Over the last seven years, the ANZPT and APPT have provided a platform to launch the careers of some of the finest young poker players in the region. The tours have ventured to new corners of the Asia Pacific to give players all around the globe a chance to experience the thrill of championship-style tournament poker.
Champions have been made and there have been some incredible success stories that have roots emanating from the PokerStars-sponsored tours.
No one knew Martin Kozlov before he won the 2010 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event and he’s now one of Australia’s elite players with results all over the WSOP and European Poker Tour among $700,000 in earnings.
Likewise, we hadn’t heard of Michael Kanaan before his breakthrough at the 2011 ANZPT Sydney Main Event. He now has over $800,000 in live earnings with some massive results throughout Asia.
Another who has used the local tours as a springboard to success is Luke Brabin.
Brabin had been on the scene a long time but it wasn’t until 2013 that he made a conscious decision to devote himself to poker and the ANZPT. It was a wise decision as his consistency netted him three cashes on the ANZPT that year, including one final table, and a deep run in the APPT Melbourne Main Event. That was good enough to earn him second place in the 2013 ANZ Player of the Year race.
While his results were good, Brabin hadn’t been able to land the big cash, but his consistency on the ANZPT did give him the confidence to take his game to the next level.
“I was consistent but wasn’t getting the big score,” said Brabin as he took his seat in today’s APPT Auckland Main Event. “I looked at what the other guys were doing and realised I wasn’t taking enough risks deep in the event. I needed to take more marginal spots and open up my game to go for the victory.”
After another two ANZPT cashes in 2014, Brabin finally broke through for that elusive victory when he won the first WSOP APAC bracelet of the year and a tidy AU$131,365 in prize money.
“The ANZPT and APPT tours gave me the confidence to build up my game to eventually break through for that result. They are great events for players to build a platform that might lead to even bigger results,” added Brabin.
Brabin will be hoping to write another chapter in his rapidly-expanding poker resume in the Main Event, or perhaps there’s another success story waiting to be unearthed here in Auckland.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.