Crown Melbourne Championships - Part 3

Posted at 07:00 2006-05-03 Back to MELBOURNE POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS - PART 2
Joe Hachem (3rd) - Eric Assadourian (1st) - Aleks Lackovic (2nd) Melbourne Champs Main Event

Following its success in last year’s Vic champs, the under-30s Hot Shots and the over-30s Masters events made a return, both were $230 to enter and as an added bonus, the respective winners from each would play a special heads up challenge for an extra $2000. The Hot Shots was up first, and with 136 runners, a $3000 start bank, 25 minute levels, and a lot of pride on the line, there was a lot of action from the start. Nick Nicolaou once again dominated early, with the blinds at 800/1600 and the average stack around 16K, Nick had a massive 46K and was miles ahead of the field. He converted it into a much deserved final table appearance, going in second in chips with 85.4K behind leader Richard Grace (124K). Coming to the final table, Narbeh Housepian had just over 8K with blinds at 1500/3000 but caught some lucky breaks early. First he doubled up with nines versus Nick’s queens when he caught a 9 on the flop, and then he tripled up when a king on the river gave his KQ the nod over Nick’s pocket sevens and Zorick Toitsan’s jacks, Zorick out in tenth. Like Nick, Richard G took some big hits early on, and was out in 8th, when he threw in his last 8K from the small blind with 8hTd and Nick in the BB called in the dark with Q3os. Nick was still left shortstacked but then he knocked out Richard Cutler (6th) and Doug Talbot (5th) in quick succession and went to the last four as chip leader with 170K, ahead of Lee Brown (140K), Kelvin Beattie (60K) and Narbeh (18K). Kel doubled up early through Lee, Narbeh doubled up 3 times (twice through Nick) and suddenly Kel was the leader with 160K, with the other three around the 80K mark. Nick took a hit when he attempted to steal the blinds, pushing all in for 85K with 67os and was surprisingly called by Lee with Qc9c. Left with just 5K, he was out on the next hand when Narbeh caught a flush on the river to top his two pair. Lee caught another lucky break when, with blinds at 6K/12K, he went all in for 100K in the SB with Ts6s and was called by Narbeh in the BB with AT, drawing a miracle 6 on the flop to eliminate Narbeh in third. Down to heads up Kel took a commanding lead when he called Lee’s all in with A8, Lee’s A7 completely dominated. About 45 minutes later in remarkably similar circumstances, Kelvin became the new Hot Shots champion when he raised with Ac5c, Lee came over the top with A4os and Kel made the call – taking home the trophy, title and $5240 in cash. RESULTS - Event # 8 Hot Shots No Limit Holdem The field for the Masters event was surprisingly larger than the Hot Shots – 167 in total, and there was a wealth of experience at the tables. Martin Martinez of Australian Poker League fame was chip leader for most of the tourney and was unlucky to miss the final table – out in 13th. Tamara Turner converted some good results in the Sunday Crown tourneys into her first final table appearance at a major event, Leo Boxell made his second appearance at the business end and George Palavos his third. Tamara came in shortstacked and was out first in ninth, followed by an unlucky Todd Silk who was left with 4K after calling Harry Ali’s all in preflop with pocket sixes, only to lose to Harry’s KQos on a board of 7-T-6-9-J. Leo Boxell had a huge chip lead after knocking out Michael Malki (5th) and Gino Alaimo (4th). Gino was second in chips and limped from the SB with pocket 8s. Leo raised to 40K total from the BB and Gino made the call. On a flop of 7c 6c 8c, Gino checked, Leo bet out 70K, Gino pushed all in and Leo made the call, showing Kh10c and hitting a 9c on the turn to complete the straight flush and take possession of over 50% of the chips in play. George put in another great effort to finish third, and with Harry having just 40K in chips to Leo’s 470K when heads up began, it was all over first hand. Leo collected $6600 and the chance to play Hot Shots winner Kelvin Beattie for an extra $2000. Played just after the Masters final table, the heads up challenge was a blink-and-miss affair – Kelvin taking the honours. RESULTS - Event # 10 Masters No Limit Holdem With the champs getting to the pointy end of things, the big names started to arrive, many of them participating in the $5300 High Stakes NL HE. With 28 runners and only top five paid, efforts were made to double up fast and just as quickly as they arrived, the big names disappeared, World Series champ Joe Hachem, 2006 Aussie Millions winner Lee Nelson, Arul Thillai and Mark Vos just some of the first ten players out. Going into the final table, Jason Gray had the chip lead with 60K, ahead of the USA’s Dan Alspach with 45K and with the rest of the field roughly around the 30K mark it was shaping up to be an exciting final table. It only took just over an hour to get down to the moneymakers – Nathan Bobik, Greg Tomas (NZ), Jason Gray, Ian Schoots and Dan Alspach (USA). Nathan was first to depart when he pushed all in with AK on a flop of 8-2-3 and was called by Dan with pocket tens. Greg Tomas hit hard times when he flopped top two pair with QJ, bet out, and was called by Jason Gray who had K9 for a gutshot. The turn was a ten, the money went all in and Greg was out. Ian took the lead 3-handed when Jason reraised him all in preflop with sevens, Ian making an easy call with aces and collecting over 140K in chips. Jason’s aggressiveness once again proved his downfall when he reraised Ian all in from the BB with just 8h5h, and Ian called, this time with Jacks. Going into heads up, Ian had a 2-to-1 chip lead and with 280K on the table and blinds at just 1000/2000 it was the beginning of a marathon heads up battle. With Dan down to just over 40K, Ian raised to 6K with AQ and Dan called. The flop came down Qs-3s-8d, Ian bet out and Dan called. With the turn a 10d, Ian pushed all in and was called by Dan with pocket aces. This was the turning point of the game, and Dan went on a rush, taking down some huge pots, and after he hit runner-runner trip Kings with Ian betting the whole way, Dan had the 3:1 chip lead and Ian was on the ropes. Ian was obviously frustrated and with blinds at 1500/3000 he raised to 7K and Dan once again flat called. On a flop of 3h-4d-5d, Dan checked, Ian pushed all in and Dan called with pocket threes for bottom set, while Ian had AdQd for the flush draw. Ian couldn’t hit, and Dan was the champion, collecting a cool $52,500 for making the trip out here. RESULTS – Event # 9 High Stakes No Limit Holdem Continue to MELBOURNE POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS - PART 4

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