ANZPT Auckland: Geoff Smith Wins Shortest Final Table Ever

Tonight, history has been made as a record has been broken. It's one of those records that that the media teams love to talk about. It's the record that affects us the most. What's that record? Tonight, the shortest final table in ANZPT history played out.

It was less than four hours ago that nine players entered the SKYCITY Auckland Casino with the hopes of becoming the champion. It seemed like a normal day. The play began as it usually does, but then things changed. Things got quicker. We blinked and two players were on the rail, with Patrick Healy finishing in 9th place, followed by Graeme Putt in 8th place.

We thought things were surely going to slow down here. Wrong. We blinked again and three more players had been eliminated, as Xiaodong Xia (7th), Miroslav Sheynin (6th) and Jamie Mulligan (5th) were no longer in contention for the title.


Jamie Mulligan - 5th Place

The pace was surely going to change now wasn't it? Think again. The four remaining players got together and made a deal and we were finally coming to terms with the fact that things were not going to slow down.

When four-handed play began, we had an inkling that the action was going to continue at a rapid pace and that's exactly what happened. Within 15 minutes of the deal being made, Monica Eastick was all-in on a 8♠7♣2♣ flop, holding T♣T♠. Geoff Smith held A♥A♣ and was in great shape to pick up all of Eastick's chips. The 7♥ turn and K♥ river changed nothing and Eastick went home with NZ$55,00 for her 4th-place finish.


Monica Eastick - 4th Place

When Eastick left the table, she immediately went to the registration desk and asked if she could play the side event that is running today. "I want to win a trophy!" said Eastick and her former final table foes laughed. They would have to get back to business for now though, having their own trophy to play for.

Just a short while into three-handed play and Geoff Smith would once again eliminate a player, ensuring he would take a huge chip lead into the heads-up battle. This time Smith would deal the fatal blow to Pravin Harji, with Harji getting all his chips in preflop holding 8♦8♠. Smith was out in front with Q♠Q♥ and it stayed that was as a T♣9♣3♣6♠T♠ board was spread on the felt. Harji was home with NZ$55,000 and then there were two.


Pravin Harji - 3rd place

Having eliminated the 3rd and 4th place finishers, Geoff Smith took a massive chip lead into heads-up play against Sebastian Martineau. Below is how they stacked up.

Heads-Up Chip Counts
Geoff Smith - 3,010,000
Sebastian Martineau - 1,030,000

Media row didn't know what to do at this point. The eliminations were flying so quick it was hard to keep up and with the chip stacks as they were above, it didn't look like it was going to slow down any time soon. Play went on for a few orbits, with some blinds being exchanged back and forth before Martineau managed to gain back some ground. Then, somewhat inevitably, the final hand of ANZPT Auckland played out.

The beginning of the end started with Martineau opening the button to 60,000. Geoff Smith called and the players watched a 6♥J♠4♦. Smith check-called a bet of 80,000 here and a 3♠ landed on the turn. Smith opted to again check here, at which point Martineau slid out a stack of 100,000. Smith used this moment to instantly move all in and after a short pause, Martineau called.

When Martineau tabled J♦3♣, Smith was a little shocked as his K♥J♣ was behind and it was looking like Martineau would be doubling up.

River: 4♥

The board had paired and with that, the quickest ANZPT final table in history was in the record books and Geoff Smith was crowned the ANZPT Auckland champion!
ANZPT Auckland Final Table Results


ANZPT Auckland Final Table Payouts
1st: Geoff Smith - NZ$80,502*
2nd: Sebastian Martineau - NZ$55,000*
3rd: Pravin Harji - NZ$55,000*
4th: Monica Eastick - NZ$55,000*
5th: Jamie Mulligan - NZ$25,875
6th: Miroslav Sheynin - NZ$21,735
7th: Xiaodong Xia - NZ$17,595
8th: Graeme Putt - NZ$13,455
9th: Patrick Healy - NZ$10,350

*denotes four-handed deal

A big congratulations must go out to Danny McDonagh and everyone at PokerStars for another world-class event. We must not forget all the hard work the staff here at the SKYCITY Auckland Casino have done this week. It's truly been a pleasure to work with such great people and we are looking forward to returning to Auckland very soon. Well, it's goodbye for now. The ANZPT will be back in 2013. Until then!

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland