Melbourne Poker Championships: Ali Ghezelbash Wins High Stakes Event!

Posted at 16:27 2010-05-28

With the 2010 Melbourne Poker Championships in full swing down at the Crown Poker Room, PokerNetwork was front and centre to witness Ali Ghezelbash claim victory in the $5200 High Stakes No Limit Hold’em Event.

The action got underway at 12.10pm yesterday with a star-studded cast of 41 players, generating a juicy $205,000 prize pool. Amongst those who took to the felt included Sammy Khouiss, Billy Jordanou, Ben ‘CNT_CRUSHER’ Delaney, Kristian ‘Bada Bing’ Lunardi, Daniel Neilson, Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros, Grant ‘grunter’ Levy, Jarred ‘flopnutsonyou’ Graham, Peter Aristidou, Tino Lechich, Graeme ‘Kiwi G’ Putt and Jonathan ‘xMONSTERxDONGx’ Karamalikis.

In the end, only nine made it to the final table, which was reached shortly before 9pm:

Event 14 - $5200 High Stakes No Limit Hold’em Chip Counts (Approximate)

Seat 1: Jim Sachinidis – 36,000
Seat 2: Frank Artufel – 260,000
Seat 3: Ali Ghezelbash – 76,000
Seat 4: Jason Gray – 69,000
Seat 5: Brendon Rubie – 90,000
Seat 6: Esan Tabrizi – 157,000
Seat 7: George Moussa – 143,000
Seat 8: Sammy Youssef – 62,000
Seat 9: Sam Higgs – 110,000

Sam Higgs (9th place), Esan Tabrizi (8th place) and Brendon Rubie (7th place) were all sent to the rail before George Moussa fell short of the money in 6th place when Ghezelbash rivered a flush against Moussa’s flopped top pair.

It then took over an hour before Jim Sachinidis moved all-in for his last 40,000 in chips preflop holding {as}{7s}, only to be called down by Frank Artufel who tabled {ah}{kc}. Artufel improved to two pair on the board of {kh}{3s}{3d}{4c}{jd}, sending Sachinidis to the rail in 5th place to collect $10,250 from the cage.

Artufel was the next to go in 4th place after re-raising all-in over the top of Sammy Youssef with {7h}{7d}. Youssef called, showing {ah}{7c} but freerolled his way to the nut flush – and all the chips – when the board was spread {th}{8h}{5d}{9h}{4h}, leaving Artufel with no option but to claim his $20,500 in prize money.

Another hour passed before Jason Gray got the last of his stack into the middle with {7d}{6d}, only to be called by Ghezelbash who rolled up {ah}{jh}. Gray didn’t find any love on the board of {9s}{qc}{5h}{2s}{jc} and was eliminated in 3rd place for a $30,750 payday.

Youssef and Ghezelbash went into the heads-up battle almost even in chips, but with the blinds now at 10,000/20,000, any pot lost was crucial. Ghezelbash won most of the pots, then in the final hand, he open-shoved from the button with {ah}{6h}. Youssef called all-in {kd}{qh} but had to settle for $51,250 for his runner-up finish after Ghezelbash rivered trips on the {qs}{6c}{7s}{8s}{6d} board.

In the end, all the players put on a wonderful display of poker, but it’s Ali Ghezelbash with the winner’s trophy and a very healthy $92,250 added to the bankroll – congratulations Ali, well played!


Day 1a of the Melbourne Poker Championship Main Event also kicked off last night and after 10 levels of play, Jarred ‘flopnutsonyou’ Graham topped the chip counts with 118,900. Trung Tran ended up in second chip position with 118,800, while Tom Grigg (108,800), Michael Tchong  (106,000) and Abdullah Yalcin (105,800) round off the top five.

Defending champion Todor Kondevski is still well in contention, ending up sixth in chips overall with 103,200, with other notables Chris ‘minesony’ Evans (85,500), Danny Mountt (72,800), John Delassandri (66,400), Julian Cohen (51,000), Bruce Nguyen (43,300), Alfred Grech (40,100), Jim Mastorakos (28,400) and an unusually quiet David Saab (25,500) all returning for Day 2.

Michael Matthews will also be coming back to Day 2 with 67,200, fresh from his win in the $550 8 Game Mixed Event, along with his wife Lisa Matthews, who finished up seventh in chips after Day 1a with 95,200.

The PokerNetwork Live Reporting Team will be back down in the Crown Poker Room this Sunday, the 30th of May from 12.30pm AEST, to bring you all the action of Day 2 of the 2010 Melbourne Poker Championship Main Event, so be sure to join us then!

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Ali Ghezelbash Wins High Stakes Event! Ali Ghezelbash Wins High Stakes Event!

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