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APPT -- Martin Rowe Wins Sydney Grand Final

Aussie Win Caps Off Season Two for the APPT

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Martin RoweThe final event on season two of the PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour ended on Sunday, Dec. 7, when Martin Rowe won the $6,000 AUD APPT Grand Final in Sydney, Australia. The local Aussie topped a field of 477 players during four days of poker, and he walked away with a first-place prize worth $1 million AUD.

“I cannot believe I have won tonight. I felt on edge but not out of control the entire tournament, and now to have the title I am just ecstatic -- this will be life-changing for my family,” said Rowe after the win.

Here were the chip counts at the start of the final table:

Seat 1: Martin Rowe -- 995,000
Seat 2: Jason Gray -- 1,188,000
Seat 3: Tony Basile -- 863,000
Seat 4: Timothy English -- 945,000
Seat 5: Daniel Kowalski -- 959,000
Seat 6: Frank Saffioti -- 790,000
Seat 7: Tom Rafferty -- 1,101,000
Seat 8: Antonio Fazzolari -- 1,775,000
Seat 9: Hai Bo Chu -- 781,000

Rowe entered the final table in fourth chip position, but he received a boost when he eliminated Hai Bo Chu in eighth place ($53,200 AUD) after Tom Rafferty was eliminated in ninth place ($39,200 AUD) by Antonio Fazzolari. Daniel Kowalski was eliminated in seventh place ($72,800 AUD) by Frank Saffioti, and then Rowe won one of the most crucial pots at the final table when he tangled with Fazzolari to take the chip lead. On a flop of K 9 7, Fazzolari bet, and both Rowe and Saffioti made the call. The 3 fell on the turn, and Fazzolari led out again. Only Rowe made the call at this point, and the 3 fell on the river. Rowe made one last call after Fazzolari led out, and the Aussie flipped over K 4 for two pair. Fazzolari turned up 8 7, and Rowe charged into the chip lead.

Rowe then caught fire and went on to eliminate Saffioti in sixth place ($100,800 AUD) and Timothy English in fifth place ($140,000 AUD) to increase his lead over the next-closest competitor to more than one million. Four players went to dinner break at that point, and when they returned, Rowe put two more players on the chopping block when he eliminated Fazzolari in fourth place ($182,000 AUD) and Tony Basile in third place ($266,000 AUD). Things came down to Rowe and the most formidable professional opponent he had standing in his way at the final table, Jason Gray, in heads-up action. Here were the chip counts at the start of heads-up play.

Martin Rowe -- 7,805,000
Jason Gray -- 1,595,000

Gray dug deep against Rowe, and he battled for two hours with the chips stacked against him before he was defeated. On the final hand, Gray limped preflop and then reraised all in after Rowe opened the action. Rowe called Gray down, and he turned up A Q. Gray turned over 9 5, and the board fell A Q 5 9 3 to eliminate Gray in second place ($476,000 AUD). This finished off an impressive run for the champion Rowe, who was awarded $1 million AUD for a final-table performance that saw him eliminate six of his opponents, including the final five eliminations.

This was the last stop on a successful season-two schedule for the APPT. Card Player will announce the APPT season three schedule as soon as the information is released by PokerStars.

Here are the final results with the payouts listed in Australian dollars:

1. Martin Rowe -- $1,000,000
2. Jason Gray -- $476,000
3. Tony  Basile -- $266,000
4. Antonio Fazzolari -- $182,000
5. Timothy English -- $140,000
6. Frank Saffioti -- $100,800
7. Daniel Kowalski -- $72,800
8. Hai Bo Chu -- $53,200
9. Tom Rafferty -- $39,200

Vanessa RoussoThe day after the final table of the APPT Grand Final, Rowe returned to play in the Tournament of Champions event, and he made the heads-up match for the second day in a row, this time against Team PokerStars pro Vanessa Rousso. The TOC featured one 10-handed table of talented professionals, including Rousso, Joe Hachem, Lee Nelson, and Chad Brown, along with former APPT tournament champions. Rousso was awarded $45,000 for the win to donate to the No Limit No Profit Initiative, which is a charity established by Rousso and Brown. Rowe was awarded $5,000 for finishing in second, which he donated to the charity Save the Children.