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Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | Francis Lee


The Poker Stars sponsored Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) made the usual visit to Macau where 429 players started out in the main event.  The first place prize everyone was trying to win reached $541,089.

After four days play the tournament had reached the final table stage with Daoxing Chen leading in the chip rankings on 1.7 million in chips, just ahead of Mike Kim.  Darkham Botabayev was the only other player to exceed the 1 million mark with the rest of the field closely bunched together.  This is how the chip rankings looked at the start of play on the final table.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Daoxing Chen 1,747,000
  • 2nd Mike Kim 1,653,000
  • 3rd Darkhan Botabayev 1,450,000
  • 4th Jicheng Su 778,000
  • 5th Dbinder Singh 696,000
  • 6th Brandon Demes 578,000
  • 7th Dermot Blain 507,000
  • 8th Pontus Kers 491,000
  • 9th Stefan Hjorthall 454,000

The two shortest stacks clashed early on which saw the first elimination on the final table.  The two Swedes Pontus Kers and Stefan Hjorthall went into a race with Hjorthall having pocket nines against :ad :qh Kers moved into the lead after pairing a queen on the flop which was enough to win the pot as the rest of the board blanked for Hjorthall.

Not long after Brandon Demes was next to fall when running :ah :9h into Dermot Blain’s pocket kings.  The final board brought no ace eliminating Demes into 8th place. Not long after Blain found himself in the classic coin flip race having :as :kc against Dbinder Singh with pocket queens. Blain paired an ace on the flop which was enough to eliminate Singh into 7th place.

Sixth place was decided when the chip leader Chen had Jicheng Su dominated with :ac :jh against :as :10h The flop was no help for Su coming down :3s :7h :9s but the :8s on the Turn opened up a number of outs for Su who was now looking to hit either a straight or a flush.  The :kd on the river dashed these hopes ending his tournament winning $74,923.

After his near double up early in the tournament when eliminating Hjorthall, Pontus Kers didn’t have much luck after that point and decided to push his stack of 360,000 chips in the middle with :ks :6s after Darkhan Botabayev had made a 100,000 raise from early position. Botabayev made the call deciding to make a gamble holding :9c :7d The gamble looked to be a good one when Botabayev paired a nine on the flop. The turn gave Kers more outs some hope as he had four spades to a flush as well as looking to pair a king. The river card was a black one for Kers, but wrong suit as the :8c completed the board.

The next elimination came when Chen raised to 200,000 and Botabayev announced he was all in from the big blind.  Chen made the call and was pleased to see his pocket queens well ahead up against :10d :4d Botabayev had a brief ray of hope after the first four cards down gave him an inside straight draw and a flush draw, but neither came on the river handing Chen the pot.

Three handed play didn’t last too long as the two large stacks Chen and Blain clashed in a huge pot.  Blain started off the hand raising pre flop to 220,000 and Chen made the call to see the flop come down :3h :9c :ac Chen checked and Blain bet out 350,000, Chen raised it up to 1 million and Blain announced he was all in.  Chen didn’t take long to call revealing :ah :qs but found himself dominated by Blain’s :ad :kc Only a queen would save the one time chip leader but the :5h and :as completed the board. Chen received a round of applause from the watching crowd as he headed to the rail to collect $239,327 in prize money.

This win had put Blain miles out in front of Mike Kim in the chip count with 7.3 million chips compared to 920,000.  As expected heads up play was finished off in just a few hands.  Kim made a move going all in with :10d :9s but was behind Blain who had :10h :kd The flop came down :3c :10c :as giving both players a pair of tens and the :js on the turn left Kim needing a nine to win or a jack or three to chop the pot.  None of them came as the :8s confirmed Blain as the 2009 APPT Macau champion.

Final Standings

  • 1st Dermot Blain $541,089
  • 2nd Mike Kim $484,999
  • 3rd Daoxing Chen $239,327
  • 4th Darkhan Botabayev $166,497
  • 5th Pontus Kers $114,464
  • 6th Jicheng Su $74,923
  • 7th Dbinder Singh $52,033
  • 8th Brandon Demes $41,621
  • 9th Stefan Hjorthall $31,222



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