The 2009 APAT European Amateur Team Championship was held at the G Casino Luton and attracted international teams from twelve countries, each vying for the European Amateur Team title to succeed last year’s winners Ireland.
The event was held over two days, with each of the teams comprising four players, battling it out over a series of 80 Six Max Sit & Go and Heads Up matches with points awarded according to finishing positions.
Leading throughout the first day was the English team containing APAT National Champions Steve Redfern and Brian Yates, followed by France, Hungary and Poland. England were still leading after the afternoon matches on day two, leaving only two rounds of Six Max Sit & Go matches to come on the final evening. In these games though the English under-performed leaving the way clear for their closest competitors to come through. England would eventually finish third.
In an innovative feature of the Championship, Germany recorded the first APAT in play poker substitution when captain Stephan Kalhamer introduced Silke Burghardt against England’s Brian Yates at a crucial point in the match. The German woman repeated an earlier victory over her English opponent to delight a hugely enthused rail and dent England’s chances of the title.
With two matches remaining France and Poland were neck and neck for the title, level on points and each had one player in the final two Heads-Up matches. If one player lost, whilst the player on the other team won, the title would be decided. In front of a huge railing section, Franck Viollett of France beat his German opponent. Now Arie Sinkewiecz of Poland had to beat England to take the event to a play off. After a tense match he achieved this, taking France and Poland into a three match heads up tie break to decide the Championship.
In a rollercoaster finish, Poland achieved the two crucial wins, to secure the 2009 European Amateur Poker Team Championship title.
The winners received a team prize of £3,200, Championship Cup and Gold medals, with France and England also receiving prize money and Silver and Bronze medals. The prize pool was augmented by generous added value from sponsors Blue Square Poker.
The final result was as follows:
Poland – 65 (Poland win play off)
France – 65
England – 57
Hungary – 55
Portugal – 55
Scotland – 52
Northern Ireland – 50
Germany – 49
Italy – 46
Wales – 44
Republic of Ireland – 38