APPT Cebu: India ink
Once upon a time, someone who was a far better poker player than I described no-limit hold'em as hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror. And while we won't say that the extended final table bubble at the 2012 PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event was boring, it certainly lacked for action over long stretches - until back-to-back hands on our last two tables crippled one player on the river and knocked out another after the flop.
That's putting the cart before the horse. Or maybe the river before the flop.
Day 3 started, and ended, with Amit Varma as the chip leader. We spent an hour shadowing his every move at the beginning of the day, but what could have been a more interesting look at this unknown from India was squelched due to an apparent bad run of cards. He picked it up later in the day to finish with 1,241,000 in chips, the only player with seven figures in chips. That's good for more than 100 big blinds at the current level.
We were hoping to see some of the more colorful personalities in the tournament make it through to the final table, but all came up a little short. Macau regular Bobo Chen finished in 14th place; American Carter Gill went out right behind him.
The talk of that final table, however, should be squarely on India's chance to break through on the APPT in a major way. In addition to Amit Varma, Sameer Rattonsey has made the final table, stacked 2nd with 908,000. If either Varma or Rattonsey captures the Cebu title, there could be dancing in the streets of Mumbai tomorrow.
The last two hands of the day saw Antoine Amourette crippled by Jacky Wang when Wang rivered a straight, all in pre-flop with pocket jacks against Amourette's pocket queens. It was utterly soul crushing for Amourette, who will return to just 50,000 chips tomorrow. But those 50,000 chips were enough to guarantee Amourette a final table berth when, on the other table, Sungsik Bae couldn't improve queen-jack against Alistair Duff's ace-eight. An ace on the flop left Bae drawing at runners that did not come.
The final table begins at 12:15pm (GMT+8) on Monday. The players will return to these seats and chips:
Seat 1: Antoine Amourette (50,000)
Seat 2: Sameer Rattonsey (908,000)
Seat 3: Alistair Duff (486,000)
Seat 4: Nick Wong (142,000)
Seat 5: Jacky Wang (402,000)
Seat 6: Hoang Anh Do (810,000)
Seat 7: Michael Kanaan (399,000)
Seat 8: Jae Kyung Sim (205,000)
Seat 9: Amit Varma (1,241,000)
Until then, you can find us at the bar, working on our poker game.