Marcus beats APPT Manila field

Van Marcus

The PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour marched its way to a winner over the weekend in Manila. With 285 players in the field, it was Australian player Van Marcus who picked up the winning hand.

On his way to victory at the final table Van Marcus looked like he could do no wrong. He got lucky on what many might say is an unfair proportion of hands, but don't let that distract you from the skill this player does have.

"I was saying to my friends I don't know what I did the last few weeks but someone up there must be looking out for me because this was amazing," Marcus said in his post-game interview.

"It was like I could feel the card coming. It was an unbelievable adrenaline rush. I was speechless. It's pretty hard to explain unless you were there. It was one of the better moments of my career and maybe even of my life."

According to PokerStars, this young pro from Melbourne has been earning consistent results on the real and the virtual felt for several years. Not only was this his third APPT cash, all have been final-table finishes.

Marcus also has numerous cashes in Australian events as well as at the World Series of Poker. Finally adding a win in a major international event puts Marcus firmly in the spotlight PokerStars believes this player deserves.

If Marcus hadn't won the tournament, his streak of good fortune may have been lost among other compelling stories from the final table. With three Koreans in the mix, three Filipinos at the table and Team PokerStars Pro's Lee Nelson looking for a win, it was a tough call as to what would grab the most headlines at the table.

"The performance of the Filipino players in their home event cannot go without mention," said PokerStars in its blog on the tournament.

"Of the 32 players who cashed, 10 were from the Philippines with Ramil Tandoc's fifth-place surpassing the performance of Derick Hernandez (ninth) in the 2007 APPT Manila main event."

Korea no longer has to look to expatriates such as David Saab or Kevin Song to get its poker inspiration. The three Koreans at the final table - Tai Jun Noh, Hyoung Jin Nam and Chang Yong Suk - put on a show at the final table with their bold, aggressive play.

In the end it came down to Marcus versus Noh in heads-up play. Marcus had the advantage when play began as he held $1.6 million in chips to Noh's $1 million.

It was a lead Noh would be unable to overcome. After a long battle, it came down to Marcus going all-in after a flop of 8 6 3 and getting a call from Noh.

Marcus was looking at an open-ended straight draw with his 9 7, and Noh had a pair with his J 8. Even though Noh had the edge with the pair, you almost had to give Marcus the advantage because of the lucky streak he'd been having.

And that streak did continue as a T hit on the turn to give Marcus his straight. There wasn't anything that could save Noh on the river, and Marcus picked up $162,856 for the win plus a seat in the APPT Championship event in Sydney, Australia.

The final table played out as follows:

1stVan Marcus$162,856
2ndTae Jun Noh$103,142
3rdHyoung Jin Nam$54,285
4thChang Yong Suk$37,999
5thRamil Tandoc$29,314
6thLee Nelson$21,714
7thManish Sansi$16,285
8thBenjamin Lim$12,485
9thRainier Aquino$9,228

The next stop for the APPT is the Championship in Sydney. The tournament has a $6,300 AUD buy-in and is scheduled for Dec. 2-7 at the Star City Casino.

Along with the online qualifiers from PokerStars, you can bet Marcus will be there to try to earn another APPT title.

"Yeah," Marcus said. "100% you'll see me at the final. I would have been there even if I hadn't cashed in this event because I love playing APPT events. They're great events with great structures."

For more of our live coverage from the APPT Manila, check out the Live Tournaments section.

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