It was the luck of the Irish today as Dermot Blain showed plenty of maturity, patience and aggression to emerge victorious in the 2009 PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event.
At times the final three tables were methodical, to the point of frustration, yet the quiet Irishman didn't let the any of the antics bother him as he continued to play his own game.
Once Dermot knocked off a couple of the short stacks and grabbed the chip lead today, he became the most aggressive player at the table, despite the unorthodox approach of third placed Daoxing Chen and rock solid runner-up Mike Kim.
Dermot now has a life-changing $541,089 in prize money to take back home along with a gorgeous new trophy. Congratulations Dermot!
Many thanks to PokerStars.net, the APPT crew and the Grand Lisboa for hosting another world-class poker tournament. It's always a pleasure to come to Macau and be a part of the exciting growth of poker in Asia. However it doesn't stop here, as the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour is just warming up! Next stop, Auckland, New Zealand in October! We hope to see you there!
The first three hands of heads-up play did not have a flop. On the fourth hand, Dermot Blain opened all in from the small blind. Mike Kim, who had only 11 big blinds in his stack and knew he would need to gamble to get back in the tournament, said, "OK," and called all in. He turned out to be dominated:
Blain stood up from his seat and took several steps away from the table. He pressed his fingers together in front of his mouth, visibly aware of the fact that just five cards separated him from the championship. Kim seemed dejected but not yet ready to give up the ghost. On a cue from TD Danny McDonagh, the dealer produced the flop.
Each player made a pair of tens, but Blain was still in the lead by virtue of his kicker. When the turn fell , a card that was completely unhelpful to both players, Kim was down to his last chance. He needed a nine, and only a nine, to win the pot and a jack or a three to chop and avoid elimination.
For his part, Blain turned away from the table, then spun around as if he had decided he wanted to watch after all. It was a good card for him. The river came to eliminated Mike Kim in second place and deliver the 2009 APPT Macau Main Event title to Blain.
Dermot Blain raised to 220,000 from the button and Daoxing Chen again made the call as these two foes once again clashed.
They took a flop of and Chen checked to Blain who fired 350,000. Chen then cut out a raise, similar to the last hand, but there was no foxing this time around as he slid out a raise to 1,050,000.
The action was back with Blain who after a moment or two of thought, declared himself all in with Chen quickly calling.
Kicker troubles for Chen as he was looking for one of the three remaining queens to stay alive. The turn brought the and the river the and Chen is eliminated much to the disappointment of the throngs of locals who turned out this afternoon to cheer their hero home.
Chen departed to a nice round of applause and $239,327 in prize money.
The longer this table goes, the more time Daoxing Chen is presumably going to spend in the tank. He was at it again, first after limping his button and facing a raise to 250,000 from small blind Dermot Blain. Chen eventually called to a flop where Blain bet another 400,000.
It was time for the second tank for Chen. He actually counted out 1.2 million in red chips, but after two minutes he folded.