What makes champions? What motivates these winners? If we do know Quincy Wilson Youth Jersey , then we can probably win a tournament or two and be a thousand dollars richer as well. But the thing is, as many hopefuls have realized by now, poker is a man?s game; a sport of cutthroat competition where you need skills over luck to be a successful player in this trade.

That said let?s take a look at the past Asian Poker Tour champions. Knowing them is half the battle; and well, we?ll all just hope that this knowledge rubs off on our luck at the tables.

David Saab ? APT Philippines 2008 Main Event Champion

Saab carries some interesting nicknames: Superman, The Turtle and WonderSaab. But none as interesting as his first major international tournament win in the inaugural leg of the APT in Manila. The Korea-born Australian did win the first two editions of the Crown Series and the Victorian Poker Championship in 2005 but his winnings there pales in comparison to the USD$ 280,000 he won in the APT main event as he outlasted 310 players.

After the APT stint, Saab would continue his romp in the international stage placing in the money in the 2008 PokerNews Cup (7th-US$8,414); 2009 PokerStars APPT Sydney Heads-Up Event (13th-US$12,875); and the NLH Championship at the WSOP 2008 (46th - US135,100)

Yevgeniy Timoshenko ? APT Macau 2008 Main Event Champion

?Bballer88? and ?Jovial Gent?--- clearly, his name in the online world is a tad bit more tongue-friendly relative to his real name. But whichever name he brings to the onlinelive tables, the results are quite the same: impressive money finishes and tournament wins.

When he won the APT title in 2008, Timoshenko was considered one of the up-and-comers of the game. Two years and a handful of major tournaments later, he has crossed over from being just a promising potential to a full-blown poker star.

Born in Ukraine but migrated to the United States at the age of 10, Timoshenko?s biggest win came in the 2009 World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship as he won a whopping USD$2,149,960. This year he has had respectable finishes in the World Poker Open VI NLH Event (2nd-US$110,000); and the 41st World Series of Poker 2010 placing in the money in multiple events.

Neil Arce ? APT Philippines 2009 Main Event Champion

The rise of local poker in the Philippines was simultaneous with the rise of Filipino Neil Arce from the ranks as one of the best not only in the Philippines but in the entire Asia.
Nicknamed ?Dirty Ice Cream,? Arce has won local tournaments consistently and earned his place in local poker history by being the first-ever Filipino to cash in the World Series of Poker in 2007 winning USD$50,000 at 222nd place.

In 2009, protecting his turf, he managed to hold off 262 players from 40 different countries to win the APT Main Event--- his first-ever major international title. Seven months later, he would again be under the spotlight by placing 3rd in the No Limit Hold?em APPT Macau High Rollers Event--- good for $ HKD652,800.

Adrien Allain ? APT Macau 2009 Main Event Champion

With an APT-record 326 registrants, APT Macau saw the improbable happen. The man behind the unlikely feat is Frenchman Adrian Allain who qualified to the tournament through a $6 lottery tournament on pkr! He won US391,580 dollars for his efforts jumpstarting a pro career at live tables.

The online specialist known as ?zlatan35? was already very successful behind the screen especially at PKR tournaments. Before the APT Macau title he had already 45 in-the-money finishes and made the final table 26 times in 321 tournaments he joined at PKR.

After tasting success at the APT, he went on to join other live international events finishing in-the-money in a pair of World Series of Poker events in 2010 before placing 2nd (US$66,705) in the Barriere Poker Tour Main Event.

Michael Cua ? APT Philippines 2010 Main Event Champion

A year after a local held the bragging rights for the APT Philippines Main Event; another Filipino in Michael Cua duplicated his compatriot?s feat by winning the first leg of the APT in 2010.

Unlike Neil Arce however, Cua was one of the unheralded and unknown players in the local scene qualifying in an APT-satellite event worth PHP5,000 (roughly US$115) before winning the biggest win in his poker career.

Cua took down 225 players to take the APT Philippines title and US$172,000 cash prize not to mention a seat at the next APT event in Macau set later this year. Unlike the APT champions before him, Cua?s poker resume pales in comparison to his fellow APT champs. However, with the recent APT title in the bag he looks to become the first back-to-back APT champion promising to join the Macau festivities this November.


What makes champions? Arce, Saab and Timoshenko show that consistency is what makes them special; mastering the art of poker demands dedication to the sport. What motivates these winners? Allain and Cua show that with the right focus, a little bit of luck, anyone has the potential to be successful in this craft.

Who will be the next APT champion? Can the underdogs continue their mighty rise? Or will the stars finally show up? Find out in the next APT main event held in Asia?s gaming capital, Macau. For tournament schedule and details visit
Krono Straps
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