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APPT Season 3 Wraps With Aaron Benton Claiming Grand Final Title

APPT Season 3 Wraps With Aaron Benton Claiming Grand Final Title
It was the final stop on the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour, and the third season of the continually popular APPT was prepared to wrap at the Star City Casino in Sydney. With three starting days in the tournament area amidst other prelim tournaments, the Main Event was ready to roll.

The first starting day drew 81 participants, the second brought another 109, and the third added 209 more to create a total field of 396 players and a $2,376,000 AUD prize pool. Among the big names in the field were Joe and Tony Hachem, Jeff Lisandro, Mark Vos, Peter Eastgate, Grant Levy, Lee Nelson, Tony Dunst, Celina Lin, Emad Tahtouh, and Eric Assadourian.

Day 2 combined the survivors of the starting days, and the 226 players came together to edge closer to the money. The action saw many of the big names exit the field and only 66 survive, and Tom Grigg was the chipleader at the end of the day with 598,600. It was on Day 3, however, that the money bubble finally approached, which was when David Saghabi pushed all-in with pocket aces and Justin Tazelaar called with queens. The aces held on the 7d 5h 3s 9c 3h board, and Tazelaar was gone in 49th place. The rest of the 48 players were guaranteed a cash, and some notables that took advantage were Grant Levy finishing in 37th place and Eric Assadourian in 24th.

As the night wore on and ten players remained, Barry Forrester pushed all-in preflop and Jarred Graham called all-in for his tournament life with pocket tens. Forrester showed qd 9d and caught his queen on the flop of qh 8h 7c. The ah turn and kd river ended it for Graham, who left in tenth place with $30,888. And the final table was established with chip counts as follows:

Seat 1:    David Formosa           856,000
Seat 2:    Thomas Slifka           758,000
Seat 3:    Wayne Carlson        1,114,000
Seat 4:    Andrew Hiscox           848,000
Seat 5:    Leo Boxell        1,236,000
Seat 6:    Barry Forrester        1,087,000
Seat 7:    Aaron Benton        1,790,000
Seat 8:    Tom Grigg        1,950,000
Seat 9:    Ernst Hermans        2,048,000

The fourth full day of action started with the nine finalists, but it was slow and steady for the first two hours. Boxell took the worst hits, suffering the wrong end of double-ups by Slifka and Carlson.

But Thomas Slifka couldn’t maintain any momentum and finally pushed all-in from the small blind with 6s 4h, but the bluff failed when Carlson called from the big blind with ah js. The kh qh 2s 9c ad board eliminated Slifka in ninth place with $47,520.

Another elimination came soon after when David Formosa pushed with pocket threes to find Carlson calling with pocket queens. The board produced 2h 7h 7c ts jd, and Formosa was gone in eighth place with $65,340.

Barry Forrester was the next to move and did so with ac qd, but Hiscox called with as kh. The board failed to bring the shorter stack any help when it came 8s ah 3c 8c 2s, and Forrester was ousted in seventh place with $83,160.

Andrew Hiscox took a hit to his stack when Boxell doubled through him, and Hiscox subsequently moved all-in with pocket sevens. Benton was the caller holding pocket aces, and the board brought no help with 6d 6c 3d 5h 5s to eliminate Hiscox in sixth place with $106,920.

The next bustout came with a hand that started with Grigg, Carlson, and Benton seeing a flop of as jh 6h. The board was checked around to the 8d on the turn, and Grigg bet at it. Carlson got out of the way but Benton check-raised all-in with ah 7c. The top pair was better than the middle pair and qd jd of Grigg, and the 6c on the river changed nothing. Tom Grigg was eliminated in fifth place with $130,680.

Wayne Carlson took a hit when Hermans doubled through him, and Carlson moved all-in soon after with ad td. Hermans was there again, this time with as qc, and the board brought nothing to change the outcome. Carlson left the tournament in fourth place with $166,320.

Boxell and Benton then got together to see a flop of th 8s 7d, and Boxell then pushed all-in with 8h 6s. But Benton had the stronger hand with td 9d. The 3c turn changed nothing but the ts river only gave Benton trips, leaving Leo Boxell out in third place with $213,840.

Heads-up action began with the following stacks:

Aaron Benton    6,935,000
Ernst Hermans    4,745,000

The players walked away from the table and came back after having agreed to a payout deal that gave each of them $475K and reserved $25,348 for the eventual champion.

Though Hermans was able to take the lead briefly, he lost much of his stack to Benton in a rather sizable pot that left Hermans a five-to-one underdog. Hermans and Benton then got involved to see a 9c 7d 7s flop, and a bet and call took them to the qc turn. Hermans moved all-in with 9h 8d, but the nines and sevens were outdone by the pocket kings of Benton. The 6c came on the river, and Ernst Hermans was forced to accept second place and his $475,000, though the books recorded his cash as $381,348.

Aaron Benton won the tournament and the $500,348 in prize money from the deal, though records show his take as $594,000. And Benton became the season-ending APPT Grand Final champion.
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