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Chao Ting Cheng Wins APPT Cambodia Main Event

The APPT Cambodia Main Event is over and a new champion has won the tournament. In an unexpected win, Chao Ting Chen from Taiwan pulled out a win and beat Junnie Pamplona for the title of main event champion. Not only was this an unexpected win, but it was also Cheng’s first Main Event title.

Despite starting off with almost half as many big blinds as Pamplona, Chao managed to outlast and outplay the Filipino poker star. With that win, he didn’t just get his first title, but also the amazing PokerStars Shard trophy and a massive cash prize of US$94,448.

Chao Ting Cheng’s Big Comeback

조팅 청의 놀라운 승리

The APPT Cambodia Main Event was a long and fierce competition and the final event was no different. Each of the 9 players fought hard for their chance to become the champion and take home that huge prize money. After hours of nonstop competition, only 3 players remained on the table including Chao, though things did not seem to be looking good for him.

Although Chao Ting Cheng started off the day with 61 Big Blinds in 4th place. That meant he was already behind his two competitors and he only fell behind further during the tournament and by the time with the top 3, he was left with just 12 BBs during the tournament. With Eric Tsai on one side and Pamplona with his huge lead on the other, Chao seemed to be struggling and looked ready to join 4th place, Jimmy Torres.

However, Chao Ting Cheng wasn’t ready to give up just yet and instead kept his head down and waited for his chance to make a comeback. While he might have been anxious, Chao Ting Cheng’s patience paid off as he got a strong hand with the Ace of Diamonds and 8 of Hearts. This managed to knock out Tsai and while he was thrilled for making it this far, Chao admitted that he had mixed feelings about having to eliminate Tsai.

When Tsai left, the tournament came down between Chao and Pamplona.

Junnie Pamplona Vs. Chao Ting Cheng

준니 팜플로나 대 조팅 청 경기

As the thrilling showdown began, Chao Ting Cheng had a stack of 50 big blinds, while Junnie Pamplona enjoyed a slight lead with 69 big blinds. The tension increased over the course of ten intense hands. However, the game took an unexpected turn when Cheng made a surprise play that resulted in him doubling his chip count, completely reversing the situation.

Shortly after that came the turning point in the game. Both of them decided to go all in with Cheng showing his two queens going up against Pamplona’s 8 clubs and 7 of spades.

With just a few more hands, the final exchange began. On the board were the 9 of clubs, spades, and diamonds along with the 4 of diamonds and 8 of hearts. In a bold move, Junnie Pamplona called Chao Ting Cheng’s three-bet jam, thinking it might have been a bluff. He followed this by revealing his two aces in a powerful full hand.

Unfortunately for Junnie, this wasn’t a bluff and Cheng held an unbeatable hand. With the 9 hearts and 5 diamonds, he held a nut hand, the most powerful hand in the game. As he set down his cards, Chao Ting Cheng proudly announced that the game was over.

While the talented Junnie Pamplona fell short of the title once again in Cambodia, it was hard to say he lost. Thanks to an ICM deal payout during the intense heads-up battle, Pamplona still managed to secure the largest payout of an astonishing US$101,647, marking his second-ever six-figure win.

After the tournament, an excited Chao Ting Cheng had a few words to say.

“I feel so good! As a poker pro, this title is so important to me. This is my first Main Event title, and I am so very happy.”

Chao Ting Cheng, APPT Cambodia Main Event Champion

Chao’s home country of Taiwan had its own share of excitement as they hosted one of the largest Asian Poker tours in history including a massive main event.

To see about the main event and its lucky winner, you can read our post on the APT Main Event Winner.