The APAT Poker Association & Tour held the fourth event of its second season, the European Amateur Poker Championship in Vienna’s Poker Royale Casino, on 22nd-23rd March. The event represented APAT’s first event outside the UK, and attracted a significant number of new player’s into the tour. The event had 188 entries, who qualified by online satellites and direct payment. The players were again offered a Â£75 freeze-out with 10,000 starting chips, a slow clock, Â£3,500 to the winner plus significant added value from tour sponsors BlueSquare.com via the form of an entry package into the GUKPT Grand Final in late in 2008 in London worth $8,000 to the winner in addition to their cash prize, trophy, medal and Player of the Year ranking points.
The field contained 70 British players and a number of players from across Europe in addition to Austria. Early chip leader was APAT Player of the Year Kevin Shutt whose flopped set of tens helped him double up. Also doing well in the early stages were Linda Iwaniak and Don Roberts. Roberts was notably assisted by hitting a royal flush, being paid by his opponent also holding a flush. In general the early play was looser and more aggressive than we have seen in previous APAT events, with over 70 players having been eliminated by the first dinner break after seven levels.
Local players at the head of affairs included Martin Weninger and Michael Straubli whilst Gareth Ower was making a spirited defence of this title he won a year ago. Meanwhile Gerard Smyth had a slow start but doubled up twice after the dinner break to head into contention and late in the day Jeldon Fernandes, 3rd in Wales, doubled through with 55 versus QQ.
At the end of the day 19 players remained with average chips 100,000 and blinds to resume at 4,000-8,000. The chip leaders were all Austrian/German players:
Milan Zaric 209,000
Martin Klaser 198,000
Michael Weninger 154,000
Hendrik Kroll 150,000
Robert Schweintzger 131,000
Still in were APAT regulars Leigh Wiltshire, Linda Iwaniak and Don Roberts. Early on day 2 Roberts was eliminated but Iwaniak continued strongly, winning a key race to knock out Leigh Wiltshire in 13th. Aside from Linda the main protagonists were Klaser, Martin Tu, Michael Strobhl and Stefan Platner who cut a swathe through the field from two tables out, winning confrontations from behind. For Tu the key hand was when he eliminated Gregg Jones from Doncaster with A 10 versus 10 10, Ace on the flop with eleven left. Then on the final table bubble Platner found AA in the small blind to Martin Weninger’s button push with A8. They both saw a cruel A 8 8 flop!
The final table line up in seat order was as follows
1 Stefan Platner from Graz 525,000
2 Martin Tu from Wiener Neustadt 264,000
3 Martin Klaser from Koln 226,000
4 Michael Strobl from Vienna 345,000
5 Milan Zaric from Vienna 135,000
6 Hendrik Kroll from Innsbruck 79,000
7 Sebastian Berres from Koln 134,000
8 Linda Iwaniak from Reading 152,000
9 Andy Kingan from Wallasey 105,000
The key pot of the early stages of the final occurred when Martin Tu’s 88 tripped on the flop to beat Stefan Platner’s 99 and give Martin the chip lead. Stefan recovered some ground when his KQ beat Sebastian Berres’ 77 to knock Berres out in 9th. In 8th fell Michael Zaric followed bt Trobl in 7th when his push ran into Andy Kingan’s AK in the blinds. Platner himself was knocked out in 6th when his KQ lost to Kroll’s AJ on the river.
Five handed play continued for some time at big blind levels. Previously Iwaniak had doubled through on Tu’s big blind with K6 versus A 10 and now she came to the fore, noticeably stepping up her raising frequency and soon challenging for the chip lead, helped also by finding AK versus Klaser’s button raise with AQ. However she lost a big pot to Kroll at that point to knock her back.
Andy Kingan had a good run 5 handed (Kings, Queens and Jacks all shown) to move to a chip lead with half the chips in play ahead of Tu and Kroll , who then knocked out Klaser in 5th wih AK. Iwaniak then fell to Kroll in 4th, automatically priced in to defend her big blind with any two.
Three handed Kingan led from Kroll with Tu trailing. Tu was knocked out in 3rd when his Ace-Ten could not beat Kingan’s AK. So Kingan and Kroll were Heads Up for the title with Kingan having a two-to-one chip lead, increased when he hit a turned full house heads up and then he won when his 10 9 of hearts outdrew Kroll’s K 10 on the flop.
So Andy Kingan from Wallasey became the 2008 European Amateur Poker Champion.