Neilson Claims High Rollers Title at Sydney Champs!

Posted at 12:03 2010-09-09

Another day in Sydney and another day of tournament poker graced the Star City Poker Room with the Event 6: $10,200 PokerNews High Rollers of the 2010 Sydney Poker Championships kicking off.

The field size was reduced from last year, but that was no surprise with the increase in buy-in from $5,200 to $10,200.

Twenty-three would be the magic number today as some of the most talented players in town took to the felt to try and capture their lion’s share of the $230,000 prizepool. Billy 'The Croc' Argyros, Sam Youssef, Jackie Glazier, Grant Levy, Aaron Benton, Billy Jordanou and the 'King of Spin' Shane Warne all sat down at the beginning of the day, but would all fall to the rail before dinner as the final table of eight was formed after an action packed first few levels.

Seat 1: Tolly Sakellariou (48,900 in chips)
Seat 2: Carlo Graziano (55,100)
Seat 3: Jim Ghobrial (35,600)
Seat 4: Brendon Rubie (34,050)
Seat 5: Jason Pritchard (51,500)
Seat 6: Andrew Hinrichsen (77,075)
Seat 7: Daniel Neilson (93,450)
Seat 8: Jarred Graham (67,875)

Daniel Neilson led the final table, but snapping at his heels included online whizz-kids Andrew Hinrichsen and Jarred Graham as Australia’s hottest online player, Brendon Rubie, rounded out the final eight as the average stack amazingly sat slightly under 100 big blinds.

In a cooler hand, Jason Pritchard would see his stack shipped to Neilson in an Aces vs Kings set up before Carlo Graziano followed next when his pair and straight draw was unable to improve. Unfortunately for Tolly Sakellariou, he was unable to go back-to-back as the reigning champion saw his aces cracked to fall in sixth place.

With the average stack sitting at 115 big blinds, everyone expected the bubble to last many a hand, but in the biggest pot of the tournament (at that time), Hinrichsen called all in on a {7h}{8c}{Td}{8s}{2d} board only to be shown the {Kh}{8h} of Rubie to see him exit on the bubble.

As Rubie and Neilson shared two-thirds of the chips between them, it was no surprise to see Jim Ghobrial fall first when his live pair and flush draw was unable to improve against Rubie’s two-pair as he bowed out in third leaving Rubie with over half the chips in play.

Neilson chipped up, Graham doubled, Rubie clawed back and then Neilson applied the pressure before near doubling against Rubie with {Ac}{Qh} on a queen-high board in a pot of over 300-big blinds. With Rubie now short, he would then be sandwiched in a four-bet pot before opting to five-bet all in. Unfortunately Rubie’s dominated ace would be unable to improve to send ‘Brendooor’ out the door in third place.

Daniel Neilson – 438,600
Jarred Graham – 21,400

Although looking at a twenty-to-one chip disadvantage, Graham would manage to find a double, but after consulting Joel ‘Strong Play’ Dodds, the two active players decided to flip for the remainder of the tournament until a winner was found.

That flip – which was more suited to yesterday’s Flip Fest – would only last one hand as Neilson’s {8c}{5d} would spike a pair on the flop against Graham’s {Kd}{6d} to see Graham bow out in second place following his fourth place yesterday.

Although Neilson’s title was decided by a flip, nothing can be taken away from his victory as he showed ruthless aggression, composure and timely switches of gear to prove victorious over this highly-skilled field. For Neilson, this is his fourth High Rollers final table and second victory equalling the same first prize, $103,500, that he captured at the 2009 ANZPT Sydney High Rollers. Not only did he improve from his runner-up finish yesterday, but with this victory – in combination with his second yesterday – Neilson will no doubt soar towards the top of the PokerNetwork Australasian Rankings with his $215,000 in tournament earnings this calendar year.

Final Results

1st – Daniel Neilson ($103,500)
2nd – Jarred Graham ($57,500)
3rd – Brendon Rubie ($41,400)
4th – Jim Ghobrial ($27,600)

With two events down and just one to go, PokerNetwork will be back on the floor covering all the action from the $1,650 Main Event as we look to crown another champion here at Star City for the 2010 Sydney Poker Championships!

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