ANZPT7 Melbourne: Oh baby Shi's got it!
What a week it's been here for the ANZPT7 Melbourne Main Event!
Records broken, history made and after four days of play at Crown Melbourne a champion has emerged. Ultimately is was Lin Shi who reigned triumphant, overcoming Peter Matusik in a short heads up battle late into Level 29.
Shi started heads up as the overwhelming chip leader and it didn't take him long to seal the deal. The final hand saw Shi limp from the button for 100,000 and Matusik check his option in the big blind. Both players quickly checked on the 9♥J♣T♣ flop before the dealer turned the Q♣.
At that point Matusik lead for 350,000 and Shi pushed all in over the top with enough to cover his opponent. Matusik gave a shrug and called off for his tournament life.
"Do you have a flush?" Shi asked before seeing he had Matusik Drawing dead.
Matusik had flopped a straight but the turn saw Shi overtake him with Broadway. With the bottom end of the straight there was no way Matusik could catch up as the inconsequential 2♠ rolled off. So close to winning himself a second ANZPT title, Matusik would have to settle for a $174,489 payday.
Before the two heads up players found themselves in the final battle for glory, things got off to a flying start earlier in the day.
The first to find the exit was Mile Krstanoski not long after play began. He got his money in with Q♣Q♦ against the A♣K♦ of Lin Shi but wasn't able to fade the overcards. Shi would flop top two pair and hold to eliminate Krstanoski in ninth place.
Next out the door was George Balandinos when he found himself all in and at risk with pocket eights against Peter Matusik's pocket nines. The flop would bring Matusik top set and Balandinos exited eighth for $26,650. Following Balandinos was seventh place finisher Carl Knox who, after being crippled in a flip with Nicolce Trajkovski, got his last two big blinds in three-way with K♥Q♠ but came up short against Shi.
Erich Stadler would finish sixth after a bad beat from Manny Stavropoulos left him heading to the cashier. Stadler got his shortstack all in good with A♠K♦ and Stavropoulos called off from the big blind with A♥6♣. Stavropoulos would ultimately find a six on the river to scoop the pot and send Stadler to the rail.
Joining Stadler was Kenn Langcake who finished fifth after running his A♠K♥ into the K♠K♦ of Matusik. Langcake couldn't improve and received $55,965 for his efforts here this week. It would take about an hour and a half for the next player to fall, but Nikolce Trajkovski was eliminated by a nasty river after calling his shortstack off with ace-high for his tournament life.
It was over an hour into three-handed play when whispers of a deal began. Eventually those remaining would look at the numbers and in the end an agreement was reached. An ICM chop was decided upon with $20,000 and the trophy put aside to play for. The deal saw chip leader at the time Matusik lock up $174,489, Stravropoulos guaranteed himself $171,910, and Shi ensure a $150,641 return.
Of these three it was Stavropoulos who fell by the wayside before heads up play began. He exited in spectacular fashion after a preflop flip with Shi lead to his opponent turning a Royal Flush. It was a fair fight with Stavropoulos holding 3♥3♦ against Shi's A♣Q♣ but he couldn't avoid elimination on the J♣7♥T♣K♣Q♥ run out.
In the end Shi used those newly accumulated chips to put the pressure on Matusik and finish things off. After the deal with the $20,000 first place bonus Shi earns himself $170,641 and the last-ever ANZPT Main Event title.
ANZPT7 Melbourne Final Table Results
1st: Lin Shi (Australia) - $170,641*
2nd: Peter Matusik (Australia) - $174,489*
3rd: Manny Stavropoulos (Australia) - $171,910*
4th: Nikolce Trajkovski (Australia) - $71,960
5th: Kenn Langcake (Australia) - $55,965
6th: Erich Stadler (New Zealand) - $45,305
7th: Carl Knox (New Zealand) - $34,650
8th: George Balandinos (Australia) - $26,650
9th: Mile Krstanoski (Australia) - $19,120
* indicates a three-handed deal
It was a record 520 player field and $1,066,000 prize pool for the last ANZPT Main Event ever - what a way to end this seven-year legacy! Congratulations to Lin Shi and thank you for joining our coverage of ANZPT7 Melbourne.