APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Russian bubbles as final eight are locked in for $15k event

By Sean Callander

The line-up has been decided for tomorrow’s $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller final table after almost 16 hours of play here at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino.

A world class field of 65 players assembled just after midday, including many of the stars who played the $2500 buy-in main event over the past three days, plus a handful of players who flew into Macau especially for the event, including Nick Schulman, Kirk Morrison and Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein.

Others to line-up included APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open final table participants Liz Lieu and Team PokerStars duo Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and Guillaume Patry, fellow Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem, Lee ‘Final Table’ Nelson, Vanessa Rousso, Emad Tahtouh, Isabelle ‘No Mercy’ Mercier, Masa Kagawa, Terrance Chan and Dan Schreiber.

Chad Brown, Jeff Lisandro, John Juanda, Gary Benson, Yosh Nakano and the ever-popular Scotty Nguyen also paid the $15k buy-in.

By 11pm, 14 players remained in the hunt for a shot at the final table, which would assure each player a minimum payout of $US27,648 and a shot at the first prize of $US368,640.

However, it took another five hours for the last six players to be eliminated. Eventually, Russian Aliansandr Dzianisan pushed all-in with pocket nines and fell to the pocket queens of Australian Emad Tahtouh when a queen hit on the flop.

Due to the late finish, tomorrow’s final table won’t start until 3pm local time, but keep an eye on for all the latest news and chip counts from the final table.

Chip count and final table line-up (end of day 1)

  • Seat 1: John Juanda, USA (74,000)
  • Seat 2: Scott Numoto, USA (47,000)
  • Seat 3: Emad Tahtouh, Australia (343,500)
  • Seat 4: Bo Sehlstedt, Sweden (127,000)
  • Seat 5: Liz Lieu, USA (48,500)
  • Seat 6: Eric Assadourian, Australia (120,500)
  • Seat 7: Tony Ng, Hong Kong (57,500)
  • Seat 8: David Paul Streicke, Hong Kong (142,000)

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: John Juanda

Seat 1: John Juanda, USA (74,000 in chips)Born in Indonesia of Chinese descent, this 36-year-old is rightly considered among one of the greatest players of all-time. Part of a generation of young guns that emerged in the mid-1990s (together with Allen Cunningham, Layne Flack, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey and Kirk Morrison), his tournament earnings are nudging $US7 million. Highlights of his career include the 2001 World Poker Open, three WSOP bracelets ($1500 Triple Draw Lowball Ace-to-Five in 2002; plus the $2500 Pot Limit Omaha and $2500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split in 2003). He has made six WPT final tables without winning a title, but collected the inaugural Professional Poker Tour title at Foxwoods in 2004. He also pocketed $1m when he won the Speed Poker title at the 2006 Aussie Millions. Juanda has rarely been out of the top-five in chips throughout this $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Scott Numoto

Seat 2: Scott Numoto, USA (47,000 in chips)
This native of San Jose, California (home to the Bay 101 Casino and the WPT Shooting Stars tournament) has four WSOP cashes under his belt, including an in-the-money finish in the 2005 main event (won by Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem) and a final table (fourth) in the $2000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament two years earlier. The 40-year-old father of four, whose family heritage dates back to Japan several generations ago, formally worked in the real estate industry before turning his focus to a new form of investment: professional poker. A cash-game specialist, his most recent win came on home soil at the Bay 101 in the $300 Omaha Hi/Lo Split event at the 2006 Bay 101 Open. He arrives at the final table of the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event as the short stack.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Emad Tahtouh

Seat 3: Emad Tahtouh, Australia (343,500 in chips)
One of the most exciting young players on the Australian poker scene, he holds a special place in the annals of poker history as the man who gave Joe Hachem the reason to attend the 2005 WSOP. The 25-year-old Australian won his WSOP seat via a PokerStars satellite, and convinced his friend to join him on the trip to Las Vegas. However, the Melburnian has built an impressive tournament CV of his own, highlighted by his runner-up finish in the 2006 PokerStars EPT London main event, which earned him £285,900 (or just over $A720,000) for his second placing. At the 2006 WSOP, Tahtouh celebrated his first final table appearance with a seventh in the $5000 Pot Limit Hold’em event. He was also runner-up in the 2004 Speed Poker Championships in Melbourne, and was second in last month’s $10,000 Bad Boys of Poker Invitational at the PokerNews Cup.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Bo Sehlstedt

Seat 4: Bo Sehlstedt, Sweden (127,000 in chips)
 A consistent performer on the tournament stage for more than a decade, this sit ‘n’ go expert is one of the most respected poker figures in the card-crazy country of Sweden. Not only is this 31-year-old an accomplished player, he is firmly entrenched in the Swedish poker business. He runs two major poker websites, including the country’s second most popular forum. The Stockholm native has also achieved some excellent tournament results including cashes in the 2005 (372nd) and 2007 (155th) WSOP main events. He made the final table of the 2005 Swedish Open Poker Championships (second) and the 2005 Scandinavian Poker Championships (fourth), and finished 18th in the $25,000 buy-in WPT Championship at the Bellagio (during a period when he was based in Las Vegas). He was among the chip leaders in the first hour and held his nerve to earn a much-deserved slot at the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event final table.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Liz Lieu

Seat 5: Liz Lieu, USA (48,500 in chips) If there was an award for the most consistent player at the inaugural APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open, there could only be one winner. One of poker’s most recognisable players is making back-to-back final table appearances after she finished seventh (pocketing $32,384) in the $2500 buy-in main event. She carried that form into the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event, earning another shot at her first international victory. This 34-year-old poker pro was born in Vietnam, raised in the US and has recently made the move to London. Known as the ‘Poker Diva’, she established her reputation first as a cash-game player mainly in Limit Hold’em. With five WSOP cashes to her names, she broke through for her first major win in 2006 in the $1000 No Limit Hold’em Tournament at the LA Poker Classic. Incredibly, she won the same event 12 months later (pocketing almost $US150,000).

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event:  Eric Assadourian

Seat 6: Eric Assadourian, Australia (120,500 in chips)
 Sydney’s Star City will host the first APPT Grand Final in just over a fortnight. This emerging young pro will be on home turf, and will be among the favourites after a stellar 18 months on the Australasian tournament scene. He burst onto the scene to win the 2006 Melbourne Championships main event (worth $A80,000), then showed that win was no fluke when he captured two titles at the 2007 New Zealand Championships at the Christchurch Casino, including the main event title, the first prize of $A100,000 and a seat in the 2007 WSOP main event. 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). The 28-year-old steadily worked his way through the field of the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event to be among the chip leaders when it mattered most.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: Tony Ng

Seat 7: Tony Ng, Hong Kong (57,500 in chips)
 It’s only fitting that the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event has a local representative at the final table, and that man is Tony Ng. A 20-year veteran of the game, he lived for a time in California where he played semi-professionally (mainly at the Bay 101 Casino in San Jose, also the home casino of Scott Numoto). Now back living in Hong Kong, the father of five prefers cash games but could not resist the lure of the ferry trip from his home to the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in Macau to try his luck in the first APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open. Despite limited tournament experience (he won a $1000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event at the LA Poker Classic way back in 1992), he is assured of the home town support at the televised final table, where he will start in sixth chip position.

APPT Macau 2007 High Roller Event: David Paul Steicke

Seat 8: David Paul Streicke, Hong Kong (142,000 in chips)
 It’s a long way from the sleepy town of Murray Bridge, about an hour east of the South Australian capital Adelaide to the bright lights of Hong Kong, but it’s proven a highly successful step for this 45-year-old trader. A lifelong poker player, it was not until news of the APPT reached him that he decided to sharpen up his skills and try his luck at the Walker-hill Casino in South Korea at the APPT Seoul main event back in September. He earned a spot in the last eight of the $15,000 APPT Macau High Roller Event (and a minimum payout of $US27,648) the hard way. With 10 players to go, he was the short stack but made a set of 10s against fellow Australian Gary Benson to kick-start his run to the line. He starts the final table in second chip position.

Brad Willis
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