APPT Sydney Day 3: Who's afraid of the big bad Wolfe?

When Triple Crown winner Roland de Wolfe slipped into the Star City Poker Room in Sydney this week, he told us that the 2010 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final was not the reason that he was here - rather, he was backpacking with English cheer squad (AKA "The Barmy Army") around the country for the Ashes Series against Australia. Of course, if you're somebody that's as successful in the poker industry as him, why not spend a little extra on a tournament and have some fun?

As it turns out, that little splash of cash has the potential to turn into a massive return of investment and possibly another major event title on his mantle, as he heads into tomorrow's final table with the chip lead having battled through a loaded Day 3 field. 32 players took their seats down in the Sports Theatre today and everyone was guaranteed a slice of the $1.73 million pie - the only question was just how much would they get.


Roland de Wolfe is 1.663 million not out

Those answers came quickly for Aussie Poker stalwart Con Angelakis (32nd place) and 2010 Aussie Millions champion Tyron Krost (29th place), who were amongst the first group of players to hit the rail. Aussie online phenom Jarred Graham, who was the final table bubble in this event last year, was also eliminated early in 24th place, but two consecutive APPT Grand Final cashes, as well as back-to-back APPT Sydney High Roller titles in 2008 and 2009 certainly can't be overlooked.

Nor should you neglect the fact that 2007 APPT Grand Final champion Grant Levy finished in 18th place - the crowd certainly didn't forget, as they were cheering raucously for both him as well as Australia's number-one ranked online player Brendon Rubie, who further boosted his CV with a respectable 15th place finish, adding to his breakthrough live victory in the 2010 Melbourne Poker Championships this year.

Reza Vakili was unable to hold his chip lead, as the aggression from both Tom Rafferty and Jonathan Karamalikis set the tone for the latter stages of the tournament, however 2008 APPT Macau champion Eddy Sabat was able to find opportunities to double up time and time again. Meanwhile, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu had a rough day at the tables, but still managed to hold on as others fell by the wayside, including PokerStars Qualifiers Konstantin Bücherl (17th place) and In Wook Choi (13th place).


Negreanu: Them chickens be jackin' his style

Once George Moussa was eliminated in 11th place, it took over 90 minutes of hand-for-hand play to decide the final table, but there was no shortage of exciting action and both the railbirds in the theatre and online via today's webcast were left breathless after almost each bubble-bursting opportunity went begging, until Vakili moved the last of his chips into the middle shortly after 10pm but ran his Q-J into de Wolfe's pocket queens. And with that, our final table is set!

2010 APPT Sydney - Final Table Seat Draw & Chip Counts

Seat 1: Daniel Negreanu (Canada) Team PokerStars Pro 267,000
Seat 2: Antoine Amourette (France) PokerStars Qualifier 1,640,000
Seat 3: Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia) 890,000
Seat 4: Ben McLean (Australia) PokerStars Qualifier 530,000
Seat 5: Roland de Wolfe (United Kingdom) 1,663,000
Seat 6: Eddy Sabat (United States) PokerStars Player 917,000
Seat 7: Peco Stojanovski (Australia) 1,608,000
Seat 8: Tom Rafferty (Australia) 482,000
Seat 9: Manuel Hansimikali (Australia) 589,000

We would normally would hold off on such a claim until it's all said and done, but this could be the greatest APPT final table in history, and we haven't even seen a hand yet! Never fear, because you won't miss a minute of the action. As well as regular updates here on the PokerStars Blog, you'll be able to log on, tune in and chip up with Paul "The Voice" Khoury as he leads the commentary team behind the live webcast on PokerStars TV.

Be sure to join us from 2pm AEDST (GMT +11) as we bring you every flop, turn and river from the 2010 APPT Grand Final in Sydney. Until then, we bid you adieu!

Landon Blackhall
@PokerStars in Sydney