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Final Table Set for Sydney Champs Main Event

Posted at 10:05 2010-09-12

It was another great day in Sydney – the sun shone, the birds chirped and the girls strutted their stuff – but too bad the focus was inside the Star City Poker Room for Day 2 of the Sydney Poker Championships Main Event!

 Just after midday, 118 hopefuls took their seat to battle it out for a piece of the $544,500 prize pool, but once play began, the action was hotter than a tin roof in Alice Springs, as it seemed as though everyone was looking to get outside to watch the NRL finals!

PokerNetwork regulars Grant Levy, Scott Smith, Ali Khalil and Peter Aristidou all found themselves on the rail alongside Graeme Putt, Jai Kemp, Jimmy Siu, Patrick Fletcher and Tony Hachem as the money was amazingly reached before dinner break when Tommy Yi’s {As}{Ks} was unable to outdraw Alec Smith’s {Qh}{Qd} to guarantee thirty-seven players a $2,995 payday.

The speed of play didn’t cease as eight more players bit the dust before dinner was taken with just twenty-nine players remaining, with Honglin Jiang holding onto the lead. Tournament veteran Leo Boxell was unable to gather too much momentum and eventually saw his tournament end in a race with {9c}{9h} against {Ah}{Qd} to round out the first level of payouts with Sean Dunwoodie (36th), Daniel Kochan (34th) and Michael O’Grady (30th) missing out on the final three tables.

In the biggest pot of the tournament, Jiang eliminated two opponents when his Aces flopped quads against Queens and Tens after all the money entered the pot preflop to see Jiang soar to over 1.1 million in chips. Stephen Donlon (23rd) and Ricky Kroesen (22nd) fell short of the last two tables before Mike Ivin (18th) and Stephen Lindeblad (17th) exited to the rail.

Eddy Honsi chipped up to over one million before spreading those chips amongst his tablemates before Sheldon’s run at making back-to-back Sydney Poker Championships final tables (after his 8th place in the Flip Fest) along with back-to-back Main Event final tables (after his 5th place in 2009) ended in 15th place. Hitting a small stalemate in action, things soon turned as the blinds and antes kicked up as we had a flurry of eliminations before Matthew Rolfe became the second bubble boy of the day when his {Ac}{Th} was out-flopped to leave the final table as follows:

Final Table Lineup (average stack - 807,000)
Seat 1: Alec Smith (434,000 in chips)
Seat 2: Joel Sheridan (363,000)
Seat 3: Barry Forrester (382,000)
Seat 4: Andrew Capelin (880,000)
Seat 5: Joel Dodds (1,343,000)
Seat 6: Michael Mayar (335,000)
Seat 7: Milan Gurung (1,364,000)
Seat 8: Sasha Skalrud (450,000)
Seat 9: Honglin Jiang (1,725,000)

Jiang held onto the chip lead for most of the day, and come later today, he will be holding onto it again. Jiang however isn’t new to holding plenty of chips as he captured the $1,100 Six-Handed event just a week ago for $19,600. Milan Gurung is another player very comfortable at this final table as he – like Sheldon – final tabled this very event last year. Gurung however will have plenty of fight as he looks to avenge his third-place finish last year with a better result this time round.

PokerNetwork regular and cult figure Joel ‘Strong Play’ Dodds sits in third place at the final table with a near 70-big blind stack. A win today will see Dodds soar into the top 25 of Australia’s all time earners with over $500,000 in tournament winnings while also cementing his status as one of the country’s great tournament players. Rounding the final table includes big-time sports bettor Barry Forrester, local grinders Michael Mayar and Andrew Capelin, as well as the Event 1: $550 Opening Event winner Alec Smith.

Play is set to begin at 2:00pm local time with PokerNetwork again on the floor providing all the exclusive coverage as we play down from nine to one as we look to crown the next Sydney Poker Championships Main Event champion!

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Honglin Jiang leads the Sydney Champs Main Event final table Honglin Jiang leads the Sydney Champs Main Event final table

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