Breakthrough win for Randy "nanonoko" Lew at APPT Macau
The Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event has come to a close and we've crowned a new champion with PokerStars Team Online member Randy "nanonoko" Lew proving that he can adapt his game from the virtual world onto the live felt with a stunning breakthough victory this evening.
Wind the clock back fourteen hours and Lew was one of fifteen players who returned to the PokerStars Macau Poker Room in the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino for the final day of play. Leading the way was India's Sangeeth Mohan, but Lew was always going to be one to watch in a field that also included experienced pros David Steicke, Jeff Rossiter and Dao Xing "Bobo" Chen.
Only nine would make the official APPT final table with Sparrow Cheung, Josh Barrett, Tsugunari Toma, Dao Xing Chen and Baton Fung were sent to the rail early in the day, before a defining hand of the day saw overnight chip leader Sangeeth Mohan bubble the final table in 10th place.
In a four-bet pot, Mohan flopped top set of queens against the Royal Flush draw of Kai Yat Fam, but Mohan couldn't hold as a third diamond on board delivered the flush to jump Fam into the chip lead as our final table was set.
Randy Lew entered the final table as the short stack and waited patiently for his moment to strike. Pocket queens seemed like the perfect moment but he walked his ladies straight into the pocket aces of David Steicke. Such is the nature of tournament poker that one bad beat can be the difference between victory and defeat, as Lew caught a third queen to crack Steicke's aces and he was eliminated in 9th place soon after.
Fabian Spielmann and Jeff Rossiter started to accumulate chips, with Rossiter's deceptively-played pocket aces jumping him up into the chip lead. He extended that advantage further when pocket eights paid dividends twice. First Rossiter dispatched Tan Tei Zheng and his pocket deuces in 8th place before winning a flip against Swede Daniel Nordstrom's ace-king to see him to the rail in 7th.
Kai Yat Fam was next to crack when he shoved the button with ace-four but Randy Lew called with pocket tens in the big blind. The tens were good to Lew as the board ran out 4♥J♣3♦9♥6♣ to see Fam head to the cashier to collect 6th place prizemoney.
Lew was slowly moving up the leaderboard and after the dinner he kicked it into the next gear with an amazing hand that saw the end of Zuo Wang.
Wang was short-stacked and all in preflop with both Lew and Rossiter making the call. As expected, the two live players checked down a board of 7♠A♣9♣T♦8♦ until the river where Lew checked it to Rossiter who bet 700,000 into a dry side pot. Lew then check-raised an additional 1,000,000 with Rossiter making the call holding J♣T♣ for a straight. However Lew opened Q♦J♠ for the nut straight as Wang could only shake his head as his 9♥9♠ had been run down.
Rossiter recovered with the elimination of Fabian Spielmann in 4th place when Rossiter's A♣Q♣ improved to a flush to better Spielmann's K♠T♠ top pair hand. This brought us to three-handed play and one of the most intriguing combinations of players we've seen for some time on the APPT.
Jimmy Pan, Jeff Rossiter and Randy Lew were all young, highly talented, super aggressive players and it made for some fascinating play and psychology.
Pan was the short stack but fought hard to get himself back into the contest with some well-timed three-bets. Lew slipped back but found two doubles ups through Jeff Rossiter to stay alive. The first one saw Lew's A♣7♠ hold against Rossiter's K♦Q♠ before a genuine coin flip saw Lew's T♣T♠ survive against Rossiter's A♠J♥.
That left Rossiter on the brink and he couldn't recover as he made a final stand with 9♠T♥ but fell to the A♥Q♣ of Jimmy Pan.
Randy Lew held a narrow lead as an entertaining heads-up contest got underway against Jimmy Pan.
Pan chipped away with preflop aggression, while Lew caught some handy cards, including a set of tens and a full house with A♠7♠ to extend his advantage.
Jimmy Pan again reeled it back in and had a chance to win it all with A♦9♠ against Lew's pocket sixes but again the PokerStars Team Online player spiked a set to stay alive.
That left Pan reeling and despite some well-timed aggression, lady luck just wasn't on his side. The final hand came with the two committing their chips on a flop of Q♥T♠8♠ with Lew flopping two pair with Q♦T♣ to better the K♦Q♠ of Pan. The 5♦ turn and J♣ river couldn't connect as Randy Lew was crowned the APPT Macau champion!
Randy Lew now confirms his status as a member of PokerStars Team Online with a breakthrough major live victory to add to an impressive poker resume.
Final Table Payouts (in HKD)
1st Randy Lew (Canada) PokerStars Team Online $3,772,000
2nd Jimmy Pan (Macau) $2,367,000
3rd Jeff Rossiter (Australia) $1,306,000
4th Fabian Spielmann (Germany) PokerStars Qualifier $1,019,000
5th Zuo Wang (China) $809,000
6th Kai Yat Fam (Singapore) $653,000
7th Daniel Nordstrom (Sweden) $498,000
8th Tan Tai Zheng (Singapore) $373,000
9th David Steicke (Hong Kong) $263,300
Also today we saw confirmation that Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin was successful in winning the Asia Player of the Year title. Lin held a massive points lead following his Macau Millions win and numerous final tables throughout the year, and despite not having a great APPT series, Lin was able to maintain his position as the #1 ranked player in Asia and will receive a PokerStars Macau sponsorship for next season. Congratulations!
Well, that's all she wrote from another hugely successful week in Macau. Many thanks to Danny McDonagh, Fred Leung and all of the PokerStars Macau staff for their tireless efforts, not only throughout this week but in the weeks leading up to what was another record-setting event. We look forward to the 2012 PokerStars Macau schedule and the Asia Championships of Poker next year.
Many thanks to my blogging buddy Brad "Otis" Willis for getting his feet wet in Asia, to Jenn Barr for her updates on the Japanese contingent, and to Ken and Long from Kenneth Lim Photography for their superb photography throughout the week.
This event marks the end of the year on the Australasian poker circuit as we take a short summer break before the Aussie Millions kicks off in January. We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to you joining the PokerStars Blog team for even bigger and better events in 2012.
Good night from Macau!