The return of the PokerNews Cup to Melbourne, Australia was a much-anticipated one, as evidenced by the impressive turnout for the tournaments. With the Crown Casino as the home to the events and poker players coming in from around the world to participate, it was looking like another PokerNews Cup success from the start.
It began on October 12th with Event 1, a 232 AUD buy-in NLHE event with a $75,000 guarantee on the prize pool. However, a total of 422 players registered to play in the event, making the pool a sizable one of 84,400 AUD. Scheduled as a one-day event with a structure to match, the field thinned quickly, and more than half of the players were gone as they hit the three-hour mark.
When the money bubble approached, two players busted on the same hand during hand-for-hand play, allowing the two to split the 40th place prize of 464 AUD. Thomas Tsikouris was the first one to receive all of his prize money of 464 AUD in 39th place, and the eliminations continued quickly from there.
Approaching the final table, Joshua Abor took the final table bubble honor with an 11th place finish and 928 AUD for the distinction. And the final table was set with Danny Tang as the chip leader and Philip Iglesias as the short stack. The results were as follows:
10th place: Nick Bizimoski (1,266 AUD), courtesy of Harry Ligos
9th place: Geoff Channing (1,899 AUD), courtesy of Harry Ligos
8th place: Philip Iglesias (2,352 AUD), courtesy of Andrew Jeffreys
7th place: Liad Moshe (3,376 AUD), courtesy of Danny Tang
6th place: Louise Ingram (4,220 AUD), courtesy of Harry Ligos
5th place: Steve Little (5,275 AUD), courtesy of Harry Ligos
4th place: Andrew Jeffreys (6,752 AUD), courtesy of Harry Ligos
3rd place: Danny Tang (8,440 AUD), courtesy of Harry Ligos
Heads-up action ensued with Ligos as a 3:1 chipleader over Bancroft. It was obvious that Ligos had the momentum throughout the final table, and he took it all the way into the last hand with pocket queens versus the of Bancroft. The board ran out , and Michael Bancroft finished in second place for 12,238 AUD.
Harry Ligos took the first 2008 PokerNews Cup tournament victory and the subsequent 17,732 AUD in prize money.
The second event of the series also took place on October 12th. It was the 115 AUD PokerPro deep-stack NLHE event to be played on PokerPro automated tables. It was capped at 90 players, and that is the number they received. The prize pool was subsequently 9,000 AUD, with first place receiving 2,700 AUD.
Play began slowly, as only ten players were eliminated in the first two hours of play, but the action sped up from there. At the three-hour mark, only 19 players remained. The money bubble eventually burst when Otto Pickermann’s 8-6 met up with his opponent’s pocket queens. And the situation worsened when a queen fell on the flop and another hit on the turn. Quads won, and Pickermann was eliminated in 10th place.
The final table began with Mark Casale as the chip leader with 219,000 and Mark Grech as the short stack with only 29,000 in chips. Subsequent results were as follows:
9th place: Ian Daniels (270 AUD)
8th place: Mark Grech (360 AUD)
7th place: Kim Peart (450 AUD)
6th place: Michael Matthews (540 AUD)
5th place: Matt Walker (720 AUD)
4th place: Adam Reid (900 AUD)
3rd place: Dom Italiano (1,260 AUD)
Casale went into heads-up action with a 3:1 chip lead over Schembri, and it only took one hand to determine the winner. Schembri went all-in with pocket eights, and Casale called preflop with . The board came , and the ace on the river decided the match. Daniel Schembri took second place and 2,700 AUD for the effort.
Mark Casale won the second event of the PokerNews Cup Australia and the 2,700 AUD that accompanied the victory.
The third event of the series, the 240 AUD Pot-Limit Omaha w/rebuys tournament, turned into a two-day event due to the stack sizes of the players and the intensity with which the tournament played out. Not only were there 96 players, but there were an impressive 547 rebuys. Thus, the prize pool was 73,900 AUD.
Some of the eliminations as the day progressed included Mark Vos and Karib Karib. And when the bubble approached, it was Vince Moro who took that 10th place spot when his A-K-9-K came up against the 9-8-7-5 of Paul Triandafillou. The latter made a straight on the flop when it hit 7-8-6 and a full house with a 7 on the turn. The 5 on the river made it so, and Moro was out.
The final table was set to resume the next day with Roy Bhasin in the lead with 238,000 in chips. Bhasin had a phenomenal day, starting off with a triple-up in the first hand and continuing to build his stack all the way to the final table. The short stack of the nine remaining players was Manny Rodrigues with only 14,500. And when they came back to finish it up, the results were:
9th place: Manny Rodrigues (2,217 AUD), by Paul Triandafillou
8th place: Anthony McNamara (2,956 AUD), by Roy Bhasin
7th place: Paul Triandafillou (3,695 AUD), by James Kronos
6th place: Abel Cabrera (4,434 AUD), by Jamie Pickering
5th place: Koray Turker (5,912 AUD), by Jamie Pickering
4th place: Roy Bhasin (7,390 AUD), by Jamie Pickering
3rd place: Con Tsapkounis (10,346 AUD), by James Kronos
The final two players began by tangling in a sizable pot that ended with Pickering on top and Kronos down to only 108K in chips. Kronos came back to double up but couldn’t sustain for long. After a flop of , Pickering pushed, and Kronos called all-in with . Pickering showed for the straight. The turn and river came down and , and nothing improved for the short stack. James Kronos finished in second place with a 14,780 AUD prize.
Jamie Pickering won the PLO tournament title and the 22,170 first prize money.
It was meant for the high rollers in the casino. With so many lower buy-in events, they knew only a few would ante up the 10,000 AUD for a H.O.R.S.E. event. And they were right. Only six players - Joe Hachem, Mark Vos, Van Marcus, James Obst, Billy “The Croc” Argyros, and Tony G - eventually ponied up the buy-in and sat down for a fun afternoon of high-stakes H.O.R.S.E. tournament action.
As play got underway, Hachem was off to a bad start and, at the same time, eyeing a juicy cash game nearby. He finally got involved with Argyros and Vos, though only Vos stayed in after fifth street in a stud hand. Hachem had , and Vos showed . Hachem was given the and , while Vos drew the and for the full house. Hachem was the first one to leave the table.
James Obst was the next to go in a stud/8 hand with versus the of Tony G. Obst left in 5th place.
Mark Vos had become short-stacked, and in a subsequent Omaha hand, he pushed all-in, only to be called by Argyros and Tony G. Argyros folded to Tony G’s bet after the flop, which was when Vos showed to Tony G’s on a board of . The turn and river completed with and and sent Vos to the cash game tables in 4th place.
The final three players decided to chop the pot and end the game. Tony G took the largest share - 26,000 AUD - as he was the chip leader when it ended, and Argyros and Marcus each took 17,000 AUD for a fun afternoon of high-stakes H.O.R.S.E.
(Thanks to PokerNews for the live updates from which this information was compiled.)