Larger than life and greater than mountains
In perhaps the ‘hand of the tournament’ we see how very differently teams play exactly the same cards. Garth Kay of Australia (here winning one of the biggest single pots of the event with his pocket rockets in seat 4) probably wasn’t too thrilled about having multiple opponents see a flop. However, when the flush draws and straight draws all miss, it is exactly what he wanted. India and Israel laying down their AA in this hand cost them dear, as did Mongolia getting in all-in in no less than four of the six positions around the table. Japan was all-in in five spots, winning two. China pulled off yet another miracle, winning both their all-ins in seats 4 and 6, and Singapore’s cautious strategy came good once again also, playing only the aces.
The final hand
Despite the all-in strategy not working well for last-placed teams Japan and Mongolia, the final hand saw fireworks from these two teams once again, and with mixed results. Each got it all-in in four spots, Japan only winning once, and Mongolia an incredible three times. Elsewhere Singapore and Israel’s flopped flush held up, both managing to get their seat 5 opponents to fold before the river. And so came to an end an incredible tournament in which China demonstrated both its fine qualities as host nation and superb poker ability as a team. The event was the most sporting poker competition this author has witnessed, played not for money but for true national pride. Congratulations to everybody that took part and see you at the Finals!