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New Zealander Watt Wins APPT Auckland

New Zealander Watt Wins APPT Auckland
It was the second stop of the third season of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), and the SKYCITY Casino in Auckland, New Zealand was its place of business. The start of the main event took place on October 14, and players came to the tables with their $3,000 in hand, along with some poker skills and the hopes of taking down an APPT title. The first day of the event drew 135 players and the second brought another 128, making the total number of registrants 263. The prize pool was able to offer nearly $210K for the tournament’s first prize, and in the running were such names as Emad Tahtough, Grant Levy, Celina Lin, Lee Nelson, Graeme Putt, Tony Hachem, Tony Dunst, Eric Assadourian, and Shirley Rosario. But only 130 players survived those starting days, and Tahtouh was the overall chip leader with 162,900 chips. Day 2 brought those players back to play down to the money, and they did just that at the day’s end. During hand-for-hand play, Hong Kai Shi risked his last 19,600 with kc qs against the kd 4h of Jason Brown, but the straight came for Brown on the 7d 5c 9h 3h 6h board, and Shi was ousted on the bubble. Only 32 players remained, all of whom were in the money. Day 3 found Louisy-Gabriel Mathieu as the first to go in 32nd place, and reigning champion Daniel Craker busted in 29th. Eric Assadourian left in 19th, leaving his father to head to the final table. But with ten players remaining, one more needed to go, and it was Shilton Smith all-in holding ts 9s against the kd 9h of Jens Walther. The board of 9d 6s 2h 2s 8h sent Smith packing in tenth place with $11,046, and the final table was set as follows: Seat 1: Jason Brown 709,000 Seat 2: Richard Lancaster 568,000 Seat 3: Ke Sijia 294,000 Seat 4: Assadour Assadourian 231,000 Seat 5: Simon Watt 581,000 Seat 6: Gerome Guitteau 1,204,000 Seat 7: Lance Climo 350,000 Seat 8: Michael Shinzaki 620,000 Seat 9: Jens Walther 335,000 Michael Shinzaki was off to a rough start, losing a significant pot to Lancaster early on. Ultimately, his stack dwindled to 340K, which was pushed all-in holding kd 5h, and Guitteau was the caller with ac jd. The board brought 7c ah ts 9h kh, and Guitteau’s top pair eliminated Shinzaki in ninth place with $14,202. Lance Climo then moved his short stack with ac ts, but Watt called with the ad kc. The board came jh 2c 3c ks 2d, which sent Climo packing in eighth place with $18,936. While Walther doubled to stay alive through Guitteau and Sijia did the same through Lancaster, Assadour Assadourian looked for his spot. He thought he found it on a flop of 7h 8d jh and pushed all-in with qc js. But Guitteau reraised with 8c 7c, which prompted a fold from Lancaster and left Assadourian with only a few outs. But they didn’t come with the 2c turn or 4s river, and Assadourian was out in seventh place with $23,670. Despite Walther’s previous double-up, he was still the short stack and moved with ac qh. Guitteau called with pocket fives, and the race ended with the board of 7d 6s 4c 9s 9d. Jens Walther was eliminated in sixth place with $31,560. Richard Lancaster continued his fall from the top and finally moved his last 225K with ac kc. Guitteau called again, this time with ah qh, and the 3h jd 8s th kd gave the Frenchman the straight on the river. Lancaster left the game in fifth place with $42,606. Ke Sijia was the next to be at risk, though it didn’t come until the board showed jh 2d td 3h. Guitteau was his opponent and pushed all-in with jd 7d, and Sijia called for his tournament life holding th 9h. The qd on the river gave the flush to Guitteau, and Sijia was given $55,230 for fourth place. Watt took a short stack into three-way action but doubled through Brown to jump into the lead. That left Brown to push all-in for his remaining 200K with kc 4c, and Guitteau looked to take care of him with jh 9d. The board came 7h 9c 3c 6s 9s, and Guitteau made trips to eliminate Jason Brown in third place with $82,845. Heads-up play started as follows: Gerome Guitteau 2,600,000 Simon Watt 2,250,000 It took only 20 minutes for the tables to turn and the match to conclude. Watt doubled through Guitteau to take the lead, and Guitteau was left with just over 500K. That pile of chips went all-in with kc 7c, and Watt called with pocket fives. The race was over quickly when the board showed qh 6d js 9d jc, and Gerome Guitteau took second place and $142,020 back to France. Simon Watt won the tournament for his home country of New Zealand, and he was awarded a trophy and $209,085 for the feat.
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