Reporting by Ben Blaschke
Kristina Jeney pocketed a cool $37,408 for her victory but was forced to work hard on her way to the title with 2011 Aussie Millions fourth-place finisher Michael Ryan and seasoned tournament duo Patrick Fletcher and Terry Tserdanis also among the final nine.
Neither Fletcher nor Tserdanis managed to get too much going when it mattered most with Tserdanis unluckily bowing out in eighth when his Aces were cracked by the K-Q suited of Patrick Vartuli.
However Ryan proved more of a thorn in Jeney’s side and the pair clashed repeatedly until Jeney won a huge flip with three remaining to take a huge lead into heads-up play and put one hand on the trophy.
“I think I played the final table really well and I picked my spots. There were a few hands when I got a bit lucky but to win any tournament you’ve just got to play the best you can and hope that your hands hold. You can’t do any more than that. So yeah, I played really solid,” Jeney said.
“I started Day 2 with about 30,000 in chips which was right on average but made it to the final table third which was really good. It’s great to win but I’m exhausted now. I’ve been sick the past three days and wasn’t even supposed to play so I’m pretty happy to get this one.”
Jeney took a 7:1 advantage into heads-up play against Kris Nestorovic and although he doubled up once with K-Q against Jeney’s A-10 – hitting a King on the flop – he was barely in the contest from there as the champion monstered her way to victory.
On the final hand, the chips all went into the middle on a 3-4-6 board with Jeney holding 10-5s for an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw and Nestorovic with 4-7 for middle pair. The 8 on the turn didn’t change anything but the river 2 gave Jeney the straight and the win.
“I felt like I played heads- up pretty solid – I put the pressure on him. I didn’t have amazing cards but I had the stack so I thought I could use that to put him to some decisions. Also, he was very aggressive so he was an easier player to play back at,” she said.
A total of 510 players – including Aaron Benton, Grant Levy, Brendon Rubie, Sam Khouiss, Andrew Scarf and Martin Rowe – stumped up the $330 entry fee for the Opening Event, creating a prize pool of $153,000 and setting the tone for a huge week ahead.
2011 Sydney Championships Opening Event results
1 Kristina Jeney $37,408
2 Kris Nestorovic $23,485
3 Michael Ryan $12,928
4 Yek Goky $10,021
5 Patrick Vartuli $8109
6 Patrick Fletcher $6579
7 Marcial Dias $5049
8 Terry Tserdanis $3825
9 Joseph Deguara $2754
• For all information and results from the 2011 Sydney Poker Championships, click here