PokerStars.com travels the world and knows where there are demands for live poker tournaments. But players don’t just want any tournaments; they seek well-run events with solid prize pools, reasonable buy-ins, fields mixed with pros and amateurs, and a prestigious title for the winner. PokerStars.com has met those demands with the European Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour, Latin American Poker Tour, and the newly launched Russian Poker Tour. On top of that, it just entered another market with Season 1 of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT).
The ANZPT kicked off its tour with a stop in the beautiful coastal Australian city of Adelaide on February 4th. In the heart of the Aussie summertime, the players came in from the heat and took their seats at the tables with famous poker names like Joe Hachem, Mel Judah, Tony G, and Lee Nelson. And they were off to claim the coveted first ever ANZPT title.
It began with the first of two starting days and Hachem at the microphone to fire up the players and give the “shuffle up and deal” command. After 104 players bought in for AU$3,000, play began slowly, with only five of them leaving the field in the first level and a half. But by the dinner break, only 67 remained, but only 37 of them would make it to the end of the night. At the top of that leaderboard was James Broom with 183,500 chips, followed not-so-closely by Derren Bullock and his 125K stack. Hachem remained in the hunt with 43,700, and Emad Tahtough wasn’t far behind with 37,900.
The second starting day saw another 111 competitors take seats in the Skycity Casino tournament area, where names like Tony Dunst, Sam Khouiss, Graeme Putt, Tony Hachem, Grant Levy, and Billy Argyros joined the field. That put the total number of players for the tournament at 215 and the amount of the prize pool at $586,950.00, setting a record for the casino. Action was slow in the beginning, as no player left until about 90 minutes into play, but when it wrapped for the evening, there were 40 left. Julius Colman held the lead with more than 200K in chips, and further down the list of players but hanging on were Celina Lin with over 57K and Tony Hachem with 35K.
Day 2 saw all of the 77 finalists come together to play to the money and the final table. Players left quickly as the day progressed, as typically happens when the money is near. When the field thinned to only 21 players, Bruno Potaro was in the chip lead with 430K, and James Broom sat with just under 400K. Finally, it was PokerStars-sponsored player Emad Tahtough who left on the money bubble in 19th place, leaving everyone else to pick up a minimum of AU$5,870.00.
James Obst was the first out in the money in 18th place, Mel Judah left in 16th, and Tony Hachem was eliminated in 15th. And when the final table was set, the chip counts and seating assignments were as follows:
Seat 1: Bruno Potaro (AUS) 552,000
Seat 2: Mike Stecker (USA) 390,000
Seat 3: Karl Krautschneider (AUS) 662,000
Seat 4: James Broom (AUS) 443,000
Seat 5: Julius Colman (AUS) 596,000
Seat 6: Tony Dunst (USA) 635,000
Seat 7: Dean Nyberg (AUS) 438,000
Seat 8: Daniel Noja (AUS) 304,000
Seat 9: Celina Lin (AUS) 260,000
Final table action began on Saturday, February 7, with two U.S. players attempting to take the ANZPT title with seven Aussie players ready to battle. Blinds started at 6K/12K, and the players didn’t hesitate to play.
On the very first hand, Bruno Potaro started it with a raise, but James Broom raised with A-K. Potaro came over the top all-in with pocket sevens, and Broom called all-in for his tournament life. The board came 3-J-J-8-10, and Broom couldn’t improve, thus accepting AU$11,740 for a ninth place finish.
Action then slowed. It took about 90 minutes to see another elimination, during which time Daniel Noja was able to double through Tony Dunst.
Then it came to a key hand, once again involving Potaro, who began the betting after a 9-K-3 flop. Kark Krautschneider raised it, but Potaro came over the top with an all-in reraise holding A-K and top pair. Krautschneider called with pocket queens, and while the 10 on the turn didn’t help, the queen on the river gave him the win with trips. Bruno Potaro was eliminated in eighth place with AU$17,610.
It took close to another hour for the action to speed up again, but when it did, there was no stopping it. The hand that started it was launched by a raise from Noja, but Celina Lin reraised all-in with pocket sixes. Noja called with A-K, which hadn’t been good to players thus far, but it was good for him when the flop came A-3-Q. The turn and river were blanks, and Celina Lin accepted a seventh place finish and AU$23,475.
Moments later, Julius Colman got involved with Tony Dunst and Dean Nyberg to see a J-4-5 flop. Colman pushed the rest of his stack all-in, which prompted a fold by Dean Nyberg but a call from Dunst with pocket jacks. Colman had to turn over his Q-J. When a king hit on the turn, it was all over for Julius Colman in sixth place, which was good for AU$29,345 in prize money.
The very next hand saw Nyberg making an initial raise and Krautschneider calling to see the come on the flop. Nyberg bet and Krautschneider called for the to show up on the turn. More betting then led to the on the turn, which caused Nyberg to push all-in with for the flush. But Krautschneider called quickly with for the nut flush and the win. Dean Nyberg was painfully eliminated in fifth place with AU$41,085.
Speed was the word, and the table soon saw Mike Stecker push all-in for his last 230K with A-4. Krautschneider was there with another call, this time with A-Q. The flop crushed Stecker when it came A-Q-3, and the turn and river couldn’t help. Stecker was gone in fourth place with a AU$52,825 prize.
Kruatschneider then had nearly a 2-to-1 chip lead over Dunst, and Noja sat with a mini-stack of 400K. But Noja came back to chip up consistently over a series of hands.
Eventually, though, Noja got involved with Dunst and lost a significant amount of chips to him. The last of them then went all-in with , but Dunst was right there to call with . While the board brought a flush for both players, it was Dunst with the nuts and Daniel Noja out in third place with AU$64,565.
Heads-up action began with the following chip counts:
Kark Krautschneider 2,454,000
Tony Dunst 1,824,000
Dunst climbed a bit before Krautschneider took the lead back with a straight against Dunst’s two pair. It took some time, but the tournament came down to an action-packed final hand. The duo chose to see a flop of 4-2-K, including two clubs, before more betting led to Krautschneider pushing all-in with and Dunst calling all-in with . The turn was a , but the came on the turn to give Krautschneider his flush. Tony Dunst and his solid two pair lost, making for a second place finish that came with AU$111,520.
It was Australian Karl Krautschneider, who won his entry to the tournament for $33 on PokerStars, that declared victory and claimed the AU$170,215 first prize, along with the coveted first ever ANZPT trophy.
(Thanks to the PokerStars blog for live updates.)