The biggest APPT Macau Main Event in history was sent into the record books over the weekend and it was PokerStars Team Online Pro Randy Lew who proved too good for a huge field of the best players in the world.
There were 575 players who took to the felt at the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino in Macau over the two Day 1 starting flights last week and of those, only 304 players returned to play on Day 2. Going into the second day of play it was China's Chieh Su Shih who started as the chip leader, while Team PokerStars' Bryan Huang also started the day with on of the biggest stacks in the room.
Also taking to the tables on Day 2 were prominent Australian players Grant Levy, Jeff Rossiter, Jullian Powell, Joel Dodds, Josh Barrett and David Steicke. Joing the local players on Day 2 were also also the likes of Team PokerStars' Nacho Barbero, Celina Lin, Vivian Im, Alex Kravchenko, Raymond Wu, Maxim Lykov, along with 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan and eventual champion, Randy 'nanonoko' Lew.
What became almost a bigger story than the tournament itself was the one and only Phil Ivey's return to tournament poker. Ivey weaved his way through Day 1 to start with an average stack on Day 2.
As Day 3 drew closer, Ivey would succumb to the rail, joined by the likes of Huang, Im, Wu and Kravchenko, while it was Singapore's Nathaniel Seet who would start Day 3 with the most chips, bagging up almost 300,000 more than his nearest competitor.
More and more players hit the rail throughout Day 3 and it would be India's Sangeeth Mohan who finished at the top of the pack. Mohan was looking set to add another impressive finish to his resume which features a recent victory in the APT Goa Main Event. APPT staff were intent on getting as close to a final table as possible on Day 3 and late on Saturday night, play was stopped as only 15 players remained.
Joining Mohan on the final day of play would be Australia's Jeff Rossiter and Josh Barrett. Rossiter is well known for having finished 3rd in the Aussie Millions Main Event earlier in the year and also took down the latest JHDSS event just last week. Barrett has come close to big success before after finishing 2nd in the 1010 Victorian Poker Champs Main Event in 2010 and would be looking to go one better in Macau.
Of the returning players, Sparrow Cheung, Tsugunari Toma, Daoxing “Bobo” Chen and Baton Fung would join Barrett on the rail before only 10 players remained. Mohan was still in contention at this point but would be eliminated as the final table bubble boy when he ran into final table chipleader Kai Yat Fam.
Final Table Seat Draw and Chip Counts
Kai Yat Fam
Zheng Tai Tan
Hong Kong based Australian, David Steicke would be the first player eliminated at the final table as he was crippled down to only a few big blinds before getting his stack in and running into the of Daniel Nordstrom. No help came for Steicke and he was sent packing in 9th place.
Zheng Tai Tan would be the next player eliminated, before Steicke executioner, Nordstrom would be sent out the door in 7th place. The next set of eliminations would see Rossiter still alive and going up against Jimmy Pan and Team PokerStars player, Lew.
Rossiter was left with a short stack when he got his chips in against Lew and couldn't win a flip before Rossiter's last hand saw him shove the button holding and runing into Jimmy Pan's.
Lew and Pan went into heads-up play with similair stack sizes and would go on to a play firece poker which saw both players take the lead at various stages throughout the battle. The turning point came when Lew was all in holding pocket-sixes and held against the of Pan, before the last hand of the night saw Lew and Pan get all the chips in a flop. Lew held for top two pair, while Pan would need help which never came as he held just one pair with .
Final Table Results
Kai Yat Fam
Zheng Tai Tan
Lew, known as an online super-grinder playing under the name "nanonoko", can now add a mjor live title to his impressive resume as the 2011 APPT Macau Main Event becomes his first big triumph on the live felt.
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PokerStars Team Online Pro Randy Lew is the 2011 APPT Macau Main Event Champion
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