Most poker players, if not all, will say that their dream is to win a major international championship event such as an APPT title or coveted bracelet. With movies such as Rounders exposing players to the likes of Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Erick Seidel, and with Chris Moneymaker inspiring millions to take up the game in 2003, the dream became a quest for many in the Asia-Pacific, and some of those players are right here on Day 2 of the APPT 9 Manila Main Event.
Lively and exuberant Brit, Sam Razavi, has been travelling the international poker circuit for roughly around nine years with great success as a former ANZPT Melbourne champion and Aussie Millions final tablist. We asked him what lures him to continue to grind the circuit year after year.
“Given my results in tournaments, I am hopeful that out of all the events I enter I will make the finals somewhere in one of those events,” said Razavi.
At the recent WSOP, the Filipino-resident was streaming and trending all over the Filipino poker circuit when friends and fans found out he was down to the final table of a bracelet event. Razavi eventually bowed out in fourth place and collected a very happy cash prize of $153,682. As he gets deep here at the APPT Manila, Razavi plans to draw on that experience to help him chase another title as he added, “For today, I have played several APPT Main Events and know that I have to adjust to longer play to get deeper in the tournament.”
Taiwanese poker pro Terry Fan is another player here in Manila who has enjoyed great success internationally. Fan is a former Macau Poker Cup winner and recently cashed in six events at the WSOP, including a 5th place finish in the very same event that Razavi final tabled.
It seems that Fan’s style is well suited to the deep structures offered in Main Event, and he is doing very well today as he sits with well above average stack. On his strategy for today, Fan said, “I will be playing a bit tighter as players seem very aggressive, but I will be adjusting my strategy every time. I generally play tighter with deeper structures.” All up, Fan has over $650,000 in career earnings to be the #2 all-time money earner from Taiwan.
The locals have also enjoyed success on the international stage with Filipino poker pro Andrew Gaw sending friends and family into a frenzy with a deep run in Las Vegas. Gaw represented his country with pride as he earned a nice $109,015 cash for his third place finish in a side event. Gaw is also going strong in the APPT Manila Main Event with an average stack as he hopes to join Razavi and Fan in making a run at the final table and yet another international title.
Earlier in the tournament, PokerStars.tv hostess Caitlyn Howe caught up with Sam Razavi to find out more about living and playing in the Philippines: