The third season of the PokerStars-sponsored Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) is in the books and the finale stop in Sydney, Australia helped to finish off this installment of the tour with a bang. A grand total of 396 players took part in the AUD$6,300 buy-in event and it was online qualifier Aaron Benton who took down the title as well as the first place prize of AUD$594,000.
While there was still a sizeable turnout for the Sydney event, it is a marked decline from the tour’s past two visits to the Star City Casino. The inaugural stop at Sydney in 2007 drew 561 players while the 2008 tournament had a field of 477 players. That marks a 15% decline in attendance between Seasons 1 and 2 and another 17% drop between Season 2 and Season 3.
The field may have been a little smaller than in past years, but several notable pros did make the trip down under to take part in the event. Former APPT Sydney winner Grant Levy, Joe Hachem, Tony Hachem, Peter Eastgate, Celina Lin, Party Poker sponsored pro Stewart Scott, Lee Nelson, Jason Gray, Jay “SEABEAST” Kinkade, David Steicke and Tony “Bond18” Dunst all played in the tournament and Dunst ended as the Day 1a chip leader. Despite ending towards the top of the chip counts during Day 1, Dunst was one of many players who found themselves on the rail during the course of Day 2.
Team PokerStars players Levy and Eric Assadourian were two of the 48 players who lasted long enough to make the money. The final 9-handed table was peppered with relatively unfamiliar faces, most of whom hailed from Oz. Seven of the nine players were Australians while the other two players, Ernst Hermans and Thomas “TJ” Slifka, hailed from the Netherlands and the United States respectively.
Slifka, an internet poker pro from Dayton Ohio, was the first player to make his exit on the final day of play, busting out in 9th place. Hermans, on the other hand, was able to outlast several of his Aussie competitors to get down to heads-up play versus Benton. On the final hand of the tournament the two players got it all-in on a 9-7-7-Q board with Benton holding pocket kings to Hermans’ 8-9. When no nine fell on the river, the title of APPT Grand Final winner went to the 32-year old businessman from Wollongong, New South Wales while the Dutchman had to settle for 2nd place.
Benton has taken part in every stop on this season’s APPT thanks to his prowess for online satellite. He won his way into each event via PokerStars online satellites and never once had to shell out the entire cost of the buy-in from his own wallet. Though, now he will certainly have a few more bucks to go towards poker should he decide to skip the satellites in the future.
Here are the results from the final table of the APPT Sydney event:
1st: Aaron Benton – $500,348
2nd: Ernst Hermans – $475,000
3rd: Leo Boxell – $213,840
4th: Wayne Carlson – $166,320
5th: Tom Grigg – $130,680
6th: Andrew Hiscox – $106,920
7th: Barry Forrester – $83,160
8th: David Formosa – $65,340
9th: Thomas “TJ” Slifka – $47,520

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