Israeli wins APPT Seoul tournament

The Spoils of War
The PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour in Seoul found a winner with Ziv Bachar.

Ziv Bachar, a 25-year-old from Tel Aviv, Israel, entered the Asia Pacific tour's final table in Seoul, Korea, as chip leader, and when he left nearly six hours later he was champion and more than $100,000 richer.

To get there he had to battle his way through a field of 186 poker players. Bachar also chose the hard way to get to the tournament. Rather than buying-in directly for $2,500, he qualified online at PokerStars, winning his flight, accommodations and the buy-in for the tournament.

Once in Seoul, the competition didn't get any easier for the real estate worker either. Along with players from 33 different countries, Joe Hachem, Isabelle Mercier and Dan Schreiber from Team PokerStars were also in attendance.

Mercier went as deep as 16th place in the tournament, and Schreiber finished in the money as well in eighth place.

Bachar may not have the star power of those pros yet, but he's been building a reputation internationally. In 2006 he finished ninth in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas for a $95,000 payday.

He also has a win in Monte Carlo in the $500 No-Limit Hold'em event leading up to the EPT Grand Final in 2006. In 2007 he cashed in the same event, making it to 18th place.

The APPT Seoul event was just the latest venue for Bachar to showcase his poker talents, and he did so in style. He dominated play, entering the final table with the chip lead and riding it all the way to the win.

"It has been amazing," Bachar said after the tournament. "I was deep-stacked at the start of play and always felt I had a great chance at winning. I am very happy to be the first APPT Seoul champion and look forward to competing in Sydney this December."

Bachar will join the APPT Manila champion Bret Parise at the PokerStars APPT Grand Final in Sydney Dec. 13-16. Along with his $139,872 first-place prize, he received a prize package for the Grand Final.

At first it didn't seem like it was going to take long for Bachar to win his prize. In the first half hour of final-table play, two players were eliminated. It took another five hours to wrap it up however as it came down to Bachar versus Australian Jozef Berec.

On the final hand, just nine hands into heads-up play, Bachar had a 10-1 chip lead and Berec pushed all-in with Kd-9c. Bachar called with Kc-10c and was slightly ahead going into the flop. The board came Qh-Qc-6d-Ks-2d to give Bachar the win.

"It was a relief to get over Jozef so quickly," Bachar said. "He'd been so aggressive and unpredictable, but I thought I was in with a good shot even though king-ten isn't a great hand."

The final table played out as follows:

Place Name Country Prize
1st Ziv Bachar Israel $139,872
2nd Jozef Berec Australia $87,420
3rd Sid Shinhan Kim South Korea $48,081
4th Michel St. Pierre Canada $34,968
5th James Honeybone New Zealand $28,412
6th Seval Haegeland Norway $21,855
7th Roger Spets Malaysia $17,484
8th Dan Schrieber South Korea $13,113
9th Paul Adams South Korea $8,740

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