APPT Macau 2007 15k: Tahtouh takes flight as ElkY is grounded

By Sean Callander

The last time we saw Emad Tahtouh in action, it was taking the 233-metre plunge off the Macau Tower. One of his Team PokerStars colleagues said his swan dive resembled “a giant seagull trying to fly backwards while screaming its lungs out”. (if you haven't seen it yet, catch it at APPTLive video blog 12 Bungee Lovin')

Cruel maybe, but the Australian is soaring like an eagle in the early stages of today’s $15,000 Macau High Roller Event and is the early chip leader.

APPT Macau 2007: Emad Tahtou at High Roller event
APPT Macau 2007: Emad Tahtou at High Roller event

The Team PokerStars member isn’t having it all his own way though, and told us in the last break he’s picking his marks very carefully on a table that includes fellow Team PokerStars Pros Isabelle Mercier and ‘ElkY’ Grospellier.

“It’s a tough table for sure, and it’s not going to get an easier with a field like this,” Tahtouh said.

After reaching the final table of yesterday’s APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open main event, ‘ElkY’ was put to the sword by Tahtouh in a dramatic hand just before the end of level four (100/200 with a 25 ante).

On a flop of 6h 9h Qc, Tahtouh led out for 1500 bet and ElkY moved all in over the top for a total of 6225. After some friendly banter between the PokerStars pals, Tahtouh made the call and showed Ac Qd, having ElkY's Kc Qh dominated. Blanks (3d 4s) on the turn and river sent ElkY out in 58th position.

Earlier, Tahtouh hauled in a big pot when he eliminated Cole South. “I had a set of nines and Cole missed his flush draw,” Tahtouh said of the hand which played out on a board of 9h 7s 4d 3h Jc.

Another recent mover is John Juanda. It’s hard to think of a player better suited to sitting at a table in an APPT event. Born in Indonesia but of Chinese descent, Juanda is one of the game’s most decorated pros. It’s almost as if his life has come full-circle to here in Macau for this prestigious and historic event.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: John Juanda
APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: John Juanda

We’re down to 48 players of the 65 who started almost five hours ago, with eliminations including Chad Brown (Tony Ng’s bottom set held up against the American’s nut flush draw), Australian duo Richard Holmes and Emanuel Seal, Guido Lunardini (who placed 12th in the main event), APPT Manila and Seoul final table participant, Russia’s Alexander Kuzmin, Denmark’s Tim Overguard and Chen Wing Hui of Hong Kong.

Approximate chip count:

  • Emad Tahtouh (Australia) 62,000

  • John Juanda (USA) 47,000

  • Daniel Schreiber (USA) 41,000

  • Tony Ng (Hong Kong) 41,000

  • Bo Sehlstedt (Sweden) 32,500

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in