Great success: APT Brisbane series delivers epic record-breaking saga

The Australian Poker Tour (APT) has kept the momentum going for the nation’s poker industry, setting a new all-time record for the biggest Main Event in the brand’s history.

The eight-day festival at the Eatons Hill Hotel – comprised of 28 APT trophy events and a further seven games hosted by the Mixed Games Academy – is understood to have generated more than $2.3 million in total prize money, including a Main Event prize pool worth $310,800 from a field of 592 entries, and in turn smashing its advertised $1.5 million series estimate.

The final table of the $600 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament was arguably one of the toughest assembled, featuring Star Sydney Main Event Champion Qi Xu, along with one of Australia’s fastest rising stars in Luke ‘Psyduck’ McCredie, whose breakout performances in the last 12 months have resulted in more than $280,000 in tournament cashes.

However, it was Mena Tawfik who emerged victorious, winning his first APT title and completing the mid-tier Triple Crown after a gruelling heads-up battle against APT Dracakis Players Champion and Southern Poker Tour (SPT) Ambassador, Chris Skinner.

“It was hard, but we got through it,” Tawfik told PokerMedia Australia in the wake of his victory. “I knew he wasn’t gonna give up, but neither was I. I had a job to do, and I got it done.”

“This is what I play for. This is what I wanted, and I did it today.”

APT BRISBANE SEASON VI MAIN EVENT ($600 buy-in, 592 entries, 71 players paid)*

1stMena Tawfik$66,250^
2ndChris Skinner$46,000
3rdQi Xu$31,600
4thLuke McCredie$22,250
5thRuiyang Wang$16,000
6thJaymie Hunter$12,000
7thPryce Trevor$9,000
8thNaveen Kumar$7,000
9thAnthony Pringle$5,000
^Includes entry into The APT Vault, valued at $1,250
*Final table results shown; full results available at

There was no shortage of incredible highlights from the APT Brisbane series, with Jason Anand breaking through for a career-best score in The Goliath, but not before being put to the ultimate test heads-up against former professional tenpin bowler George Frilingos.

Adding to what was already an epic finale, the room was brought to a virtual standstill as best friend and poker mentor Jonnie Kururangi delivered a powerful haka to honour Anand’s victory, described by LCAPoker’s Tom Bower as “one of the most wonderful celebrations I have had the privilege to broadcast.”

Video courtesy of LCAPoker

It was also an emotional victory for Danial Fattahian, who defeated Jeison Berdugo heads-up in The Grind. The Iranian refugee shared his family’s remarkable story with PMA after his breakout performance, and reflected on what he had discovered about himself since being introduced to the game 2019 APT Gold Coast Main Event Champion, Javi Habib.

“Poker is just like life, you know?” Fattahian said. “Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you get unlucky … I used to get upset and very emotional when I didn’t win, but I studied and practiced a lot to get better.”

“Poker teaches you discipline … and helped me to change my lifestyle and make it better. It’s the closest thing to reality that I can think of.”

In other major results, popular French ex-pat Elise Depauw finally broke through for her first major tournament victory, denying Kiale Matthews his fifth APT title after winning the $450 buy-in PLO/NLH Rotation.

Jade Mitchell also continued her winning form, taking out both 8-6-2 Mix Max and The Bankroll Builder, before Thomas Amir completed a rare double-double, closing out proceedings with victory in The Beast after winning the Brisbane 6-Max Champs earlier in the week.

The APT will return to the Campbelltown Catholic Club for its next series in Sydney from 18-26 March; for more information, results and images from all events, head to the APTLive Facebook page or visit

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