APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Hand 137: It’s on to Sydney for the inaugural APPT Grand Final

By Sean Callander

Sydney is the talk of the TV final table here at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in Macau. “Here comes Sydney, baby,” Scotty Nguyen just declared to the packed audience, referring to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final which kicks-off on December 12 at Star City in Australia’s largest city.

Fittingly, we’ve just crowned a young Sydneysider the champion of the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller tournament. Eric Assadourian, a 28-year-old from the Harbour City, honed his poker skills in the Star City poker room, and will be front and centre when the $6300 buy-in main event kicks-off in his hometown in two weeks.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Winner Eric Assadourian

Assadourian has just bested a field of 64 of the world’s best players to win the first prize of $US368,640. After 34 hands of heads-up play with Bo Sehlstedt, Assadourian confirmed his status as one of Australia’s best players and a rising star on the world stage when he called the Swede’s all-in bet of 101,000.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Winner Eric Assadourian

Holding an 8:1 chip lead, Assadourian said “let’s gamble” and showed 9h 8d. The flop is 5h Qc 9c, turn 10s and the river Jd gave Assadourian a pair of nines, sparking celebrations with his good mate Kenny Ng, who followed every hand of the final table.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Winner Eric Assadourian

This win continues a remarkable run for Assadourian over the past 18 months. He burst onto the scene to win the 2006 Melbourne Championships main event (worth $A80,000), knocking out Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem in third spot along the way.

He then made the trip across the Tasman Sea to Christchurch where he captured two titles, including the main event and $A100,000, in the 2007 New Zealand Poker Championships.

He also final tabled twice at the recent PokerNews Cup in Melbourne (eighth in Australia’s first H.O.R.S.E. tournament and fourth in the $ 200 No Limit Hold'em event).

Assadourian never looked overawed by the field in this $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller event, which included names such as Hachem, fellow Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Rousso, Emad Tahtouh, Isabelle ‘No Mercy’ Mercier, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Lee ‘Final Table’ Nelson, Masa Kagawa, Terrance Chan, Guillaume Patry, Dan Schreiber and Barry Greenstein.

Other entrants were 1998 WSOP champion Scotty Nguyen, 2007 WSOP $2000 Seven-card Stud champion Jeff Lisandro, John Juanda, APPT Macau: Asian Poker open main event final table participant Liz Lieu, Chad Brown, Gary Benson, Van Marcus, Yosh Nakano, Kirk Morrison and Nick Schulman.

Assadourian entered the final table in fourth chip position, with all the pressure on his good friend, Team PokerStars Emad Tahtouh. Aiming for his breakthrough win, Tahtouh held a massive chip lead over Sehlstedt, David Paul Steicke, US trio Liz Lieu (making her second final table appearance at the APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open), Scott Numoto and John Juanda, and the sole Hong Kong native at the final table Tony Ng.

Tahtouh rarely looked comfortable at the final table and when he bowed out in fifth just before the dinner break, it was game-on for Assadourian.

Sehlstedt was down to just 30,000 in chips early in the heads-up contest, but rallied back to more than 300,000. But displaying an uncanny ability to read the Swede to the river (he didn’t lose a single hand called to showdown), he rallied back and ended it all just as the clock ticked past midnight, just seven hours after the first hand was dealt.

It’s been an incredibly successful five days for poker’s first foray into the People’s Republic of China. Congratulations to all involved in the first Asia Pacific Poker Tour, which set a new record for the biggest tournament (352 players) ever held in Asia.

The APPT Grand Final is shaping as a massive climax to the inaugural APPT season, with more than 600 players expected to generate a prize pool in excess of $A3 million.

Thanks for following the action from the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino, see you in Sydney.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Winner Eric Assadourian $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller final results:

  1. 1 Eric Assadourian, Australia ($US368,640)

  2. Bo Sehlstedt, Sweden ($US184,320)

  3. David Paul Steicke, Hong Kong ($US110,592)

  4. Tony Ng, Hong Kong ($US82,944)

  5. Emad Tahtouh, Australia ($US64,512)

  6. John Juanda, USA ($US46,080)

  7. Scott Numoto, USA ($US36,864)

  8. Liz Lieu, USA ($US27,648)

PokerStars Video Blog
Interview with Eric Assadourian, WInner of the 15k High Roller event

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in