Randy Lew has won the 2011 PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau main event. Some 575 players anted up the HK $27,600 entry fee at the Casino Grand Lisboa, creating a prize pool of HK $15,552,600, of which Team PokerStars Online’s Lew claimed HK $3.772m (US $483k) for taking first place. Lew’s accomplishment is all the more impressive considering he started final table play holding the short stack. Fabian Spielmann started the day as chip leader, but couldn’t manage higher than fourth place (HK $1.019m). Jeff Rossiter took third ($1.3m), while Jimmy Pan stood up to Lew’s attack longest, earning $2.367m for his runner-up spot.
Much of the initial attention showered on the APPT Macau centered around the presence of Phil Ivey. Ivey had abstained from this year’s World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, but he found time in his busy court schedule to take his seat at the APPT. While Ivey was knocked out of the tourney by Darren Judges long before the money bubble burst, unconfirmed reports on poker forum 2+2 had Ivey taking $8m off an Australian businessman at one of the many high-stakes cash games going on in Macau. Tom Dwan reportedly took an even larger sum off an Asian whale last year about this time, underscoring the sheer amount of money floating in these South Pacific waters.
In Morocco, Mohamed Ali Houssam has taken the World Poker Tour Marrakech main event title. From a starting field of 274, the €3k buy-in came down to a star-studded final day of play featuring 2010 WSOP champ Jonathan Duhamel and human punching bag Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier. However, Elky was eliminated in eighth place (€23k) and Duhamel exited shortly thereafter in seventh (€25.5k). Maksim Martinov was the last non-Moroccan left at the table, but following his ouster in third (€81k), it came down to Houssam and Toufik Ourini. After 45 min., Houssam triple-8’s ganged up on Ourini’s pair of Kings, leaving us with a new WPT champ. Houssam clearly digs playing at the Casino Es Saadi, having won the Poker Open at the same joint this May. Now if he can only convince those WSOP-Europe folks to relocate next year’s tourney…
In Atlantic City, Andrew Badecker won the inaugural Borgata Fall Poker Open Championship, outlasting his 669 competitors to earn a sweet $388k. It’s Badecker’s second scalp this year, having earned a WSOP bracelet in June. The last man to stand in Badecker’s way was first-year player Tony Nguyen, who earned $218k. Ari Albilia took third and $137k.
Dutchman Luke Martens has outlasted 1,387 other players to take the Boylepoker.com International Poker Open at the Regency Hotel in Dublin. Martens earned €51k for the win, while Paul Purcell took second (€36k) and Rory Brown third (€25k).
While we tend to focus on tournament winners, for the moment, consider the plight of UK player Gary Hides, who recently discovered that tournament poker is a great way of getting some exercise, and/or crippling oneself. While playing at a recent tourney at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, Hides had one too many Heinekens, which caused him to get “so engrossed in the game” that he “missed my lift home.” The 45-year-old Hides then decided to walk home to Lincoln (a distance of around 135km), leaving him with (in his words) a “right foot twice the size of the left.” And no doubt, a newfound respect for the stealthy creep of a Heineken buzz.