Benigno Jr Ledina Wins the 2019 PokerStars APPT Manila National for ₱4,174,500 ($81,805)

Benigno Jr Ledina Wins the 2019 PokerStars APPT Manila National for ₱4,174,500 ($81,805)

The 2019 PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour Manila National is over, and it was Benigno Jr Ledina who put on a dominant performance in the final day to win the trophy and the first-place prize of ₱4,174,500 ($81,805).

The final day of the event started with 16 hopefuls out of a total field of 674 entries, all eyeing the win in the first big event of this year's APPT in Manila. Benigno Jr Ledina was the one who had this honor after almost eight levels of play, his second-lifetime cash. His first cash came from this very festival, after finishing 87th in the Kickoff event for a min-cash.

"I play mostly cash games, but sometimes in festivals, I fire up some tournaments," a happy Ledina said after his win.

Ledina's win is even more important if the ability of the second-place finisher is to be considered. During heads-up, he battled Linh Tran, a highly successful player with more than $1.1 million in total lifetime cashes. Tran is a former champion in Manila, after winning the 2016 APPT Manila Main Event, but this time fell short from a second title. He had to settle for second place and a ₱2,586,500 ($50,686) consolation prize.

Ledina used to be a corporate public accountant up until eighteen months ago, which is when he decided to quit and start his own business as an accountant. He has played poker for more than ten years, but he considers himself a recreational player who likes to enjoy playing the game in Manila's various poker rooms.

2019 PokerStars APPT National Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (in PHP)Prize (in USD)
1Benigno Jr LedinaPhilippines₱4,174,500$81,805
2Linh TranVietnam₱2,586,500$50,686
3Lee Wang YongSouth Korea₱1,602,000$31,393
4Eran ShahamIsrael₱1,213,500$23,780
5Hogyun KangSouth Korea₱825,000$16,167
6Si Yang PhuaIndonesia₱631,000$12,365
7Tetsuro TomitaJapan₱524,500$10,278
8Thijs HilbertsNetherlands₱437,500$8,573
9Jason Kyle MagbanuaPhilippines₱370,766$7,266

Action of the day

The day started with sixteen players, and it took some time for the first elimination to take place, even though there was plenty of action at the beginning of the day, but somehow short stacks managed to double up every time.

The player who broke the rule was Kok Wei Sim, who was left very short after a lost all in and got tangled in a three-way all-in with jack-nine against ace-king, and ace-queen that resulted in his elimination.

After this elimination, there was a burst of bustouts with Arravind Udayakumar (15th - ₱204,000; $3,998), Tae Hoon Han (14th - ₱204,000; $3,998), Ting Shum Kwok (13th - ₱204,000; $3,998), Jiang Yongbo (12th - ₱253,000; $4,958), Yang Li (11th - ₱253,000; $4,958), and William Kang (10th - ₱253,000; $4,958), all eliminated in less than an hour to send the rest of the field to the official final table.

2019 APPT Manila Nation Final Table
2019 APPT Manila Nation Final Table

When the final table started, it was Tran and Eran Shaham who had the chip lead as the only players with more than four million chips.

The first elimination came just half an hour in the final table, and it was Jason Kyle Magbanua who got crippled with nines against aces, only to lose the rest of his chips with king-nine against Si Yang Phua's ace-jack.

Thijs Hilberts, the Dutch player, was the next to leave the field, as he shoved his short stack with five-four to get called by Lee Wang Yong's queen-jack, who found two more queens on the flop to leave Hilberts drawing dead.

Just five minutes later, it was time for Tetsuro Tomita to hit the rail. Being short-stacked, he shoved with tens only to get called by Ledina's king-jack. A king on the flop was enough to give Ledina the pot and send Tomita out in seventh place.

At this point, Ledina's surge to the top started, as he was winning one pot after the other and he managed to get the chip lead with almost seven million chips.

Tran took the tally from this point on, as he picked up aces to win a big pot off Lee Wang Yong when he hit top set on the river, and got paid. The next hand, he cracked Si Yang Phua's aces with threes hitting a three on the river, to send Phua packing in sixth place.

The next elimination came again from Tran's hand, and it was again with pocket threes. Hogyun Kang shoved the rest of his stack preflop with king-jack, Tran called with threes and held after the five community cards came all blanks.

Shaham was short for a big part of the final table, especially during six-handed play. He laddered up to the fourth place, but this was when his ran stopped. He fell with queens to Yong's aces.

During three-handed play, Ledina was still the chip leader and actually was the first player to go over ten million in chips. It took an enormous sixty-big blind pot to bust Lee Wang Yong in third place, in a crucial flip. Ledina was in the small blind, and called Tran's open with pocket fours, while Yong shoved from the big blind with ace-ten. Ledina tanked for some time and called to hold with his fours and sent the event to heads up.

Benigno Jr Ledina and Linh Tran
2019 APPT Manila National Heads Up between Benigno Jr Ledina and Linh Tran

The heads up started with Ledina having almost a 3-to-1 chip advantage against Tran, and he managed to hold the chip lead for as long as their battle lasted. Tran tried to attack but never got there to surpass Ledina, and he was in the ropes for the biggest part of their confrontation. Ledina was overly aggressive and was firing bets almost at every opportunity, playing mostly big-bet poker.

His aggression finally paid off when Tran limped the button with eights, and Ledina picked up aces to raise, and call Tran's shove. The board brought an ace on the flop, and Tran had zero equity by the turn, to bust in second place.

Benigno Jr Ledina

The PokerNews coverage for the 2019 APPT Manila National concludes here, but there is still a lot more to come. The Super High Roller continues tomorrow with Day 2, along with Day 1a of the Main Event. Stay tuned for all the action here in Okada Manila with the 2019 PokerStars APPT Manila Live Updates.

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