Paul Hockin has been crowned the first champion of the new season's PokerStars.com Australia New Zealand Poker Tour after a long, hard battle at The Crown Casino. The winner of the Melbourne Main Event took home the A$101,275 first place prize.
The action at the final started slow, but after two levels of treading water everyone the pace picked up. Peter Matusik, who started the final table second in chips, was the first player to be eliminated. He shoved his nut-flush draw on the flop against Michael Guzzardi who held top pair top kicker and who called the all in bet. Guzzardi's hand held and the ANZPT Gold Coast champion was eliminated in 9th place for a $13,800 score
Just a few hands later it was the runner-up of last year's ANZPT Player of the Year standings, Anthony Aston, who was eliminated. Aston got his money in preflop with ace-jack, but Hockin called the shove with what turned out to be pocket queens, which ultimately knocked Aston leaving the youngster to pick up $18,975 for his 8th place finish.
Five hands later there was a massive three-way all in that resulted in two players busting out. Karan Punjabi moved all in under the gun, Ashley Warner called and Igal Augarten also made the call. Augarten moved the rest of his stack in a flop, and Warner called with pocket kings. Augarten turned over ace-queen of diamonds while Punjabi tabled two red eights. No help on the turn or river for either of the all-in players and the field had been reduced the to just five players. Punjabi received $24,150 for his 7th place finish, and Augarten took home 6th place prize money of $31,050.
At this point Warner held a huge chip lead, and Ismail Ismail had been waiting for a good spot to get his money in. Eventually the short stack moved in with ace-king and Michael Lo Giudice looked him up with two black tens. Lo Giudice hit a set on the flop, and although Ismail made two pair by the river, he was knocked out in 5th place, good for $37,950.
Lo Giudice was still the short stack despite knocking out Ismail, and about 20 minutes later he headed for the rail. The hand in which Lo Giudice was knocked out was quite unfortunate as he hit the second nut flush, only to be busted by Warner's straight flush. Lo Giudice still had a nice payday and collected $47,610 for his 4th place finish.
The final three players asked for the tournament to be paused whilst they negotiated a deal between themselves. Here are the details.
|Name||Chip Count||Deal Amount|
The ANZPT Player of the Year points were also distributed in accordance with the prize money being chopped. Each of the three remaining players received third-place points. The runner up finisher would receive an additional $7,000 while the winner added $13,275 to his already substantial payout.
The three-handed battle took more than three-and-a-half hours, mainly because Hockin and Warner kept doubling each other up. Guzzardi was the innocent bystander, but eventually he was the one to finish in third place. Guzzardi was all in and at risk of elimination with two sixes against Warner's ace-queen, and the latter spiked two aces on the flop to leave Guzzardi drawing very thinly. No six on the turn or river for Guzzardi who picked up $112,000 for his efforts.
Warner lead Hockin 5,460,000 to 1,550,000 when the one-on-one battle begun, but that was no guarantee for success. Two double-ups later Hockin turned the tie around and had taken a large lead himself. Warner was eliminated shortly after. On the final hand of ANZPT Melbourne, Warner moved in with and lost to Hockin's when the board ran out . Hockin was crowned as the new champion while Warner took home the lion's share of the prize pool, $123,000 for his 2nd place finish while Hockin added $101,275 to his bankroll. Here's a look at the final table payout.
|4||Michael Lo Giudice||$47,610|
*denotes a three-handed deal was struck
The next ANZPT Main Event will start on November 21th in Auckland while the ACOP Macau Main Event is set to kick off on Nov. 7 in the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino. You can qualify for the Main Event on PokerStars!
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