Martin Rowe wins PokerStars APPT Sydney Grand Final

Martin Rowe wins PokerStars APPT Sydney Grand Final

Monday, 8 December 2008

The nine players at the final table of the APPT Sydney Grand Final at the Star City casino were an eclectic bunch including a student, a retired engineer, several poker pros and a racehorse owner from Canada. The one thing they had in common was that they had all played through a 478-strong field to reach this point; and that they were all aiming for a AU$1m score.

Play carried on as expected with big stack Antonio Fazzolari using his chips as a weapon – he eliminated ninth-place finisher Tom Rafferty with top two pair against the nut flush draw. Eventual winner Rowe busted out Hai Bo Chu, the table shortstack, in eighth place.

Fazzolari seemed destined to hold the chip lead all the way til the win until he and Martin Rowe got in a gigantic pot. A three-way flop with the aforementioned players and Frank Saffioti fell 7d-9d-Ks. Fazzolari led out to be called both times and the turn was the 3d, completing a flush draw. Fazzolari bet, this time only Rowe called. The 3s turn saw the same action and Fazzolari’s 87o couldn’t trump the K4o of Rowe.

Frank Saffioti finished in sixth after losing a coinflip and Timothy English’s QJ couldn’t beat AK – both players were eliminated by Martin Rowe who added to his huge stack.

Back from the break, Fazzolari found himself on the shortstack and pushed A2o. Unfortunately for him Martin Rowe had AK and instantly called to eliminate the former chipleader. Next it was Tony Basile’s turn to have AK but unfortunately Row had picked up KK. Basile joined Fazzolari on the rail and it was heads-up between Martin Rowe and Jason Gray.

Even with a huge chip advantage ($7.8m - $1.5m), it took over two hours for Rowe to dispatch Gray and claim his first major tournament victory. Eventually Rowe called Gray’s bluff with AQ and flopped two pair to take down the $1m prize.

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