Fri, Nov 2, 6:17am by Ed Scimia
Australian players dominated the Australia-New Zealand Poker Tour Melbourne Main Event this week, taking all but four of the 41 money positions in the tournament. However, in the end, it was New Zealand’s Paul Hockin who took home the first ANZPT title of the year, battling through an otherwise all-Australian final table to earn his crown.
Hockin, who has three career cashes including a final table appearance at the ANZPT Gold Coast tournament last year, jumped out to the chip lead early in the tournament by dominating his Day 1B flight. His fortunes slowly changed, however, as he found himself on the short stack with just three players remaining in contention.
That’s when Hockin agreed to a deal with Ashley Warner and Michael Guzzardi, the two other players who were still battling for the title. Due to the fact that Hockin was the short stack, he actually took home the smallest portion of the prize pool among the final three. Still, down to only about ten big blinds, it was a deal Hockin was happy to make.
After a few double ups, Hockin suddenly found himself in a much better position. After Guzzardi was eliminated in third place, Warner and Hockin almost immediately decided the tournament in a huge clash. Warner actually appeared to have the best of it, as he got his money in with AQ against Hockin’s AT. However, a ten on the flop (and another one on the turn) allowed Hockin to double through Warner, crippling him. Warner was eliminated just two hands later, when his J5 couldn’t catch up to Hockin’s Q9.
Despite the fact that Warner lost, he still came out a winner, as he took home the tournament’s largest prize. As the chip leader when the deal was made, he secured a prize of A$130,000. Guzzardi took home A$112,000, while Hockin “settled” for just A$101,275 along with the title of champion. In total, 41 players were able to take home prizes of at least $3,450.
The Australia-New Zealand Poker Tour will continue on November 17, when the tour moves to New Zealand for ANZPT Auckland. Later events in this season include Perth, Sydney, Repechage (at the Crown Melbourne once again) and Queenstown.
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