APPT Melbourne: Sam Razavi victorious
The APPT Melbourne Main Event has been run and won with the trophy set to head to the motherland for the very first time as Britain's Sam Razavi has overcome local hope Keith Walker in a quick heads-up battle to grab the win and $326,125 in prize money.
It only took three hands of heads-up play for the two players to get their chips into the middle. Sam Razavi opened to 100,000 and Keith Walker moved all in for something around 1.8 million. Razavi was happy to call with K♠T♠ but needed to improve against Walker's J♦J♣.
The flop brought a A♠2♦5♠ sweat, and it was all over on the turn when the 8♠ landed to give Razavi his flush. Razavi clapped his hands in delight as Walker found himself drawing dead, with the J♠ river just rubbing salt into the wound.
Keith Walker's journey to this point is a fascinating one. He finished 4th in a major pub poker event that awarded him a seat into next year's Aussie Millions. That motivated him enough to decide that he needed to get a bit more practice so he bought into the APPT Queenstown event and now here in Melbourne. That practice just netted him $205,345.
For Razavi this win confirms his place as one of the best players going around, with major scores coming from all corners of the globe. He was patient early, pushed at the right times when things got a little short and eventually levelled Tom Grigg into paying him off, not once, but twice, when he made monster hands.
Razavi picks up $326,125 for the win, and although we hate seeing the Poms beat us in anything, Razavi is based out of Asia so we're likely to see more of him around the Asian circuit.
Earlier in the day we were licking our lips at the prospects of the stellar final table line up for the APPT Melbourne Main Event. It had all the markings of a classic, and the frantic action early didn't disappoint the large rail that had gathered in the Crown Poker Room to watch it all unfold.
Brendon Rubie was one of the favourites coming in, but barely lasted ten minutes after his aggression ultimately backfired to see him first to visit the cashier.
It set the tone for the final table, as Nigel Andrews, Kristian Lunardi and James Bills followed in rapid succession as four men were down within the first hour of play.
Gary Benson was next to go - unable to replicate the achievement of fellow Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell who won this event last year. Benson was a little passive with his pocket queens as Keith Walker caught gold with 2♣3♣ in a big blind special, making trip treys on the turn.
The entertaining run of Wayne Bentley came to an end in 4th place after an intense battle with Tom Grigg. Bentley went with a flush draw but couldn't improve against Grigg's top pair.
Grigg looked in control, as he won pot after pot to amass an impressive chip stack structure and a comfortable lead. But it all came crashing down when Sam Razavi doubled up with pocket nines against Grigg's ace-king.
From there, Razavi was able to extract full value with two sets as Grigg called off his tournament life in 3rd place.
That left Keith Walker to represent Australia against the British invasion, but the cards fell Razavi's way and the title was his. Razavi almost didn't make it to Australia after his flight from Mauritius was overbooked. Someone withdrew at the last minute to allow Razavi his seat and he cashed in to the tune of $326,125!
Final Table Results
1st Sam Razavi - $326,125
2nd Keith Walker - $205,345
3rd Tom Grigg - $114,750
4th Wayne Bentley - $87,575
5th Gary Benson - $72,475
6th James Bills - $57,375
7th Kristian Lunardi - $45,300
8th Nigel Andrews - $36,240
9th Brendon Rubie - $27,175
That wraps up things here at the Crown Poker Room after another successful event. Thanks to the staff at Crown for their efforts this week, and a big shout out to Shannon Morris for his stunning photography of the event throughout the week.
The next big event on the local calendar is the Macau Poker Cup Championship from the Grand Waldo Casino in Macau, with the Main Event running from September 12th - 16th. We'll once again have full coverage here on the PokerStars Blog so we hope to see you there!