Posted at 07:00 2007-05-21
Hot off the heels of the New Zealand Poker Championships, the focus of the Australasian Poker scene turned to the Crown Poker Room at the end of April for the 2007 Melbourne Poker Championships. The schedule was packed full of interesting events, with something for players of all budgets and skill levels.
The Opening Event ($120 No Limit Holdem) set a new record at Crown for a cash tournament outside of the Aussie Millions, with 628 hopeful players turning out to play. After 16 gruelling hours, local player Chul Hyon Park was crowned the first Champion for the week, picking up $12,600 for his effort. Amazingly, he would collect another trophy later on in the week, taking out the $175 Turbo No Limit Holdem event, for a combined total of over $20,000 in prize money for the week!
One of the cheapest events on the schedule was the $25 rebuy tournament, and a huge prizepool was generated. Melbourne player, and Crown Poker Room regular Tanya Phu was the eventual winner, collecting just over $10,000 for her effort. The $120 Limit Pineapple tournament was a new addition, and the players showed their support with 130 players in the field.
One of the most anticipated events on the schedule was the High Stakes $5200 No Limit Holdem event. The event was a huge success with 52 of Australasia’s best players coming out to play. Players of note included Gary Benson, Sam Khouiss, Mark Vos, Eric Assadourian, Jovan Scekic, Leo Boxell, John Homann, Matt Downing and Marcus Collins. It was truly a mix of the old school versus the new school players. South Australian young gun Rayan Nathan was the eventual winner, collecting $78,000.
The eve of the Main Event was a busy day for the Crown Poker Team, with players desperate to get a seat in the $1100 Championship taking their last shot at the Satellites on offer. There was also another highly anticipated event on the Friday night, the $550 Short Handed No Limit Holdem. The huge field (225 players) caught the room by surprise, and cash games were forced to close to cater for the huge turnout. Luckily, being a short handed event, players who busted out did not have to wait long for a game, with the experienced Crown Poker Team quick to reopen the side games.
As the Main Event dawned, a total of 449 players took their seats in the hope of taking home the $100,000 guaranteed first prize. The starting stack (10,000 chips) and blind structure (40 minute levels) allowed for some great Poker to be played, and at the end of play for the day 20 players remained. The players returned the following afternoon, where they would play down to the final table, to be webcast over the internet. The eliminations were thick and fast, and in just over 2 hours the final table was configured. It was all the new school, with David Gorr the only player representing the old school. After some exciting action, bad beats and plenty of all in action, it was down to heads up play with Daniel Sequenzia and Haibo Chu the only two left standing. It did not take long to crown a Champion with Haibo Chu calling an all in raise from Daniel with Ace Nine versus Daniel’s King Duece. The Ace held up and Haibo Chu was crowned the 2007 Melbourne Poker Champion, collecting $107,760.
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