APPT Sydney: Tournament of Champions updates

4.30pm: Van Marcus wins APPT Tournament of Champions

Van Marcus is the 2009 APPT Tournament of Champions winner, earning $10,000 for his charity of choice, the Child Fund. Marcus defeated The Poker Star winner Amanda De Cesare heads-up after Marcus eliminated Joe Hachem in third.


Van Marcus becomes the first multiple APPT event winner with victory in the 2009 APPT Tournament of Champions

The money all went in on a flop of 2♣ A♦ 9♥; Hachem turned up K♣ J♣ but was in strife against Marcus' K♠ K♥. The turn and river ran out 3♠, J♥ to send Hachem back to Melbourne.


Joe Hachem went close to a second APPT Tournament of Champions title, finishing third

The heads-up battle went for a short while and De Cesare did manage to pick up a few pots before being crippled by Marcus to just 2000 in chips when she made two pair on a board of 4♦ 9♣ J♦ 5♥ [10c] with J♥ [10d] but ran into Marcus' flopped set with 9♥ 9♦.

Marcus put her all in on the very next hand; De Cesare rolled up 5♣ 4♣ but Marcus was ahead with Q♥ 6♥. The board was spread K♥ 9♦ 6♦ 7♣ A♦ and for the first time in history, we have a two-time APPT champion with Marcus adding this title to his 2008 APPT Manila title!

4.10pm: Master v student

"Let's see what you've learned," Joe Hachem told after Amanda De Cesare open-shoved for 5000. Hachem called and was the apprentice's K♣ J♥ against the master's Q♥ J♣ and the board ran out 7♠ 3♦ 6♦ 8♣ 9♠ to see De Cesare double up. Seems a bit of Hachem magic was passed down to De Cesare as well - however she did end up folding after a raise from Simon Watt, but did show 7♣ 3♠ before sending it into the muck!


She's learned from the best - Amanda De Cesare shows she's picked up more than a few tips from Joe Hachem

4pm: Lights out for Watt

The money was all in the middle between Simon Watt and Amanda De Cesare; De Cesare tabled A♦ K♠ and was well ahead of Watt's A♥ Q♥ and the board was spread 3♠ 5♦ K♣ K♥ 3♦ to leave Watt with just 2000 in chips.


APPT Auckland winner Simon Watt is eliminated in fourth place

He moved that all-in on the very next hand with 3♦ 2♠ but was called by Joe Hachem in the big blind, who tabled 5♠ 3♠. "Guaranteed chop," Hachem said. However the board was spread A♦ A♣ 6♦ J♠ 4♦; Hachem's five kicker was just good enough to eliminate Watt in fourth place.

3.40pm: Sydney's finest sent packing

In two hands either side of the break, Sydney-based Team Australia Pros Eric Assadourian and Grant Levy have been eliminated. Assadourian was sent to the rail in seventh place when he moved his money into the middle with pocket jacks, but ran into Simon Watt's pocket aces and never improved on a queen high board.


With the elimination of Eric Assadourian (above) and Grant Levy, Joe Hachem is already a winner, thanks to a little side-action

Levy was then eliminated in sixth place after some heavy three-way action led to him being all in with Q♥ 7♥ and up against Van Marcus' Q♠ Q♣ and Tony Hachem's A♥ 8♥. The board was spread A♦ 8♦ 4♣ 4♦ 6♥, crippling Marcus and sending Levy to the rail. Latest chip count is Joe Hachem 26,700; Simon Watt 10,700; Van Marcus 7300 and Amanda De Cesare 5300.

3.20pm: Hachem v Hachem

The money was all in the middle on a flop of 7♠ J♠ 6♥ between the brothers Hachem; Tony rolled up K♥ 7♥ and was leading against Joe's K♠ 9♠. The turn of the 8♣ improved neither hand but the 2009 ANZPT Player of the Year was sent to the rail in fifth place when the 2♠ spiked on the river to give the 2005 WSOP Main Event champion the flush.

Hey bro, where's the love? Tony Hachem before heading to the rail

3.15pm: What happened to Mike McD?

Van Marcus (to Joe Hachem): "Hey, have you seen that new movie The Informant?"
JH: "With Matt Damon? No, I haven't, looks good though."
VM (to Grant Levy): "Is it true that they're doing a Rounders II?"
GL: "I hope so, but it'd be hard. Apparently the character based on Matt Damon's role went to Las Vegas, blew all his money and then killed himself."

3pm: Two down, Benton gets a breather

Peter Eastgate was eliminated in the space of two hands after first trying to make a move against Eric Assadourian with [10s] 5♠ but Assadourian called with A♥ [10d] and the board was spread 7♣ Q♥ A♠ 3♥ J♣. Eastgate then moved in with 9♦ 2♣ and was called down blind by Assadourian with A♦ K♥. Eastgate was eliminated ninth place when the dealer spread the board of 9♥ 3♣ 4♦ 8♣ K♠.


Peter Eastgate talks-the-talk with Eric Assadourian before his elimination

Aaron Benton was then sent to the rail in eighth place after moving in with Q♣ 4♣ but was called by Assadourian with A-K. Benton hit a queen on the flop but Assadourian rivered an ace. "I'm going back to bed," Benton said as he left the tournament area - can't blame him.

2.30pm: Hey, those cards look familiar

Appropriate that one of the first major hands of today's APPT Grand Final should feature two of the most famous cards in Australian poker history. Aaron Benton put in a blind min-raise to 100 from under the gun and Joe Hachem raised to 400. Eric Assadourian and Benton called and it was three-way action to a flop of 8♦ A♦ 5♠. Benton checked, Hachem fired out a bet and the others quickly folded. Hachem flashed a grin and rolled up 7♣ 3♥ for the exact hand that won him the 2005 WSOP Main Event. "How could I not play it?" he quipped as he raked in the pot.


Shannon Morris caught the APPT Tournament of Champions before the start of play

The field for today's event (with their charities of choice) is:

Seat 1: Simon Watt, 2009 APPT Auckland champion (charity: Canteen)
Seat 2: Amanda De Cesare, 2009 Joe Hachem Deep Stack Series III champion & The Poker Star winner (charity: Shane Warne Foundation)
Seat 3: Tony Hachem, 2009 ANZPT Player of the Year (charity: EJ Whitten Foundation)
Seat 4: Peter Eastgate, 2008 WSOP Main Event champion (charity: Camp Quality)
Seat 5: Eric Assadourian, 2007 APPT Macau High Roller champion (charity: EJ Whitten Foundation)
Seat 6: Grant Levy, 2007 APPT Grand Final champion (charity: Samuel Morris Foundation)
Seat 7: Van Marcus, 2008 APPT Manila champion (charity: Child Fund)
Seat 8: Aaron Benton, 2009 APPT Grand Final champion (charity: McGrath Foundation)
Seat 9: Joe Hachem, 2005 WSOP Main Event champion (charity: Maronite Catholic Church)