Jae Kyung "Simba" Sim started Day 4 as one of the short stacks. He sat quietly, patiently, his chips dwindling rapidly, as he waited for Antoine Amourette to bust in 9th place. Simba's patience was rewarded after 15 hands, as we described to you earlier this afternoon.
Yet still Simba waited. We presumed he was hoping to pick up a super-premium hand on which he could stake his tournament life. That hand failed to materialize, and with blinds up to 8,000-16,000, time was not on Simba's side. When action folded to him in the cutoff, down to 54,000 in chips, he put those chips at risk.
Button Amit Varma passed. So did small blind Sameer Rattonsey. Their folds put big blind Alistair Duff in a bit of a spot. Ordinarily, getting 2.2-to-1 on a call with no more action to come, Duff could probably call without thinking or without looking at his cards. He's not quite getting the 2.5-to-1 he'd need to make it automatic, so maybe he could fold the worst of his hands, but typically there wouldn't be much thought required.
But Duff himself had only about 210,000 in chips. The 38,000 required to call Simba's raise (after pulling in the 16,000 from the big blind) represented almost 20% of his stack. With highly reflective sunglasses hiding his eyes, Duff sat stock still and tried to figure out what to do.
Ultimately, he called with 5♣7♣. He had to be relieved to see that Simba didn't have a pair, a 5 or a 7 when Simba tabled T♦8♦. The hand wasn't much to roar about, but Simba somehow found himself with close to a 2-to-1 advantage for a double-up. So he had to be shattered to see the dealer put three clubs on the board straight away, T♣J♣9♣ that instantly gave Duff a flush and a crushing 37-to-1 lead in the hand. The turn 3♦ was the last card of any import in Simba's APPT Cebu Main Event. It left him drawing dead into the river.
8th place is worth PHP658,500 for Simba. He can take those pesos back to Manila and spend them in good health, a testament to a successful run in Cebu.