SYDNEY CHAMPS: Neilson’s day to remember

Reporting by Ben Blaschke

Daniel Neilson, who boasts one of the more enviable tournament records on the Australian poker scene, added yet another title to the resume as he overcame a quality field that included the likes of Grant Levy, Aaron Benton, Jackie Glazier, Jai Kemp and John Caridad to take home the $15,260 first prize.

But it was the events of earlier in the day when he scored $30,000 after finishing seventh in the $215 No Limit Hold’em Turbo w/Rebuys WCOOP tournament that had him smiling – a tournament eventually won by good friend and 2010 APPT Sydney champion Jonathan Karamalikis. The pair have an ongoing battle to see who can win the most trophies and Neilson was quick to let Karamalikis know about his latest success after falling short on the virtual felt only hours earlier.

“There is definitely a rivalry there. I’m sure he’ll figure out that I won (this six-handed event] pretty quick,” Neilson laughed.

Neilson was a hot favourite to overcome a final table that also boasted the ever-consistent Andrew Scarf and Ciaran Sharpe – who finished third in this event 12 months ago – and it took him barely three hours to get the job done.

Despite losing a number of small pots at showdown early on, he eventually found his stride to ensure he has now won titles at the last two Sydney Championships (after winning the High Rollers last year).

“It’s always good to get another win but it was a bit of a rollercoaster. I kept losing hands at showdown at the start, I couldn’t win one, but I just kept raising and getting chips back that way. The table was pretty tight other than Ciaran so it gave me some good opportunities to build my stack,” Neilson said.

On the final hand, Neilson turned two pair holding K-9 on a 9-6-7-K board and snap-called Sharpe’s 4-bet shove – the latter showing K-10 and unable to catch his three-outer on the river.

“Ciaran was playing pretty well – he took the chip lead at one stage heads-up and he was tough to play against but he got unlucky on that last hand,” Neilson said.

While Sharpe will have to wait a while longer to score his first trophy, Neilson added yet another notch to his belt to take his 2011 earnings to around $130,000.

His deep runs over the past 12 months alone have included his win in the High Rollers event at last year’s Sydney Championships, success in a Turbo NLHE tournament at ANZPT Darwin, sixth in the APT Macau Main Event (good for $30,000), second in the 6-Handed event at the Aussie Millions for $56,175 and another win in the High Stakes event at ANZPT Perth for $50,000.

$550 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em Event results

1 Daniel Neilson $15,260
2 Kieran Sharp $10,220
3 John Donohue $7840
4 David St Eloi $5320
5 Andrew Scarf $3920
6 Kyle Greenway $2940

• Father and son pairing Michael and Tom Barnes were also crowned champions last night after winning the Teams Event. The pair rode their luck at times but finished strongly to secure the $8100 first prize ahead of a 30-team field.

$660 No Limit Hold’em Teams Event results

1 Michael Barnes/Tom Barnes $8100
2 Toby Ryall/Nick Polias $4500
3 Nashman Nashaar/Adrian Liew $3240
4 Graeme Putt/Joe Cabret $2160

• For all information and results from the 2011 Sydney Poker Championships, click here

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