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Vic Champs - 'Showman' Homann wins $550 NL HE

Posted at 07:00 2006-08-26 The first points event of the Victorian Poker Championships kicked off on Friday night with the $550 No-Limit Holdem. There were 260 runners, over 100 more than for the same event this time last year – a sign that poker is still on the rise in Australia. With a prizepool of $130,000, first place paid $33,800 and easily surpassed the $25,000 guarantee. As players started with 5,000 in chips it was slow going through the early rounds. Early eliminations included Jonny Vincent, New Zealand’s Andrew Dimock, and Mark Vos, while Martin Comer and Arul Thillai were early chip leaders. With 72 left, and the field quickly approaching the top 30 money places, Martin still had a commanding lead with 58,000 (average was 18,000). Arul was keeping pace though as he doubled up through David Gorr – the money was all-in preflop as Arul had AcKc and David pocket queens but Arul caught an ace on the river to double up to 60k and cripple David. Emad Tahtouh was another player who was cruising along, with just under 50 players remaining, he busted Milan Gurung with KQ versus AJ, Emad spiking a king on the flop to move past 40k. Shortly after that he eliminated another player – both had aces but Emad held the better kicker – and he was up to 80k and looking very strong. Approaching the bubble, players were surprisingly all to willing to get their chips in. Ian Schoots profited handsomely as two players ahead of him pushed all-in and he looked down to find pocket kings. The other two players had KQ and QQ and Ian was instantly amongst the chipleaders. The luck kept going for Ian as Ray Walters pushed with pocket tens on an eight-high flop, only to find that Ian had a set of eights. As the tournament reached the money, a number of experienced players dropped as they tried to gun for the final table. Michael Guttman (27th), Billy ‘the Croc’ Argyros (26th), Wes Bugiera (25th) and Anthony “Rattler” Donjerkovic (20th) all fell short of the big cash. Martin Comer still looked strong, so strong in fact that tournament director Jonno Pittock was heard to say that he would do two laps of the Crown Poker Room if Comer didn’t make the final table. Jonno’s heart (or should that be pants) would have been in his mouth as Martin called Arul Thillai’s 52k all-in bet on a flop of 8h-Jd-9c. Arul showed Ah9d for middle pair, while Martin had KcQs for a gutshot. The turn and river were no help to Martin and he dropped to 47k, while Arul doubled up to 150k. Martin managed to double up a few hands later – he pushed all-in from the button, Mark Wong called all-in from the small blind and Emad Tahtouh in the big blind thought about calling and folded showing a king. Emad was up in arms as players showed their hands – Martin had 9cTc and Mark 8s6s – and when the flop came down K-5c-6c, Emad was calling for cards to make his pair the worst hand. He got his wish, the turn was an 8c giving Mark two pair but the river was the 3c which gave Martin the four-flush and eliminated Mark in 15th. The saga continued as Martin pushed all-in with with board showing Tc-Qd-6c-8h and his opponent called all-in for 52k with Jh9h for the straight. Martin had Jc3c for the flush draw but couldn’t hit on the river and lost the 130k pot. He was all-in just moments later with 79 versus Charles Chua’s A8 and an ace on the flop saw Martin eliminated in 13th place. PokerNetwork is yet to hear of Jonno fulfilling his aforementioned promise, but there is still plenty of time. Play tightened up considerably as the final table bubble approached. John Homann decided to take a stand against a very unlucky Gianni Katsanakis. John called Gianni’s all-in reraise with KQ, Gianni held AK and was looking in good shape until a queen peeled off on the river and eliminated him in 12th place. Playing hand-for-hand, Charles Chua pushed all-in for 39k from the button with K9 and was called by Emad in the small blind with Q8. The flop was good for Charles – A-5-9, but a queen on the turn gave Emad the nod. On the same hand at the feature table, David Wyatt pushed all-in for 33k from the button, was insta-called by Vadim Pinsky in the small blind, and Tim Balaban in the big blind also pushed all-in for 39.5k. Vadim called the extra 6.5k with Ad8d and had the chance to eliminate David with As7c and Tim with KhJc. The flop was 7s-Kd-6d which put Tim in the lead, but the 5d on the turn gave Vadim the nut flush. After some slight confusion it was decided that David with the least chips would finish in 11th place, with Charles and Tim splitting 9th and 10th place money between them. After the commotion at the end of the day, the lineup for the final table looked like this: Seat 1 - Emad Tahtouh - 212,500 Seat 2 - Ratima Poka - 142,500 Seat 3 - Arul Thillai - 215,000 Seat 4 - Ian Schoots - 130,500 Seat 5 - John Homann - 187,000 Seat 6 - Matthew Chew - 102,500 Seat 7 - Vadim Pinsky - 188,500 Seat 8 - Jovan Scekic - 117,000 Blinds were dropped back to 3,000/6,000 as play resumed on Saturday, which avoided the all-in fest that would have surely occurred had the blinds started at 6,000/12,000 as originally planned. Play on the final table was tight to start with, which was a complete surprise given that Arul, Jovan and Emad are all known for their aggressiveness. Things didn’t take too long to loosen up though. In a battle of the blinds (blinds 4,000/8,000), Vadim completed from the small blind, and Jovan checked the big blind with the two players seeing a flop of 4c-3d-Tc. Vadim bet out 10k and Jovan quickly called. On the turn card of 8d, Vadim pushed all-in for 99,000 and Jovan called. Both players had top pair but Vadim had KT for the better kicker against Jovan’s T9. No nine for Jovan on the river and he was out in eighth place. Arul was the next player out in what can only be described as unusual circumstances. In another battle of the blinds, Ratima had limped from the small blind and Arul checked in the big blind. Both players checked the flop of 4c-6d-3d and on the turn card of 8h, Ratima checked and Arul bet out 20k. Ratima raised to 80k total, Arul pushed all-in for over 100k more and Ratima insta-called. Arul showed Ts5d for an open-ended straight draw but had his outs cut in half as Ratima showed Ac7d for a gutshot straight draw. The river was a blank and Ratima’s ace high was enough to see Arul out in 7th place. Shortstack Matthew Chew was next to go in sixth place as he couldn’t win a race with AQ against Ian Schoot’s pocket sixes. As blinds went up to 10k/20k, Vadim Pinsky was the next casualty – shortstacked after his raise from the small blind, Emad in the big blind put Vadim all-in. Emad had AdTc, Vadim QcJc and the board was Kd-Kh-5c-Td-3d which saw Vadim out in fifth. The unpredictable Ratima Poka departed next. Ratima limped under the gun, Emad raised to 85k from the big blind, Ratima reraised, Emad pushed all-in and Ratima called. Emad showed pocket aces, while Ratima was in dire straits with QJs. A jack on the flop gave Ratima some out but the turn and river were no help and Ratima had gone from chip leader to out in a number of hands. Emad was now the runaway chip leader with over 800,000 of the 1.3M chips in play, and increased his lead further as he knocked out Ian Schoots in third place. Emad raised from the button to 60k, Ian pushed all-in for about 115k more and Emad called with Ac2d and was slightly ahead of Ian’s KcJc. However Emad collected trip twos on the flop and Ian was sent home with $13,000 in prizemoney. With a massive chip lead for Emad going into heads up play against John Homann, the result seemed a foregone conclusion. However John proved to be the aggressor and was unafraid to push all his chips in at any given moment. Emad eventually called one of John’s all-ins with A6 and was on the verge of the title as John flipped over JT, but a ten on the flop saw John double up and the players were now even with about 600,000 apiece. John kept the aggression up and hit the million mark, and as blinds hit 20k/40k Emad was in some bother with 300k left but managed to double up with KT vs K9 and things were square once more. The seesaw swung again and John was again down to 300,000 and all-in with KsJc against Emad’s 3d6h – a flop of Jh-Js-Ac doubled John up and the match levelled for a third time. However, with John slightly ahead, players saw a flop of Ks-4s-6s. John bet out 100k, Emad pushed all-in and John quickly called. John had K8, while Emad had Q6. Another spade fell on the turn, and with neither player holding spades Emad called for a fifth spade on the river to chop the pot but a red three came and made John Homann the champion. Final Table Results (Player of the Year points in brackets) 1 - John Homann - $33,800 (1,800) 2 - Emad Tahtouh - $22,100 (1,440) 3 - Ian Schoots - $13,000 (1,200) 4 - Ratima Poka - $9,100 (960) 5 - Vadim Pinsky - $7,280 (840) 6 - Matthew Chew - $5,980 (720) 7 - Arul Thillai - $4,940 (600) 8 - Jovan Scekic - $3,900 (480) Full Tournament Results Click here for the Live Tournament Reports

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