After four long days of play that saw the starting field of field of 184 players whittled down to just nine, the players have arrived and found their seats for today’s final table of the Asia Championship of Poker Main Event.
As we await the start of play, here’s a look once more at our final nine…
Seat 1: Jacques Zaicik (191,000) of Paris, France is a CEO of a privately-owned company who has numerous cashes from the WSOP, EPT, and other tours to his credit. At 60 Zaicik is the oldest of the final nine players, and lists his 12th-place finish at the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (won by Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier) as a career highlight. Zaicik says it was Patrick Bruel’s television show in France that first got him hooked on poker.
Seat 2: Michael Kanaan (1,393,000) of Sydney, Australia has a handful of cashes over the past year-and-a-half, including a victory in the 2011 ANZPT Sydney Main Event for which he earned a handsome A$195,714 (worth a little over $200K USD). When the 28-year-old was asked about the defining moment of the event thus far, Kanaan points to today’s aces-versus-kings hand in which he crippled Mike “SirWatts” Watson and took the chip lead.
Seat 3: Tsugunari Toma (788,500) of Osaka, Japan adds another nice finish to an impressive list of results here he has compiled here in Macau over the last year. The 30-year-old company manager has numerous cashes and final tables in Red Dragon and MPCC events, and has already improved on a 13th-place finish at last year’s APPT Macau Main Event.
Seat 4: Ying Kit Chan (348,000) is a 34-year-old player from Hong Kong who has been playing for three years. This marks his first major career tourney cash.
Seat 5: Henry Wang (429,000) of Taiwan, Taipei is no stranger to success in Macau, having won a $1,500 (HKD) deepstack Macau Poker Cup event in 2011 and making a couple more final tables in Macau this year as well. The 47-year-old businessman has been playing poker seriously for four years.
Seat 6: Andrew Hinrichsen (798,500) of Melbourne, Australia brings the longest resume of results to the ACOP Main Event final table, highlighted by a WSOP Europe bracelet win in Cannes last month in the €1,000 NLHE event in which he topped a field of 771 for a €148,030 score. That victory added to a three-year run of cashes in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, helping bring the 24-year-old’s overall tourney career earnings up over $770,000.
Seat 7: Tom Alner (826,500) of Bristol, England has several cashes since 2010 on various European and Asian tours, including a ninth-place finish at the 2012 Partouche Poker Tour Grand Final in Cannes two months ago as well as final-table finishes at smaller Macau events. This past summer the 26-year-old nearly earned himself a WSOP bracelet, finishing fourth in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event for which he earned $207,019, and he did successfully claim more than $370,000 for a big WCOOP title back in September.
Seat 8: Alan Sass (252,000) of Las Vegas, Nevada has 15 WSOP cashes, a few WPT results, and made a huge $700,000-plus score (USD) for finishing ninth in that Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller last August that sported a $2 million (HKD) buy-in. The 29-year-old is recently married and a new father, and credits his poker friends’ advice for having helped him reach this stage in his poker career.
Seat 9: Xing Zhou (493,000) of Heilongjiang, China is making his second deep Main Event run in just a few months here in Macau, having finished 10th in the $18,400 (HKD) Macau Poker Cup Championship Main Event back in September. The 29-year-old businessman has been playing for four years and enjoys singing and travel.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.