APL/888PL/Pub Poker – APL Player of Year Final

Scott Brown wins 2011 APL Player of the Year Final!

Launceston school teacher Scott Brown (pictured below) is bound for Las Vegas as the captain of TeamWSOP after winning the APL Player of the Year Final. It was a case of death by a thousand cuts for gallant runner-up Gina Tomasi, who watched her stack gradually whittled away until she committed the last of her chips with Qh-6h. Brown was well placed with Qc-10s, and so it proved when the board ran out Kc-4h-7s-7d-3d.

Brown will captain the TeamWSOP crew (comprising up to 12 players) to the 2012 World Series of Poker later this year as part of a package valued at $17,000 including flights and accommodation. He also pocketed $15,000 in cash. That brings to an end an exciting opening to The MAIN EVENT festivities, with the feature event starting here at Crown from 12.10pm tomorrow (Friday).

Scott Brown TAS 138000 30000
Gina Tomasi NZ 22000 -30000

Brown edges towards victory

The chips are flowing back and forth between Scott Brown and Gina Tomasi with the Tasmanian retaining his lead in the heads-up battle for the APL Player of the Year title. There haven’t been too many big pots, but Brown caught Tomasi napping when he announced all-in with the board showing Ks-7c-Kd-Ah-7d. With 45,000 in the pot, Tomasi thought long and hard before sending her hand into the muck. Brown holds 108,000 while Tomasi is on 52,000.

Gina Tomasi NZ 92000 -6000
Scott Brown TAS 68000 39000

Col Birt eliminated in third position

In the words of Jimmy Barnes, there ain’t no second prize – Col Birt has been floored by a one-two combination to leave Scott Brown and Gina Tomasi battling for the APL Player of the Year title and a $32,000 winner-takes-all first prize which includes a $17,000 WSOP package.

Brown scooped the majority of Birt’s stack when he rode pocket aces over the South Australian’s pocket nines. Birt was then all-in for barely 2000 and when Brown showed Kc-3h for trip kings on a board of Kh-7s-Kd-Qd-6c, he was out in third. The heads-up battle starts with Tomasi on 92,000 and Brown holding 68,000.

Gina Tomasi NZ 98000 65000
Col Birt SA 33000 -12000
Scott Brown TAS 29000 -53000

Tomasi back in town

The APL Player of the Year Final was tipped back in the direction of Gina Tomasi after she just took down the biggest pot of the tournament. With 60,000 already in the pot, Tomasi shoved her last 18,000 with the board showing 4c-5s-3c-6h-Kc. Scott Brown made a quick call and turned over 4s-4h for a set, but Tomasi held 6d-7c for a straight. She’s up to 98,000 while Brown tumbled to 29,000, his lowest chip count since the opening hour of the event.

Talkin’ the talk

Talk about a contrast – the hour of poker since the dinner break has featured an almost endless commentary between Col Birt and Scott Brown (pictured below), with the latter steadily increasing his stack using some aggressive betting either side of the flop. In contrast, Gina Tomasi has barely uttered a word, content to sit back for the moment and listen to a few tunes as the Tasmanian and South Australian continually butt heads. With blinds at 1000/2000 and an ante of 200, Brown leads on 82,000.

Scott Brown TAS 75000 14500
Col Birt SA 55000 6500
Gina Tomasi NZ 30000 -21000

Next up … The MAIN EVENT!

In just over 14 hours, one of the biggest single-day fields in Crown Poker history will converge for the running of the inaugural MAIN EVENT. The field is edging towards 550 players meaning there’ll barely be a spare seat in the southern hemisphere’s largest poker room when play starts at 12.10pm. Be sure to follow all the action here on PokerMedia Australia over the next three days.

Ticket to Vegas agonisingly close

Scott Brown, Col Birt and Gina Tomasi have returned from the dinner break to decide who will captain TeamWSOP in Las Vegas this July as the APL Player of the Year. Play has tightened up considerably as the trio realise the proximity of the winner-takes-all prize. Brown still leads with Birt and Tomasi almost even.

Scott Brown TAS 60500 -9900
Gina Tomasi NZ 51000 -2900
Col Birt SA 48500 25000

Steve Kane eliminated in fourth position

Steve Kane (pictured above) has bowed out fourth leaving three reasonably even stacks in contention for the $32,000 first prize package in the APL Player of the Year Final. The Gippsland player called the all-in of Col Birt and showed 10s-10c only for Birt to turn over Js-Jd. A board of 9s-Qc-3h-6d-6h was no help to Kane. The remaining three players have just headed off for a 30-minute dinner break with play set to resume at 9pm AEDST. The chip count reads Scott Brown (60,500), Col Birt (51,000) and Gina Tomasi (48,500).

Col’s clawing back

Scott Brown has used cautious aggression to amass his stack today but just picked the wrong spot in an attempt to send South Australia’s Col Birt to the rail. Birt shoved all-in for 18,100, Brown made the call and showed Kc-Js to trail Birt’s Ad-6d. The dealer spread a board of As-6s-Th-5d-9c to make Birt two-pair and double his stack to more than 37,000. Brown is back to 54,000, just narrowly ahead of Gina Tomasi. Steve Kane, who’s stayed well and truly under the radar today, is the low stack on 12,000.

Scott Brown TAS 70400 10600
Gina Tomasi NZ 53900 8700
Col Birt SA 23500 300
Steve Kane VIC 12200 -6550
Shaun Bridges NSW Busted
Rob Forward WA Busted
Peter Kriston QLD Busted
Ben O’Connell NSW Busted

Shaun Bridges eliminated in fifth position

Shaun Bridges (pictured below) had been down to less than 1000 in chips before clawing his way back to almost 7000 at one point. However, the second and last of the NSW representatives in this APL Player of the Year Final is now heading for the bar after being KOed by Scott Brown.

Bridges shipped his last 5850 before Brown booted it to 15,000 with all other players folding. It was 6s-6d for Bridges against the Ah-Ks for Brown, with the Ad in the window (the board ran out 4s-3s-Qc-8c) enough for Brown to smash through the 70,000-mark.

Rob Forward eliminated in sixth position

WA’s Rob Forward is free to enjoy the myriad features of the magnificent Crown Entertainment Complex after bowing out of the APL Player of the Year title race in sixth place. The last of Forward’s chips were committed with Ac-7c with the resurgent Col Birt calling and showing Ah-Ks. Birt sweated the 10c-5c-2d flop but the turn 9s and river Jh failed to improve Forward’s hand.

Scott Brown TAS 59800 8750
Gina Tomasi NZ 45200 7400
Col Birt SA 23200 -1400
Steve Kane VIC 18750 -800
Rob Forward WA 9500 -6600
Shaun Bridges NSW 3550 -300
Peter Kriston QLD Busted
Ben O’Connell NSW Busted

Peter Kriston eliminated in seventh position

Peter Kriston’s stack headed in the wrong direction from the opening level and the Queenslander (pictured above) just became our seventh-place finisher. Gina Tomasi made it successive scalps after calling Kriston’s all-in of 5600. It was 10s-9s for the business student against pocket fives for the Kiwi. The board ran out 2d-Kc-4c-Ac-As to send Tomasi’s stack back above 30,000. Play has just ticked into level 8 (400/800, ante 75).

Brown back on top

Scott Brown has emerged victorious in the latest battle of the big stacks after taking a nice pot from Gina Tomasi. With blinds now at level 7 (300/600 and an ante of 50), Brown made it 1500 before the flop and Tomasi made the call.

The flop fell Ah-6h-4d – check, check – and turn came Ad. Tomasi checked, Brown bet 1500, Tomasi called before the Jd sailed down the river. Tomasi checked, Brown bet 2500 and Tomasi called but was none too happy when Brown showed Qs-Jh for a rivered better two-pair than Tomasi aces and deuces.

Scott Brown TAS 51050 29050
Gina Tomasi NZ 37800 20300
Col Birt SA 24600 3600
Steve Kane VIC 19550 -2950
Rob Forward WA 16100 -1900
Peter Kriston QLD 7100 -9400
Shaun Bridges NSW 3850 -18650
Ben O’Connell NSW Busted

Ben O’Connell eliminated in eighth position

Just minutes before the first break of the APL Player of the Year Final, Ben O’Connell became the first player to be eliminated. The 2011 APL Poker Tour Gold Coast champion failed to gain any traction this afternoon and left the table after a typically heart-breaking hand.

The rampaging Gina Tomasi bumped O’Connell’s pre-flop bet of 1900 to 6200. The Queanbeyan player called for his last 4500 and it was off to the races between Tomasi’s pocket kings and O’Connell’s pocket queens. The Kh in the window was enough for O’Connell to start gathering his personals and the board ran out a loveless 7h-3c-8h-Ts. Tomasi is now the outright chip leader on 50,500.

Tomasi closes on lead

Scott Brown has some company at the top of the chip count after an aggressive session from our sole international at the APL Player of the Year Final table – New Zealand’s Gina Tomasi (pictured above). Hailing from Porirua, just to the north of Wellington, Tomasi is doing the Land of the Long White Cloud proud and currently shades Brown by less than 5000 in chips (48,000 to 47,500). In contrast, Shaun Bridges, Peter Kriston, Ben O’Connell and Col Birt have all slipped below 10,000 as the first break of the event approaches.

Last Chance Satellite about to kick-off

We’re still a day away from The MAIN EVENT but the Crown Poker Room is packed with players checking out the action in the APL Player of the Year Final or awaiting to take their seats for the $150 buy-in Last Chance MAIN EVENT Satellite. The buzz in the room is equal to anything we’ve experienced at a major Crown tournament series – it’s gonna be a huge weekend!

Troubled waters for Bridges

Scott Brown is used to playing for high stakes at Crown. He was runner-up to Shane Shalders in last year’s APLPT Melbourne Main Event, and pocketed more than $72,000 as a result. The Tasmanian is up and about here once again after taking down the biggest pot of the day so far from Shaun Bridges.On a flop of 8d-Ah-6h, Brown bet 7600, Bridges called and they saw the turn fall 9d. This time Brown bet 11,500 and Bridges sent his hand into the muck. Brown showed pocket sixes and bottom set before counting up a stack of 38,475 while Bridges slipped to around 8000.

Slow slow’s the go

With such a big starting stack and relaxed structure, the early stages of the APL Player of the Year Final were always going to be a grind. Shaun Bridges and Steve Kane have edged their stacks up just under 23,000 but with such a massive prize at stake, there’s no hurry at this point. We’re currently at the mid-point of level four, with blinds at 100/200 and an ante of 25.

The APL Player of the Year contenders

Player profile: Peter Kriston (QLD) – Favourite venue is Kawana SLSC; 23-year-old full-time business student; he has four brothers (all mad about poker); favourite starting hand is pocket aces; he’s been playing APL for four years; and his poker dream is to be rolled up enough to play online poker as a career.

Player profile: Steve Kane (Vic) – Favourite venue is Wonthaggi Workmens; he’s a 53-year-old father of two; he’s qualified for every VIC State Champs since 2009; his poker dream is to make it to the WSOP; his favourite hand is the winning hand; works as an Integration Aid at Wonthaggi North Primary School.

Player profile: Col Birt (SA) – Favourite venue is Middleton Tavern; he’s engaged to Carina with plans to get married in Vegas; won the APL State Finals in 2009 and qualified for a spot to play in the Australian Poker Hero series and won Episode 1 and in doing so, won a seat into the Aussie Millions Main Event; he knocked out Chris “Jesus” Ferguson in the Full Tilt tournament and won a $500 bounty; his favourite hand is J-3.

Player profile: Scott Brown (Tas) – Placed second at the 2010 APL Poker Tour event here at Crown; won three APL/888 Player of the Month awards in a row in 2011; he’s a secondary school teacher who dabbles in a bit of poker on the side; known for being laid back, Scott had to beat out Tassie’s Mark Selby to win his seat in the Player of the Year tournament which was considered impossible (!); his favourite hand is any hand that wins.

Player profile: Rob Forward (WA) – Multiple (six in total) WA Player of the Month winner; multiple WA Pro League winner; won the WA State Champs in October 2011; he’s the licensee for the Stock Road Market Tavern; he loves the game of poker and the social aspect of the game; his favourite hand is pocket aces.

Player profile: Gina Tomasi (NZ) – Favourite venue is The Porirua Club; she has seven siblings (four brothers and three sisters); she is a health worker; her favourite hand is 7s-2s; her poker dream is to play in the WSOP; outside of the APL tournaments, Gina and the family take part in a fiercely contested ‘family tournament’ and she claims to be ‘the best’ in the family; it should be noted that four Tomasis’ qualified into the NZ leg of the POTY play-off!

Player profile: Ben O’Connell (NSW) – Aged 21; winner of the 2011 APL Poker Tour event on the Gold Coast, placed second at the October Pro Open; he won three MAIN EVENT seats; favourite venue is Queanbeyan Roos Club; works as a Security Officer at Canberra Casino; member of TeamWSOP 2012; favourite hand is As-Jd.

Player profile: Shaun Bridges (NSW) – Favourite venue is Moorebank Hotel; he is an apprentice carpenter, first win came at Ballarat (Minerdome, Wendouree); his poker dream is to become pro and make a living from it; his favourite hand is Ad-3d; in six weeks’ time, he will be moving to England to fulfil a cricket contract in England.

Brown first out of the stalls

A quick reminder about today’s winner-take-all prize. The winner of the APL Player of the Year Final will be named captain of TeamWSOP, which includes a seat in the 2012 WSOP Main Event along with flights and accommodation along with an extra $15,000 in cash. The first player to signal his intentions to claim that prize was Tassie’s Scott Brown, who took down the first big pot of the tournament after flopping a set of sixes. Queensland’s Peter Kriston bet the flop and turn but wisely eased up on the river with the board showing 6s-8d-5h-8c-Jc.

Cards are in the air for POTY Final

Melbourne has turned on a perfect late-summer day to welcome hundreds of players and their guests from around the country for The MAIN EVENT. Scores of players have already had their first look at the world famous Crown Poker Room before registering for the tournament, which kicks-off tomorrow.

Some have also taken their place on the rail for the first of the schedule’s many highlights – the APL Player of the Year Final, which is scheduled to kick-off in the next few minutes. The field comprises:

Seat 1: Shaun Bridges (NSW)
Seat 2: Steve Kane (Vic)
Seat 3: Scott Brown (Tas)
Seat 4: Rob Forward (WA)
Seat 5: Peter Kriston (Qld)
Seat 6: Ben O’Connell (NSW)
Seat 7: Gina Tomasi (NZ)
Seat 8: Col Birt (SA)

Players will start with 20,000 in chips, with levels consisting of 30 minutes.


Level 1: 50/100
Level 2: 100/200
Level 3: 100/200 (ante 25)
Level 4: 150/300 (ante 25)
Level 5: 200/400 (ante 50)
Level 6: 300/600 (ante 50)
Level 7: 400/800 (ante 75)
Level 8: 600/1200 (ante 100)

Break (10 minutes)

Level 9: 800/1600 (ante 100)
Level 10: 1000/2000 (ante 200)
Level 11: 1500/3000 (ante 300)
Level 12: 2000/4000 (ante 400)
Level 13: 3000/6000 (ante 500)
Level 14: 4000/8000 (ante 500)
Level 15: 5000/10,000 (ante 1000)
Level 16: 6000/12,000 (ante 1000)

Break (10 minutes)

Level 17: 8000/16,000 (ante 2000)
Level 18: 10,000/20,000 (ante 2000)
Level 19: 15,000/30,000 (ante 3000)
Level 20: 20,000/40,000 (ante 4000)
Level 21: 30,000/60,000 (ante 5000)
Level 22: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 23: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

TeamWSOP captaincy up for grabs in APL Player of the Year Final

Welcome to PokerMedia Australia’s coverage of The MAIN EVENT, proudly presented by the Full House Group. The MAIN EVENT marks the first time players representing three of Australia’s premier pub poker brands – the 888Poker League, the Australian Poker League and Pub Poker – will sit side-by-side in pursuit of a prestigious national title.

Already, a $500,000 prizepool and a $100,000 first prize package have been guaranteed. But before The MAIN Event kicks-off tomorrow, we have a tasty entrée in store this afternoon with the APL Player of the Year final.

Over a 12-month period, players attended daily events to accumulate points in pursuit of the title of APL Player of the Month in each state. Those 12 players were joined by the four State Championship winners in each state for a 16-player playoff to decide the field for the first APL Player of the Year Final. The qualifiers are:

Shaun Bridges (NSW)
Peter Kriston (Qld)
Steve Kane (Vic)
Rob Forward (WA)
Scott Brown (Tas)
Col Birt (SA)
Gina Tomasi (NZ)

Today’s field also includes APLPT Gold Coast champion Ben O’Connell from NSW. Each of the playoff winners has already Special Edition APL POTY Qualifier medallion in addition to the title of APL POTY State Champion, a MAIN EVENT seat and $500 in cash towards flights and accommodation.

The winner of the APL Player of the Year Final will be named captain of TeamWSOP, which includes a seat in the 2012 WSOP Main Event along with flights and accommodation along with an extra $15,000 in cash.

We’re looking forward to joining the APL’s “main man” Daniel ‘Milf’ Milford ringside from 4pm for coverage of the APL Player of the Year Final to kick-off The MAIN EVENT schedule live from Australia’s home of poker, Crown Melbourne.

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