Sydney man wins the battle at APPT Grand Final

Martin Rowe

A Sydney insurance worker named Martin Rowe pulled a Chris Moneymaker today and won $1 million AUD ($642,500 U.S.) at the final table of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour's Grand Final.

Rowe, who is not a professional poker player, rode a storm of good luck, great cards and some exceptional play to victory at final event of the APPT's second season.

"I cannot believe I won tonight," said Rowe just moments after winning. "I felt on edge but not out of control of the entire tournament and now to have the title I am ecstatic - this will be life-changing for my family."

When Rowe managed to make it to heads-up, he was confronted with the unenviable task of beating well-known Australian pro Jason Gray. Fortunately for Rowe he held $7.8 million chips to Gray's $1.4 million at the start of heads-up, and despite stumbling out of the gate, managed to get the better of the more experienced player.

"I felt like it was just a sit-and-go," said Rowe in reference to the final table. "Chip-wise it was one of the tightest tables I'd ever seen. This was my first major tournament and I obviously had a great experience here."

The final table included seven Australians, a Pole and a Canadian, and it was perhaps fitting that an Aussie came through in the end.

"It is fantastic to see an Australian champion in the APPT Grand Final for the second year in a row," said APPT president Jeffrey Haas. "Amongst a great international lineup it represents the caliber of poker in this country."

The second season of the APPT saw the tour grow exponentially and included stops in China, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines and Australia. The dates for season three of the APPT are expected to be released shortly. It's almost certain there will at least one exciting new stop added.

To learn more about the tour go to New Zealander wins APPT Auckland

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