Seat 8: Sangkyoun Kim
Country of Origin: South Korea
Inspired by the PokerStars.net APPT’s visit to Seoul in September, this 41-year-old father of two successfully chased a seat for the APPT Macau: Asia Poker Open in an $11 rebuy tournament on PokerStars. He’s been playing poker for about three years, but this is his first live tournament, representing a marvellous achievement to make the final table of a major event at his first attempt. He works in the insurance industry in Seoul, where his workmates and family have been keeping close tabs on his chip count via the PokerStars blog. He also ensures that the Korean-based contingent (which includes Guillaume Patry and "ElkY" Grospellier) is the dominant force at the final table.
Seat 7: Guillaume Patry
Country of Origin: Canada
PokerStars Username: "TheGrrr…"
A native of Quebec, Canada, Patry actually started his competitive career as part of the Quebec Junior Provincial Ski Team. By high school, Patry had already become the world’s premier Starcraft gamer and also the first-ever non-Korean professional gamer in South Korea. Residing in South Korea since 2000, he reached celebrity status in both the gaming and mainstream media of his adopted homeland. TheGrrr… gradually built his profile online, but it wasn’t until this year that he made the step into major live tournaments with appearances at the PokerStars.net APPT events in Manila and Seoul. He was a massive chip leader midway through Day Two of the APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open Main Event, but rode the roller coaster late in the day before consolidating his spot in the final nine. He is a member of Team PokerStars.
Seat 5: Joe Hachem
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
PokerStars Username: "Joehachem"
A man who needs little introduction, the 2005 WSOP champion is already a member of one of poker’s most elite clubs as one of five men to have captured a WSOP Main Event and WPT title, after he captured the prestigious WPT Five-Diamond Classic title in 2006. Born in Lebanon, he moved to Australia in the early 1970s, where he worked as a chiropractor and mortgage broker. Married with four children, he stunned the poker world by beating a record-breaking 5619-player field in the 2005 WSOP Main Event. Since then, he has been the catalyst for the massive growth of poker in Australia, and one of the game’s most respected ambassadors. The 41-year-old played in the APPT events in Manila and Seoul, and by reaching the final table in Macau, he is aiming to become the first WSOP/WPT/APPT champion. Joe Hachem is a Team PokerStars Pro.
Seat 4: Bertrand Grospellier
Country of Origin: France
PokerStars Username: "ElkY"
Better known by his professional computer gamer ID, ElkY, this Frenchman has been living in South Korea as a professional gamer for almost six years, and is one of the top-ranked Starcraft players in his adopted homeland. He regularly competes in the Korean Pro Gaming leagues, which are televised nationally. He has since transferred these exceptional skills to poker. He came within a whisker of winning the EPT Scandinavian Open in Copenhagen earlier this year (he collected $400,000 USD for finishing runner-up). However, he remains better known for his online exploits on PokerStars, where he was the first person to ever reach “Supernova” and “Supernova Elite” status on PokerStars (having earned 100,000 player points in one month and 1,000,000 player points in 12 months, respectively). Bertrand Grospellier is a Team PokerStars Pro.
Seat 3: William Tam
Country of Origin: Australia
PokerStars Username: "walrus_poker"
The APPT Grand Final will be held at Sydney’s Star City Casino next month, so it’s appropriate that a casino dealer from a sister property to Star City should make the final table of the APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open. Playing in his first major live tournament, this 21-year-old (he only celebrated this milestone birthday last week) is a dealer at Treasury Casino in Brisbane, Australia. Born in Australia to a Vietnamese mother and a father originally from Hong Kong, he’s been playing poker for several years but only decided to try his luck in Macau after cashing fifth in a Sunday Million warm-up on PokerStars. He ensured a spot at the final table when he doubled through "ElkY" Grospellier late on Day Two, when his pocket jacks held up against the Frenchman’s A-Q.
Seat 2: Liz Lieu
Country of Origin: USA
One of the most glamourous and recognizable faces in poker, this 34-year-old poker pro was born in Vietnam, raised in the U.S., and has recently made the move to London. Known as the "Poker Diva," she established her reputation first as a cash-game player mainly in limit hold’em before making her mark in the tournament arena at the 2005 WSOP with a fifth-place finish in the $1500 No-Limit Hold’em event. Two more cashes, including 12th place in the $5000 No-Limit Hold’em event, marked her as a player to watch. She carried that form into the 2005 Festa Al Lago at the Bellagio, where she was fourth in the $2500 No-Limit Hold’em event, then broke through for her first major win in 2006 in the $1000 No-Limit Hold’em Tournament at the L.A. Poker Classic. Incredibly, she won the same event 12 months later (pocketing almost $150,000 USD).
Seat 1: Simon Randall
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
PokerStars Username: "Vuka"
He might be the short stack, but this affable Englishman will provide plenty of entertainment value at the final table. The owner of two comedy clubs in West London, he brings a stack of poker experience to the PokerStars.net APPT Macau: Asian Poker Open, having played for more than 25 years (he joked that he was playing poker before most of the final table participants were born)! An aficionado of seven-card stud, he was swept up in the Texas hold’em boom at the start of the new millennium and has acquired some valuable experience at tournaments such as the PokerStars EPT in London and the 2006 WSOP. The 45-year-old father of two will be cheered on at the final table by his wife Vishna. He earned a ticket to Macau via a $100 double shootout on PokerStars.
PokerNews would like to welcome you to our coverage of the PokerStars.net APPT Macau Main Event final table! The excitement has been building all week and it's all come down to this. There are nine players left, but only one of them will earn the title of the China's first ever major international poker champion.
The atmosphere is electric and we're just moments away from getting started. Stay with us!