ANZPT Sydney: Give the Trophy to Dinesh
The last four days of poker have quite simply been riveting and true to form that was also the case during the heads-up battle. When the final two players started to fight it out for the title, Dinesh Alt had a huge chip lead with 7.2 million in chips going up against Dejan Divkovic's 2 million. We in the media were wondering if Divkovic had it in him to go all the way. If he did manage to take down ANZPT Sydney, he would be the first player to win back-to-back titles after winning ANZPT Perth just a few weeks ago. But alas, that record will live to fight another day as an equally admirable champion in Dinesh Alt has been crowned.
It was a heads-up match full of ups and downs as Divkovic managed a couple of sneaky double ups before losing a massive hand that would leave him crippled. The hand in question saw Divkovic hit trip sixes holding 6♥3♥ on the turn of a J♦T♠6♠6♣7♠ board. All the chips went in on the river, with Divkovic running into the 8♠9♥ of Alt - good enough for a straight and strong enough to leave Divkovic crippled.
Despite being left with only a big blind and a half following the above hand, Divkovic fought on, even managing to double up the very next hand holding 6♦4♦ against the 4♠4♣ of Alt. However, this is when Divkovic's ride would come to an end. Once again getting his short stack in preflop, Divkovic this time held Q♣8♠ and had to come up against the K♦T♦ of Alt. The 2♣9♠J♠7♠5♥ board gave Divkovic a small sweat, but in the end those five cards would be the last board dealt at this year's ANZPT Sydney Main Event.
An amazing effort from Divkovic as he picks up $144,440 for his efforts here in Sydney, which added to the $114,000 he won in Perth, makes for an amazing few weeks of poker. Not only will Divkovic always be remembered as the players that got oh-so-close to back-to-back ANZPT titles, he is now the clear front runner to win the Season 5 ANZ Player of the Year award. Of course, we must not forget that Dinesh Alt is our champion and for that great result Alt goes home with the trophy, all the glory and $226,320 in prize money.
When the final day of ANZPT Sydney began, we knew were in for a fun day. And by a fun day, we of course mean a long day. With 22 players still in contention, it was always going to be a grind, but nonetheless it didn't take too much time to get down to our final two tables. At this point three players from the ANZPT Perth Main Event final table were still in contention, but Luke Brabin would finish in 17th place to leave runner-up Iori Yogo and champion Dejan Divkovic fighting it out to make history.
The pace continued steadily from here and we were surprised to find that we quickly got down to 11 remaining players. It was looking like Yogo and Divkovic would once again be on a final table together, but Yogo would find the rail in 11th before play would go hand-for-hand. Interestingly, it was actually Divkovic who eliminated Yogo once again and we are sure Yogo will be having nightmares about divkovic for some time to come.
Prominent Aussie online grinder Ben Gilholme would be the unfortunate final table bubble boy, with his tournament life coming to an end when he ran his Q♦J♦ into the A♣A♦ of Divkovic. Having eliminated both Gilholme and Yogo, Divkovic had a monster chip lead going into the final table, but he would be facing stiff competition from the likes of Michael "WaGe N WaRz" Fadersen, Dan "djk123" Kelly and Germany's Dominik Nitsche.
Heading into the final table and the players had plenty of chips to play with. Well, most of the players that is. We quickly lost our short stack Rick Solomon in 9th place when he ran his pocket kings into the pocket aces of David Campion. It was following Solomon's elimination that the tables would turn, as Dominik Nitsche took a massive pot off Divkovic to become the new chip leader.
Slowly the final table was ground down to five as Dan Kelly sent his chips to Nitsche, finishing in 8th place, before Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Gary Benson would finish in 7th and Donald Jones in 6th. Time ticked past midnight before Michael Fadersen got all his chips in holding A♣T♠ against the A♣K♦ of David Campion. No help came for Fadersen and he made his way home in 5th place and just in time to get home to play the Sunday Majors on PokerStars.
Nitsche was still the chip leader heading into four-handed play, but it wouldn't stay that way for long as Divkovic managed to outdraw Nitsche holding J♥J♦ against Nitsche's Q♣Q♠. With Divkovic having more than half the chips in play, the media was buzzing with the excitement that Divkovic might do the unthinkable and win back-to-back ANZPT titles and the excitement only grew when David Campion hit the rail in 4th place and Nitsche eventually followed him in 3rd place.
Just like that we were down to heads-up and regardless of who took down the title, the trophy would once again be leaving the shores of Australia as either Bosnia's Dejan Divkovic or Switzerland's Dinesh Alt would be the latest champion. In the end it was of Alt who proved too strong and just like that Divkovic was our runner-up, while Alt was celebrating a victory.
ANZPT Sydney Final Table Payouts
1st Dinesh Alt (Switzerland) - $226,320
2nd Dejan Divkovic (Bosnia) - $144,440
3rd Dominik Nitsche (Germany) - $80,040
4th David Campion (Australia) -$62,560
5th Michael Fadersen (Australia) - $48,300
6th Donald Jones (Australia) - $39,100
7th Gary Benson (Australia) - $29,900
8th Dan Kelly (USA) - $23,460
9th Rick Solomon (Australia) - $17,480
Considering there is currently a casino cleaning lady coming in for the morning shift, we best be off to bed! It was yet again another massive event superbly hosted ANZPT by Danny McDonagh and the team at PokerStars. A big thanks to the team here at The Star. We look forward to coming back next time and finally breaking the 500-player mark!
We will see everyone in Melbourne for the next ANZPT this coming May. Until then!