The term “living the poker dream” is a bit of a cliché, but it perfectly describes the story of Australian player Rodney Davidson.
The big man with the pony-tail was about to have his car repossessed and had to withdraw the last few dollars from his bank account to make the journey to Sydney year after qualifying for the country’s biggest pub poker tournament, the Australian Poker League Tournament of Champions, a freeroll offering a prize pool of AUD $1.5 million.
He wasn’t sure how he was going to find the money to get home to his hometown of Bega, several hours south of Sydney. But after outlasting the field of 230 players to pocket the first prize of AUD $300,000, Davidson’s problems were solved – for good.
Rodney’s been soaking up the atmosphere here at the Grand Waldo over the past few days (there’s barely a hand in the house that he hasn’t shaken) and looks very relaxed as we enter the latter stages of day 1C in the PokerStars.net APPT Macau main event.
He recently “got a bit lucky” when his pocket aces improved to a set after an opponent had pushed all-in with two pair on the flop. Davidson is now up to more than 30,000 and looking good for a seat on day 2.
We’re already assured a new champion in this year’s event after 2007 winner Dinh Le butted heads with Korea’s Steve Joonhee Yea. The money went in pre-flop with Le the all-in player. He showed pocket kings and found himself up against Yea’s A-J with an ace on the turn sending Dinh to the rail.
He joins players including Steve Sung and Jo Berec (second in the 2007 PokerStars.net APPT Seoul main event) to be eliminated today.
Meanwhile Yea, who was 10th in last year’s APPT Manila main event, is up to 44,000 and into the chip lead for today.
Close behind is Kevin ImaLuckSac MacPhee. He’s had a solid year online, with cashes in the PokerStars $55k Guaranteed and $15k Guaranteed for a combined $29k, then he won $38,300 for second in a PokerStars $100 rebuy tournament.
After some ferocious betting on the river, MacPhee called his opponent’s all-in with Kh-10c against Ad-10d on a flop of Ah-10h-3h. The flush arrived on the turn (Jh) and MacPhee avoided the full house draw (9s) on the river to double through to 40,000.