APPT Melbourne: Door closing on ANZ POTY
On Thursday we reported that the ANZ Player of the Year race had been blown wide open with the very early elimination of current leader Anthony Aston. Well that door is rapidly closing as we approach the money and the ANZ POTY points here in the APPT Melbourne Main Event.
It was roughly calculated prior to the event that it was mathematically possible for anyone inside the top 20 to win the POTY crown, but one by one they dropped away. A short time ago we still had Liam O'Rourke (9th), Jason O'Brien (4th), Didier Guerin (3rd) and Mishel Anunu (2nd) still in contention, however the number of contenders have now been halved to just two.
Jason O'Brien disappeared from his seat a little while ago, his tournament over, while the end has recently arrived for youngster Didier Guerin.
Guerin started today with barely a ten big blind stack, but a double up or two gave him a little breathing room that he was able to manoeuvre to give himself a shot at reaching those valuable POTY points. However the end came when Guerin three-bet shoved with queen-jack from the button but Mile Krstanoski woke up with pocket queens in the small blind and made the call. The board bricked out as a disappointed Guerin slowly wandered from the poker room.
That leaves us with just two. Liam O'Rourke will need a big result to challenge for the title - he'll have to finish 6th or better - but the equation is a lot more simple for the ultra-consistent Mishel Anunu.
Anunu will just need a min-cash to leapfrog Aston to take the POTY crown. If it happens, it will be richly deserved. A 12th place in both Sydney and Adelaide, and a 2nd place in Canberra all brought valuable points, but Anunu also grabbed a win in an major event in Brisbane that didn't even qualify for POTY points.
Over the last few levels Anunu has been carefully working a short stack, with several glances at the tournament clock indicating that he's well aware of what's required as just 50 players remain. With $28,000 in sponsorship and prizes to be won, it's a min-cash worth fighting for.