5/24/10 – Victorino Torres (33), a poker pro from the Northern Mariana Islands, is the new 2010 PokerStars Asian Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event champion, besting a field of 342 over the weekend to claim a winner’s prize of HK$3 246 200  (about US$ 416 000).
 
Despite a twenty percent decline in the entry field compared with last year, the event – held at the Grand Lisboa Casino – provided plenty of action and excitement as players of 40 different nationalities competed for big prizes and the respect that a major live tournament win carries with it.
 
Torres’ achievement was all the more remarkable because he started the final table action with the second lowest chip stack, using skill and some good cards to turn the disadvantage into the biggest win yet in his poker playing career.
 
The final table pitted Torres against Chong Cheong, Cole Swannack (chip leader), Jeppe Drivsholm, Kenny Nielsen, Brian Green, Kai Paulsen, Albert Kim and Keith Hawkins.
 
By the time play had reached the four handed stage Torres was in command of the game with a good chip lead, and when Jeppe Drivsholm (placed fourth) and New Zealander Cole Swannack (who finished third) were eliminated he faced Chong Cheong in the heads up holding a solid advantage.
 
The Torres vs. Cheong confrontation only lasted a few hands. Torres took the first few hands but his Hong Kong opponent gave a good account of himself and started a spirited comeback. It was too little, too late however, and the right cards, played with skill and determination saw Torres prevail to take the trophy and the main prize.
 
Torres, who had qualified for the main event through a $22 re-buy satellite on PokerStars was jubilant: “My whole experience here in Macau has been exceptional to say the least,” he said.
 
“PokerStars ran this tournament [with efficiency] beyond belief. To every player, if you have the opportunity, come out here and play.”
 
Cheong collected a second placing check for HKD 2 088 000 for his time and trouble, and the seven-figure cashes extended down to third placed Kiwi, Cole Swannack.