APPT Macau: High Roller final table set ... at last

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The final 10 finally became nine after a dramatic day two in the APPT High Roller.

It's a day that will go down in the annals of APPT history. A day that the APPT came of age, and the APPT Macau High Roller carved out a reputation as the region's premier poker event.

More than 11 hours ago, 28 players took their seats for day two of the event (including Team PokerStars Pros Joe Hachem and Barry Greenstein), but the drama didn't really begin until the clock ticked past 9pm when, inexplicably, the remaining 10 players all agreed to condense the two five-handed tables into one 10-handed table.

However, that decision resulted in the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse between the 10 combatants: PokerStars Sponsored players Eric Assadourian, Van Marcus and Ivan Tan; chip leader David Steicke, Andrew Scott, Johnny Chan, Nam Le, Quinn Do, Will Ma and Charles Chua.

After four hours, in which the short stacks of Johnny Chan, Ivan Tan and Van Marcus all came under threat, it was last year's winner Eric Assadourian who was finally felted.


Assadourian's gallant run comes to an end.

He moved in for his last 17,500 but Nam Le's re-raise to 31,000 sounded a warning to Assadourian, and the other players who folded. The Aussie showed As-5s, while Nam Le revealed kings. The board ran out 9d-6c-9s-Jd-2h, and it was over. The final table comprises:


Nam Le

Seat 1: Nam Le, Los Angeles, CA, USA (107,000 in chips): One of the most successful tournament poker players of the past four years, the cousin of dual WPT main event winner Tuan Le has won more than $4.3 million. Underlining his consistency is the fact that he's won only one major title in the time - the 2006 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event, worth almost USD $1.2 million. He's cashed 15 times at the WSOP including third in a $1500 No Limit Hold'em event at the 2007 WSOP. The 25-year-old also won the 2006 Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge II and most recently finished fourth at the 2008 WPT LA Poker Classic adding a further $411,770 to his burgeoning bank balance.


Quinn Do

Seat 2: Quinn Do, El Monte, CA, USA (105,000 in chips): Born in Vietnam and raised in Seattle, Washington, this 33-year-old studied criminology at the University of Washington and once considered making a career as an investigator. Also a former restaurant owner, he turned his focus to poker in 2004 and within 12 months had won a WSOP bracelet (in the $2500 Limit Hold'em event). Other notable finishes on his tournament CV include second at the Bellagio Challenge Cup Championship in 2005 and most recently, a runner-up finish to Phil Ivey at the 2008 LA Poker Classic WPT Championship, worth just over USD $900,000. He is a good friend of Nam Le, who has also reached the final table of this event.


David Steicke

Seat 3: David Steicke, Hong Kong (391,500 in chips): A player who has made an indelible mark on the APPT, he hadn't played in a major poker tournament until last year's APPT Seoul main event. Just weeks later, he charged through the field to finish third in the APPT Macau High Roller Event, winning more than USD $110,000. Since then, the 46-year-old trader has shown that he's no one trick pony. He finished fourth in the $2000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the 2008 WSOP, winning USD $166,333. Originally from the South Australian town of Murray Bridge, Steicke went within a whisker of another final table when he took 10th in the APPT Macau main event that just concluded, taking home USD $16,209.


Will Ma

Seat 4: Will Ma, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (186,000 in chips): What is it with Waterloo in Ontario, Canada? The city of barely 100,000 residents continues to turn out world class players like Team PokerStars Pro Steve-Paul Ambrose, PokerStars EPT Dortmund winner Mike timex McDonald, Matt ch0ppy Kay (who made day two of this event) and now 20-year-old Will Ma. His online name cutiepi314 is a play that only a maths student would make (from pi = 3.14). Under that name, he's won more than USD $250,000 in tournaments online, while his live CV is highlighted by victory in the 2007 €10,000 Grand Prix De Paris main event, worth €422,560 or more than USD $570,000.


Ivan Tan

Seat 5: Zhong Wei 'Ivan' Tan, Singapore (60,500 in chips): Last year, Ivan Tan decided to coincide a holiday with his wife with the inaugural APPT Macau tournament, and won a seat into the main event in a mega satellite. After three days, he'd outlasted all but one player to finish runner-up and pocket USD $129,536. Prior to last year's event, he'd enjoyed the occasional cash game but had little tournament experience. Despite making his home in the emerging poker market of Singapore, the 27-year-old has developed a real affinity with Macau. He placed third in the recent HKD $9600 Red Dragon Tournament at PokerStars Macau.