APPT Macau: Teammates in another test of loyalty
By Landon Blackhall
PokerStars.net Team Australia Pros Eric Assadourian and Emad Tahtouh are good friends, but when it comes to big events (particularly on the APPT) they've had more than their share of battles.
In the first year of the APPT, they both made the final table of the High Roller event in Macau. Tahtouh held the chip lead heading into the final table, but was eliminated in fifth place and could only watch as Assadourian went on to take down the title.
Fast forward to the 2009 APPT Macau Main Event and the Aussie duo were again butting heads on the same table, and again it was Tahtouh who headed to the rail first.
In three-way action with J.P. Kelly and Wally Sombero, Tahtouh's short stack was committed with Q-J, and it took an all-in bet from the Filipino on the flop of K-10-3 to scare the Brit out of the pot. Tahtouh's straight draw trailled King Wally's top two-pair, and it stayed that way as the Melburnian made an early exit.
It was also mate against mate when PokerStars.net Team Australia's Grant Levy took on his good mate Joel strongplay Dodds. After successive cashes here in Macau, Dodds (who only made the decision to play here at the last-minute) was KOed when his Q-J failed to connect on a board of A-K-8-9-3 against Levy's 8-6.
Dodds made a quiet departure, which it made all the easier to hear the commotion at an adjacent table created by PokerStars Sponsored man Johnny Chan. His tablemates burst into laughter after Chan's masseuse worked his back with such force that the table shook, knocking down the taller stacks. Talk about putting an entire table on tilt! The poker gods may have been watching as Chan departed soon after this massage was completed.
As we enter the sixth level of the day, we've noticed that many of the players have taken advantage of being able to eat at the tables, ordering and sharing large meat, fish and rice dishes to keep up their energy for the day (there is no dinner break today, only 10-minute breaks every two levels).
However it's chips that are the order of the day, and they're bouncing around from player to player. The main recipient has been PokerStars Macau satellite winner Kazuki Ikeuchi of Japan, who holds 70,000 in chips. Close behind are David Steicke on 67,000, Mike Kim (55,000), PokerStars.net Team Asia pro Dan Schreiber (53,000) and teammate Jonathan Lin (50,000).