Watch APPT Macau 08: Charles Chua Final Table on PokerStars.tv
2.40am: Charles Chua (Malaysia) – eliminated in second place
The end has come quickly for Charles Chua, although not without that last piece of drama. Three hands after his trip deuces double-up, the “Chuck Truck”, as his railbird friends have been calling him, moved all-in with the flop showing 6c-Qd-6d. Eddie Sabat tanked for a couple of minutes, but decided to gamble and showed KdJd for a flush draw with one overcard. Chua held Qs3c for queens-up.
When the turn came Ac, it looked like Chua would be catapulted into an unlikely chip lead, but a 2d was both the wrong colour and shape for Chuck’s Truck, which crashed to an immediate halt. His insurance policy can’t have been that bad however, because Chua now has a second placed prize of HKD $2,275,740 (USD $291,761.54) with which to repair his vehicle.
2.30am: Since heads-up play began it has been all-action inside the Grand Waldo casino. Charles Chua , who before the dinner break appeared crippled, and drank half a bottle of whiskey to console himself, has since plied a style of “drunken poker” to great effect, with some amazing luck along the way. On a board of 5s-Qh-Tc, Chua attempted a brazen all-in semi-bluff with Jc8h and a gutshot straight draw, but that was called by Eddie Sabat holding AhQc. Top pair held up for Sabat and he doubled-up to 4.5 million chips, while Chua fell back to 1 million.
Chua soon committed the rest of his chips in a pot with 2d-5h-8s-9h on the board, holding Qh2h, up against Sabat’s Jc9s. Although the flush didn’t eventuate, a third deuce on the river kept Chua alive in the tournament… and everyone else out of bed a little longer.
2am: Diwei “Bryan” Huang (Singapore) – eliminated in third place
A round of ice creams arrived for the bloggers, and Bryan Huang’s game went cold… After holding over 60% of the chips going into 3-handed play, the Singaporean started leaking chips like an old Macanese junk. Eventually it got to the stage where he felt he needed to take a stand. Unfortunately the A4 of hearts he took into an all-in encounter with Eddie Sabat’s AK offsuit combination, received no help on a board of Jx-5x-7x-7x-Tx, eliminating Huang in third place. He wins HKD $1,201,080 (USD $153,984.62) and continues the tradition of fine performances from Singaporean players, following Ivan Tan’s second place in the inaugural APPT Macau event in 2007.
1.15am: Everyone just woke up for a moment there to see an anti-climactic all-in confrontation between Charles Chua and Bryan Huang. After a flop of Ax-6x-Kx, all the chips went in and the players revealed A8 offsuit and A9 offsuit respectively. When the turn and river were repeating tens, the pot was chopped and the status quo maintained. Back to sleep people. Meanwhile the players are on a 15 minute break.
1am: It’s getting late in the Grand Waldo casino, and the play over the last 30 minutes or so has not been terribly exciting. In fact, some of the spectators are taking this lull in proceedings as an opportunity to get a little shut-eye in their seats. The bloggers are a tad jealous…
12.30am: The tide has again turned at the APPT Macau main event final table. On the first hand since the elimination of Mikael Rosen, Sabat raised to 145,000 pre-flop and Huang made the call. The flop was Js-Qc-Jd, Sabat bet 220,00 and Huang called. Sabat checked the turn (Kc), but Huang kept him honest with a bet of 150,000, which Sabat called.
The river painted the board (Ks), with Sabat thinking long and hard before he bet 500,000. Huang eventually called, but it was a rare lapse of judgment for the Singaporean as Sabat slammed down Kh-Qh for a full house. He’s now almost level in chips with Huang (2.2-2.1 million), while Chua has 900,000.
12.15am: Mikael Rosen (Sweden) – eliminated in fourth position
After something of a roller-coaster ride at this final table, we are down to three players. Rosen held a very short stack early on, but a couple of double-ups saw him amongst the chip leaders.
However Bryan Huang cut him down to size somewhat and then in a confrontation of the two short stacks at the table, the Swede’s A-K lost to Charles Chua’s Q9 when it turned a straight, and then on the next hand he went out when his J-T suited couldn’t improve against Chua’s K-5 offsuit.
Rosen has won HKD $847,080 (USD $108,600.00), and also takes the “best stare” award at this year’s PokerStars.net APPT Macau main event. The remaining players are: Eddie Sabat, 1,150,000; Bryan Huang, 3,050,000; and Charles Chua, 1,100,000.
Watch APPT Macau 08: Mikael Rosen Final Day on PokerStars.tv
12am: The clock has just ticked past midnight, and there’s still some serious poker being played. Bryan Huang just underlined his resolve to win this event when he won a pre-flop raising war with Mikael Rosen, which ended with more than 500,000 in the pot.
Rosen eventually mucked after trying to stare Huang down, but the Singaporean was only too happy to flash his bluff (7s-6s). Then Chua doubled up when he survived an all-in with Jh-9d against Rosen’s Ac-Kh when the board came 10s-Qs-7c-8c-Ad for a straight, improving his stack to 900,000. Blinds are now up to level 25 (20,000/40,000 with a 5000 ante).
11.45pm: Players have just returned from a 15-minute and all seem to still have a spring in their step despite the final table reaching the latter stages of the evening. The current chip counts read Eddie Sabat (850,000), Mikael Rosen (650,000), Charles Chua (850,000) and Bryan Huang (2.9 million). Sabat has maintained the momentum he gathered before the break, taking down the first three pots since players returned.
11.15pm: Charles Chua, now swigging down Coca Cola and water like it’s going out of fashion, has been the most active player in recent hands, with a pair of all-in bets that have attracted no interest from the other three players.
Otherwise the pots have been relatively small. PokerStars qualifier Eddie Sabat has coughed up some chips to Rosen and Huang, whose second bet of 175,000 at a board of Q-4-5-6 (all clubs) was enough to take it down.
Spectators have been steadily flowing through the room all day – recent arrivals include Yevgeniy Timoshenko and David Saab, while last year’s APPT Macau main event winner Dinh Le is also here, cherishing his final moments as the reigning champion.
10.45pm: With just four players remaining – Sabat, Chua, Rosen and Huang – the blinds are now at level 24 (15,000/30,000 with a 5000). We also have a special guest on the microphone and APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh takes a breather.
It’s Tony bond18 Dunst, who’s no stranger to being at the final table himself. He recently took out the $3000 No Limit Hold’em event at the WPT Bellagio Cup, worth USD $193,720. The top two players in the APPT Macau main event will win more than that, with the winner in line to take home USD $453,851.28.
10.30pm: Jeppe Drivsholm (Denmark) – eliminated in fifth place
After being the most active player in the tentative early levels, Jeppe Drivsholm took the chip lead, but then appeared to sit back for a while as the short stacks duked it out in a number of all-in battles. But the antes and blinds wait for no man, so Drivsholm found himself forced into playing hands he may not have considered earlier.
The Dane put it all on the line with the red fours on the button, and was called by Eddie Sabat with Kd-9d. When the board came Qc-Qd-9c-Kc to the turn, Drivsholm needed one of the two black fours to stay alive. The 6s sealed his fate, but he can be somewhat consoled with the HKD $632,150 (USD $81,044.87) he earned for his performance this past week. The remaining stacks are Bryan Huang (Singapore) 2,100,000, Eddie Sabat (USA) 1,850,000, Charles Chua (Malaysia) 700,000 and Mikael Rosen (Sweden) 700,000.
10.30pm: The tide has again turned at the APPT Macau main event final table after Bryan Huang snagged the biggest pot played so far today. The pre-flop action started with a 65,000 raise from Huang, Sabat re-raised to 325,000, Drivsholm made it 1,000,000 and Sabat called. Huang showed pocking kings and Sabat had Ac-Js. Huang connected on the flop of Kh-8h-4s, and with the turn and river coming Qh Ah, the 2.1 million pot was shipped to Huang. NH sir.
10.15pm: The chips that are now lying in an untidy mess in front of Charles Chua have been put to work twice in recent hands. In response to Dvrisholm’s call from early position, Chua shoved in his remaining 245,000 with the Dane making the call, showing Kc-Js.
Chua had pocket sixes, and buried his head in his cap as the board fell 4s-5d-3h-9d-Qd, doubling him up (we probably shouldn’t use the word ‘double’ within earshot of Charlie at the moment). On the next hand, he shoved in the mess of chips but there was no interest. Cocktails to the final table!
10pm: While Chua was drowning his sorrows, but we suspect Eddie Sabat might have been devouring jalapenos during the dinner break as he is on fire in the early stages of level 23. Sabat called Mikael Rosen’s pre-flop raise of 75,000 to see a flop of 3h-Ks-4d, Sabat checked, Rosen bet 110,00 and Sabat called.
The turn came 6h, Sabat checked, Rosen tanked before betting 250,000 and Sabat again called. The river was Qd, which both players checked. Sabat showed pocket sevens, which was good enough to secure a pot worth almost one million in chips.
9.45pm: Everyone has their own way of dealing with the stress of a final table. Charles Chua decided that a bottle of whiskey was in order during the dinner break (can’t be that many calories) to cope with a session in which is stack plummeted from almost 800,000 down to less 400,000.
Chuck doesn’t look to be moving too well on his feet, and when we inquired as to the state of the “Chuck Truck” that’s been rolling over opponents for the past two days he said that it was … not travelling too well (actually, he used another word that rhymes with ‘truck’, but there might be young children reading this blog).
9.30: Will Cheong (Macau) – eliminated in sixth place
This Macanese local, a casino employee who has obviously been paying attention to the mechanics of the game, could not get anything going at this final table. This, despite the raucous cheering of some friends from the second level balcony of the Grand Waldo casino. Following a 200,000 pot he was forced to lay down to Eddie Sabat, leaving Cheong with only 159,000, he felt he needed to make a move.
Unfortunately, at the start of Level 23, Eddie Sabat, from the small blind, raised it up enough to put Cheong all-in if he chose to call. He did, making a stand with K9 suited. Unfortunately Sabat was in a dominating position with KQ offsuit. The board ran out Jc-Js-Th-5h-As, bringing an end to Cheong’s impressive performance in this tournament. With a prize of HKD $442,500 (USD $56,730.77), he’ll no doubt be dealt more cards in the future than he deals himself.
9.15pm: Players have just returned from a 75-minute dinner break, with the blinds up to level 23 (12,000/24,000 with a 4000 ante). After four hours of play, Bryan Huang of Singapore remains the chip leader on 1,440,000 with Mikael Rosen the big mover of the day, improving his stack from 361,000 to 1.2 million.
Jeppe Drivsholm is on 1.12 million and the sole PokerStars qualifier still in the field, Eddie Sabat, is on 860,000 after a roller-coaster afternoon. Charles Chua is down to just 380,000 after starting with 617,000 while Macau’s hope Will Cheong is on 280,000.
7.30pm: Mikael Rosen is on one heck of a rush. His latest chip collecting jaunt saw him raise 55,000 pre-flop, which Bryan Huang and Charles Chua called. On a flop of 3s-Kh-Jh, Rosen bet 105,000, which was called by Huang, however Chua popped it up to 300,000. Rosen responded by moving all in, and after Chua asked for a count, open-folded A-K, giving the massive 900,000 pot to the Swede.
7pm: Mikael Rosen continues his meteoric rise up the rankings here at the PokerStars.net APPT Macau final table. After a few over-the-top raises with Tian Chen, all the chips went into the middle pre-flop, and Rosen pumped his fist as he revealed pocket aces.
Chen timidly rolled over jacks, but despite having Rosen covered, he would need a lot of help to eliminate the Swedish player. To the turn the board showed 8d-9c-6sTc, which gave Chen and up-and-down straight draw, and caused the crowd to gush in anticipation, but the 2s was no help and Rosen doubled-up again.
6.30pm: The downward trend of Eddie Sabat’s stack has continued after Mikael Rosen pushed all-in after Sabat raised to 40,000. Sabat called, showing Kc-Qd ahead of Rosen’s Ks-Jh. But the flop reversed the odds (Jd-6c-5d), and with the board running out 9s 2d, Rosen doubled through to 480,000.
The chip counts after level 21 are Sabat down to just 210,000, Chen (665,000), Cheong (320,000), Drivsholm (1,170,000), Huang (1,430,000) and Chua (960,000). When we return, blinds will be at level 22 (10,000/20,000 with a 3000 ante).
6.15pm: On day 2 of the APPT Macau main event, Charles Chua’s name popped up in the tournament reporting more than any other player. After playing a number of small pots from position in the early going, the Aussie who now resides in Kuala Lumpur has come alive in this level, taking down a nice pot against Bryan Huang. Sabat was the latest player to donate chips to Chua – after he made a pot-sized raise of 160,000 on a flop of 7h-8d-2s, Sabat folded, putting another dent in his stack.
Watch APPT Macau 08: Charles Chua on PokerStars.tv
5.50pm Javed Abrahams (London, UK), eliminated in eighth place
After briefly taking the chip lead on Day 2, Javed Abrahams was conspicuous in his absence from any big pots on Day 3, but it was enough to get him to the final table, although his stack dwindled to the second lowest; 215,000. After an early double up with pocket kings thanks to Bryan Huang, Abrahams went back into his shell, mostly folding until he felt forced to push his remaining 160,000 chips into the middle with KhQd. He was called by Charles “Not Chucky” Chua, with pocket eights. You may remember Chua rocketed into contention with quad eights on Day 2. After the flop came Ah-4d-Jd, Abrahams had some extra outs, but the Js on the turn, and the 4s on the river saw Abrahams saying goodbye to Macau in eighth place. He wins HKD $240,220 (USD $30,797.44) for his trouble.
5.45pm: The Singapore contingent have just lifted the roof off the Grand Waldo Casino after Bryan Huang took down the biggest pot of the tournament so far against Eddie Sabat. In five-way action, the flop showed 8c-As-4h, Chen bet 40,000 with calls coming from Huang and Sabat.
The turn was 2s, Sabat bet just 20,000 before Huang popped it to 120,000. Sabat called, Chen folded and the river was 5c. Sabat’s bet was again small, just 16,000, so Huang counted out 250,000. Sabat had a call he really didn’t look comfortable with, and it proved the case as Huang showed Ah 3d for a flush against Sabat’s pair of aces (Ad Jh). The pot took Huang to more than 1.3 million.
5.30pm: The alarm has just sounded to indicate that blinds are up to 8000/16,000 (with an ante of 2000). Sabat and Drivsholm remain the most active players, with the Dane regaining the chip lead on the final hand of the previous level.
After taking down three pots in a row, Sabat was attempting to make it four with a pre-flop raise to 40,000. Both played checked the flop of 8s-8d-7d, and Sabat called Drivsholm’s bet of 65,00 when the turn came 4c. The river was the 3c, Sabat bet 60,000 but sailed his chips into the muck the second Drivsholm called.
5pm: Eddie Sabat picked up where he left off before the break with an aggressive move to take down a 200,000 pot from Tian Chen. There was more than 70,000 in the pot before the flop of 6h-2h-Js. Sabat bet 30,000, Chen raised to 60,000, Sabat reraised to 160,000 and while tempted, Chen mucked. The high-paced drama of the past six days has certainly dissipated today – small raises pre-flop are enough to scoop in most pots.
Eddie Sabat has just put his foot down to say “Jeppe, that’s enough”. The Dane’s aggressive stance helped him ascend the chip count with more than 1.1 million in his stack. In the final hand before the break, Drivsholm altered his earlier strategy with a call, before Eddie Sabat raised it to 45,000. Drivsholm called, and they saw a flop of 10c-3d-6h. Sabat checked, Drivsholm bet 60,000 and Sabat called. The turn was 2c – this time Sabat bet 70,000, with a confused Drivsholm eventually folding.
With players on a 15-minute break, the chip counts read: Eddie Sabat (815,000), Tian Chen (750,000), Will Cheong (350,000), Jeppe Drivsholm (975,000), Mikael Rosen (295,000), Javed Abrahams (375,000), Bryan Huang (1,050,000) and Charles Chua (760,000).
4.15pm: Blinds are now up to level 20 (6000/12,000 with an ante of 2000). The only significant action since the elimination of Korea’s So Myung Sim came when Drivsholm opened for 22,000, but Rosen reraised to 62,000 from the small blind. Abrahams folded his big blind before Drivsholm decided to move all-in. Rosen was put to a decision for his tournament life, and with only about 270,000 behind he decided to let it go, lifting Drivsholm’s stack above 900,000. The Dane and Bryan Huang have established themselves as the aggressors at the final table.
4.00pm So-Myung Shim, (Seoul, South Korea) – eliminated in 9th place
Aggressive early on with the shortest stack, So Myung Shim only had one move … all-in. The first time, nobody was willing to take a chance on doubling him up, so everyone folded. Next time however, in the small blind, everyone folded to Shim, who went all-in for his last 103,000, and was called by Tim Chen in the big blind. Shim showed Jc-6c and Chen revealed pocket twos.
The flop came 4d-3s-9h, which was no help to Shim, the turn Ks, nor the river, 9d, were enough to send the former professional Starcraft player (interestingly introduced to poker by Hevad “RainKhan” Khan) home in ninth place, with a prize of HKD $177,000 (USD $22,692.31).
3.45pm: Javed Abrahams has survived the first all-in and call of the final table. In a pot worth 330,000, the Londoner pushed in with pocket kings after declaring all-in on Bryan Huang’s initial re-raise, with the call coming from chip leader and final table aggressor, but only after Abrahams had flipped his cards. Huang still called with A-9, and the board ran out 6-J-J-6-Q, giving Abrahams the pot.
3.30pm: It took 10 hands before a pot was played down to the showdown, with Jeppe Drivsholm’s K-Q good enough to scoop a pot of 100,000 on a board of K-2-10-A-3. After the loose play of the past two days, the final table participants have tightened their play considerably. We might be here for a while after all!
Will Cheong has announced his arrival with a re-raise of 110,000 after Huang had made it 30,000, which was good enough to take down a nice pot. Meanwhile, Chua has just ordered a cup of tea to settle the nerves – another kick in the guts for the image of the hardcore poker player.
3.15pm: After Chua took down the first two pots, the short-stack So Myung Sim pushed all-in on the third hand for 110,000 but there was no interest. Another of the short stacks, Swede Mikael Rosen, has been active early but his pre-flop betting has been enough to win three small pots. It’s been a very cautious opening to the day’s play, with the combatants happy to let the nerves settles before mixing it up.
3pm: APPT hostess Erin McNaught (a former Miss Australia who also has a stint on long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours to her name) has finished recording her pieces, and we’re about to get underway in the APPT Macau main event.
A quick scan of the audience reveals a who’s who of the regional poker scene, including Star City Poker Manager Debra Rillo, who’ll be overseeing the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final in Sydney later this year. SKYCITY Auckland’s Executive Manager – Table Games, Ejaaz Dean is also here, taking notes ahead of the APPT event in New Zealand next month.
There’s also a big cheer squad for Tian Chen, the Beijing-based player who journeyed to Macau with a group of friends to play in the main event (three of whom finished in the money).
Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson has also taken his seat, along with Grand Waldo Casino General Manager Gary Woollard and PokerStars Sponsored player Ivan Tan, who’ll be keeping a close eye on his countryman Bryan Huang.
Having covered all previous events on the APPT, this final table has by far the biggest buzz and largest audience following the action. And we’re underway!
Watch APPT Macau 08: FInal Table on PokerStars.tv
2.15pm: Welcome to the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in Macau for the final table of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau main event; the opening stop of the schedule for 2008.
Six days ago, the first of the 538 players who entered the HKD $25,000 buy-in main event took their seats, but just nine players remain. The final table line-up comprises the “league of nations’ we’ve become accustomed to on the APPT.
The chip leader is Diwei “Bryan” Huang from Singapore, who leads narrowly from Eddie Sabat from the US. But the big story, at least locally, has been the performance of Will Cheong, who becomes the first Macanese player to reach the final table of a major poker tournament in his hometown.
We’re still at least 30 minutes away from the first hand, but the final table atmosphere is slowly building as players collect their thoughts before the chase for the big money gets underway. Play will commence with 20 minutes remaining in level 19 (blinds at 5000/10,000 with a 1000 ante).
Final table participants
Seat 1: Eddie Sabat, Lancaster, CA, USA (1,001,000 in chips)
Seat 2: So Myung Sim, Seoul, South Korea (118,000 in chips)
Seat 3: Tian Chen, Beijing, China (768,000 in chips)
Seat 4: Kuok Wai Will Cheong, Macau (334,000 in chips)
Seat 5: Jeppe Drivsholm, Aalborg, Denmark (863,000 in chips)
Seat 6: Mikael Rosen, Karlskrona, Sweden (361,000 in chips)
Seat 7: Javed Abrahams, London, UK (215,000 in chips)
Seat 8: Diwei “Bryan” Huang, Singapore (1,046,000 in chips)
Seat 9: Charles Chua, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (617,000 in chips)
Final table payouts
1 HKD $3,540,040 (USD $453,851.28)
2 HKD $2,275,740 (USD $291,761.54)
3 HKD $1,201,080 (USD $153,984.62)
4 HKD $847,080 (USD $108,600.00)
5 HKD $632,150 (USD $81,044.87)
6 HKD $442,500 (USD $56,730.77)
7 HKD $328,720 (USD $42,143.59)
8 HKD $240,220 (USD $30,797.44)
9 HKD $177,000 (USD $22,692.31)
Level 19: 5000/10,000 (ante 1000)
Level 20: 6000/12,000 (ante 2000)
Level 21: 8000/16,000 (ante 2000)
Level 22: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3000)
Level 23: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4000)
Level 24: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5000)
Level 25: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5000)
Level 26: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5000)
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 28: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)
All photography © Joe Giron/IMPDI