Martin Rowe Crowned APPT Sydney Champion!

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December 07 2008

Written to Australian poker news by aardvark

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"Martin Rowe Wins APPT Sydney Grand Final!"
December 07, 2008

Day 6 of the 2008 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final saw the final nine combatants return to the feature table of the Star City Casino poker room to duke it out for the coveted title and cool one million dollar first place prize. Antonio Fazzolari held a healthy chip lead entering the day, but the experience and second biggest chip stack of Jason Gray saw him as the man to beat.


The action was fast early with Tom Rafferty setting the pace by pushing with his K clubs5 clubs flush draw on a 10 diams2 clubsA clubs flop. However he ran into the A diams10 clubs of Antonio Fazzolari who made an easy call. The turn and river bricked and Rafferty became the first to depart the final table in 9th place as Fazzolari extended his chip lead.


Hai Bo Chu continued the aggression by pushing all in over the top of the flop bet of Martin Rowe on a flop of 10 spades2 hearts7 diams. Rowe had limped under the gun preflop, and snapped called with Q diamsQ clubs as Chu would need some help with just a gutshot straight draw with J clubs8 diams. The turn was the 8 clubs to give Chu a few more outs, but the river fell the A hearts to leave Chu as our 8th place finisher.


Next to go was Daniel Kowalski (not the Australian swimmer) who had waited patiently for a hand to strike and decided to commit with A spades9 clubs on a 4 heartsA clubs7 diams flop against Frank Saffioti. Despite Saffioti’s generally loose play, he woke up with A diamsQ clubs on this occasion to have Kowalski in bad shape. The 2 spades fell on the turn and another A hearts on the river to send Kowalski to the rail in 7th place.


Meanwhile Jason Gray and Tony Basile were sitting tight as the short stacks as the other end of the table continued to splash around and gamble. Martin Rowe was a beneficiary of this table dynamic after collecting a nice pot against Saffioti when spiked two pair on the turn with A diams5 hearts to crack Saffioti’s top pair holding A spadesJ clubs.


Rowe climbed above the 2 million chip mark as Saffioti started to crumble as he doubled up Jason Gray. On a board of 3 clubs7 clubs10 spades7 diams Saffioti had over-committed himself with A diamsK hearts as Gray snapped him off with A spadesA clubs. Saffioti was drawing dead as the J diams hit the river, to double Gray to 1.4 million with Saffioti falling to only 500,000.


Saffioti was out in 6th place shortly after when he moved all in on a flop of A clubs6 spades7 spades. Saffioti held a monster with A spadesQ spades but he’d run into the set of sevens of Martin Rowe. Needing to catch a spade to survive the turn and river bricked Q clubs, 9 diams, to leave Rowe as our new chip leader with over 4 million.


Tim English found a double up with a three-outer holding a dominated A spades8 clubs against Fazzolari’s A diamsQ hearts but an eight on the flop kept his tournament dreams alive. That is, until he clashed in a hand with chip leader Martin Rowe. In a re-raised pot, English moved all in at a 9 hearts10 clubs4 clubs flop but Rowe made the call. English only held A heartsK diams but remarkably it was in front as Rowe was drawing with Q heartsJ hearts. Rowe spiked a J clubs on the turn to pair up, and the river was a blank 4 hearts to end English’s tournament in 5th place for $140,000.


Rowe held well over half of the chips in play at that stage until he doubled up Fazzolari when he called with an open-ended straight draw against Fazzolari’s two pair. The river bricked and Fazzolari was back up into second chip position. However after a series of healthy pots went against him he had slipped back to the short stack when he pushed with A hearts2 spades and Rowe made the call with A spadesK clubs. The board landed 7 clubs5 heartsJ hearts8 spades10 spades and Fazzolari became our 4th place finisher collecting $182,000 for his efforts.


Three-handed play didn’t last long as Tony Basile fell victim to a cooler. He’d been very patient and solid all day and when he picked up A diamsK hearts he made the call against Martin Rowe’s all in shove. However Rowe held a monster K clubsK diams and when the board fell J diams4 clubs9 hearts6 clubsQ clubs Basile was very disappointed to leaving in 3rd place, however $266,000 should ease his pain.


The heads-up contest started with Rowe holding a commanding chip lead over Gray and threatened to be a short affair. In a raised pot, Gray check-raised all in on a 7 diams9 spadesJ clubs flop, but Rowe snap-called with A clubsJ hearts for top pair. Gray would need help with Q diams10 spades for an open-ended straight draw. With the crowd willing him on, they let out a collective roar when the 8 spades fell to complete his straight and find the double up. The river was the K spades and Gray had found a pulse.


From there the heads-up battle tightened considerably as both players seemed content to play some small-ball poker. This seemed to advantage Gray as he slowly chipped up to reduce the chip deficit. Gray managed to get as close as roughly 4.2 million to Rowe’s 5.2 million, however could never quite snatch the lead.


At this point Rowe seemed to change gears and decided to increase his preflop aggression. He captured multiple raised pots and regained the ascendency as Gray didn’t want to commit to big pots. Eventually Gray had to make a move as his chip stack fell to around 2 million with the blinds at 50k/100k. Preflop, Gray limped before Rowe made it 250,000. Gray then shoved over the top and Rowe snap-called tabling A clubsQ hearts. Gray sheepishly revealed 9 hearts5 hearts but held live cards with his tournament on the line. The board ran out A spadesQ clubs5 spades9 spades3 spades and despite Gray making two pair it wasn’t enough to get past Rowe’s aces and queens as he captures the title!


Jason Gray collects $476,000 after a tremendous tournament showing as Martin Rowe becomes the latest APPT Champion, taking home the trophy and a whopping $1 million first place prize!

Final Table Results:
1st Martin Rowe - $1,000,000
2nd Jason Gray - $476,000
3rd Tony Basile - $266,000
4th Antonio Fazzolari - $182,000
5th Timothy English - $140,000
6th Frank Saffioti - $100,800
7th Daniel Kowalski - $72,800

8th Hai Bo Chu - $53,200

9th Tom Rafferty - $39,200

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