APPT Macau 2007: Lam still coming to terms with celebrity

By Sean Callander

The hopes of winning the first Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau: Asian Poker Open title have already ended for more than 100 players.

We’re just back from the second break here at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino for level five (150/300 with 25 antes), and the field has already been whittled down to 250.

During the break, we caught up briefly with Joe Hachem (who was clawing the eyes out of a glove puppet – don’t ask) who said the dancing lions had brought him some luck in the first four hours of play.

Another player who experienced a taste of local good fortune just before the break was Tuan Lam. One of the most likeable and genuine players you’d ever want to meet, the Vietnamese-born Canadian is still coming to grips with his new-found fame – and wealth – after finishing runner-up in the 2007 WSOP main event and winning a life-changing $US4,840,981.

Tuan Lam, and Vanessa Rousso at the APPT Macau Press Conference
Tuan Lam, and Vanessa Rousso at the APPT Macau Press Conference

However, this most humble member of Team PokerStars still has his feet planted firmly on the ground.

“I’m not a great flyer, I hate the thought of having to spend so much time on a plane, especially coming from Canada,” he said.

“I asked my travel agent about a business class seat but she said it would cost $7000. I’d rather keep that money for my family and helping others in Vietnam. Instead, I have a couple of beers and that helps me sleep.”

It looked like Tuan would have time for plenty of ales when he pushed in his last 2100 in chips with A Q, but found himself narrowly ahead of fellow Canadian Michel St. Pierre, who had K Q. A third player in the hand had called Lam's all in, but St. Pierre moved all in over the top, which made the third opponent fold.

Both players made a pair on the flop Kd 7s As giving him top two pair. The turn (3c) and river (9d) missed both players, breathing life into Tuan Lam’s dwindling stack.

However, others haven’t been as fortunate. Team PokerStars’ Dan Schreiber, reigning New Zealand champion Eric Assadourian and polished French pro Fabrice Soulier have been eliminated.

Some familiar names occupy prominent slots on the chip count – behind Ho Sung Kim (55,000) and Christoffer Stahle (45,000) are a trio of Team PokerStars pros: Masa Kagawa (42,000), Hevad Khan (39,000) and Joe Hachem (27,000).

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Alison talks to players during break on the first day

Brad Willis
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