APPT Sydney Day 4: Final table profiles
One of poker's global superstars, Daniel Negreanu is one of the most accomplished players in the game. Scanning through his tournament resume, you'll notice there are few things he hasn't already done. Negreanu ranks second on the all-time money list, trailing only Phil Ivey, boasting more than $13 million in lifetime earnings. Negreanu owns four WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles and the respect and adoration of millions of poker fans around the world. Most recently, Negreanu finished 4th at EPT Vienna (€175,000) back in October. "Kid Poker" can now scratch off "APPT cash" from his to-do list. Negreanu will have his work cut out for him though, entering the final table as the short stack.
Antoine Amourette is a 27-year-old professional poker player from Paris, France. Amourette has been playing poker for six years and already has more than half a million dollars in career tournament earnings to his name. His largest cash to date was a runner-up finish at this year's €10,000 buy-in WPT Grand Prix de Paris back in May, where he collected €328,690 in prize money. Amourette also cashed here at APPT Sydney last year, finishing 22nd (AUD $16,632). Amourette qualified for the APPT Sydney Grand Final on PokerStars. The Frenchman enters the final table second in chips.
Jonathan Karamalikis, who goes by the pseudonym "xMONSTERxDONGx" online, has won more than $2.3 million dollars playing tournaments on the virtual felt since he began playing poker almost six years ago. He's also earned more than $600,000 playing live tournaments since turning 18. The 22-year-old pro from Adelaide claims to be a monster 'NBA Jam' player and has a soft spot for penguins. Karamalikis will begin the final table with 890,000 in chips.
Ben McLean is a 32-year-old amateur poker player from Canberra, Australia. A town planner by trade, McLean plays poker as a hobby and qualified for the APPT Sydney Grand Final on PokerStars. McLean has been playing poker for six years and honed his skills playing in local town tournaments. When he's not playing cards, or breathing new communities to life, McLean enjoys cycling and hanging out with mates. McLean said he'd like to get heads-up against Jonathan Karamalikis.
Roland de Wolfe was the second player in poker history to achieve the game's "Triple Crown" winning EPT, WSOP and WPT titles. The 31-year-old is making the most of his trip down under, as his primary reason for coming was to support his native country England in cricket's Ashes series. He found out there was a poker tournament at Star City, showed up and earned a seat at the final table. Notably, this is Roland's first APPT event. The Englishman has more than $5 million dollars in career tournament earnings to his name. He'll unbag a field-leading 1,663,000 in chips at the final table on Sunday.
24-year-old Eddy Sabat has a chance to make APPT history this weekend. Should he conquer Sunday's final table, he would become the first player ever to win two APPT titles. Sabat won the 2008 APPT Macau Main Event and with it, $453,000 in prize money. Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Sabat has been playing poker professionally for three years and already has more than $670,000 in cashes to his name. Sabat credits his brother Joseph for teaching him the game and said he hopes to get heads-up with friend Daniel Negreanu, who helped talk Sabat into making the trip Down Under. Sabat has as good a shot as any to take down the title on Sunday, entering the final table with a fourth-best 917,000 in chips.
Peco Stojanovski is an amateur poker player with perhaps the most diverse background of any player at the final table. The 36-year-old is versed in sales, producing hip-hop music and day trading. When he's not working to make money, Stojanovski performs magic, plays the piano and is into rugby league. Stojanovski resides in Sydney and has been playing poker for six years. Already guaranteed a minimum payout of $36,415, Stojanovski has more than doubled his career tournament earnings total by making the 2010 APPT Sydney final table. He'll start the final table third overall with 1,608,000 in chips.
Tom Rafferty is a 26-year-old professional poker player from Sydney, Australia. Rafferty has been playing poker for seven years and he considers himself primarily an online pro. Rafferty has been to the APPT Sydney Main Event final table before, finishing 9th here in 2008 ($39,000 AUD). The final table result in Sydney was the largest live cash of his career. When he's not playing cards, Rafferty enjoys sports, music and traveling. Rafferty enters the final table with 482,000 in chips.
At 55, Manuel Hansimikali is the senior-most contestant at the final table. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, the self-employed businessman discovered poker five years ago and has remained a hobby player since. Hansimikali said he taught himself how to play by practicing on PokerStars. Hansimikali has some local live cashes here in Sydney, but nothing close to the $36,000 he's already guaranteed to win no matter how the final table pans out. He'll enter the final table with a sixth-best 589,000 in chips.