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Aussies Dominate First Ever Asian Tour Events

Posted at 09:00 2006-11-23 Pan Asia Poker Tour, Manila - The Collins definition of success West Australian poker player Marcus Collins has bet, folded and bluffed his way into Asian poker history by winning the inaugural Pan Asia Poker Tour (PAPT) event held at Airport Casino Filipino in the Philippines between November 4 and 5. The 30-year old Collins outlasted a field of 75 players who had come from around the world to compete in the $2,500 two-day NLHE tournament. “It’s been a while between first place finishes so winning the inaugural PAPT event made the win so much sweeter - it’s only just sunk in that I’m part of history,” he said. After scraping his way into the final table of nine and nursing a barely-there short stack, Collins tripled up when two players moved all-in in front of him only to wake up in the big blind with the two remaining aces in the deck. His pocket rockets held up to give Collins’ sickly looking chip stack a much-needed boost. From there, he steadily climbed the payout ladder, outlasting his opponents to get heads up with compatriot - and room mate - Jonny Vincent for the title. After a see-sawing battle (including an unlikely double up when Vincent’s pocket deuces conquered Collins’ pocket rockets with a runner-runner straight), Collins took the title when Vincent moved all-in with AT only to discover he was dominated by Collins’ AQ. “You need a little bit of luck on your side to win tourneys and I’d be kidding myself if I told you that I outplayed the final table,” Collins said. “At one point of the final table, he [Vincent] had a six-to-one chip lead, but thankfully I caught some cards and fought my way back for the win.” Collins won more than US$26,000 for his efforts. The victory continues a fantastic year for the IT specialist who had three cashes in the 2006 World Series of Poker including a $43,000 payday at the Main Event and fifth place in a two-day $1500 NLHE event. Fellow Australian young gun and WSOP bracelet-winner Mark Vos also had a strong showing in Manila. In addition to finishing fifth in the main event, Vos also managed a first and third place finish in two $500NL events and at one stage - perhaps mimicing his online poker playing habits - the Full Tilt sponsored poker pro was simultaneously playing two events. Betfair Asian Poker Tour, Singapore - Tony G: Big mouth but an even bigger heart His family knows him as Antanas Guoga. The poker world knows him as the outspoken, super-aggressive Tony G who has - on more than one occasion - worked his way beneath an opponent’s skin and infuriated them into parting ways with their entire chip stack. And while Tony G was not at all shy about using words to put others off of their game, his performance at the debut event of the Betfair Asian Poker Tour’s in Singapore provided the Lithuanian-born Australian with yet another addition to his already impressive poker CV. But more importantly, his performance and first place finish in the event will also leave an impression on the people of Asia. In a gesture that suggests his heart is as big as his mouth, Mr G graciously pledged half of his $451,700 prize for winning the BAPT Main Event to Asian and Australian charities to be nominated by Betfair. And Tony G’s benevolence on the night didn’t end there. The oft-outspoken poker player also payed homage to his opponent and local Singaporean poker player, Joshua Ang, who he battled heads-up for the title. Although the Singaporean fell at the final hurdle when his AJ failed to improve against Tony’s T6s when a T came on the flop, G felt that the Merlion trophy “should stay in Singapore” and entrusted it to his opponent for safe-keeping. On the reasoning behind his generosity at the BAPT event in Singapore, Tony writes this in his blog at tonyg.pokerworks.com: “It is my hope that what I do is good for poker and shows poker as a sport and game of skill. To me it is not all about the money. If I take 2nd place prize money, that is enough for me as well. By taking first place, it was easy to give some away and help poker out, in general, all around the world.” We all know Tony G can talk the talk. Now he’s proven that he’s more than capable of walking the walk too. All in all, it would appear that the BAPT event in Singapore was a success for everyone, particularly the event’s organisers who had to turn away plenty of disappointed players after numbers in the main event had reached capacity. For all the naysayers and those who hoped poker would be nothing more than an overnight flash in the pan, the facts speak for themselves: Singapore, a once anti-gambling nation, has hosted the region’s biggest ever poker tournament and players from around the world flocked to the island nation to be a part of history. It’s official - poker is truly an international game. Onwards and upwards for the great game.

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