Niki Raskin Wins First Leg of APAT Belgian Amateur Tour

After the success of the very first Belgian APAT event back in September, 2015 promises to be bigger and grander with no less than four APAT weekends on the calendar.

The tournament series, dubbed the APAT Belgian Amateur Poker Tour, kicked off in the beautiful ‘Casino de Spa’ last Friday with a Belgian premier: the first ever Crazy Pineapple tournament in a casino.

Belgian Didier De Swert beat 42 other players to win the inaugural Pineapple event, after making a deal HU with Dutchman Pasqual Lenior.

The Main Event on Saturday attracted 177 players, which is a massive number compared to the regular tournaments in the Spa Casino, and 48 made it to Day 2.

Unlike last time in Namur, bubble play didn’t last very long when 2 players got knocked out at exactly the same time, putting the last 27 players in the money. For many of those, this was already a big success, since a lot of them played in their very first live tournament!

Eliminations went quickly, until we came very close to the Final Table. One of them, Thierry De Quick, almost managed to make back-to-back final tables, but he was eliminated in 14th.

Tom Deschuytter, who bubbled the Namur final table, did improve on that finish, but this time he was the first to bust from the FT.

From 10 to 9 lasted 2 full levels (!!), but it went turbo-fast after that. In the next 15 hands we lost 6 players, leaving 3 players of different countries battling it out for the medals and the €4.015 first prize!

German Marcel Schweigert was the first one to go when he suffered a nasty PFAI loss with 99 vs Arie Groen’s Q9. Thanks to this hand, the Dutchman started the HU with a 2-1 advantage against Niki Raskin. Niki is a regular APAT player, cashing in Namur and winning the Online PLO side event.

Chips moved around the table fast, until both players found a huge hand to get the chips in preflop. Niki was in trouble with JJ against Arie’s KK, but a jack on the flop was the prettiest of cards for him.

After an exact chipcount, Niki’s stack was a bit bigger than Arie’s, ending the tournament then and there! With this win, Niki also seals 1st place in our Player of the Year ranking, earning Niki a spot on Team Belgium for the upcoming WCOAP!

In other Side Event action we saw Peter Schrauwen winning the Omaha event (he will join the action in London as well). And a player nicknamed ‘Lip Flipper’ took down the Hold’em Side Event after beating 56 fellow players.

The next APAT event in Belgium will take place in May when we will return to the ‘Casino de Namur’.