Joe Hachem (3rd) - Eric Assadourian (1st) - Aleks Lackovic (2nd)
Melbourne Champs Main Event
Monday May 1, 2006
by Cory-Ann Joseph
CROWN MELBOURNE CHAMPIONSHIPS - PART 1
Coming off the back of a very successful Aussie Millions, Crown’s Melbourne Texas Holdem Poker Championships was expected to be huge – and it was. With eleven tourneys crammed into just over a week, plus numerous other events it was pretty busy down in the poker room so PokerNetwork is now taking the time out to do a recap.
Kicking things off was the $175 NL HE with $15,000 guaranteed for first place. A huge field of 408 players ensured the winner would take home the $15K and then some. Coming off a second place in the main event at the NZ champs, Nick Nicolaou was cruising towards another final table, but in bizarre circumstances blew 90% of his $90K stack by calling what he thought was a min raise with 35os, when actually it was Paul Quattroni all-in for $80K holding AQ. The call stood, Nick was eventually out in 12th, and Quattroni went to the final table the chip leader with 190K.
The final table was held the next day and with blinds starting at 8K/16K, and the average stack around 100K, it was pretty much all in or fold for many of the players. The lucky two still standing at the end were Stephen Thomas and Ken Eastwood. The lead chopped and changed, and both players were short stacked at times but with chips about even, Ken moved all in with A6 and was called by Stephen with AK. A miracle flop of A67 gave Ken a huge chip lead and another miracle sealed it a few hands later when Ken’s 45 found a lone 4 to beat Stephen’s 56. Ken, who was the 1998 runner-up at what is now the Aussie Millions main event, took home $18,000 and the championships were underway.
RESULTS - Event # 1 No Limit Holdem - Guaranteed $15,000 1st Prize
Next up was the Teams PL HE, and with friends, couples and relatives amongst the various teams and players switching each level, it was bound to be a fun event. With 80 teams, a starting stack of 2500 and 15 minute blinds starting at 5/5 it was looking like a long night, but just two hours in the field had halved. Heading towards the final table, Martin Comer (playing alongside Kevin Khouiss) made two lucky escapes. All in preflop with 77 vs KK, Martin rivered a straight and proceeded to do the same thing a couple of hands later with KJ vs KQ – the board was Q 9 5 K 10 and Martin and Kevin were second in chips going into the final table. Chip leaders were “Team PokerBok” – Mark Vos and Scott Smith, and that’s where they stayed, the young guns taking down Charlie Splendido and George Palavos heads up to collect the $5035 first prize.
RESULTS – Event # 2 Teams Event Pot Limit Holdem
Event number three was the aptly named Shortdeck Screamin NL HE – played with a 32 card deck 7’s up, Ace plays as high or 6, flush beats a full house and if that wasn’t enough to consider, players were given just 15 seconds to act! Entry was $125 with one rebuy and there were 111 runners with 97 rebuys, making for a $20K+ prizepool. The more ‘experienced’ players in the field were expected to dominate but when the field narrowed down to the final table there were a still a few young guns to be found. It was the old timers who took the first hit, Maurie Pears short stacked with pocket tens running into Robert Howell’s kings. Andrew Selvaggi made his first (but not last) final table appearance for the champs and was knocked out in 7th and George Palavos backed up a great result in the teams by finishing 6th. Eventual winner was Paul Gianfriddo, who took home $5150 and was a deserving winner, leading the final table from start to finish.
RESULTS - Event # 3 Short Deck Screamin' No Limit Holdem
Continue to MELBOURNE POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS - PART 2