Erquiaga wins APT Championship, POS; Final Side Events end as series concludes

PASAY CITY, Philippines – With Dave “Spade” Erquiaga finally taking down his first title  of these proceedings, the host nation celebrated another victory not only for one of the best poker players in the country today, but also one of the best staging of the Asian Poker Tour (APT) in the archipelago as the APT 2022 Philippines officially comes to a close at the Grand Wing Casino, Newport World Resorts here.

Dave “Spade” Erquiaga celebrates with the APT models, commentator Greg Liow and GM Lloyd Fontillas after winning the APT Championship

Erquiaga bested the field of 242 entries to take down the APT Championship event in a mere two hands against Malaysia’s William Teoh, but in the process churned out one of the most dominant performances in the history of the tour by cashing in six events and millions of pesos in winnings. All this while blogging during breaks and consistently sharing his knowledge and blessings to those who come up to him.

Fittingly, when the smoke cleared, Erquiaga walked away with Player of the Series (POS) and served notice that he is only beginning to peak in 2022. It will be interesting to see what he accomplishes in the next Philippine leg in November here.

The last Side Events also concluded today starting with the finale of the Monster Stack (Event #21) where it came down three Japanese players in podium finishes. 

Masatoshi Ezawa won the trophy and the PhP997,500.00 (US$17,497.00) top prize while Katsuhito Kawai got his second cash here with the second place prize of PhP665,100.00 (US$11,666.00) while Yasuhiro Waki claimed third for PhP462,400.00 (US$8,111.00). 

Masatoshi Ezawa (JPN) takes down the Monster Stack event

The Deep Stack Hyper Turbo (Event #23) saw Main Event champion Hernan Villa of the host nation win again by defeating another Japanese pro in Daiki Aoki. Villa, who became an overnight millionaire after his conquest of the Main Event, added PhP146,900.00 (US$2,577.00) to his haul here. Aoki received PhP97,800.00 (US$1,715.00). Korea’s Yoon Weon Jae got third for PhP68,000.00 (US$1,193.00).

Hernan Villa (PHI) captures his second trophy after winning in the Main Event

Because of the triumph, Villa finished third in the POS. 

In the 2-Day 110K High-Rollers (Event #20), Russia finally snared a crown when Aleksandr Merzhvinskii won his first ever APT championship by overcoming Ben Loo of Malaysia in an epic Heads-Up duel. Merzhvinskii also took home the top prize of PhP1,352,200.00 (US$23,719.00). Loo’s second place finish netted him PhP725,000.00 (US$12,717.00). Former APT POS winner Vamerdino Magsakay of the Philippines copped third for PhP421,500.00 (US$7,393.00).

Aleksandr Merzhvinskii wins Russia’s first trophy here

And the final Side Event came down to a showdown that ended more than two hours after the APT Championship finished with Dutch pro Martijn Gerrits emerging victorious against Kenji Kurashina of Japan for his second APT trophy here and the PhP380,200.00 (US$6,669.00) top prize. Kurashina won PhP163,000.00 for finishing in second place. Gerrits also won second place in the POS.

Martijn Gerrits (NED) takes down his second trophy in this leg

As the curtains drop in Manila, the APT next heads to Taiwan in a few days for keep it locked here for all the latest from the APT.

It is now farewell from the Grand Wing Casino, Newport World Resorts!