PASAY CITY, Philippines – In a marathon Heads-Up that two over an hour, Dzmitry Budai of Belarus topped a field of 94 entries to emerge victorious in (Event #4) the Professional Offline Poker League (POPL) Head-Hunter tiff by outlasting reigning Main Event champion Hernan Villa to earn his first career victory in Asia and take down the PhP355,800 (US$6,200) top prize even as three other side events raged on in the Asian Poker Tour (APT) 2022 Philippines at the Grand Wing Casino, Newport World Resorts here.
Prior to the win, Budai spent much of his career in the Russian circuit and occasionally campaigned in Europe before coming to the Philippines for this staging. He had won six times in Minsk but this is his first triumph since 2019.
Villa, who was at a chip-disadvantage pretty much the entire Heads-Up duel, settled for the second place payout of PhP237,300 (US$4,136) while Korea’s Park Sung Woon finished in third place for PhP165,000 (US$2,870).
Among the three other side events, the return of the Women’s Event (Event #6), also known as “The Ladies of Poker” which was last held in the 2017 APT Philippines, was perhaps the biggest draw with 26 entries were logged and now carrying a prize pool of PhP252,200 (US$4,387) with the eventual “queen” pocketing PhP107,700 (US$1,873).
Heading into the Final 8, Yoo Eunjung of Korea holds the chip-lead with 66,900 while local hopeful Jeanette Dee is in second with 49,100. Filipina Lester Timonera is presently third with 36,300.
The Philippines’ Vilma Goldman was the last champion of this staging.
(Event #7) the Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) tilt and (Event #8) the first of the PhP65,000 (US$1,131) Single-Day High-Rollers have also closed their respective registration with the PLO event netting 59 entries while 9 contest the High-Rollers crown.
Later tonight, (Event #9) the High-Rollers 6-Max Hyper Turbo that has a buy-in of PhP43,000 (US$749) will commence at 6:00PM (UCT+8) to complete the full slate today.
Meanwhile, Day 1A of the Main Event has–as of this writing–75 entries and will be calling it a day at the end of Level 8.
Day 1B happens tomorrow at 1:00PM.