ANZPT Melbourne: Guzzardi gutted in third
It's been three and a half hours of three-handed warfare but finally we've seen this tough trio broken after the elimination of Michael Guzzardi in third place.
When the three players struck a deal some time ago to lock up a healthy pay day and play for a little loose change, we thought we might be able to meet our dinner reservations. But perhaps we underestimated how much the title meant to these three players.
It's been a tremendous effort for Michael Guzzardi to even get this far. He nursed a ten big blind stack for about six hours yesterday, and had things gone a little differently earlier today, and Ismail Ismail had folded his ace-queen, Guzzardi would've been the first player eliminated from this final table.
As it was, he escaped with a chopped pot and from there, he was the danger man throughout this final table. Guzzardi grabbed a massive chip lead after wheeling in a straight against Ashley Warner on the first hand after the deal was struck.
"Why did I make that deal?" sighed Guzzardi at the time, but he wouldn't regret the deal a few hours later after falling in third place.
As the stacks of Ashley Warner and Paul Hockin fluctuated wildly, Guzzardi avoided confrontation until he got it all in good with pocket jacks against Hockin's pocket deuces. Hockin looked set to hit the rail but a deuce on the flop kept him alive and brought Guzzardi back to the pack.
As the blinds kicked up again, Guzzardi committed his chips preflop with 6♦6♥ and was called by the A♣Q♠ of Ashley Warner. The flop of A♦A♠5♦ smacked Warner, but Guzzardi found a sweat with the 3♦ turn. Any diamond (not a queen) or six would give Guzzardi the double up, but the river bricked the T♠.
Guzzardi gave a smile and congratulated his opponents before heading off to chat to his support rail. Clearly disappointed, Guzzardi can take comfort that a favourable deal leaves him to take home $112,000 after a fine tournament.
And with that, we're now heads-up for the ANZPT Melbourne title. It's Ashley Warner from Perth against Paul Hockin of New Zealand. Warner will take a solid advantage into heads-up play with 5.4 million to Hockin's 1.5 million.