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Ben Blaschke Flips Good at Sydney Championships

Posted at 11:00 2010-09-08

Yesterday saw one of the most unique tournaments to ever grace the Southern Hemisphere with the Event 5: $550 Jarred Graham Flip Fest at the 2010 Sydney Poker at Sydney’s Star City Casino.

Only 49 players took to the felt after the slight delay to proceedings to allow for some late registrants, but those players were in for some much-needed adjustments due to the fact that players only began with a ten big-blind starting stack. Every player received an additional 10,000-chip add on, and each level saw the blinds reduce until the fourth level where the antes kicked in and increased steadily throughout the remainder of the tournament.

Although players were starting ‘short’ relative to the blinds, just folding an orbit would see your stack (most likely) improve to a fifteen big blind stack, and then folding another orbit would see that increase to roughly twenty-five big blinds. However some players were unable to adjust as Antonis Kambouroglou, Ricky Kroesen, John Caridad, Grant Levy, Aaron Benton and Jai Kemp were just a handful of those that fell short of a final table.

Final Table Lineup:
Seat 1: Jarred Graham (110,000 in chips)
Seat 2: Greg Cook (40,000)
Seat 3: Sheldon (110,000)
Seat 4: Sally Snow (40,000)
Seat 5: Stewart Davidson (160,000)
Seat 6: Gavin Silva Pinto (80,000)
Seat 7: Daniel Neilson (120,000)
Seat 8: Ben Blaschke (108,000)
Seat 9: Connie Lai (85,000)
Seat 10: Jarrad Dale (120,000)

Only five players would take a piece of the $24,500 prize pool home, and it would be Sally Snow bowing out first as she was unable to improve her pocket fours against the pocket fives of the player who the tournament is named after - Jarred ‘FlopNutsOnYou’ Graham. Graham would then take care of Jarrad Dale when he found his two-outer on the flop to send ‘thamask’ out the door.

Unfortunately Graham’s better half Connie Lai would see her maiden tournament victory slip away after doubling up Ben Blaschke before eventually heading to the rail in seventh place after Sheldon was eliminated in eighth. The chip leader for the majority of the day, Stewart Davidson, would cruelly see his straight flushed out by Daniel Neilson before he became the unfortunate bubble boy when his dominated ace was unable to improve.

Blaschke continued to climb up the leaderboard before Gavin Silva Pinto exited in fifth after his move on the button was snapped off by Neilson to see him capture the lead once again. Like Davidson, Jarred Graham held onto the chip lead for the majority of the tournament, and although it would have seemed fitting for him to win his self-named tournament, he would exit in fourth in a suck, re-suck hand against Blaschke.

The final three players exchanged chips between each other on a regular basis before Greg Cook’s run as short-stack ninja would end at the hands of Blaschke to see heads up play reached after four hours of final table play.

Daniel Neilson – 495,000
Ben Blaschke – 485,000

In an intriguing heads up battle where it would be poker player pitted against poker journalist, with Blaschke well-known in the poker industry as a freelance sports journalist who provides content, tournament recaps and interviews for the Big Game Poker website. It would be Blaschke who would edge ahead early to a two-to-one then three-to-one advantage.

Neilson however managed to fight back to a near even level before Blaschke took the lead once again before finally dispatching of Neilson in the first heads-up all in preflop clash with Blaschke’s {Ah}{Kd} holding true against Neilson’s {Ad}{Jh}.

For Blaschke, the title may not set him free of financial burden or give him the option to quit his day job to battle it out with some of the best on the felt, but it does justify his role as a respected member of the poker media. For his efforts, Blaschke not only collects a $9,310 payday and coveted trophy, but also title of $550 Jarred Graham Flip Fest Champion!

Final Table Results:
1st – Ben Blaschke ($9,310)
2nd – Daniel Neilson ($5,880)
3rd – Greg Cook ($4,165)
4th – Jarred Graham ($2,940)
5th – Gavin Silva Pinto ($2,205)

For Ben’s account of his experiences during this event make sure you head over to the Big Game Poker website and read his article Insanity Prevails in Flip Fest.

PokerNetwork will be returning to the Star City Poker Room today for all the exclusive coverage of Event 6: $10,200 PokerNews High Rollers, so make sure to stay locked onto Australia’s number one live reporting website!

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Ben Blaschke Wins Flip Fest! Ben Blaschke Wins Flip Fest!

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