Around the World with Lynn Gilmartin: Back on the APPT!
The PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour's fifth season kicks off at a brand new stop on July 29: Melbourne, Australia, at the stunning Crown Casino. With a seven-month break since the Grand Final in Sydney, Season Four feels like a lifetime ago.
In preparation for the restart of the most prestigious poker tour in the Southern Hemisphere, we started to look back on the fun we had last year throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Winding back more than a year, it all started in the “Oriental Las Vegas” - China’s crazy little gambling peninsula of Macau. The following video shows off some of the interview highlights during Season Four’s first stop and revisits the fate of the final table where an extremely grateful Victorino Torres was crowned champion.
With a three-month pause to allow the poker world to grind out (and recover from) the World Series of Poker, the APPT then descended upon Auckland, New Zealand. It’s always exciting when a well-known poker pro wins a title on his home turf. It’s even more exciting when that poker player is also known in Auckland as the Godfather of New Zealand Hip-Hop.” Recording artist Brotha D kept the APPT New Zealand title on his home turf for the third year in a row after an epic four-hour heads up battle against Aussie poker pro Tom Grigg. With the poker aside, we had a ball in Auckland, jumping off buildings, sampling local world-famous wine, and of course, Team PokerStars ProTony Hachem attempting the Haka. Yes, even with his shirt off. That is a must see, and you can catch all of that and more in the following highlights from APPT Auckland.
In November, we graced the stunning shores of Cebu in the Philippines. Not only did Young-Shin Im win this event, making her the first female champion on the APPT, but her partner of ten years took third place! It was a very interesting and exciting final table was as we crept closer to the end with the couple going strong. Off the tables we had a paintball fight, fire throwing and plenty of beach-side cocktails. For the past two years, I’ve always said this is my favorite stop on the APPT thanks to its stunning location. The Shangri-La Mactan resort is one of the most amazing resorts I’ve ever been to.
To finish off the year with a bang, the APPT’s fourth season wrapped up with its Grand Final in Sydney, Australia. It’s hard to not label the final table as my biggest highlight of this event. The Star City Casino’s Sports Theater had the vibe of crazy a sports stadium. Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu made it to the final table along with his buddy who he had traveled to Australia with, Eddy Sabat. Roland de Wolfe also landed a seat at that table, but it was Aussie poker pro Jonathan "xMONSTERxDONGx" Karamalikis who eventually won half-a-million dollars and the prestigious title of APPT Grand Final Champion in front of a crowd of extremely rowdy friends who had been enjoying bottles of “Dong Perignon.”
Now it’s all starting again, this time in my hometown of Melbourne. Then we’re off to our very own Snowfest next month! Who needs the Swiss Alps when we have Queenstown in this corner of the world? The PokerNews team will be along for another ride this season and we’re taking you with us. Stay tuned!