Alexander Puchalski Wins the 2022 APPT Cambodia $1,500 Main Event ($96,028)

After seven hours of play in the opulent Grand Ballroom of the award-winning integrated NagaWorld Resort in Phnom Penh, a winner has been crowned in the first ever PokerStars Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) $1,500 Main Event in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Out of a field of 378 entries, it was Alexander Puchalski who took home the biggest portion of the $494,991 prize pool when he came out on top of a short-lived heads-up duel with Akshay Kapoor.

The Canadian has been playing poker for eight years, where he mainly focuses on cash games. He is currently based in Thailand, like many other poker enthusiasts from all over the world, and made the short trip over to Cambodia, a decision that has certainly paid off. For his efforts, the 27-year-old Ontario-born Puchalski takes home the top prize of $96,028 and the golden shard trophy.

While he was not the most chatty player on the nine-handed final table, he imposed over the line-up with his calm manner and consistently grew his stack without any major setbacks. However, the most-defining hand en route to victory certainly contained a lot of drama when his pocket jacks were up against the pocket queens of runner-up Kapoor and the ace-four suited of Renniel Galvez.

Taiwan’s Yu Chung “Nevan” Chang, who started the final table as the chip leader, was eliminated in fourth place. The only former APPT Main Event champion in contention was Michael Soyza, who became the first casualty of the day after coming into the final day with fewer than seven big blinds. Norway’s Markus Garberg and the UK’s Chris Backhouse were also notable names among the final nine and nine different countries were represented during the final showdown.

Final Table Result 2022 APPT Cambodia $1,500 Main Event

Place Winner Country Prize (in USD)
1 Alexander Puchalski Canada $96,028
2 Akshay Kapoor India $60,884
3 Renniel Galvez Philippines $44,005
4 Nevan Chang Taiwan $35,590
5 Quoc Dinh Nguyen Vietnam $28,165
6 Chris Backhouse United Kingdom $21,681
7 Markus Garberg Norway $16,137
8 Quoc Huy Phan Netherlands $11,682
9 Michael Soyza Malaysia $9,454
Alexander Puchalski wins the 2022 APPT Cambodia Main Event
Alexander Puchalski wins the 2022 APPT Cambodia Main Event

All eyes were set on former champion Soyza when the action resumed at 1 p.m. local time, and the Malaysian immediately got his chips into the middle with jack-ten suited. Chang looked him up with ace-jack and remained ahead despite a sweat with two spades on the turn, ensuring that a new first-time APPT Main Event winner would be crowned.

From there on it became a tense affair as several short stacks doubled. Quoc Huy Phan then saw his hopes vanish when his ace-ten flopped best but was outdrawn by the ace-jack suited of Puchalski, which reduced the field to the last seven contenders. In remarkable fashion, Galvez went from shortest stack to chip leader after he first hit a one-outer with pocket tens against the pocket aces of Garberg to then also go runner-runner with ace-nine suited to make quads and beat Chang’s pocket queens.

The dire luck of Garberg continued as he also doubled Quoc Dinh Nguyen when queens were cracked by ace-queen and Galvez then held the very same ace-nine of clubs to knock out the Norwegian in seventh place.

Markus Garberg
Markus Garberg

With Galvez in the lead the momentum on the table shifted, and Backhouse lost a flip to Puchalski, which kickstarted the surge of the Canadian. Nguyen was unable to win yet another all-in showdown and bowed out in fifth place before start-of-the-day chip leader Chang became short and was knocked out by Kapoor in a roller coaster runout.

Akshay Kapoor
Akshay Kapoor

Kapoor pulled into the lead in three-handed play and was two cards away from victory in a dramatic three-way all-in. His queens were ahead on a ten-high flop, but a jack on the turn improved Puchalski to a set. A blank on the river knocked out Galvez with ace-four suited and heads-up play started with a commanding lead of more than nine-to-one for Puchalski.

Kapoor was able to double up two times in quick succession only to see his hopes of a miracle comeback vanish in a limped pot when his jack-trey suited flopped trips. The chips only went in after the river without any betting action prior and Puchalski tabled queen-trey for a well-hidden full house to become the champion.

This marks the conclusion of the second PokerStars APPT stop in 2022, and the global online poker brand will now shift the focus to the European continent with regional tours and the upcoming EPT Prague festival in December 2022 on the horizon.

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