Sam Vakili Takes Down the $1,100 Pot Limit Omaha Event

Posted at 09:00 2013-01-23 by Matthew Pitt

The 2013 Aussie Millions switched from two to four hole cards in Event #2 as 233 players descended on the Crown Poker Room for the $1,100 Pot Limit Omaha tournament. One man who will remember the tournament fondly is Sam Vakili who bested the eight-handed final table to walk away with an Aussie Millions gold ring and $53,600 in prize money.

Vakili started the final table as the chip leader, his 857,000 stack being the home to 85 big blinds when the tournament was un-paused. Here is how Event #2’s final table began.

1Graeme Putt22,000
2Minh Hau Nguyen140,000
3Simon Thwaites204,000
4Sam Vakili857,000
5Giovanni “John” Messina646,000
6Khac Trung Tran165,000
7Nicholas Nicolaou202,000
8Vadim Pinsky93,000

The first player to be knocked out was Graeme Putt, but it was hardly surprising when one considers he started the day with just two big blinds. He got his chips in with {q-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds} and was called by Vakili and John Messina, who then both checked down the {A-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{8-Spades}{a-Hearts} board. Messina won the pot with {j-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} and the final table lost its first player.

Following Putt to the sidelines was Minh Nguyen, who ran into the in-form Vakili. The chips went into the middle on a {6-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{10-Clubs} flop, but we will never know what Nguyen held because he tossed his hand into the muck when he saw Vakili had flopped a full house with his {10-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}.

Next to be eliminated was Vadim Pinsky in sixth place, followed by Simon Thwaites in fifth. Along with $22,125 in prize money, Nick Nicolaou also took home a bad beat story to tell all and sundry about. He got his chips in as a favourite against Messina on a {10-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}{2-Hearts} flop but had his aces cracked when Messina caught an unlikely gutshot straight on the river.

The eliminations continued with the exit of Trung Tran in third place, meaning heads-up had been reached in less than 50-minutes’ play! A pretty standard PLO hand chopped Tran down, Vakili flopping top set on a {10-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} board, and Tran being more than prepared to get his stack into the middle after flopping middle set with a diamond flush redraw. Tran failed to hit any of his outs and heads-up was set.

The chip counts at the start of play were quite even; Vakili held a 1,300,000 to 1,025,000 advantage over Messina. Vakili initially started to slide as Messina ran extremely well, but Vakili never lost his patience and stuck to the task in hand. Eventually, his small-ball approach started to pay dividends and he emerged as a worth champion.

The final hand saw Vakili limp on the button and then call when Messina raised to 64,000. The pair shared a {4-Hearts}{5-Spades}{K-Diamonds} flop, and messina lead out for 100,000 – around half of his stack at this point. Vakili called. The {10-Hearts} turn prompted Messina to check, but Vakili did not check behind, instead he bet 125,000and Messina called off the rest of his stack.

Messina: {A-Diamonds}{A-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{8-Clubs}
Vakili: {k-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{a-Spades}

Messina’s aces were in front but Vakili had a plethora of outs he could hit, once such out was the {7-Hearts} that landed on the river to complete his flush. With that, Messina became the second place finisher and Vakili won the 2013 Aussie Million Event #2.

2013 Aussie Millions Event #2 Final Table Results

1Sam Vakili$53,600
2John Messina$37,300
3Trung Tran$29,125
4Nick Nicolaou$22,125
5Simon Thwaites$17,440
6Vadim Pinsky$13,950
7Minh Nguyen$10,500
8Graeme Putt$7,000

This win is the latest in a long line of impressive Aussie Million results for Vakili. In 2010 he finished 10th in the $1,000 Opening Event, then in 2011 finished in 17th place in the $1,000 Shootout and 9th in the $1,000 Hold’em/Omaha mix. Finally,at last year’s Aussie Million he came fourth in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up event.

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