A massive weekend of poker at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL culminated with Bashir Skaf adding his name to the list of TeamWSOP qualifiers for 2012 after claiming victory in the NSW Pro Open event for March 2012.
Players from as far afield as Cairns and Tweed Heads joined the field of 484 players, which sent the guaranteed cash prize pool from $4400 to $8800. This was on top of the $17,000 TeamWSOP Package and three $1200 MAIN EVENT seats also on offer. To sweeten the pot, 32 second-chance Pro Open tickets for the April Pro Open at Club Central in Hurstville on April 15 were also up for grabs for the top 40.
At one point, completely by chance, a feature table emerged in the centre of the pit comprising Rodney Davidson (winner at the inaugural APL Tournament of Champions), Paul Georges (winner of the 2009 APL Tournament of Champions), Molli-Rose Brown (2012 Pink Heart Ladies Champ) and Charlie Elias (who remains the most successful member of TeamAPL having cashed for USD $138,000 in the 2010 World Series of Poker).
It was Davidson who proved to have the staying power, outlasting the other APL notables to grind his way into top 16. Meanwhile Alex White carved his way through the final two tables to emerge as a leading contender for the title.
Glynn Novice was the crowd favourite when the final table kicked-off as the hometown favourite among the City South West (NCS) region contingent while a small but rowdy entourage from the Illawarra North (NIN) region threw their support behind Andrew MacFarlane. But it was Bashir Skaf from the Ryde, Canada Bay and Gladesville (NCW) region who emerged victorious, edging out Alex White from East Sydney to claim the title.
The APL looks forward to giving away more than $85,000 in cash and prizes when Club Central in Hurstville plays host to the NSW State Champs and April Pro Open on April 14-15.
NSW Pro Open March 2012 results
1 Bashir Skaf $17,000 TeamWSOP Package + $1800 cash + State Champs seat
2 Alex White $1200 MAIN EVENT seat + $1200 cash + State Champs seat
3 Glynn Novice $1200 MAIN EVENT seat + $900 cash + State Champs seat
4 Chris Vale $1200 MAIN EVENT seat + $700 cash + State Champs seat
5 James Vourantoni $1000 cash + State Champs seat
6 Andrew MacFarlane $800 cash + State Champs seat
7 Matthew Burke $600 cash + State Champs seat
8 Rodney Davidson $400 cash + State Champs seat
9 Rolando Manarang $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
10 Alicia Wilkinson $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
11 Joshua Grove $150 + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
12 Sharen Thomas $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
13 Margaret Cook $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
14 Michele Lofthouse $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
15 Joe Scaravilli $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket
16 Daniel Lazar $150 cash + Second Chance Pro Open Ticket