Gambling Related Essays and Reports by Andrew W Scott

Macau Magic (The Long Run - Part 2)

October 14th 2008

Reprinted courtesy Bluff Australasia and Andrew W Scott

Since my last column I've played the Vic Champs at Crown in Melbourne, the Asian Poker Tour at Star World and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour at the Grand Waldo in Macau, and the APPT events at Walkerhill in Seoul and Sky City in Auckland.

The highlight of those was the APPT High Rollers event at Macau, where I picked up second prize of HK$2,100,000 (US$270,000). The field was certainly world class, including names such as World Champions Joe Hachem (2005), Mansour Matloubi (1990) and Johnny Chan (1987 and 1988); WSOP bracelet winners David Chiu, Quinn Do, Barry Greenstein, John Juanda, John Phan, Dan Schreiber and JC Tran; WSOP final tablists Harry Demetriou, Hevad Khan, Emad Tatouh, Liz Lieu, Van Marcus, Isabelle Mercier and David Steicke; 2008 Pokerstars Carribean Adventure Champion Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier; 2008 EPT Dortmund Champion Mike McDonald; 2006 Aussie Millions Champion Lee Nelson; 2007 APPT Macau High Roller Champion Eric Assadourian; 2008 APT Manila Champion David Saab; 2008 APT Macau Champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko; 2008 Bellagio Cup IV event winner Tony Dunst; 2008 APPT Macau main event runner-up Charles Chua; 2007 APPT Macau runner up Ivan Tan and world all-time money list 38th-positioned Nam Le.

It's very unlike me to go on tilt or get seriously frustrated, but I have to admit that prior to this tournament I was feeling somewhat frustrated. Not only had I lost something like 80% of my last 30 or so coin flips, I had been sucked out on a lot more than I had sucked out on others. One particularly brutal example occurred during a 1,300 runner tournament at this year's WSOP. I got all the chips in pre-flop with Aces against Jacks and lost to a runner-runner gutshot. If I had won that one, I would have been chip leader with 10% of all the chips and just 31 runners left. It would have been a serious shot at a WSOP bracelet.

Fairly early in the Macau High Rollers I had two criticial hands against Yevgeniy Timoshenko (who had just won the APT Macau event about a week earlier). On the first of these I was dealt AK versus his QQ. We got it all in pre-flop - and I finally won a crucial coin-flip hand, doubling up in the process. Incredibly, on the very next hand I was dealt QQ to Yevgeniy's AK and once again we got it all-in pre-flop, and once again my hand held up. This busted him from the tournament and gave me a stack of nearly three times the average. After winning these two coin flips it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I was finally in business!

The final TV table bubble of a single table of ten players was a great experience. Watching the great Johnny Chan play his short stack during the four hours (yes, four hours!) it took us to finally lose a player was a fantastic learning experience. And I was very pleased with the way I used the bubble to grow from a short stack to the second chip leader. The final TV table was also a great learning experience. While it was my first TV table, I was very comfortable as I have made a particular point of spending time in all the APPT final table crowds, soaking up the atmosphere and observing the action.

Once we were down to the final three players, I felt very much it was me against Nam Le and Quinn Do. Nam and Quinn are great friends, both of whom had recently signed on to APT sponsorships. They were both sporting their APT badges, seated side-by-side in seats 1 and 2, like a team glaring me down in seat 8 at the other end of the table. Sadly, when it got down to heads up against Nam Le, I got an absolutely atrocious run of cards. My hole cards rarely added up to a number greater than 12, and when they did he folded to my action. On the only big hand we played I laid down top pair with a trey kicker as I was sure his re-raise of my check-raise meant he had me beat. I can't wait to see that hand on TV to confirm my suspicion.

An interesting footnote to the tournament is that during the whole three days I was never dealt pocket Aces, never got a set or a flush. During the 75 minute heads-up confrontation I was never dealt a pocket pair. And I only sucked out on someone once in the entire tournament. It's a cliche that you have to lose a football grand final before you can win one - maybe you have to lose a heads-up match for a major title before you can win one. If so, I've got the loss under my belt and hopefully next time I can take it just that one step further. Until next time, always do what's best in the long run…

© 2008 Andrew W Scott




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