American Edward Sabat found himself the youngest player at the table at the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event, but the online qualifier was undaunted as he took the second-largest chip stack into the final table. The final lasted nearly 12 hours before Sabat was able to defeat runner-up Charles Chua and claim his first major live tournament victory and, with it, the $453,851 first prize.
Diwei Huang took the chip lead into the final table, as the seating assignments and chip stacks looked like this:
Seat 1: Edward Sabat (USA) - 1,001,000
Seat 2: So Myung Sim (South Korea) - 118,000
Seat 3: Tian Chen (China) - 768,000
Seat 4: Kuok Wai Will Cheong (Macau) - 334,000
Seat 5: Jeppe Drivsholm (Denmark) - 863,000
Seat 6: Mikael Rosen (Sweden) - 361,000
Seat 7: Javed Abrahams (UK) - 215,000
Seat 8: Diwei Huang (Singapore) - 1,046,000
Seat 9: Charles Chua (Malaysia) - 617,000
Play was cautious early, as the nine remaining contestants from an original field of 538 jockeyed for position. Finally, after several orbits of back-and-forth maneuvering, short stack So Myung Sim became the first casualty of the final table. Sim moved all in preflop with , and Tian Chen called with pocket deuces from the big blind. Despite two suited overcards, the board of was no help to Sim, and he was eliminated in ninth place ($22,692).
Javed Abrahams was the first final-table competitor to be run over by the "Chuck Truck," as opponents had come to call Charles Chua over the course of the tournament. With just a few chips left, Abrahams open-shoved with , and was called by Chua. Chua tabled for a race, and the flop came down . The Broadway-friendly flop gave Abrahams additional straight outs, but the turn and river came down , and he was eliminated in eighth place ($30,797).
Tian Chen was next to fall, heading to the rail in seventh place ($42,143) at the hands of Edward Sabat. The action folded around to Sabat in the small blind, and he raised enough to put Chen all in from the big blind. Chen snap-called with , and Sabat showed . The flop was good for Chen as it came down , but running spades fell on the turn and river to give Sabat a flush and send Chen home in seventh place.
Sabat claimed another scalp when he eliminated Kuok Wai Will Cheong in sixth place ($56,730). Sabat raised preflop, only to see Cheong move all in over the top. Sabat quickly called with , dominating Cheong's . The flop brought a gutshot straight draw for Cheong, coming down , but the was no help to either player. The on the river was not the straight card Cheong was looking for, as Sabat made Broadway and local player Cheong headed to the rail.
The list of Sabat's victims grew longer when he won a big coin flip against Jeppe Drivsholm to send Drivsholm home in fifth place ($81,044). After Sabat raised preflop with , Drivsholm moved all in over the top with pocket fours. Sabat was the only caller, and the flop came down , leaving Drivsholm looking for one of the two fours to stay alive. The on the turn gave Sabat an even better two pair, and the on the river was the end of the line for Drivsholm.
Mikael Rosen moved the last of his chips in preflop with and found one caller in Chua from the big blind. Chua's was slightly ahead, but Rosen picked up a huge draw on the flop. Rosen needed any king, jack, ten or club to win, but the turn and river ran out , and Rosen exited in fourth place ($108,600).
After two preflop shoves by Diwei Huang that went uncalled, Sabat decided the third time was the charm, and called with . Huang revealed , and Sabat was a huge favorite. No help came for either player on the flop when it came down , but Huang picked up outs to a chop on the turn. The river sent the former chip leader to the rail in third place ($153,984) and set up a heads-up confrontation between Sabat and Chua.
Chua took a significant chip lead into heads-up play, with approximately 3.2 million to Sabat's 2.1 million, but a double-up on one of the first hands of heads-up play put Sabat in the driver's seat. After his held up against Chua's , Sabat moved out to a 4:1 chip lead and began pushing his advantage against his opponent.
In the final hand, Chua raised preflop from the button and Sabat called from the big blind. Sabat checked the flop, and Chua led out with a sizable bet. Sabat put out a minimum check-raise, and Chua moved all in. After some thinking and some chatting, Sabat finally decided to make the call, and tabled for an overcard and a flush draw to go with his pair of sixes. Chua showed for two pair, and needed to fade a king or a diamond to reclaim the chip lead. The on the turn gave Sabat additional straight outs, but it was the on the river that decided the tournament, as Sabat picked up a flush and busted Chua in second place ($291,871).
Sabat added the PokerStars.net APPT Macau championship to a resume that already includes a WPT cash, WSOP cash and an LAPT cash in 2008. He picked up $453,851 for his victory, nearly tripling his career earnings in the process! The young American qualified for the tournament on PokerStars, and played a tough tournament against a stacked field for his first major tournament victory. Congratulations to Edward Sabat for a great win!
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