The clock just ticked past midnight here in Perth. Only moments ago the poker room was full of cheers and sighs from the animated railbirds, as we just crowned a champion in the ANZPT Perth Main Event.
Four days of play culminated in 192 entrants playing down to one tonight here at Crown Perth. When all was said and done, it was Scotland’s Michael Kane who emerged victorious. Kane scooped $98,900 after a heads up deal, and claims the first ANZPT Main Event title of the year.
It was an epic heads up battle, and it came down to a coinflip to ultimately decide the outcome.
Kane opened the action with a button raise to 100,000 before McHugh made it another 150,000 to go. A four-bet jam from Kane saw McHugh snap for his remaining 1,300,000 and they tabled their cards.
The flop A♥10♣J♥ would see McHugh pair his ten to shoot to the lead. The turn 10♥ gave him trips but also brought a flush draw for Kane. It was the river, the 4♥ that sealed McHugh’s fate, completing Kane’s flush and eliminating his opponent.
Over 10 hours ago now, it was nine players who took their seats at the final table. It was a slow start but as the day dragged on, the eliminations started coming thick and fast.
In a surprise upset, it was start of the day chip leader Team Pokerstars pro Bryan Huang who was first to hit the rail. Huang got it in with 9♥9♠ against Kane’s A♦K♦ but couldn’t hold.
Next to go was Gregory Wheeler. After flopping top pair he moved all in before Kane called with the nut flush draw. Wheeler was already drawing dead by the turn as Kane completed his flush to score another elimination.
Robert McLean followed suit after a button shove with K♦9♦ saw him at risk against Michael Guzzardi’s A♠7♠. McLean managed to pair his king on the K♠5♦3♠ flop, but the board ran out 10♥ and A♦ to see Guzzardi spike an ace on the river to knock McLean out in seventh place.
Another flip saw Raiden Kan sent home. His sevens no good against the ace jack of Kane, who flopped an ace and dodged a subsequent seven to eliminate the Macau regular.
Fifth place would go to Michael Guzzardi. After claiming final table chip leader at one point, Guzzardi got it in good with K♣K♦ against the A♥J♥ of Michael Doyle. With the board running out 7♠4♠A♣9♦6♠, Doyle would spike an ace to send Guzzardi packing.
It was Navin Bechar who was next to fall. His deuces all in preflop against McHugh’s ace ten. The turn saw Bechar drawing dead as McHugh made aces full of sixes to eliminate his opponent in fourth place.
Doyle soon joined the rail with the other six after a turn jam with top pair saw him run into Kane’s trip deuces. Doyle couldn’t improve on the river and fell short of victory with a third place finish.
Then there were two. It was an intense back and forth which would see the chip lead change several times. Ultimately it was Kane who overcame McHugh to claim the title, and the $20,000 they had left to play for after an ICM deal.
1st: Michael Kane – *$98,900
2nd: Stephen McHugh – *$72,100
3rd: Michael Doyle – $37,000
4th: Navin Bechar – $31,000
5th: Michael Guzzardi – $26,000
6th: Raiden Kan – $20,200
7th: Robert McLean – $16,500
8th: Gregory Wheeler – $13,000
9th: Bryan Huang – $10,500
*denotes a heads up deal
Congratulations to Michael Kane and thanks to Deb Wyatt and Crown Perth for running a great tournament. The next stop on the Australian New Zealand Poker Tour is ANZPT Sydney, which runs from March 19-23.