PokerNews Cup Championships Day 9 - Nali "Iraqi Nick" Kaselias Wins Main Event!

Posted at 13:24 2008-10-22
The final day of the 2008 PokerNews Cup brought us to the climax of the Main Event with the final nine competitors taking their place on the feature table of the Crown Poker room for their shot at a place in history, the coveted trophy and a whopping $250,000! After four days of intense poker featuring some of Australia’s and the world’s best players, it was David Gorr who led the likes of Grant Levy, James Broom, Martin Comer and David Lee into the final chapter of the 2008 PokerNews Cup Main Event.
After losing a huge pot holding pocket kings against the ace-ten of Tim Heath, James Broom was the first to be eliminated after pushing with {8d}{5d} against Grant Levy’s {Ad}{9c}. Levy spiked a pair of aces on the flop which was enough to eliminate the 2008 Melbourne Championship Main Event Champion in 9th place.
However Levy didn’t enjoy too much more success and was in trouble when he pushed with {Kd}{Qc} only to run into the pocket aces of Ray Sukkar. The board bricked out and after reaching back-to-back PokerNews Cup final tables, Levy wasn’t able to improve on last year’s result to exit in 8th place.
Next to go was overnight chip leader David Gorr, who suffered some early setbacks and found his last chips in the middle on a flop of {2d}{6s}{3c}. Gorr committed himself with {As}{Jd} but Nali Kaselias was well in front with his {Ks}{Kc}. The turn and river fell {Td}, {7s} to end the tournament for Gorr.
Tim Heath was amongst the chip leaders for most of the tournament, but his run ended in 6th place. Heath held the best hand with {ad}{8c} against Ray Sukkar’s {Kd}{Qc} when the chips went into the middle, but the board cruelly fell {th}{9h}{7s}{9c}{Jd} and although Heath had made a straight, the river gave Sukkar the king-high straight for the best hand.
Many observers picked Martin Comer as the man to beat as he controlled the table for much of the event, but he was a surprise elimination in 5th place after losing a race with Nali Kaselias. Comer had come over the top holding {Ks}{Js} but Kaselias made the call tabling {8s}{8c}. Comer couldn’t find a pair on the board and he exited with $41,000 in his pocket for a fine tournament showing.
Ray Sukkar has been playing very solidly, but when he made a move over the top of Kenneth Damm’s opening raise, Damm was quick to call with {Ad}{Ks}. Sukkar held live cards with his {Tc}{9c} but would need to improve. The board was a baby {2h}{3h}{2s}{5h}{6d} giving Damm the pot and the chip lead as Sukkar finished in 4th place.
David Lee had been biding his time but found a spot to commit his chips holding {3c}{3d}. Nali Kaselias thought for a long time which was a little surprising after he eventually made the call and tabled a monster with his {Qs}{Qd}. Needing a three to stay alive, Lee watched the board fall {As}{Kh}{Td}{8c}{2d} to finish in 3rd place collecting a healthy $73,100 for his efforts.
The heads-up battle provided an interesting contrast between the experienced cash game player in Nali Kaselias and the Danish young gun in Kenneth Damm. Damm was looking to add to the title he won earlier in the week in the TonyG Celebrity Shootout event, but stumbled after running a double barrel bluff that Kaselias picked off with just a pair of fours. After that the momentum was with Kaselias and after about an hour of heads-up play, the tournament finally reached a conclusion. Kaselias opened with a raise before Damm shoved over the top with {Kc}{9d}. Kaselias snap-called and celebrated prematurely with his entourage as he revealed {Ac}{Js}. The celebrations continued when the flop landed {Ah}{Jd}{2s} giving Kaselias two pair and a virtual lock on the hand. It was all over when the {Jh} fell on the turn to give Kaselias a full house as the crowd roared in the Crown Poker Room in the knowledge that Damm was left drawing dead. The river was a meaningless {2c} to leave Damm to collect the 2nd place prize as Nali “Iraqi Nick” Kaselias was left as the last man standing, collecting the trophy and the $250,000 first place prize!
The final table results were as follows:
1st Nali Kaselias - $250,000
2nd Kenneth Damm - $120,000
3rd David Lee - $73,100
4th Ray Sukkar - $49,200
5th Martin Comer - $41,000
6th Tim Heath - $32,800
7th David Gorr - $24,600
8th Grant Levy - $16,400
9th James Broom - $12,000


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2008 PokerNews Cup Main Event Trophy 2008 PokerNews Cup Main Event Trophy

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