APPT Macau: Final table profiles
Seat 1: Dermot Blain, Dublin, Ireland (507,000 in chips): Having switched to playing poker full time from his original job as a sales manager, the 25-year-old resident of Dublin said that he has only won a few small tournaments live and online. He took up poker a few years ago after visiting a local sporting club in Derry; since then he's been on the daily grind of a different kind. He experienced a taxing day three, having to work a short stack throughout the session. He is among the short stacks but will ride a wave of confidence into the Grand Lisboa tomorrow.
Seat 2: Mike Kim, Seoul, Korea (1,653,000 in chips): The 42-year-old PokerStars Sponsored Player's 20 years of poker experience has seen him take on many roles within the industry. Kim is a poker pioneer in the Asia market and has helped establish poker rooms in numerous locations. "It's been the first time I've had a chance to play in one of these tournaments as I've been so busy. I'm more of a cash game player," he said. His stack has rarely been under attack throughout the tournament, and he bolted to the top of the chip count late on day three after KOing big stack Mike Collins.
Seat 3: Daoxing Chen, Wenzhou City, China (1,747,000 in chips): The man in the spotlight on day three of the APPT Macau Main Event, this PokerStars Macau regular had the crowd on his side as he charged back from the brink of elimination to the final table. Fondly known as "Bao Bao", which loosely translates to "treasury", this 47-year-old is married with two sons, and is the director of an investment/loan company. He bought in directly to this tournament, and has been playing Texas Hold'em for less than a year after learning the finer points of the game here at the Grand Lisboa.
Seat 4: Brandon Demes, Phoenix, Arizona, USA (578,000 in chips): This 22-year-old "fell into poker" and has been playing for several years. He has one of the most impressive records of any player at the final table. A Sunday 500 winner on PokerStars earlier this year, he collected two cashes at the 2009 World Series of Poker. He was also fourth in chips after day two of the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Among the chip leaders throughout the APPT Macau Main Event (he actually led after day 1A), he takes 578,000 in chips into the final table, and is likely to have a major say in who'll take out this tournament.
Seat 5: Stefan Hjorthall, Sweden (454,000 in chips): Displaying the enthusiasm and enjoyment that will make him a favourite with all at the final table, this 46-year old father of three laughed that he "left his kids in school and ran off to Macau" to play in Asia's richest poker tournament. He won an $11 turbo satellite on PokerStars to take the single package in the prize pool. He's been playing poker for three and a half years and has placed as high as 18th in the unofficial Swedish Championship. He also played in EPT Warsaw and busted out with none other than Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier.
Seat 6: Dbinder Singh, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (696,000 in chips): This 20-year old Singh came to Macau from Canada to play in the APPT Main Event. He plays poker professionally online as dajatt13 and has won a number of tournaments under that name, including a recent five-figure score in a $55 rebuy event on PokerStars. He usually plays tournaments at the $100 level and that is exactly how he won his entry to the APPT Macau Main Event. After moving onto a $500 satellite from the $100 hyper, he won his package and packed his bags. After three years of playing poker, he's ready for a breakthrough win.
Seat 7: Darkhan Botabayev, Kazakhstan (1,455,000 in chips): This 31-year-old is no stranger to money, having worked in the banking sector for many years. Though he has shown great skill over the past few days amassing an impressive stack of almost 1.5 million, he confessed that the APPT Macau Main Event is his first major international tournament and he only took up the game two years ago. "Honestly, I don't believe it," the humble father of two said. "I have only ever played cash games and small tournaments in Russia. I'm so excited to play this final table!"
Seat 8: Jicheng Su, Beijing, China (778,000 in chips): What a dream start for this 28-year-old after reaching the final table of a major international event in his first ever tournament appearance. He qualified for the APPT Macau Main Event via a live satellite here at Pokerstars Macau. A salesman of computer software, he has been playing poker for less than two years and believes that skill is more important than luck in poker. He's impressed all with his quiet but fierce determination, especially on day three where he was barely above the chip average for the entire session.
Seat 9: Pontus Kers, Gävle, Sweden (491,000 in chips): This 25-year-old professional poker player is the latest in a long line of Scandinavian players to experience success on the APPT. He has been playing poker for five years and qualified for the long trip to the Far-East via a $20 rebuy event on PokerStars. His APPT Macau Main Event story is one of persistence - at numerous points on day three, he was the outright short stack but double-ups at crucial points helped him earn a final table slot. He has already experienced success here, having won the HKD $10,000 buy-in six-handed event at last year's APPT, winning more than HKD $300,000.