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Karamalikis Dominates To Win APPT Sydney Title

Posted at 02:41 2010-12-13

Jonathan ‘xMONSTERxDONGx’ Karamalikis has ensured that the APPT Grand Final title will remain in Australia for at least another 12 months, while solidifying his reputation as one of the best young talents in the game after taking down the win in the final event of the 2010 PokerStars APPT.

The Sydney event was a fitting end to the fourth season overall, with arguably the most star-studded final table in tour history. Karamalikis had to fight off the challenge of some well accomplished players at the final table including chip leader coming into the final table Roland de Wolfe, Tom Rafferty, Antoine Amourette, Eddy Sabat, and probably the highest profile of all the players on the final table Daniel Negreanu.

Negreanu came into the final table with the shortest stack and was going to need to make some moves to get back into the tournament. He came unstuck against Roland de Wolfe. Antoine Amourette and de Wolfe limped up to Negreanu's big blind and they all took a {Th}{6h}{3c} flop. Negreanu was the first player to act and after thinking about his move, he decided to ship in the remainder of his stack totalling another 245,000 in chips. Amourette got out of the way and de Wolfe made a quick call to table {3d}{3h} for bottom set. Negreanu had top pair and things were looking pretty bleak for him. His situation improved a little with a turn {Td}, but the river {7s} did not make his hand sending him home with $36,415 in his pocket as the first player eliminated from the final table.

You could have got long odds on Roland de Wolfe, who started the day as the chip leader, being the second player eliminated from the final table. But that is exactly how things went down, with de Wolfe losing a monster pot holding {Ah}{ac} early in the day to bring him crashing back to the field, before a chipped up Jonathan Karamalikis finished off the job.

The aces hand saw de Wolfe three-bet Antoine Amourette to 110,000 from the big blind, which the Frenchman called. A {kc}{6h}{8d} flop ensued and de Wolfe fired out 140,000 with was met with another call from Amourette. The {7c} turn had de Wolfe checking, so Amourette went on the front foot betting 210,000. de Wolfe opted to just call and the river was the {6s} and Amourette fired out 310,000 which de Wolfe quickly check-called. He was almost as quickly dismayed when the Frenchman rolled over {7h}{7s} which had turned a set and then filled up on the river. A frustrating two hours later de Wolfe found himself all in with {As}{9h} in trouble against Karamalikis’ {Ad}{Qs}. There would be no help for the Englishman who hit the exit in eighth place, good for a $50,285 payday.

There was then a steady flow of eliminations with Manuel Hansimikali running eights into the queens of Peco Stojanovski to head out in seventh for $65,025. Next to go was Eddy Sabat who went out in a large pot against Jonathan Karamalikis. The Australian set the American all in on a four-bet pot preflop with Sabat making the call for his tournament life. Sabat would be taking {Ad}{ks} to battle against Karamalikis’ {9s}{9d}. The board was no assistance to Sabat though and he took home $79,765 for his efforts. With the pot Jonathan Karamalikis was now in the driver’s seat on the final table moving up to half the chips in play a short time later.

One of the Australian’s bigger threats at the table Antoine Amourette found himself hamstrung and then eliminated in fifth by Benjamin McLean. McLean was lucky to double through Amourette when he was all in with {Ac}{7c} against the Frenchman’s {Ad}{Qs}. Help was on the way though and McLean flopped a flush to leave Amourette with just 159,000 chips. McLean then took it upon himself to finish off the job delivering the death blow with {As}{jc} against Amourette’s {Th}{9h}. McLean would make a full house and Amourette would make $97,970 for his fifth place finish.

It looked as though McLean could cause an upset when he doubled up through Jonathan Karamalikis to seize the chip lead. On a flop of {5h}{4h}{2c} both players got to raising and re-raising and the chips went in with Karamalikis holding an ace high flush draw and a straight draw against McLean’s overpair eights. The board blanked to put McLean in front, but to Karamlikis’ credit he would fight back to win the tournament.

McLean’s chip lead grew with the elimination of Peco Stojanovski. Stojanovski found himself on the wrong side of Queens against Kings and by the time the chips had gone in McLean had the extra insurance of a set. There would be no miracle for Stojanovski who departed with $121,380 for fourth.

Heads up was set less than ten minutes later after Karamalikis got the better of Tom Rafferty. The chips went in with Rafferty’s {Ac}{8s} trailing the {As}{jd} that Karamalikis was holding. The board failed to improve Rafferty enough and he would earn $164,730.

Karamalikis proceeded to put on a clinic heads up, not once putting all of his chips at risk as he erased what was an almost two million chip deficit at one point. Karamalikis made some moves and picked off a McLean bluff on his way to taking the chip lead, before the players exchanged the lead multiple times. As they moved into the second hour of their heads up battle Karamalikis upped the tempo slipping out a two-to-one chip advantage and not looking back.

The final hand of the tournament came with McLean making an all in stand with {Ad}{6d} and he was unable to pair up against Karamalikis’ {5d}{5c}. McLean would earn $294,780 for his runner up finish, while Karamalikis would win $459,510 and his most prestigious live circuit title to date.

Final Table results:

1st: Jonathan Karamalikis (Australia) - $459,510
2nd: Ben McLean (Australia) - $294,780
3rd: Tom Rafferty (Australia) - $164,730
4th: Peco Stojanovski (Australia) - $121,380
5th: Antoine Amourette, PokerStars Qualifier (France) - $97,970
6th: Eddy Sabat, PokerStars Player (United States) - $79,765
7th: Manuel Hansimikali (Australia) - $65,025
8th: Roland de Wolfe (United Kingdom) - $50,285
9th: Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars Pro (Canada) - $36,415

After the win PokerNews' own Lynn Gilmartin caught up with Karamalikis to chat about his memorable victory:

 

The win puts an exclamation mark on the fourth season of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour with the team at PokerStars busily making arrangements for the 2011 season. With the withdrawal of the Auckland event for the 2011 season due to the Rugby World Cup, it will be interesting to see which new venues are drafted onto the tour.

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Jonathan ‘xMONSTERxDONGx’ Karamalikis - winner of the 2010 APPT Grand Final in Sydney Jonathan ‘xMONSTERxDONGx’ Karamalikis - winner of the 2010 APPT Grand Final in Sydney

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