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2008 PokerStars.net APPT Macau – Main Event and High Rollers Event Recap

Posted at 13:54 2008-09-20
Main Event
The 2008 PokerStars.net APPT Macau $US3,200 Main Event begun with a traditional Chinese dragon ceremony; including a large percussion section blessing each of the players with good fortune and chasing away all of the evil spirits from the tournament floor, as a record field of 538 players gathered at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in Macau.
 
Day 1 would be split across three flights with play consisting of only seven one-hour levels and would see many big names attend the largest poker tournament on Asian soil. However with pros including Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Johnny Chan, David Steicke making it through to Day 2, we would also see some early exits from the likes of Liz Lieu, Hevad Khan, JC Tran, John Phan and last year’s champion Dinh Le.
 
Greenstein would be an early casualty when he check-raised all in with a set only to be called by his opponent holding a gutshot and overpair. His opponent would make a larger set on the river sending Greenstein to the rail while collecting a signed copy of his book “Ace On The River”.
 
The hottest player on the tour would be next to go as John “The Razor” Phan would be forced to push the remainder of his chips into the middle holding {Ad}{5h} on a board reading {Jh}{4c}{3d}{Td} up against his opponent’s {Jd}{Jc}. The {5c} would send Phan to the rail and he would not be able to add to his already impressive 2008 record which includes four WPT cashes, two WPT final tables, one WPT title for over $1million and five WSOP cashes including his two WSOP bracelets.
 
With a handful of Aussies also in the field including Michael Pedley, David Steicke, Charles Chua, Emad Tahtouh, both the Hachem’s and much-loved Crown Supervisor Frank Bianco; not all could make it through to Day 2. We saw Grant Levy exit with a missed flush-draw, Tony Dunst eliminated when his A-K was no match against John Juanda’s J-J. Celina Lin would continue her run of bad fortune when she was eliminated holding Q-Q against 5-5 when a five landed on the flop. Max Veenhuyzen would be flushed out of the tournament while Jay Kinkade would exit late along with Van Marcus when he was eliminated by Chan when he missed his straight and flush-draw.
 
However it would be Eric Assadourian who would be most disappointed when he was all-in holding {Kc}{Kh} on a board reading {8c}{4h}{5h}; the turn fell the {Ad} and the river the {6c} giving his opponent a straight holding {8d}{7d}. The player responsible was American Kofi Farkye who would become chip leader as a result of raking in the 57,000 chip pot; nearly three-times the average stack at that point of the tournament. Farkye is actually banned from playing on PokerStars and in PokerStars related tournaments after being caught colluding with his brother over 6 months ago.
 
Day 2 would begin with 208 players from the original 538 and that number would be cut at a quick rate. Thomas Bihl, Johnny Chan and Terrernce Chan all exited in the first few hands of the day. Joe Hachem doubled, and then doubled and then was eliminated at the hands of Daisy Wain when his {Ah}{Js} was no match for her {Ad}{Qc}. He was closely followed by Kofi Farkye, Isabelle Mercier, Chad Brown, Van Nguyen, David Lee, Men Nguyen and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier before Chris Gregorian eventually bubbled when he was four-flushed all-in for his last few chips.
 
Emad Tahtouh would fall to the “Chuck Truck” Charles Chua in 54th place when his {9h}{9s} were no match for Chua’s {6h}{6s} on a final board reading {7h}{6d}{3d}{Kh}{6c}. Australian’s Frank Bianco, John Dalessandri and Lee Nelson would fall just short of making Day 3 as 39 players returned to make an assault on the $US453,851 first prize.
 
Day 3 started with a double from Joel “StrongPlay” Dodds, and exits by John Juanda in 26th, and Quinn Do in 25th. After a complete redraw at 24 players Carter Gill departed in 17th as Charles Chua and Edward Sabat continued to accumulate chips. History repeated for Dodds as he was eliminated in 14th place; the same position from last year, when his {Qs}{Qc} was no match for his opponent’s {Ks}{Kd} on a final board reading {Th}{7d}{9c}{9h}{4c}.
 
Full Tilt’s David Chiu would be all-in for his tournament life on a flop reading {Jc}{8d}{5s} holding {Qc}{Jd} only to be trailing his opponents {Js}{8s}, and when the turn and river bricked; Chiu would exit in 11th place. However the limelight would be placed squarely on David Steicke. After losing a chunk of his stack when he called the all-in from his opponent with middle pair, only to have him hit a gutshot he was again faced with a massive decision. After calling a bet on a flop he was check-raised with the board reading {7c}{Tc}{6c}{As}; Steicke made the call with {Jc}{7s} only to be trailing his opponent’s {Ad}{3d} and when the {2h} landed on the river Steicke was eliminated in 10th place becoming the final table bubble boy.
 
The final table included players from Singapore, UK, Sweden, Denmark, China, South Korea, USA, Macau and Malaysia/Australia; and chips were transferred freely between players as three were eliminated prior to the dinner break. With three more exiting over the first two levels of play after returning from dinner, it would be Edward Sabat, Brian Huang and Charles Chua who stood tall for the past two days of play to remain in contention for the $US450,000 first prize.
 
Leading for so long, Singaporean Huang slowly slid away from his other two opponents and was eventually eliminated in 3rd place when his {Ah}{4h} was no good up against Sabat’s {Ac}{Kc} when the board ran out Jack-high. Sabat would enter heads-up play trailing Chua’s 3,185,000 with his 2,140,000 in chips. However he wouldn’t have to wait long to gain the chip lead when he doubled with top-top against Chua’s gutshot straight-draw to take a four-to-one chip lead over the Aussie now based in Malaysia.
 
The “Chuck Truck” would wrestle back to even when he made trip deuces against Sabat, but it wouldn’t last long as the final hand occurred only several minutes later. Chua opened the pot on the button to 150,000 and Sabat called out of the big blind and checked the flop of {6c}{Qd}{6d}. Chua fired out 275,000 and Sabat then check-raised to 550,000 which was followed with Chua moving all-in. Sabat talked and tanked and talked and tanked before eventually making the call with {Kd}{Jd} to be trailing Chua’s {Qs}{3c}. The {Ac} gave him additional outs and the {2d} sealed the deal giving Sabat a flush and crowning him the 2008 PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event Champion after 12-hours of final table play. Sabat took home the coveted trophy and a first prize worth $US453,851 as Chua pocketed close to $US300,000 for his runner-up effort.
 
High Rollers Event
61 participants sat down in this $US19,200 buy-in event but the field would soon be one short when Celina Lin was eliminated at the hands of Yevgeniy Timoshenko barely 20 minutes into play when she was all-in holding {Ac}{Ah} on a board of {9h}{4c}{7c} against Timoshenko’s {9d}{7d}. The turn and river blanked for Lin and she was headed to the rail stating, “Again!”
 
As good mates David Steicke and Andrew Scott proceeded up the chip ranks along with last years winner Eric Assadourian; Isabelle Mercier, Julian Powell, Liz Lieu, Emad Tahtouh and David Chiu all sat back in a gaze as they struggled through the first few levels of the day.
 
Hevad Khan and John Phan hit the rail, followed by Lieu, Tahtouh, David Saab and Shuan Deeb while Charles “Chuck Truck” Chua backed his second-place finish from the previous night with a late entrance into the high rollers event to make it through the day.
 
The returning 31 players would all be chasing David “You don’t run like God, God runs like you” Steicke who amassed 160,000 in chips to be nearly 70,000 ahead of his two nearest rivals in Mike “Timex” McDonald and Eric Assadourian. Barry Greenstein, Quinn Do and Julian Powell all started with a double-up while Steve Sung and Terrence Chan made early Day 2 exits.
 
Greenstein hit the rail as play reached two tables, and was soon followed by Julian Powell, Joe Hachem and Mike “Timex” McDonald. Johnny Chan pushed for the two tables of five to merge as he sat with the shortest stack; and the players and tournament officials agreed. However most would agree this was a mistake as play continued for a further three-and-a-half hours before the bubble would eventually burst when defending champ Eric Assadourian’s {As}{5s} would be no match for Nam Le’s {Kh}{Kd}.
 
The final table the following day began with David Steicke and Andrew Scott perched on top of the leader board; but a familiar face in Charles Chua was back at it only days after making the Main Event final table. Chua and Scott took some well-needed chips off Steicke before Van “Sirens” Marcus would fall in 9th to Scott when his {9s}{9c} were no match against Scott’s {Ks}{Kc}. Ivan Tan fell in 8th as Quinn Do and Nam Le slowly added to their stacks. Johnny Chan couldn’t win a race against Steicke and headed to the rail in 7th place after being the short-stack for the entire tournament.
 
Will Ma fell in 6th and was followed by David Steicke in 5th when he couldn’t outrun Nam Le’s {Ks}{Kc} with his {Ts}{Td}. With Le the clear chip leader the remaining Scott, Chua and Do were all evenly positioned but it would be Chua to fall in 4th place at the hands of Le’s {Qh}{Qd} against his {Jc}{Jh}, and then Do in 3rd at the hands of Scott when the {Ad} landed on the turn to crack Do’s {Tc}{Td} against Scott’s {Ah}{Th}.
 
Le would start with a 2-to-1 chip lead as play reached heads-up and after the completion of the remaining level it would move to be a 3-to-1 lead. Finally after a little over an hour of heads-up play Scott would move his short-stack all-in holding {Jc}{Tc} and was called by Le holding {Kc}{2c}. The final board would run out {Ks}{Jd}{6s}{As}{9d} and Scott would be eliminated in 2nd place earning himself a near $US270,000 payday.
 
With that final hand Nam Le took home the title of 2008 PokerStars.net APPT Macau High Roller Champion and a first prize of $US474,358, confirming his place in the highest echelon of tournament poker players in the world today.

 

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