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2008 APPT Seoul Main Event Recap

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October 08 2008

Written to World Poker News by aardvark

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"2008 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Seoul"
October 08, 2008

The second leg of the 2008 Asia Pacific Poker Tour saw 165 players descend to the Walker Hill Hotel and Casino in Seoul, South Korea for the US$2,870 Main Event.
As the players found their seats on day one, it would be a cosy atmosphere with little breathing room, but it didn’t take long for players to drop away and table break. Some of the notable players in the field were Hevad Khan, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Ivan Tan, Celina Lin, David Saab, JJ Liu, Wooka Kim Andrew Scott, 2008 APPT Macau Champion Eddie Sabat, duel Macau final tablist Charles Chua and 2004 World Champion Greg Raymer, who uttered the immortal words “Shuffle Up and Deal!”
Day 1 saw only six levels of play with the field reduced in methodical fashion to 83 players with plenty of big names surviving and Jan Van Dyk leading the way. However Greg Raymer would not be amongst the survivors after making a move on the final hand of the day. In a battle of the blinds against David Saab, Raymer moved all in over the top of Saab’s raise but Saab snap-called with A clubsJ spadesas Raymer sheepishly revealed K hearts6 clubs. “I knew you’d make a move on the last hand of the night,” exclaimed Saab as the board of 9 diamsJ diams10 spades4 diams6 diamseliminated Raymer and left Saab near the top of the overnight chip count leaderboard.
Van Marcus was an early casualty of Day 2, as was PokerStars pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier. Both players flopped trips but found themselves out-kicked in cruel cold-deck situations. Brian Kang emerged from the pack when he took out Asian poker poster-girl Celina Lin. Kang held 9 clubs9 diamsagainst Lin’s 8 spades8 diamsand when the board ran out 5 heartsQ clubs10 diamsQ diams7 diamssending Lin to the rail as Kang captured the attention of the media and photographers as he claimed the tournament chip lead.
Eddie Sabat started the day off well but couldn’t make it back to back titles, after his big combo draw didn’t hit against the top pair-top kicker of Sam Faqiryar. Meanwhile Japan’s Yoshihiro Tasaka stormed to the top of the leaderboard after flopping a set of sevens on a 2 diams3 diams7 clubsflop. His opponent, Tim Davis committed himself with K diamsQ diamsfor a flush draw. The turn was the A heartsand although the A diamson the river gave Davis the flush, it made a full house for Tasaka as he stacked up a mountain of chips.
As the field thinned to three tables Lily Bui was unfortunate to have her pocket aces cracked by the pocket queens of Dan Schreiber to send her to the rail, however the story of the day came during a dramatic money bubble period where David Saab went from hero to zero in a matter of minutes.
After being with the chip leaders for most of the day, Saab first doubled up Brian Kang and then found himself in an incredible three-way all in clash.
With Saab raising every hand, Hidenari Shiono made the call in the small blind before Wooka Kim moved her short stack in from the big blind. Both opponents called and the saw a flop of 6 hearts7 hearts9 hearts. Shiono checked and with a dry side pot Saab moved all in! After several minutes Shiono made the call. Saab held 7 clubs9 diamsfor top two pair as Kim flipped J heartsJ spadesfor an overpair and flush draw with Shono holding 8 hearts8 clubsfor straight and flush draws. In amazing scenes that resembled a rock concert the crowd swarmed the table and amongst the yelling the Q clubshit the turn and A heartsfell on the river, giving both of Saab’s opponents a flush. Shiono fell off his chair in delight at winning a massive side pot while Kim tripled up, leaving Saab in a state of shock.
A few moment later Saab moved all in with a pair and flush draw holding 6 hearts2 heartson a 2 diams3 hearts10 heartsflop but Brian Kang had flopped another set with his 3 spades3 clubs. The turn and river were heart-less and amazingly David Saab’s tournament had come to an end on the money bubble.
The 16 remaining players returned on Day 3 to battle it out for the title. The key hand of the final day came on the final table when PokerStars Pro Dan Schreiber, who final tabled this same event last year, flopped a straight holding 10 clubs7 clubson a board of J diams9 hearts8 clubs. However Brian Kang wasn’t going anywhere with his J clubsJ spadesand after a series of raises between the chip leaders, all of the chips were in the middle. The turn brought a repeat 8 heartsgiving Kang a full house and leaving Schreiber drawing dead as he made a shock exit from the tournament in 6th place.
Kang continued to lead but when play became three-handed he struggled to overcome the Japanese duo of Yoshihiro Tasaka and Hidenari Shiono. Kang bowed to the pressure and after Tasaka had exposed his A heartsQ heartsduring an all in manoeuvre, Kang decided to make a mathematical call with his K spades7 clubs. The board lived up to the drama when it landed 6 diams4 clubs9 diamsK heartsA clubsto leave the Canadian on life support and eliminated a few moments later to guarantee that the trophy would be heading to Japan.
In the end it was the unlikely 2 clubs9 heartsof Tasaka which brought a conclusion to the tournament. Tasaka’s “favourite hand” proved itself by bettering Shiono’s A spades4 clubswhen the board fell 8 hearts6 diams9 diamsJ diams3 hearts. Yoshihiro Tasaka collected the trophy, a trip to the APPT Grand Final in Sydney and a whopping $128,216 in prize money.
Here are the final table results:
1st Yoshihiro Tasaka - $128,216
2nd Hidenari Shiono - $80,135
3rd Brian Kang - $44,074
4th Fam Yat - $32,054
5th Yuji Masaki - $26,043
6th Dan Schreiber - $20,033
7th David Horvath - $16,027
8th Daniel Williams - $12,020
9th Sam Faqiryar - $8,013


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