The title in the Singapore Betfair Asian Poker Tournament had my name written all over it. When I came in today, I knew I was going to win. I said so in my blog before it all began, and again during the tournament, and, even though it’s hard to describe or explain, sometimes I just know I will win a tournament. I knew I was going to win this one, and this is how it all panned out.
The final table was 10 handed with the biggest poker audience in attendance I have ever seen. Not only was the poker audience an awesome sight, the biggest media contingent I have ever seen was there also. It was amazing. The house was packed and I wanted to play my A game. The two locals that bought in had their support audience but I had mine too. All the Americans there were really pushing me. Rick was an inspiration during the day. In the mix of supporters there were also many Australians like Paul who kept me steady.
Ten handed is a tough game. I don’t like it but I had to put up with it for awhile today. Early on I picked up A-Q suited and I was in the small blind. The button raised and I called not wanting to make the pot too big. He had 9-9. The flop brought A-A-10. I was in business. We both had about 700k and I was ready to rock and roll in a mega pot. I checked the flop and he bet. I just called with the best hand, staying friends at that point. The turn brought a 9. I checked again. He bet and I called. He bet small though. The river was a blank but brought a flush possible and no help for me. I felt he had a weak Ace so I check raised the river and he called with his boat. I ran into block wall. I was in trouble and my stack was down to 400k. I know I could play this hand better, but if I raise on the turn I lose all my chips raising on the river, less chance that players will put you all-in unless they have the nuts…that’s just my thinking.
I was completely relaxed. I knew I could come back. I waited. The blinds were small and I had time. There’s no reason to panic so I settled in to plug away and pick off the blinds. I built my stack back up to 600k and by now the table was 7 handed. I felt fine, as all table captains should, and I waited. One local was out and one by the name of Ang Pang Leng was in OK shape and the young Swede, Samuel Lehtonen, was now the captain of the table. He didn’t know he was in my spot and I would be making sure he lost his position. He had 1.4M and was playing great.
I needed my mouth here. It was time to show everyone who the real captain was. I start needling. I didn’t want him to be too confident. I got to him and then I could see some of his flaws. I felt sure that I was going to break him down. He talked to me and that makes it easy to get to him. He was a real threat and I needed to tilt him. Slowly he came around, right where I wanted him to be, and 15 minutes later he was on full tilt, playing bad and within an hour, he was catching the bus back to his hotel room. Everyone needs to see this on TV.
Lee Nelson was still there and I knew I needed to start working on him. But he is too good so I needed my skills to out play him or let somebody else take him out…maybe the young Singaporean. And yes, he did it or me. Right then and there, I knew I was going to win. It was me and the Singaporean in a ding dong heads up battle. I started with 1M; he was at 2M when we went into heads up play. I say I am 80% to beat him but since I knew I would win this before I even came here, I knew it was 100%. He had luck, he had skill, and guts but I had much more then him. I wanted this title more than the cash. I crushed him heads up. He had a break but no help. I made a massive steal on the river in a key pot with my 8-2, no pair, on a board of 10-10-3-4-A and he showed the A and dropped his hand into the rubbish bin. I showed him the 8-2 suited after he folded. He said he had me beat and I said, “It’s easy, call and you win,” but he did not trust me and folded.
It was over then. I had 2M vs. 1M and it was just a matter of time until the final hand. I picked up a massive 10-6 double suited on the button and limped. He raised on his big blind. I felt that he had an Ace. I called to win it all if I hit. I felt it coming. The flop was a 10 high. He bet a little and I moved all-in. He said he had had enough and shoved all-in. I said I was behind but this was my best chance. No help came for Ang Pang Leng and it was over. Catch the action here! I am the Asian Poker Tour Champion. Long Live the Table Captain!!!
Meet me at Tony G., you can play for the role of table captain too…but you have to beat me to have all the chips and the title.