $26,130. He’s really enjoyed playing in the venue this week and alongside great players. He says winning a big flip on Day 3 with jacks versus ace-king was crucial in helping him get to the final table.
Seat 2, Mike Takayama, 27 (Philippines) – 670,000
Mike Takayama hails from the city of Caloocan and is a professional poker player. He’s been playing for 3 years and learnt by watching other people play the game. He likes to play “high stakes” and his biggest achievement to date is taking down an APT event in this very city for $79,041.
His heroes in life are God and his family. The thing he’s enjoyed most about this event is the challenges he’s faced when competing with the other players. The thought of winning the title and trophy is what’s kept him going to this point.
Seat 3, Sam Razavi, 35 (England) – 500,000
Sam Razavi lives in the Philippines but originally hails from Brighton on England’s south coast. He’s a professional poker player and he’s been playing for 12 years. His greatest tournament result to date was taking down ANZPT Melbourne in 2012.
Razavi says he only has one hero in the world and that’s his good friend Babis Lappas. He says that holding in there many times when it all seemed doomed was the most enjoyable thing about this tournament so far. He says he also wouldn’t have got to the final table without his life hero wife Menchu who convinced him to stay and stick it out, rather than leave for Cebu, when he was feeling down and tired. As for his hobbies, he says Tasties and Menchu will have the answer to that too.
Seat 4, Seongsu Kong, 47 (Korea) – 970,000
Seongsu Kong comes from Seoul in Korea and says he likes to entertain for a living! He’s only been playing poker for one year and learned at Holdem School. This result (already) is his greatest poker achievement. He came second in a side event last month so wherever he finishes in the final, he’s already eclipsed that result.
That was his first ever tournament and it led him to play here in Manila where he feels blessed and honoured to play with such great players. His Mom and Dad are his heroes and in his spare time he likes to play soccer.
Seat 5, Joven Huerto, 41 (Philippines) – 355,000
Joven Huerto comes from the city of Cainta right here in the Philippines and is a Marketing Manager by day. He’s been playing for 7 years and learned from his friends. He likes to play cash games ranging from PHP500/100 up to PHP 100/200. His greatest poker achievement to date was making the APT final here in Manila last December.
Huerto’s heroes in life are his wife and 3 kids – they are his inspiration. He loves the fact that’s he’s run so deep this week and really hopes he can win. The challenge of playing Asia’a best players, like Celina Lin and Bryan Huang, have helped bring him to this point.
Seat 8, Alan Lau, 29 (Hong Kong) – 1,015,000
Alan Lau is a professional poker player from Hong Kong and had been playing the game for 4.5 years. He first learned the game by reading Colin Moshmann book: Sit n Go Strategy. He likes to play any MTT tournaments with a buy in below $1million! Lau’s greatest tournament result to date was coming second in the Baby Dragon tournament in Macau.
His cites his poker heroes as the members of Team Chu and the admins from HKPPA. The thing he’s liked most about this tournament is that the structure is so great, and he’s not even kidding! The support of his fiancé Amy and all his dear friends are the most important reasons he’s got this far. When Lau’s not playing poker he likes to listen to music.
Seat 7, Jesse Leonarez, 29 (Philippines) – 4,595,000
Jesse Leonarez from Pasig right here in the Philippines will head in to the final table as overwhelming chip leader. He’s a professional poker player and has been plying his trade for 6 years. He learned the game with friends at the Metro Card Club and likes to play “high stakes”. This is Leonarez’s second appearance in a row at the APPT Manila final table after he won PHP2.083 million for finishing third last year, and he’s in a great position to do better this year.
His hero is God and he loves challenging himself against the best player at each table he’s at. The big prize pool on offer and the thought of getting his hands on the trophy has carried him to this point so far.
Seat 8, Bruno Tzu Chien Lo, 30 (Taiwan) – 860,000
Taiwan’s Bruno Tzu Chien Lo tells us he’s been playing poker for six years and originally learned the game by taking part in online tournaments and putting in hours studying. His best live result to date was an impressive 1st-place finish in the Macau Poker Cup 24 Megastack event earlier this year for $29,564.
Lo tells us what he’s enjoyed most about the tournament this week is chatting with players. He attributes his discipline on the felt for this final table appearance. When he’s not playing poker, Lo enjoys tennis and reading.
Seat 9, Sang Yong Lee, 38 (Korea) – 795,000
Sang Yong Lee hails from Korea and has been playing poker for a decade now. He says that he got his start playing with friends and now frequents private games. Lee only has one live cash to date which was in the APPT Cebu Main Event back in 2012. By locking up a seat at the final table Lee has already ensured himself his biggest score yet.
Lee tells us that the most important moment to get him to this point in the tournament was winning with ace-king against a tablemate’s pockets tens. Away from the tables Lee can often be found watching movies.