APPT Auckland: Final Table Profiles
After six hours of play on Day 3, the final table of the 2010 PokerStars.net APPT Auckland has been set. It brings with it an international flavour with five different countries represented and six PokerStars qualifiers making it through for the chance at the title and NZ$170,000 first place prize.
Here's how they will line up for the final table:
Seat 1: Tamas Lendvai, Hungary, 472,000 chips
PokerStars qualifier Tamas Lendvai came to Auckland all the way from Hungary. The 38-year-old businessman moonlights as a professional poker player and has been playing cards for about five years. Lendvai's tournament résumé is impressive by any standards. He's won just under $500,000 USD in prize money traveling the circuit and has posted cashes on the EPT, APPT, NAPT, WSOP and most recently on the Italian Poker Tour (IPT), where he won the €2,000 buy-in IPT Venice Main Event, scoring a €235,000 payday. Lendvai also cashed in last year's APPT Auckland Main Event, finishing in 31st place - good for an NZD $5,523 score. Lendvai enters the final table with 472,000 in chips.
Seat 2: Santi Soriano Ramos, Spain, 347,000 chips
Santi Soriano Ramos is a PokerStars qualifier hailing from Barcelona, Spain, playing in his first APPT event. A 22-year-old student, Soriano Ramos has been playing poker for about one and a half years. He considers himself primarily an online player, but admits he's posted cashes in a couple of live events as well. When he's not grinding on the virtual felt, the man with two last names (literally) enjoys playing basketball with friends. Soriano Ramos is looking to post the biggest cash of his young tournament career Sunday afternoon, and he's got as good a chance as any, starting the day with 347,000 in chips.
Seat 3: Noah Vogelman, United States, 576,000 chips
Noah Vogelman from Brooklyn, New York is the youngest player at the APPT Auckland final table. The 21-year-old has been playing poker professionally for the past four and a half years. Due to his age, Vogelman has limited live experience, but rest assured the kid can play. Vogelman qualified for the APPT Auckland Main Event on PokerStars and finished Day 1 atop the overall leaderboard with 128,275 in chips - the only player to report a six-figure chip total at the end of Day 1. When he's not playing poker, Vogelman enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing pool. With 576,000 in chips heading into the final table, Vogelman already has his eyes on the prize: "I want to bring an APPT title back to Brooklyn!" he said.
Seat 4: Tom Grigg, Australia, 616,000 chips
Tom Grigg is a 25-year-old student who resides in Melbourne, Australia. He's been playing poker for the larger part of three years and in that time has amassed career live tournament earnings in excess of $150,000 USD. Grigg's largest tournament cash to date came at last year's APPT Sydney Grand Final Main Event where he finished in fifth place, earning AUD $130,680. In Sydney, Grigg was one of the chip leaders for much of the tournament and entered the final table second in chips, but ultimately cashed in the middle of the final table pack. Grigg will be looking to avoid a similar fate here in Auckland, as he once again enters the final table as one of its biggest stacks with 616,000 in chips. Grigg qualified for the APPT Auckland Main Event on PokerStars.
Seat 5: Ropati Toleafoa, New Zealand, 163,000 chips
On paper, Ropati Toleafoa is probably one of the underdogs at the APPT Auckland final table. He'll begin the final round with just 163,000 in chips - the table's shortest stack. To date, Toleafoa has posted only one major cash during his brief, three-and-a-half-year poker career, but that one cash was here at SKYCITY, at last year's APPT Auckland Main Event (17th - NZD $7,101). He's gone deep in this event before and has already bested last year's mark, which should give him some extra confidence heading into the final table. The 36-year-old storeman considers his style "unpredictable," which could prove to serve him well against some of the more experienced players he'll be up against.
Seat 6: Danny Silk, Australia, 250,000 chips
Danny Silk is a 31-year-old professional poker player from Australia's Gold Coast. A five-year veteran of the game, Silk is looking to add his first six-figure score to his tournament résumé. A first or second place finish in tomorrow's final would do the trick. Silk's biggest cash thus far came from a win in a side event during the 2005 Crown Victorian Poker Championships, where he bested a field of 156 players, earning an AUD $14,000 payday. In his spare time, Silk enjoys traveling and brushing up on his Japanese. Silk, a PokerStars qualifier, enters the final table with 250,000 in chips.
Seat 7: Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii, New Zealand, 636,000 chips
South Auckland, New Zealand native Danny 'Brotha D' Leaoasavaii is the co-founder of Dawn Raid Entertainment, a hip-hop record label based in the South Pacific. The label made in a big splash in the North American market back in 2008 with the release of the hit single "Swing," performed by RIAA certified platinum rapper 'Savage.'
Commonly referred to as the "godfather of hip-hop in New Zealand," 40-year-old Brotha D has seen some moderate success in the poker world, having won back-to-back APPT Auckland Celebrity Invitational titles (2009 & 2010). Brotha D has been playing poker for about four years, and in that time he has yet to record a big-buy-in tournament cash. Already guaranteed NZD $16,350 for reaching the final table, this will be Brotha D's best tournament finish to date. You can guarantee hips will swing at the after party, should Brotha D command a victory at Sunday's final table. He'll start the day with a field-leading 636,000 in chips.
Seat 8: Leo Boxell, Australia, 194,000 chips
Representing poker's elder statesmen at the APPT Auckland Main Event final table is 68-year-old Leo Boxell. The Melbourne, Australia native claims that he has been playing poker "Since Noah." They say that with age, comes wisdom, and that would seem to hold true for Boxell, who has accumulated more than $500,000 USD in career tournament earnings, dating back to 1998. Last December, he finished third in the APPT Sydney Grand Final Main Event, posting an AUD $213,840 result. In 2003, Boxell finished runner-up to Peter Costa in the $10,000 buy-in Crown Australasian Poker Championships (now Aussie Millions), earning AUD $225,640 in prize money. Leo works as an auto mechanic by day, hence his nickname, "The Mechanic," and currently ranks 19th on Australia's all-time money list (per The Hendon Mob Poker Database). He'll begin Sunday's final table with 194,000 in chips.
Seat 9: Srdjan Mitrovic, New Zealand, 632,000 chips
Srdjan Mitrovic, a relative novice to high stakes tournament poker, has only been playing poker for 21 months. Before Auckland, Mitrovic had never played in an APPT event. The 32-year-old software engineer resides in Auckland and considers himself a recreational poker player. His best result to date was a fourth place finish in the Auckland Anniversary Poker Championships back in January (NZD $11,620). Mitrovic enjoys playing soccer and "Go" (a popular board game) in his spare time. An APPT Auckland PokerStars qualifier, Mitrovic will begin the final table with 632,000 in chips; second only to chip leader 'Brotha D.'
Stay locked into the PokerStars Blog for all the live updates from the final table kicking off at 1pm local time as we look to crown the 2010 PokerStars.net APPT Auckland champion!