Wednesday saw the “Battle of the Nations” tournament start with 13 teams each representing a different country. The PartyPoker players in Macau have come from a variety of countries and the only country that had the three required players was Belarus.
Brothers Mikhail and Maksim Shuts and their friend Ihar Pliashko took on the teams from destinations such as USA, Korea, Australia, China and Hong Kong.
This was a points based tournaments with each player playing for the team first and themselves second. Points were scored based on a players finishing position so the player who busted out first would earn 1 point all the way up to the winning player who received 39 points. The team with the most amount of points would claim victory and the HK $406,060 team championship prize. The top three individual players would also win substantial cash prizes.
There was a very impressive mix of players all doing their bit for their actual or adopted nation. As well as the Poker Pack players, we also saw legendary former WSOP Champion, Johnny Chan and Aussie Millions winner Stewart Scott and many feared tournament players from the online world.
An early casualty was the team representing Great Britain which comprised of Tom Hall and Chris Parker from the Asian Poker Tour Team and Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Sport. The team from Japan were also collectively making for the exit much sooner than they would have anticipated.
Play was friendly but competitive and there was no doubt that players were considering their team-mates and the points situation when deciding whether or not to call a big raise.
Representing Korea was two of the Poker Pack players, David “Chino” Rheem and Steve Sung together with Brandon Wong. Speaking with Steve before they got started, he agreed to wear a couple of PartyPoker badges. He is a very nice guy and was happy to slap a few badges on his shirt and be an adopted PartyPoker player for the evening.
As play carried on it was clear that the team event was coming down to either Korea, Canada or Vietnam. The Vietnamese team was very much a family affair. Poker pack player Nam Le was playing with his brothers Tommy and Allan and all were doing very well in the late stages. Also doing well was Mikhail from Belarus who finished in a very respectable 12th and ensured the Belarus team came 7th overall.
With only 10 players remaining, it was calculated that the Korean team would win the team prize. All three players were still playing and regardless of the results they would be crowned champions and win the HK $406,060 team championship prize. They were delighted to win and receive their trophies while the Korean national anthem was played
After an hour or so, the individual prizes were eventually awarded in the following order;
David “Chino” Rheem from Korea came third for HK $26,100 (as well as a third of the HK $406,060 team prize)
Nam Le came second for HK $52,200
Allan Le took first prize and a cool HK $95,700
All the players enjoyed the event and I’m sure this tournament could be a feature of Asian Poker Tour events in the future.