ANZPT Sydney Final Table Profiles
After three long days of hard toil, the following nine players have overcome a starting field of 393 players to reach the 2011 PokerStars.net ANZPT Sydney Main Event final table.
They'll return to the dedicated final table area in the 36 Degree bar at Star City Casino to play it out for the $195,714 first place prize.
Seat 1: Mike Stecker, Las Vegas, USA (PokerStars Qualifier) - 320,000 chips
American Mike Stecker is a regular on the Australian circuit with three Aussie Millions cashes and an ANZPT final table to his credit in 2009 at the inaugural event in Adelaide.
Mike has been playing poker for seven years, and despite over US$120,000 in career earnings, Mike rates playing tennis with ANZPT Daytime Activities & Nighttime Adventures Coordinator Danny McDonagh in Perth as the highlight of his career!
Besides tennis, Mike enjoys golf and basketball, but he'll need to land some early jump shots on this final table as he comes in as the short stack of the field.
Seat 2: AJ Bertenshaw, Auckland, New Zealand (PokerStars Qualifier) - 605,000 chips
AJ is a self-described "retired software genius" who has been playing poker for seven years after getting started with his brother and friends in fun home games. The lone Kiwi at the table, (but we'll try not to hold that against him!), AJ fought back from a day two starting stack of just 13,000 in chips to reach this final table in the middle of the pack.
Outside of poker AJ enjoys acting and he has certainly raised the bar in the dress standards at the ANZPT with his impressive array of suits.
Seat 3: Abbas Karroobee, Sydney, NSW - 356,000 chips
Abbas is a 65-year old Property Manager from Sydney who has been playing poker for ten years after his business partner roped him into a Pot Limit Holdem home game.
Abbas enjoys both Holdem and Omaha, with this result at the ANZPT Sydney being his biggest accomplishment in poker to date.
Outside of poker he enjoys a hit of tennis and he's thankful for the support of his friends and business partner as he hopes to go all the way. He'll need some early help as he enters the final table as one of our short stacks.
Seat 4: Hun Wei (Andy) Lee, Sydney, NSW - 1,321,000 chips
Andy is a 26-year old student who has been terrorizing opponents for five years after first starting out in pub poker games around Sydney.
A well respected cash game player, Andy also has an impressive tournament record with a title in the 2009 Melbourne Championships Six-Handed event and two other five-figure scores.
Andy surged through the field late yesterday with back-to-back knockouts on the final two tables. This secured him one of the big stacks which will make him a dangerous prospect on this final table.
Seat 5: Alex Lee, Canberra, ACT - 1,443,000 chips
One of the young guns on this final table, Alex is a 23-year old Economics student from our nation's capital who has been playing poker for two years. He took up poker as a hobby after serving national service in his homeland of Singapore.
This is Alex's first major final table as he focuses mainly on the $5/$5 No Limit cash games. He recalled to us that he once made $19,000 in three days on the Star City felt but then lost it all in one hour of Blackjack! Let's hope that Alex can hang onto his chips this time around as he carries a big stack into the final table.
Seat 6: Jay Kinkade, Melbourne, VIC (PokerStars Qualifier) - 336,000 chips
Known throughout Australia simply as "SEABEAST", 28-year old Jay Kinkade has a poker resume which puts him in elite company in this country. Jay has been the number one ranked online player for many years, before toying in and out of retirement as he sought new challenges both in poker and away from the felt.
Jay is currently studying Psychology and plays guitar in a band called Extortion in between high stakes online multi-table tournaments and Pot Limit Omaha cash games. Jay rates his biggest poker achievements as the 2008 Victorian Championships Main Event and PokerStars SCOOP titles.
On day one, Jay got his tournament rolling when he rivered a Royal Flush to eliminate an opponent and from there he hasn't looked back. Incredibly this is Jay's first cash in Star City after countless trips to Sydney and he'll be looking to make the most of it, as he plans to use his experience and skill to manoeuvre his short stack all the way to another title.
Seat 7: Michael Kanaan, Sydney, NSW - 1,712,000 chips
Michael is a 27-year old local Sydneysider who has been playing poker professionally for two years as an online grinder. With no tournament record to speak of, this is Michael's first major tournament cash.
Michael rose to prominence on day three with several big pots and knockouts, as all eyes will be fixed in his direction as he enters the final table as our chip leader.
Away from poker, Michael enjoys football (we assume the Rugby variety) and hanging out with mates. Expect to see a big rail to cheer on this local boy tomorrow!
Seat 8: Stevan Chew, Adelaide, SA (PokerStars Qualifier) - 610,000 chips
Stevan is a 22-year old Student who will be the lone South Australian representative at this final table. Stevan flew under the radar for long periods of this tournament with his self-described strategy of "nit it up, win a flip, rinse and repeat".
Stevan is a regular in the midstake MTT's online on PokerStars, but he also has a trophy in the cabinet after his win in the Terminator event at last year's Victorian Championships.
One of the things that Stevan enjoys about the ANZPT is the opportunity to travel and meet new people - one of which was the legendary ALF footballer Mick Martin who he met at the player's party and has inspired him to greatness in this tournament.
Seat 9: Luis Arrilucea, Sydney, NSW - 1,327,000 chips
Luis is a 32-year old small business owner from Sydney who has been plying his trade on the felt for six years. He credits his friends as his biggest influences after they helped him get into online poker where he enjoys grinding MTTs on PokerStars.
This is Luis' first major tournament cash as he says he "won the important flips" to get him to this point. It's certainly worked so far as he'll carry one of the big stacks into our final table.
Away from poker, Luis enjoys soccer and spending time with his family and friends.