I’m sure there will some sore heads today in and around the tournament room as the players try and recover from lasts nights great party on the 39th floor.
The action will take place on a special table up at the end of the tournament room with TV cameras in attendance. Tournament Director, Matt Savage had his best suit on and got proceedings underway a little later than planned due to some technical issues.
There was a big gap between Chip leader Inwook Choi and Winfred Yu and the short stacks all had to make an early move with the blinds at 5000/10000 with a 1000 ante.
No one expected our first player to be heading to the rail after only three hands. Casey Kastle who has reached the final table in the previous two APT events got his chips in good with pocket kings against Adrien Allain’s pocket nines. However a board of 8 10 7 A J made a straight for Allain and Kastle was off to collect his HK $131,500 already.
The action did not slow down after that early elimination. Winfred pushed all in with A 6 and got a caller in Choi with KQ. An ace and a king on the flop meant both players were in with a shout but a Queen on the turn gave Choi two pair and the pot. Yu leaves with HK $202,400
Moments later it was all happening again with Crister Hallbrook eliminated in 7th place for HK $303,600. He raised pre flop for 30,000 and got one caller in Adrien Allain. The flop came down A 4 3 and Allain checked it back to Crister who pushed his remaining 79000 chips into the middle and got the call. Crister had pockets 8’s while Allain had a harmless looking 4 5. However the 2 came on the turn to leave Crister in big trouble and the 3 on the river was no help.
Three down and only 15 minutes played. At this rate we will all be done in record time and be able to get to the bar early.
Literally within a blink of an eye we were saying goodbye to our fourth player. Micheal Woo decided that Q6 of Diamonds was good enough to play and got a caller from Adrien Allain with pocket kings. Although a 6 came on the flop giving some hope to Wuu, he could not improve on that and was gone with HK $404800 in his pocket for finishing 6th.
Allain was now up to about 800,000 chips and looking in devastating form.
After such a high powered opening 20 minutes the action slowed down for almost an hour as JC Tran and David Steicke picked up a couple of nice pots. However we soon had another player heading for the rail. Chris Chau pushed his very short stack all in and got two callers in Inwook Choi and Adrien Allain. Those two checked down a board of innocent looking cards and Choi picked it up with two pair. Chau eliminated in 5th for a HK $506,000 payday.
With only four players remaining the chip counts as the players headed for their first break of the day were as follows –
Adrien Allain – 1,529,000
Inwook Choi – 667,000
J.C. Tran – 547,000
David Steicke – 518,000
Blinds are now at 8000/16000 with a 2000 ante.
Soon after the players were back from the break, well known player and many people’s tip for the trophy David Steicke got his money in pre flop and got one call from Inwook Choi who turned over Pocket kings against Steicke’s pocket nines. No luck on the board for Steicke and he left in 4th for HK $708,300
Poker Pack player JC Tran was now the short stack and although he would indeed be a popular winner, he had a lot to do at this stage to improve his chances of winning.
However over the next hour he got involved in a lot of pots and started shipping more chips than he was winning.
Finally he got his remaining 166,000 chips all in pre flop and both Inwook Choi and Adrien Allain called. Tran’s A8 looked good on a A J 10 flop and a turn of a 9 and even better after an 8 came on the river but that’s because I couldn’t see that Allain had A Q and had made a queen high straight. Tran left the tournament with HK $910,540 for coming 3rd.
So now it was heads up between Inwook Choi with 1,078,000 chips and Adrien Allain with 2,182,000 chips.
The first few hands were very cautious and we did not see a flop for a while as blinds and antes were passed back and forth. Eventually we had some good hands as sizeable pots were won by both players.
However it wasn’t long before we had an all in and a call as all the chips went in the middle with Choi holding a very strong AQ while Allain was dominated holding A3.
But it was obviously meant to be Adrien’s tournament because a 3 came on the flop and that was all it needed to win the hand, the HK $3,035,000 first prize (about US$ 391,000) and the tile of Asian Poker Tour Macau winner 2009. Inwook Choi played very well and took home HK $ 1,660,000 (approx US$ 214,000).