$100,000 Challenge - 1 & 2

Posted at 07:00 2006-09-04 One of the most anticipated events of the Victorian Poker Championships was the $100,000 Challenge. Held as a ten-person, single-table tournament with $10,000+$200 entry fee (top 3 paid), there was only expected to be one, but a huge surge in interest saw two tables going side-by-side. The lineup for the first $100,000 Challenge looked like this: Seat 1. Mark Vos Seat 2. Jamie Pickering Seat 3. Ralph Burd Seat 4. Jason Gray Seat 5. Michael Guttman Seat 6. Joe Hachem Seat 7. Emad Tahtouh Seat 8. Sam Khouiss Seat 9. Sean Dunwoodie Seat 10. Richard Holmes Players started with 10,000 in chips and levels were 30 minutes with blinds starting at 50/100. High limit cash game player Sean Dunwoodie got off to a bad start, but recovered quickly as he doubled through Emad Tahtouh. Emad reraised Sean all-in on a flop of Q-8-4 with TT but Sean quickly called with KQ and Emad was now the shortstack with 5000. With high stakes and pride on the line, there weren’t too many confrontations. On a flop of A-J-3 Sean Dunwoodie checked, Joe Hachem bet 600, and Sean called. The turn was a 3 and Sean again check-called Joe’s bet, this time for 800. The river was another jack, making two pair jacks and threes on the board, Sean bet out 1,500 and Joe pushed all-in. Sean thought for awhile and eventually folded – lucky for him as Joe showed AA. As blinds went up to 100/200, Ralph Burd joined Emad on the shortstack as he made a pot-sized bet of 2,500 on a board of 6h-Jc-Qh-Jd-3h and was called by Sean with AQ. Ralph had pocket nines and was down to 4,500. On the next hand, Emad and Sam Khouiss limped, Jamie raised to 1,200 from the cutoff and Ralph pushed all-in. Ralph had pocket nines again but was in big trouble against Jamie’s pocket aces. A nine on the flop brought some hope for Ralph, but an ace on the turn sealed his fate and he was the first player eliminated from the table. Mark Vos showed pocket aces after betting enough to make Sam Khouiss fold his gutshot draw, and then got away with a couple of bluffs. He reraised Mick Guttman on a board of As-Qh-9h-3s and showed 4d5d, and then after Sam Khouiss limped preflop, Mark reraised, Sam folded, and Mark showed Qd5c. Mark wasn’t the only one with moves – with four limpers, Joe Hachem bet out 800 on a flop of Jh-8c-Ah and was called by Sam Khouiss and Jamie Pickering. The turn was the Ad, Sam bet out 1150, Jamie called and Joe raised to 4500. Both players folded and Joe showed Qs8d – while the other two players said they each folded a jack. In one of the lighter moments, Emad raised under-the-gun to 900 and Sam Khouiss reraised to 4,000. Sean Dunwoodie thought for a long time before folding, Emad folded as well and Sam showed AdJc. There were some surprised looks when Sean said he folded pocket queens, Emad summed it up when he said, “It’s like the twilight zone!” With just 1500 left and blinds at 150/300, Emad went all-in, was called by Sam Khouiss, and then Richard Holmes pushed all in for 2,900 more from the big blind. Sam made the call and had Js7s versus Emad with Ac7c and Richard with AdQs. The board was 3c-5c-Th-Qh-6h and Emad was the ninth place finisher. Sam Khouiss was next out when his AJ couldn’t hit against Richard’s pocket eights. Sean was chipleader alongside Joe Hachem with about 17,000 but lost a huge pot to Richard. Sean had two diamonds and flopped a flush when it came down Ad-2d-8d. He bet 3,200 and Richard called. The turn was another eight, Richard checked, Sean bet 3,525 and Richard called again. The river was yet another eight, Richard checked and Sean elected to check behind – it proved to be a smart move as Richard flipped over AK for a full house. Jamie was out in sixth place as he put his last chips in on a board of Td-7h-4c-9h with pocket queens and was called by Richard Holmes with a set of sevens. Joe Hachem soon followed as he tried to make a move on Jason Gray with 7h2h, and Jason quickly called with pocket jacks. With five players left, Jason and Richard were monster chip leaders with over 30,000 apiece. Sean was the next to fall as his A9 struck disaster against Richard’s A8. An ace on the flop saw Sean head to the rail in fifth place. Mark Vos was crippled when his pocket tens ran into Jason Gray’s aces, and he was eliminated soon afterwards unluckily with A6 versus Richard’s K6. However, he wasn’t too disappointed as he took his seat at the final table of the $240 NL HE where he was chip leader (he eventually won the tournament and over $47,000). Mick Guttman was out in third when he got his money in with top pair on a flop of Kd-Qd-8d, unfortunately Jason Gray had Ad-2d for the nut flush. Jason started the heads up battle with Richard Holmes with 75,000 to 25,000 in chips and a wealth of cash game and tournament experience. However things were soon level as Richard doubled through. Unluckily for Jason he made a great call with 89 after Richard pushed all-in with KQ on a 9-T-2 flop, however Richard caught a queen on the turn and was almost level. Jason returned the favour though as players got their money in on a flop of 3-T-6, this time Jason had KQ and Richard 56. A king on the river gave Jason first place and $50,000 in prizemoney. 1st – Jason Gray - $50,000 2nd – Richard Holmes - $30,000 3rd – Michael Guttman - $20,000 The lineup for the second $100,000 Challenge was: Seat 1. Warwick Mirzkinian Seat 2. Greg Sclavos Seat 3. Nick Assioti Seat 4. Joe Reina Seat 5. Moody Aboughattas Seat 6. Tino Lechich Seat 7. Roy Vandersluis Seat 8. Arul Thillainadesan Seat 9. Bill Argyros Seat 10. Steve Wise In contrast to the other table, conservatism was thrown out the window as players tried to push their way to the $50,000 first prize. Greg Sclavos was an early departure, after putting his money in on the river only to find Warwick had flopped top straight with QJ. Tino Lechich also went out early with AK against Joe Reina with AT. Moody Aboughattas joined the rails as he put his money in with AQ on an A-Q-4 flop and was quickly called by Nick Assioti with a set of fours. In the end it was down to Steve Wise, Joe Reina and Nick Assioti. Nick had most of the chips, while Steve was extremely shortstacked. He managed to double up to 18,000 with AA versus Nick with AT but was eliminated in third when his A5 fell to Joe’s JT. Down to heads up, Joe doubled up through Nick with pocket queens and had the lead at one stage but Nick quickly took it back. The final hand came when Joe called all-in on a board of T-9-T-5-7 and Nick showed J8 for the straight. 1st - Nick Assioti - $50,000 2nd - Joe Reina - $30,000 3rd – Steve Wise - $20,000

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