It wasn't only the sports of golf which saw South Koreans triumphant this week; it was also glory for Korea in the inaugural JBET Battle of the Nations event at the 2009 Asian Poker Tour Macau Festival.
Dominant throughout the event, all three members of Team Korea – Brandon Wong and Poker Pack pros David ‘Chino’ Rheem and Steve Sung – advanced to the final table en route to a comprehensive victory.
The team garnered 106 points to win the overall team championship before the final table even began. The Vietnamese team, which was composed of brothers Nam Le, Tommy Le, and Allan Le, was second with 89 points. For the team win, the Koreans picked up the HK $406 060 team championship prize.
Rheem said: “We’re all delighted that the Korean team picked up first place and that our win was so comprehensive. Halfway through I really thought it was going to be our day. It is always fantastic to win any poker tournament but it gives you something extra when national pride is at stake too!”
The top two individual awards went to members of the Vietnamese contingent, however. Allan Le won the top player award for a prize of HK $95 700 while his brother and Poker Pack member Nam Le picked up HK $52 200 for second. Third place went to Rheem, who went home with HK $26 100.
The JBET Battle of the Nations event was the ninth side event at the 2009 Asian Poker Tour Macau.
Amongst the teams that took part were 888Poker Team Australia, sponsored by 888.com and captained and managed by James Potter, Team USA and Team Vietnam, which featured Poker Pack stars JC Tran, Quinn Do and Nam Le.
Hong Kong was represented by 2009 Asian Poker Tour Macau High Rollers winner David Steicke and the legendary Johnny Chan. Vivek Rajkumar led the line for India, David Chiu was a key member of Team China, while Theo Tran was a flag bearer for Canada. One surprise package was the team from Belarus, featuring PartyPoker.com online qualifiers, while Japan also brought a strong side.
The JBET Battle of the Nations was a unique team NLHE tournament. Teams were composed of three members from the same country, and faced each other with all tables six-handed.
There were 13 teams of three, featuring 39 players in all. The top three players left and the winning team scooped the prize pool. The buy-in for the event was HK$48 000, with 70 percent of the prize pool going to the winning team and the remainder split between the top three players.
This weekend should see a result from the HK$ 34 400 buy-in Main Event now in progress, with a good turnout of players, many of whom qualified at the industry's major online poker rooms.
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