After two successful online editions on the GGPoker Network, the Asia Poker Tour (APT) has resumed live poker activities in the Asia-Pacific region. The APT Taiwan festival took place at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP Club) in Taipei, and has already crowned several winners.
Among them was Natural8 Team Hot Ambassador Kitty Kuo, who is the new APT Taiwan Main Event champion!
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Kitty Kuo Takes Down Main Event
On February 26, the NT$16,500 (~$590) Main Event got underway and came with a guaranteed prize pool of NT$2,000,000 (~$71,500). Thanks to a total of 196 entries, the total prize pool was boosted to NT$2,851,800 (~$102,320) and the top 20 spots were paid.
APT Taiwan Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Hui Chen “Kitty” Kuo||Taiwan||NT$724,200|
|2||Chi Ying Tsai||Taiwan||NT$482,200|
|3||Po Cheng Yang||Taiwan||NT$335,600|
|4||Kun Yu Chiang||Taiwan||NT$242,400|
|5||Yu Sheng Lin||Taiwan||NT$181,300|
|6||Zhi Hao Huang||Taiwan||NT$139,900|
|7||Chen Yi “Serina” Liu||Taiwan||NT$111,100|
|8||Kar Wee Chee||Malaysia||NT$90,500|
After the starting days, another 46 entries emerged during registration period on Day 2. The day ended with 25 players remaining. Five spots away from the money bubble, Natural8 Team Hot ambassador Kitty Kuo was second in chips and trailed only Cheng How Pan.
It took three-and-a-half hours to burst the money bubble on the penultimate tournament day, and Ting Nan Kuo ended up as the bubble boy in a three-way all-in. Natural8 Team Hot ambassador Kuo reached the final seventh in chips alongside Chen Yi “Serena” Liu and Chi Ying Tsai.
Final Table Recap
The only non-Taiwanese player was the first casualty on the final table, as Kar Wee Chee had to settle for 8th place and NT$90,500. Liu was also unable to turn her short stack around and bowed out with king-jack against pocket queens. However, the other two female contenders went all the way.
Kuo doubled through Yu Sheng Lin in a flip with ace-king versus pocket nines, and four-handed play then lasted three hours. Tsai showed her prowess with plenty of aggression to take the lead, while Kuo lost two all-in showdowns to get short. Kun Yu Chiang then hit the rail against Tsai with kings versus aces, and Po Cheng Yang fell in a three-way all-in to set up an all-female heads-up duel.
Tsai had a massive lead with 68 big blinds versus Kuo’s 12 big blinds, but the Natural8 ambassador doubled right away. After 90 minutes of heads-up they were all but even in chips and Kuo’s top pair in a three-bet pot with king-seven held against a king-high flush draw. Kuo received the APT Champion’s Ring, APT Golden Lion Main Event Trophy and top prize of NT$724,200 (~$25,980).
Victory “Feels Amazing” says Kuo
Following her victory, Kuo spoke exclusively to PokerNews, and said that it felt amazing to win a trophy in her own country.
“I don’t play in many Asia events, especially in Taiwan, so it’s very special for me. I took a long break from playing live poker so now that I am back live again, I have a fresh mind and a great mindset.”
With seven Taiwanese players at the final table, Kuo says that quality of Taiwanese poker is very strong.
“I would say definitely top 3 in Asia. They study a lot, play lots of international events, so the quality is very good and there was a decent field.”
Going heads-up with another female for a major title was “very special” says Kuo.
“I believe that we can influence more women to be interested in poker.”
“It doesn’t happen a lot in my experience. I believe that we can influence more women to be interested in poker. I felt really happy and proud to win the Asia event for Natural8 since we are the biggest Asia online poker site. The Natural8 team is also very happy and proud of me!”
Kuo says that she will now aim to play in the United States later this Spring, and is also looking forward to scheduling a vaccine.
“My next event will hopefully be in Florida on April 22. I will be back in the USA for all the cash game and poker tournaments!”