From 19 to 21 September, the Casino de Namur hosted the very first APAT Belgian Amateur Poker Championship. With 271 players, from 18 different countries, the Main Event saw one of the biggest player fields in a debut APAT event. This created a €6,000 first prize, along with the coveted APAT Gold medal and a £110 entry for the World Championship of Amateur Poker Event (WCOAP) in London.
As always, the friendly atmosphere at and around the tables marked an amazing poker weekend for the amateur poker player; many of them playing their first APAT tournament or even their first casino poker tournament.
Albanian Artan Harizaj outlasted the entire field, beating Maarten Westbroek of Holland. Gazmend Hoxhaj was the top Belgian player of the weekend with a 3rd place, earning him a spot on the team to represent Belgium during the next WCOAP in April.
With another 140 entries, also the side events proved very popular. Vahit Demercan was the first winner of the weekend, beating 25 players en route to the Cash Tournament title. Italian Salvatore Alessi took the €1.000 first prize in the NLH and home player Steve Gilles won the PLO on Sunday.
The success of this inaugural Belgian Amateur Championship certainly proved the need to have a well-organized low buy-in tour, in a country where poker players are struggling to find a casino that offers decent poker games and tournaments.
MAIN EVENT (€110, 271 players)
1. ARTAN HARIZAJ (Alb) €6.048
2. Maarten Westbroek (Hol) €3.655
3. Gazmend Hoxhaj (Bel) €2.522
4. Ruben Tack (Bel) €1.764
5. Stijn Cornelis (Bel) €1.310
6. Sebastien Naud (Bel) €882
7. Dion Van Tongeren (Hol) €732
8. Bert Liekens (Bel) €604
9. Didier Mazairac (Bel) €504
SIDE EVENT NLH (€55, 60 players)
1. SALVATORE ALESSI (Ita) €1.000
2. Davy Goffin (Bel) €555
3. Tamara Claeys (Bel) €375
4. Patrick Maja (Bel) €225
5. Pierre Nicolas (Fra) €165
6. Mick Doyle (Eng) €140
7. De Simone (Bel) €125
8. Raphael Charlet (Fra) €110
9. Robbert Pekel (Hol) €95
SIDE EVENT PLO (€55, 59 players)
1. STEVE GILLES (Bel) €675
2. Christophe Keuleers (Bel) €675
3. Joussy Blanquart (Bel) €675
4. Scott Prutti (Bel) €245
5. Paul Newbury (Eng) €160
6. Maarten Schoefs (Bel) €145
7. Vahit Demircan (Bel) €122
SIDE EVENT CASH TOURNAMENT (€65+R, 26 players)
1. VAHIT DEMIRCAN (Bel) €619,50 (+€167,00)
2. Daniel Van Houwelingen (Hol) €374,00 (+€75,00)
3. Niki Raskin (Bel) €267,50
4. Patrick Van Meerbeeck (Bel) €125,50
5. Yannick D’Heere (Bel) €70,00