20-year-old Yevgeniy Timoshenko, a highly rated player from the United States of Ukrainian descent has won the 2008 APT Macau, Asia's largest guaranteed tournament, at the glamourous Galaxy StarWorld. 257 players from over 40 countries lined-up for a GUARANTEED prize pool of US$1.5 million and GUARANTEED first prize of US$500,000 – a landmark for the development of poker in Asia.
Timoshenko was first for $500,000, with Joon Hee Yeah from South Korea finishing second for $250,000. In third place was Rober Karlian from Thailand, who won $126,000 and Casey Kastle from the United States finished fourth. In fifth was Julio Diaz from Spain, sixth was Quang Nguyen from Vietnam, who won US$52,000, and seventh, Chong Wing Cheong from Hong Kong who won US$37,500. Eighth place went to Michael Pedley of Australia. These players triumphed in a field which featured some of the most high profile names in the game including the legendary Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Todd Brunson, Liz Lieu, J.C Tran, Kenny Tran, Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald, John Juanda, Nam Le, Quinn Do, Steve Sung, David ‘Chino' Rheems, Mel Judah, Mansour Matloubi, Harry Demetriou, Carter Gill, Richard En, PartyPoker.com Million VI champion Alexander Jung and APT Manila champion David Saab. The event, which run from the 27th – 31st May was opened by legendary host of the 1970 World Series of Poker ® Jack Binion. Coverage of the event will be seen on television around the world.
Chris Parker, CEO of the Asian Poker Tour congratulated the ecstatic winner Timoshenko at a wildly colorful closing ceremony. He then made a draw that gave away one free seat to the next event for one lucky player who had pre-registered for the tournament on official website http://www.asianpt.com/ and announced that this will be standard practice going forward.
Timoshenko was born in Kharkov, Ukraine but moved Washington State when he was 10 years old. In the last couple of years he has established his reputation as a fearsome online player and has topped online poker rankings. “I’m ecstatic to have finally won a main event,” said Timoshenko. “I will use the winnings to strengthen my bankroll but I haven’t decided about my future as yet. I have plans to go to business school in 2009.”
“There were points in the tournament where I definitely run good but I have to give respect to runner-up Joon Hee Yeah. He was the last person I wanted to take on heads-up, luckily I had a substantial chip lead. It feels really great to have won such a tournament in a place like Macau where you can feel the excitement about poker growing so fast”
Full details and live reporting of the tournament can be found at http://www.pokernews.com/live-reporting/2008-apt-macau/main-event/ and over 60 great videos covering the action on and off the felt can be found at http://www.thenutz.tv/ . Full details of cashes can be seen on http://www.asianpt.com/innerpage.aspx?id=5&eid=138
The APT also hosted a landmark HK$1million buy-in game at the StarWorld, coverage of which will be distributed internationally in the future.
Ahead of the Main Event, the APT hosted a special Celebrity Charity Tournament where HK$200,000 went to Caritas De Macau, the social service organization of Macau. The goal of Caritas de Macau is to provide services to the individuals, families, communities and societies, to help them to live in the society in a more humane condition economically, morally and spiritually. Amongst those who flew in to play the tournament and experience the glamour of APT was Manny Pacquiao, universally seen as the best pound for pound boxer in the world and the first Asian boxer to win four world titles in different divisions. The charity game also featured movie actor Michael Wong, singer Renee Dai, commentator Angie Mak and models Natalie Ng, Erica Yuen, Janice Man, Cha Cha and Wylien Chiu. Also in attendance were Miss Hong Kong winner Tracy Ip and cult glamour model Tila Tequila. Many of the world’s most famous pros took part and it was Quinn Do, who eventually won. On the same day Doyle Brunson started a series of immensely popular book signings at the StarWorld.
One massive spin-off of hosting the landmark event is record numbers in the APT sponsored poker room at the Galaxy StarWorld. The stampede of players to Macau has resulted in the addition of eight more tables. Six new state of the art shuffling machines have been added to cope with the demand and the players have raved about eight air purifying units that pump through the packed poker room. The room was officially opened on Tuesday.
Tom Hall, CEO of AsianLogic said: “Adding eight tables to the APT poker room may not sound like a big move to the well established western poker community but you have to remember that this is Macau where baccarat is king. Poker is in its infancy – this is a significant step forward and further evidence of the growth and potential in this market.”