According to the team at Poker Asia Pacific, the following are the top five poker stories of last year.

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First, female poker players performed extraordinarily well in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille, both young and attractive female poker players, almost reached the final table of the Main Event. The last time a female poker player made it to the WSOP Main Event final table was 17 years ago. However, the two finished in the 10th and 11th places and could not make it to the final table.

Second, Sam Razavi, the British poker player, won $330k playing the APPT Melbourne Main Event, although this wasn’t the only poker feat achieved by the poker player in 2012. He was placed in the third rank of poker players who won the largest number of cash prizes in 2012, and his total winnings crossed the $1 million target.

Third, the Macau Super High Rollers Poker Tournament had a player field of 73 players, and 21 of them decided to re-buy, as a result of which the prize pool shot up to more than US$23.5 million. Stanley Choi of China emerged as the champion after beating poker stalwarts such as Hansen, Dwan, Ivey, Trickett, Seidel, and others. Choi collected a huge prize of US$6.5 million, and although it is his first and only poker achievement, the prize he won was the 11th largest poker prize in the world. Choi’s win, therefore, pushes him into the list of top 50 poker earners in the world and makes him China’s biggest poker earner.

Fourth, 2012 was an extremely profitable year for Dan Smith, who first won a seven-figure jackpot in the Aussie Millions $100k Challenge and then won five cash prizes in WSOP events, , the EPT Grand Final, another seven-figure jackpot in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller event, and reached the finals of the Partouche Poker Tour—all in just six days. He also won the PokerStars’ Sunday Million, making his total winnings of this year $3.6 million.

Fifth, Phil Ivey returned to the poker gaming world after several months, having stayed away from the poker gaming world after Black Friday. He finished 12th in the Aussie Millions Main Event and then won $2 million in the $250k Super High Rollers Event. He had to defeat a field of 16 formidable opponents, including Patrik Antonius, to win those millions.

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