ANZPT Repechage: Final table player profiles
The ANZPT Repechage Main Event saw 844 entries from 598 unique players and after three flights and two solid days of poker, the field has been reduced to a final table of nine. Let's find out a little more about our final table participants.
Seat 1: Michel Bouskila (Sydney, Australia) - 1,435,000 chips
Michel Bouskila is a 54-year old Travel Executive from Sydney. He has been playing on the Australian poker scene for the past five years, but is currently enjoying a rich vein of form in 2013. Michel won an Aussie Millions gold ring this year with victory in the Six-Handed event for $110,000 and will be looking to better that mark with a victory on his first ANZPT final table.
Away from poker, Michel is a big family man and also enjoys getting outdoors with a round of golf.
Seat 2: Michael Kanaan (Sydney, Australia) - 2,845,000 chips
Michael Kanaan is a 29-year old professional poker player from Sydney. He first saw poker on TV four years ago, and now regularly crushes both live and online. He burst onto the scene in 2011 with victory in the ANZPT Sydney Main Event for $195,714 and has followed that up with several other major final table results around the Asia-Pacific including the APPT Cebu Main Event and the ACOP Main Event in Macau.
Michael also has an FTOPS online title to his credit which he considers his biggest highlight in poker.
With the second largest chip stack entering this final table, Michael will be looking to make history as the first two-time ANZPT champion.
Seat 3: Fabian Craib (Melbourne, Australia) - 2,900,000 chips
25-year old Fabian Craib has been around the Australian poker circuit for the last four years but really made a name for himself at this year's Aussie Millions. A third place finish in the Opening Event for $120,000 was followed days later by a fifth place in the Bounty Event for another $30,000. With two previous ANZPT cashes and an APPT cash to his credit, Craib will be looking to capture his first title in this event.
After eliminating the dangerous Dave Allan on the final table bubble, Craib will enter the final table as our chip leader and will be the man to catch.
Seat 4: Todor "Tony" Kondevski (Cronulla, Sydney, Australia) - 840,000 chips
Tony Kondevski is a Company Director from Sydney who has been playing poker most of his life after picking up the game during his school days. Tony is a popular personality on the tour after arriving on the scene with a stunning win at the 2009 Melbourne Poker Championships for $150,000. This result will be his largest cash since that day.
Tony spends spare time playing billiards and chess and he rates the Crown Poker Room as his favourite place to play poker. Tony will have some work to do on this final table as our short stack.
Seat 5: Iori Yogo (Nagoya, Japan) - 1,405,000 chips
Japan's Iori Yogo adds some international flavour to this final table. Iori is a 30-year old professional poker player who predominantly plays cash games, but is enjoying a rich vein of form in tournaments here in Australia.
A runner-up result at the ANZPT Perth for $72,000 was followed up with an 11th place in the ANZPT Sydney, before another final table with a 7th place in the WSOP-APAC Accumulator event in Melbourne. Now with his third ANZPT cash in three events, Iori will take over the lead in the ANZ Player of the Year race.
Seat 6: Anthony Hachem (Melbourne, Australia) - 1,320,000 chips
At just 22 years of age, Anthony Hachem is the youngest player on our final table. A Bank Teller by day, Hachem has been playing poker since her turned 18, but of course, has been very exposed to the game since 2005 when his father Joe Hachem won the WSOP Main Event and changed the game forever in this country.
However Anthony is now starting to make a name for himself in his own right. He was victorious in a side event at this year's Aussie Millions and will now be gunning for an ANZPT title - two things that his father has yet to achieve.
Anthony noted that he was fortunate to have made it this far after running pocket kings into pocket aces in a monstrous pot against Gautam Dhingra on Day 1a, only to spike a king on the flop to stay alive and claim the chip lead. From there, he's been able to navigate his way to his first ANZPT cash and final table.
Seat 7: Ian Thomson (Basingstoke, United Kingdom) - 1,585,000 chips
Our second international player on this final table, Ian Thomson is a 24-year old Carpenter who has come the way from the United Kingdom to play the ANZPT Repechage Main Event in Melbourne.
He's making the most of his opportunity after a couple of lucky breaks have gone his way during the tournament, most notably when his pocket sixes caught a backdoor flush to crack Dale Marsland's pocket jacks, and then when he spiked a set with pocket jacks against Fabian Craib's kings on the final table bubble.
Whatever happens on this final table, this will be the biggest result in Ian's poker career.
Seat 8: Dean Francis (Melbourne, Australia) - 2,085,000 chips
Dean Francis is a Melbourne local who is a Painter/Decorator by trade, but has been playing poker for almost twenty years. Dean has started taking the game more seriously in the last few years with some solid results including a couple of wins in ANZPT side events among almost $60,000 in live earnings.
All of Dean's results have come in the Crown Poker Room - he says he loves the close proximity to his own home and the staff do a great job here.
After contending with the aggression of Fabian Craib and Dave Allan late on Day 2, Francis will enter this final table well placed as he searches for the biggest result of his career.
Seat 9: Daniel Nelson (Campbelltown, Sydney, Australia) - 1,285,000 chips
One time dolphin trainer, now full time space cadet, Daniel Neilson is arguably the most experienced and credentialed player at this final table. With career earnings of over $1.1 million and results all around the world including a third place at the 2011 EPT San Remo event for €285,000, Neilson also has four WSOP cashes and two ANZPT cashes to his name.
Neilson credits his mother as his strongest influence, while his biggest highlight in poker was once sitting next to WSOP bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen. He also said his most defining moment in this tournament was buying in.
While his bio sheet may not have been taken seriously, we're sure he's dead serious about winning his first ANZPT title here in Melbourne.