ANZPT Sydney: Grinding to Five
It's been a grind, but with a few eliminations, the ANZPT Sydney Main Event is down to just five players. It's not that there hasn't been a huge amount of action at the final table, it's just that every time there is an all-in, the at-risk player seems to double. Unfortunately that wasn't the case for Dan Kelly, Gary Benson and Donald Jones though, as they ended up taking eighth, seventh and sixth place respectively.
Seated next to each other in seats one and two, Dominik Nitsche and Dan Kelly are two of the international players at the table and certainly two of the higher profile players involved in the final table. These guys seemed to stay away from each other for much of today's action, but that changed when a bit of a cooler would send Kelly to the rail.
The final hand of Kelly's tournament would see him and Nitsche get in a preflop raising war from the blinds. Eventually all the chips were in, with the relatively short stacked Kelly holding 7♦7♥ and Nitsche holding A♥Q♦. The 2♣9♠6♥T♥Q♠ board would keep Kelly safe... Until the river that is. With that, Kelly was sent home in eighth place, for which he received $23,460.
Following Kelly's elimination, Nitsche was one of the chip leaders along with Dinesh Alt, who managed to scoop several pots off Dejan Divkovic. For a short while it was looking like Divkovic was going to be sent home, but he managed a bit of run good when he doubled up through Nitsche. One player who didn't get the run good he needed to stay alive was Gary Benson.
The final moments of Benson's tournament would begin when Divkovic opened to 100,000 from the hijack. David Campion, who has had a quiet evening, called out of the small blind and Benson called out of the big blind. On the T♣4♣Q♥ flop, Campion checked and Benson moved all in for his last 360,000 in chips. Divkovic was quick to get out of the way, while Campion opted to make the call. Much to Benson's dismay, Campion tabled A♠Q♠, which was well ahead of Benson's J♦T♦. The A♦ turn wasn't great news for Benson and when a Q♣ hit the river, it was all over in seventh place for the Australian Poker Hall of Fame member. For those keeping score, that is the second time Benson has made an ANZPT final table, but he is still yet to go all the way and win a title.
Donald Jones started the final table with one of the larger chip stacks, but wasn't able to parlay that into a victory as he ended up on the rail in sixth place. Jones hasn't got too much to be upset about, with his finish netting him $39,100 - his largest live tournament result to date. The last hand that Jones played here at The Star saw him move all in for 445,000 when the action folded to him on the button. Dominik Nitsche was in the small blind and re-shoved for his chip stack of more than 1 million. The rest of the table was out of the way and Jones turned over his A♥2♣ which needed some help against Nitsche's 7♦7♠. Jones managed to improve his hand on the 7♣A♠K♦ flop, but the seven gave Nitsche a set. The 3♣ turn and the J♦ river weren't what Jones was looking for and just like that his journey had come to an end.
We are coming in on 10.30 pm local time at this very moment and the remaining players are starting to look at little sleepy. A couple of the players have ordered drinks to put some pep in their game and we are sure they will get their second wind very soon. Just four more eliminations and we will have our latest ANZPT champion! Before we get there though, check out an interview Lynn Gilmartin did with Dominik Nitsche earlier in the day.