Season 3 of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour kicked off in August with a series of poker tournaments in Macau, and its second stop made it to Auckland, New Zealand on October 14th for its highly anticipated visit. The SKYCITY Casino was the location for $3,000 buy-in APPT Auckland poker action, and players who waited anxiously for its arrival were at the ready.
Day 1A found a solid crowd of 135 players at the tables, including Emad Tahtouh, Grant Levy, Celina Lin, Lee Nelson, Stewart Scott, Graeme Putt, and 2008 champion Daniel Craker. But at the end of the day, it was Tahtouh who held the chip lead with 162,900 chips.
Day 1B added 128 players to the mix to make for a total field of 263 and a prize pool that boasted of a first place take-home of nearly $210K. Among the second starting day players was Tony Hachem, Eric Assadourian, Tony Dunst, Shirley Rosario, and Garry Gates, but it was Lance Climo who sat with 134,400 chips and the lead at the end of the day.
Day 2 found 130 players coming back to the poker room, all having survived their respective first days and joining together to play down to the money. Some of the players who didn’t make it were Tahtouh, Lin, Levy, Hachem, Gates, and Putt, while the father and son Assadourians both did make it through the day. As the bubble approached and hand-for-hand was in play, it took some time, but Hong Kai Shi finally called all-in for his last 19,600 chips from the small blind to an initial raise by Jason Brown. Shi had to the of Brown, but Brown caught outs as the board came , and the river gave him the straight. Shi left on the bubble, and 32 players left for the night secure in the knowledge that they would be paid for the tournament.
Day 3 started with Louisy-Gabriel Mathieu busting in 32nd place for $5,523, and other notables that followed included Daniel Craker in 29th, and Eric Assadourian in 19th. Ultimately, as the final table neared, it was Shilton Smith who pushed all-in with ten-handed, only to find himself up against Jens Walther and his . The board came to send Smith out in tenth place with $11,046.
The final table was then set for Day 4 as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Jason Brown ||709,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Richard Lancaster ||568,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Ke Sijia ||294,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Assadour Assadourian ||231,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Simon Watt ||581,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Gerome Guitteau ||1,204,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Lance Climo ||350,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Michael Shinzaki ||620,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Jens Walther ||335,000 |
Guitteau had a tough time keeping his lead as the action got underway, but Lancaster was climbing to take his place. After Lancaster took a sizable pot in the first few rounds of play from Shinzaki, it was Lancaster sitting atop the leaderboard with over 1 million chips.
That loss to Lancaster was key to Shinzaki’s downfall. With only 340K remaining, he pushed all-in preflop from the big blind with , and Guitteau was the caller holding . The board came to give Guitteau the pair of aces and leave Michael Shinzaki out of the tournament. He received $14,202 for ninth place.
The second elimination came when Climo became short-stacked and pushed all-in for less than 200K. His was up against the dominating of Watt, and the board produced to eliminate Lance Climo in eighth place with $18,936.
A series of double-ups took a few players out of the danger zone. Walther was able to double his 180K through Guitteau, and Sijia doubled to 1.1 million through Lancaster. The leaderboard was turned upside down.
Assadourian looked for his double-up in a hand with Sijia, Guitteau, and Lancaster. It started with a flop, and Assadourian then moved all-in for his last 135K. Guitteau reraised to isolate, and Lancaster obliged with a fold. Sijia folded but showed A-8 of hearts. Guitteau showed for the flopped two pair, and Assadourian turned over for top pair. The turn and river missed Assadour Assadourian, who left in seventh place with $23,670.
Jens Walther was the next at risk when his was up against the pocket fives of Guitteau. The dealer gave them nothing with a board, and Jens Walther became the sixth place finisher and took home $31,560 for it.
Lancaster never recovered from hits he took earlier at the final table and his last 225K went into the pot preflop from the big blind with . Guitteau called with and needed help to eliminate another player. The flop of was harmless until the came on the turn to give both players straight draws. The came on the river to give that Broadway straight to Guitteau, and Richard Lancaster was ousted in fifth place with $42,606.
Sijia was the short-stack during four-handed action and couldn’t gain much momentum. He sought some action with a three-way pot that started with a flop. Sijia bet out, and when Guitteau check-raised, Brown got out of the way. Sijia called to see the turn, at which point Guitteau moved all-in with for top pair and the diamond draw. Sijia called with for middle pair and the heart draw. The came on the river to give the flush to Guitteau, and Ke Sijia was eliminated in fourth place with $55,230.
Three-handed play started with Watt as the short stack, but a double through Brown gave Watt the lead and left Brown with the least amount of chips. Brown soon moved all-in from the small blind for his last 200K with , and Guitteau was the caller holding . The flop of hit Guitteau but gave Brown the flush outs, but the turn and river only gave Guitteau trips. Jason Brown was gone in third place with $82,845.
Heads-up action began with the following counts:
|Gerome Guitteau ||2,600,000 |
|Simon Watt ||2,250,000|
The match took about 20 minutes and started with Watt doubling through Guitteau with A-4 versus J-8 on a 8-10-7-A-Q board. Guitteau was relegated to a short stack of 540K.
Guitteau pushed all-in soon after with , and Watt called with pocket fives. The board came down , which brought nothing for Gerome Guitteau and left him to accept second place and the $142,020 that went with it.
Simon Watt from New Zealand claimed the 2009 PokerStars.net APPT Auckland title, which came with a trophy and $209,085.