Gary Benson has one of the most decorated poker resumes in Australia. With results dating back to 1995, Benson has been playing this game longer than many of us have even been born. He’s seen many things in poker, but this was the first time he’s seen the bright lights of an APPT final table.
No doubt he would’ve loved to have matched the APPT title of fellow Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell from last year’s event, especially after his record only shows two small tournament results in the last two years. Benson has been playing a more limited schedule than in the past, but he would’ve loved to have that modern day title to support his string of results including a WSOP bracelet in 1996.
It wasn’t meant to be as Benson recently became our 5th place finisher.
Benson sat back and enjoyed the fireworks as the players rapidly fell apart on this final table. He was trying to wait for a good spot to commit his chips and thought that he’d found it holding Q♥Q♦. However Benson merely flat-called a preflop raise from Tom Grigg which let Keith Walker into the pot cheap from the big blind – a mistake which was ultimately Benson’s undoing.
Walker led the J♦3♠7♣ flop and again Benson just flat-called. The same happened on the 3♥ turn before Benson made his move with a raise on the 9♠ river. Walker moved all in and Benson rose to his feet as he declared a call.
“Are you kidding me?” cried Benson when Walker opened 3♣2♣ for trips as the Hall of Famer’s jaw dropped to the ground. His overpair had shrivelled up.
After a count down of chips Walker narrowly had him covered, leaving Benson to sulk to the rail in dismay. Benson receives $72,475 in prize money which will elevate him into the top 20 all-time Australian tournament money earners.
And then there were four. Wayne Bentley is still in front with 2.4 million, with Tom Grigg maintaining his stack at around 2.1 million. Keith Walker is the big mover as he verges on 2 million in chips while Sam Razavi is the shortest stack with 1.3 million. Not exactly desperation territory with the blinds at just 12,000/24,000. Considering how deep the players are, we should be here a while, but if aggression continues to rule then anything could happen!