Asian Poker Tour ambassador JC Tran’s excellent run at PartyPoker.com Premier League III has continued after he won his first two heats and finished runner-up in his third. JC now sits clearly at the top of the table with 26 points at the $1.25 million event for 12 elite players in London.

Tran, who is also representing team PKR, won his first heat on day one at the expense of World Champion Peter Eastgate and has continued his great form. Cheered on by a large contingent in the green room, including WSOP Main Event final table pal David ‘Chino’ Rheem, and ‘Poker Pack’ pals Nam Le and Quinn Do he put on other great display. When it got heads-up he held 476,000 to Vicky Coren’s 124,000 and he looked the likely winner throughout. The decisive hand saw Tran raise with A6 off-suit and pushed all-in by Coren with KK. An ace on the flop was enough to take it down.  Pokerstars

JC’s third heat was hugely eventful. All the previous heats had seen very few eliminations in early levels but this game was different and it very quickly become a heads-up battle between JC and Peter Eastgate. The 2008 WSOP Main Event champion completely run over the field and looked to be home and dry but the blinds were only at 2,000 – 4,000. Eastgate sat with 541,000 to Tran’s 59,000, a very different scenario to when the pair met on day one when the chip counts going into the heads-up stage were more level. Remarkably, as a 9-1 underdog,

Tran fought back to hold the chip lead. Eastgate, however, eventually got his revenge for his defeat at the hands of Tran on day one to pick up 10 points. Eastgate pushed all-in with K3 and was called by Tran with A7. A king on the flop was enough to seal the deal for the $9 million Dane.  With 6 points from the heat, however, JC is the man to beat and holds a very comfortable lead at the top of the league table and he looks set to qualify for the deep stacked final table on Sunday.

JC said: “It’s going great here in London, maybe I should move here! I was very pleased to come back in the heads-up after being a 9-1 dog but I was confident there was a way back as there was still so much play left at the table. It is a shame I couldn’t eventually win this heat but I am very happy with 26 points and topping the table.” 

PartyPoker.com Premier League III sees the buy-in elevated to $75,000 and the added money raised to $350,000, making a total prize pool of $1.25 million. The series features 12 of the world’s best players playing in a unique league format. All 12 players will play six times in the preliminary stages. The leading four players will then progress to the final table with the next four battling it out in heads-up matches for the final two seats. Phil Hellmuth leads the strongest ever line-up that includes Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan, JC Tran, Nenad Medic, Devilfish, Tony G, Vicky Coren, Annette Obrestad, Roland de Wolfe, Andy Black, Juha Helppi and WSOP Main Event winner Peter Eastgate.

PARTYPOKER.COM PREMIER LEAGUE III – 24th – 30th November
LEAGUE TABLE AT THE END OF HEAT FIVE ON DAY THREE
26 pts     JC TRAN
16 pts      PETER EASTGATE
14 pts     JUHA HELPPI
14 pts     VICKY COREN
12 pts     TONY G
10 pts     ANNETTE OBRESTAD
8 pts       TOM DWAN
7 pts       ANDY BLACK
6 pts       ROLAND DE WOLFE
6pts        NENAD MEDIC
3 pts       DEVILFISH
3 pts       PHIL HELLMUTH