Triumphant return for the APT in Brisbane

Images courtesy of Gigi Fab/Australian Poker Tour

The thirst for live poker has finally been quenched, with the Australian Poker Tour (APT) running its second Brisbane series last week – the first major event of its kind since COVID-19 put the nation into lockdown.

Held once again at the Eatons Hill Hotel, player numbers were given a significant boost with the opening of the Queensland border to players from northern New South Wales, as well as those able to travel from Tasmania, the ACT and South Australia.

The APT Brisbane II series was also a proving ground for the live event features of the APT App; despite some teething problems on the first day, the ability for players to pre-register and pay for tournaments before scanning a QR code at a kiosk to collect their seating allocations dramatically reduced queue times and contributed to a COVID Safe environment.

PokerMedia Australia understands there was greater demand for higher buy-in tournaments such as The Grind, Players Championship, High Roller and 6-Max Shot Clock.

As such, APT organisers scrambled to make changes to ensure all players were accommodated while adhering to the overall venue limit of 460 players, rather than enforcing the tournament-specific player caps previously advertised. This resulted in an overall series prize pool worth more than $700,000 – a far cry from the original estimate of $450,000.  

Kiale Matthews became the first to etch his name on an APT trophy after winning the Opening Event, defeating a field of 422 to take home $8,510 in prize money.

Along with a runner-up finish in the 6-Max Shootout against Darren Sloane, Matthews was also able to pocket a bonus $10,000 after finishing first in the APT Brisbane II Player of the Series race.

APT Opening Event final table results:

PositionNamePrize
1stKiale Matthews $8,510
2ndTaner Ates $5,300
3rdAroha Ngata $3,400
4thCorey Van Jaarsveldt $2,700
5thBrenton Buttigieg $2,250
6thTodd Adam $1,850
7thBrodie Ward $1,400
8thOnslow Phillips $1,050
9thRak Naidoo $650

Jigs Reyes found himself on the verge of a historic back-to-back victory in the Players Championship, only to be pipped at the post by Jesse Stanley, while Kane “Moistman” Peters was able to ship the PokerShop 100, surpassing his eighth-place finish in the same event back in February.

Dracakis Players Championship final table results:

PositionNamePrize
1stJesse Stanley $27,000
2ndJigs Reyes $17,000
3rdAshneel Sharma $11,000
4thZhen Wang $8,000
5thGraham Cowan $6,800
6thRadman Elomari $5,600
7thGaogie Xj $4,500
8thMishel Anana $3,500
9thHarry Evans $2,700

The two biggest stories to come out of the series were that of Daniel “DOS” O’Shea and Jordan Bromley.  Bromley, who hails from Brisbane’s northern suburbs, has been a regular on the Queensland poker circuit, albeit behind the lens for media company Project 99.

This time around, the 24-year-old digital property marketer seized the opportunity to concentrate on playing and it paid off big time, as Bromley outlasted a field of 802 to win the APT Brisbane II Main Event, taking home $25,500 after a deal was struck with his heads-up opponent, Jaisan Patel.

“It’s relieving to get that first big win,” Bromley said, “I’ve been playing for a while now, trying to take it as seriously as I can and I felt like I wasn’t really getting anywhere, but for the last four months or so during lockdown, I’ve been spending a lot of hours working on my game, looking on ways to improve and things really seemed to click when it came to the Main [Event], which is amazing.”

Bromley’s weekend was made that much sweeter as he went on to rail best mate Aidan Hildebrandt,who crushed the $330 buy-in High Roller Event, good for $19,300 in cash.

APT Brisbane II Main Event final table results:

PositionNamePrize
1stJordan Bromley $25,500*
2ndJaisan Patel $24,500*
3rdRaury Toye $12,250
4thWilliam Waa $9,000
5thPaul Gibson $7,500
6thDean Williams $5,250
7thMirko Stojkov $3,850
8thJaymon Marr $2,900
9thMatt McAuley $2,200
*Denotes two-handed deal

As for O’Shea, the Toowoomban was finally able to break through for his first major tournament victory, winning the $1,200 buy-in Poker Republik Grind and putting his overall tournament winnings for this year in excess of $146,000, after a deep run in the Aussie Millions Main Event, as well as final table appearances in both the WPT League QPC and the APL Million $3K Challenge events.

The 34-year-old grinder took a more holistic approach to lockdown, concentrating on both his physical and mental wellbeing and keeping away from the tables for almost six months before cramming in a 19-hour cash game marathon just days out from the series.

“When the world chucks COVID at you and forces people to change, they either roll with it or complain,” said O’Shea.  “I personally enjoyed the time off and kept my focus on purely the psychological side of things, staying positive and improving my lifestyle – and that definitely made a difference!”

Poker Republik Grind final table results:

PositionNamePrize
1stDaniel O’Shea $40,000
2ndCorentin Hillion $26,920
3rdCorey Van Jaarsveldt $17,500
4thJack Brown $13,500
5thNuno Da Silva $11,000
6thHarry Archer $9,000
7thBrodie Ward $7,400
8thRyan Paton $5,800
9thSteve Mudgway $4,500

With the 2021 Aussie Millions at Crown Melbourne highly unlikely to go ahead (at least in its traditional timeslot), APT organisers have hinted at a six-day series to be held in Brisbane, with tentative dates marked for January 19 to 24.

In the meantime, full results from every event and images from the APT Brisbane II series are now available by logging onto www.australianpokertour.com.au, or search for APTLive on Facebook.

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