APPT8 Auckland Final Table: Nguyen to take on Ward for the title

The action hasn't slowed as the Minh Nguyen juggernaut continues here at the APPT Auckland Main Event.

First, Nguyen dispatched of the short-stacked Sam Williams to increase his stranglehold on this tournament. It was a battle of the blinds with Nguyen raising to 25,000 from the small blind and Williams making the call in the big.

The flop came down 7♠K♠4♦ and Nguyen led for 31,000. Williams called and the 6♣ was the perfect action card on the turn. Nguyen moved all in and Williams was happy to call what was left with 7♦6♦ for two pair, but incredibly Nguyen tabled 3♦5♦ for the straight! The river was the J♦ to leave Williams to depart in fifth place for NZ$31,500.

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At this point Nguyen's chip stack structure started to resemble a four-storey mansion. A beautiful central location in sunny Auckland with six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a double garage and a granny flat out back. It's worth close to three million in chips, and would probably sell for that much on the local real estate market.

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But that wasn't even enough. Nguyen wanted to expand.

The new deck out front was built when Jesse McKenzie got short and shoved with K♥Q♥. Minh Nguyen was the caller with none other than A♠A♥. Easy game! The board ran out 9♣2♦9♠Q♠6♥ and McKenzie was sent to the rail in fourth place for NZ$38,000.

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Just one hand later and four became three.

This time Nguyen had to resign himself to be an onlooker as Thomas Ward's 6♣4♣ took on the short-stacked William Rogers who held K♠T♥. The flop of 6♦4♦9♠ brought Ward two pair and Rogers couldn't catch up on the 7♣ turn or J♦ river. Rogers had laddered nicely to take NZ$47,100 for third place as suddenly we were heads-up for the title after a little more than three hours of play!

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It's Australia's Minh Nguyen to take on local hope Thomas Ward for the APPT Auckland title. They are very deep at this point, with Nguyen on 3.4 million and Ward on 1.15 million so this heads-up battle could go a while. But then again, the way this tournament has been going, it could also be over in a matter of moments!

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.