Anthony Hachem crowned champion of ANZPT Repechage
When heads-up play commenced with the ANZPT Repechage trophy on the line it was Anthony Hachem holding a two-to-one chip advantage over Japan's Iori Yogo. One would think that the weight of expectations would be on the son of a World Champion, but it was Yogo who looked a little overwhelmed by the situation.
The usually aggressive Yogo went into his shell a little as he struggled to combat the aggression of Hachem. Yogo was trying to stay patient to find a spot but his first attempt at a double up saw him run his K♠Q♠ into Hachem's dominant A♥K♣. Fortunately for Yogo, a queen appeared to keep him in the contest.
However Hachem was again able to grind him down until Yogo three-bet jammed K♣9♠ into Hachem's A♥Q♠. The board ran out 3♣J♣T♠2♣3♥ to see the massive rail of Hachem supporters roar with delight as Anthony Hachem was crowned ANZPT Repechage champion!
Earlier in the day, our final nine players came together to produce one of the most interesting final tables that we've seen in some time. The action was fast from the get-go with Ian Thomson first to go, quickly followed by Dean Francis who lost a massive preflop race with pocket queens against Iori Yogo's ace-king to fall in 8th place.
They were quickly followed by the short-stacked Tony Kondevski, and day one chip leader Daniel Neilson who just couldn't get firing on this final table. Neilson fell in a battle of the blinds when he shoved J♣T♠ into Michel Bouskila's K♥Q♣. Neilson took his elimination pretty well as headed across the room, late registered in the $200 No Limit Holdem side event and a few hours later, had emerged victorious!
After losing four players pretty early on, the play slowed as the five remaining players settled into a groove. There were some pretty interesting spots with a few coolers, bad beats and suckouts to ensure that the large gallery on the rail were well entertained.
Michael Kanaan took over the chip leader with pocket aces against Iori Yogo's pocket kings, as Kanaan looked set to become the first player to win two ANZPT titles. But as soon as things looked comfortable, it all fell apart for the young man from Sydney.
First it was a suck-resuck against Fabian Craib before a brutal preflop race against Iori Yogo saw Kanaan's king-queen pair up on the flop, only for Yogo to spike a two-outer set with pocket nines on the turn. The final blow was Kanaan shoving preflop with A♠T♠ as Anthony Hachem called in the big blind with a very dominated A♦5♥. The board ran out 2♣6♣3♠7♠5♣ to see Kanaan cop yet another devastating river card to be sent to the rail in 5th place.
Fabian Craib could progress no further than 4th place when his ace-queen couldn't improve against Anthony Hachem's pocket eights before Michel Bouskila fell with a dominated ace in 3rd place to leave Anthony Hachem to take on Iori Yogo for the title.
There were deal talks but they were squashed pretty quickly before the two battled it out with the aggressive Hachem emerging victorious.
For Iori Yogo it will again be mixed emotions. He's had another great run here in Australia and earned enough points to take the lead in the ANZ Player of the Year, but a second runner-up finish will certainly sting as he narrowly misses the trophy once again. $126,600 in prize money should soothe any wounds.
Meanwhile our ANZPT Repechage champion is Anthony Hachem, as he continues to carry the Hachem name to success in this great game. From his dad Joe's landmark win at the 2005 World Series of Poker, to his uncle Tony's success across multiple ANZPT seasons as a two-time ANZ Player of the Year. Now the baton appears to have been handed to young Anthony. At just 22 years of age, Anthony has now won an ANZPT trophy to go with the Aussie Millions gold ring he won in January. The kid is the real deal! He'll also add $181,460 to his wallet which should come in handy when he heads to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.
ANZPT Repechage final table results
1st Anthony Hachem - $181,460
2nd Iori Yogo - $126,600
3rd Michel Bouskila - $74,700
4th Fabian Craib - $56,970
5th Michael Kanaan - $43,050
6th Daniel Neilson - $33,760
7th Tony Kondevski - $27,430
8th Dean Francis - $21,100
9th Ian Thomson - $16,880
That wraps up our coverage of the ANZPT Repechage Main Event. Thanks once again to the Crown Poker Room staff for running a world-class show and well done to all of our cash winners.
The next event on the local calendar is the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions which kicks off this Wednesday at the City of Dreams in Macau and features a massive HK$1,000,000 buy-in! That will be closely followed by the APPT Macau championships. Both of these events will be covered live right here at the PokerStars Blog. We hope you will join us then!