ANZPT Melbourne: Paul Hockin is King
The ANZPT Melbourne Main Event has concluded with the title once again crossing the Tasman as New Zealand's Paul Hockin has emerged victorious after a tough final table.
After leading on Day 1b, Hockin found himself the short stack when the players made a deal three-handed. It looked to be a good safety net for Hockin, who moments later, found himself crippled to around ten big blinds. But through a series of all-in clashes, mostly with Ashley Warner, Hockin was able to recover to get himself into contention.
Again Hockin found himself on the verge of elimination when he shoved pocket deuces smack into the pocket jacks of Michael Guzzardi, but a lucky duck on the flop for the Kiwi saw him stay alive as Guzzardi fell in third place.
Hockin still had plenty of work to do as Ashley Warner held a massive chip lead entering heads-up play, but again Hockin was able to double to even things up when his top pair and flush draw was too strong for Warner's third pair.
With both players deep, we settled in for the long haul but that was far from the case as the two collided preflop just moments later. Warner raised to 125,000 before Hockin three-bet to 260,000. Warner four-bet to 525,000 and Hockin moved all in. Warner made the call with A♠Q♥ to be in dominant shape against Hockin's A♦T♦, but a ten on the flop and another on the turn, gave Hockin most of the chips as Warner was crippled.
Two hands later, Warner's short stack was in the middle with J♦5♦ as Hockin made the call with Q♦9♣. It was Hockin's first chance at the trophy and he didn't let it slip as the board ran out 8♣7♠3♥7♥4♦ to see the title head to New Zealand.
It was a great effort by runner-up Ashley Warner who put his big stack to good use to pummel his opponents late yesterday and if his dominant ace held heads-up then he would've been our champion. None the less, he collects the lion's share of the booty after the deal awarded him $130,000.
And while Hockin takes only the third largest pay day of $101,275, he will forever be known as the ANZPT Melbourne Season 5 champion!
Winding back to the start of the day and an interesting final table line up greeted us for the final day of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event. Things were tight in the early stages with close to two hours of play before we saw our first elimination.
It was Peter Matusik who was first to go. He was gunning for the honour of being the first two-time ANZPT champion, and entered the final table well-placed, but things went awry as his flush draw missed against Michael Guzzardi to leave Matusik out in 9th place.
It opened the floodgates as Anthony Aston was quick to follow in 8th, before a double elimination saw both Igal Augarten and Karan Punjabi fall to the pocket kings of the giant-killing Ashley Warner.
After the slow going in the early stages, suddenly we were five-handed with Ashley Warner way out in front. Ismail Ismail lost a preflop race to fall in 5th place, before Michael Lo Giudice ran a king-high flush into Warner's straight-flush to depart in 4th place.
We were eyeing off dinner reservations when the three players struck a deal, but it took another three and a half hours before Michael Guzzardi was bundled out in third place.
As we mentioned earlier, Ashley Warner looked a winner and was unlucky not to claim victory with a dominated ace, but ultimately it was Paul "KingPaulie" Hockin who managed to stay out of trouble, run good at the right times, and hold his nerve to claim a memorable victory and the title of ANZPT Melbourne champion!
ANZPT Melbourne final table results
1st Paul Hockin (New Zealand) - $101,275*
2nd Ashley Warner (Australia) - $130,000*
3rd Michael Guzzardi (Australia) - $112,000*
4th Michael Lo Giudice (Australia) - $47,610
5th Ismail Ismail (Australia) - $37,950
6th Igal Augarten (Australia) - $31,050
7th Karan Punjabi (Australia) - $24,150
8th Anthony Aston (Australia) - $18,975
9th Peter Matusik (Australia) - $13,800
* denotes three-handed deal
Thanks to Jonno Pittock, Christian Vaughan and all of the staff in the Crown Poker Room for hosting another wonderful tournament, and congratulations to Danny McDonagh and PokerStars for bringing record numbers to this event.
The next major event in this region is the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) which got underway a few days ago over in Macau, while the next stop on the ANZPT is in Auckland, New Zealand at SKYCITY Auckland from November 21st - 25th. Qualify for this event right now online at PokerStars.
Thanks for following along at home and we look forward to you joining us for coverage of the ACOP Warm Up and Main Events here on the PokerStars Blog.
Until then, good night from Melbourne!