Grant Levy became the first Australian to win a $1 million prize pool on his home soil, as he took down the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final and the prize pool of $1,000,000 AUS. He bested American Jeremiah Vinsant in an endurance test of heads-up play after a marathon final table at the Star City Hotel and Casino in Sydney to take down the inaugural APPT Grand Final.
When the final table began, it was Lei He sitting atop the chip stacks, with seating assignments and chip counts looking like this -
Seat 1.) Lei He – 2,623,000
Seat 2.) Grant Levy – 1,052,000
Seat 3.) Larry Wright – 376,000
Seat 4.) Jeremiah Vinsant – 1,649,000
Seat 5.) Vijayan Nagarajan – 641,000
Seat 6.) John Matwey – 498,000
Seat 7.) Jai Kemp – 461,000
Seat 8.) Sol Bergren – 2,601,000
Seat 9.) Barry Kohlhoff – 647,000
Larry Wright was the short stack, and he wasted no time going for the double up, pushing all in over the top of Lei He’s preflop raise. He called with , and Wright was ahead with , until the on the river gave He the pair, and gave Wright the exit in 9th place ($46,040).
Vijayan Nagarajan was next to fall, when he went all in over the top of Jeremiah Vinsant with pocket sevens from the big blind. Vinsant called with , and when the flop brought the , Nagarajan was drawing to two outs. No seven on the turn or river, and Nagarajan was eliminated in 8th place ($69,060).
Barry Kohlhoff became very aggressive when his stack got short, pushing all in preflop several times to pick up the orphaned blinds. He got more action than he bargained for when Jeremiah Vinsant went all in over the top of him, and then John Matwey put all of his chips in the middle as well! The players revealed their hands, and Kohlhoff was left looking for help on the board -
Help came in the form of the on the flop, and when the board finally ran out -7-, Kohlhoff tripled up with a pair of nines, and Vinsant eliminated Matwey in the side pot with a pair of fives. Matwey picked up $92,080 for his 7th place finish.
Kohlhoff got all his chips in the middle again not long after, and this time his couldn’t catch up to Sol Bergren’s pocket nines. Kohlhoff busted in 6th, good for $115,100. Jai Kemp went all in on the very next hand, pushing the last of his chips in the middle with . Grant Levy made the call with , and the crowd erupted when the local favorite picked up a deuce on the flop. No help came for Kemp, who finished in 5th for $158,830.
After a long four-handed session, Sol Bergren put the last of his chips in the middle with against Jeremiah Vinsant’s . The board missed both players, and Bergren busted in 4th place for $230,200. The deliberate pace of play continued three-handed until Grant Levy fired a raise form the button and met fireworks, as Jeremiah Vinsant re-raised and Lei He went all in over the top. Levy quickly got out of the way, and Vinsant called with . He was drawing thin with , and was looking for one out after Levy announced that he had folded a nine. Vinsant’s Jacks held up, and He was eliminated in 3rd place ($322,280).
Heads-up play continued in a methodical pace, with very few flops coming down. Vinsant and Levy jockeyed for position for over 60 hands before all the chips went in the middle for the last time. Levy opened for a raise with , and Vinsant called with . The flop was gin for Levy and disaster for Vinsant, as it came down . Levy fired at the flop, and Vinsant went all in over the top. Levy insta-called and tabled his two pair. The on the turn gave Levy a full house, and when the case Queen did not land on the river, Jeremiah Vinsant of Tennessee was eliminated in 2nd place ($621,540).
Hometown favorite Grant Levy claimed the trophy and the $1,000,000 AUS first place prize at the inaugural PokerStars APPT Grand Final, making him one of Australia’s top all-time money winners after his 3rd-place finish in the PokerNews Cup Main Event this fall.
*photo courtesy of PokerStars Blog*