Reporting by Ben Blaschke
A total of 121 players returned to the Star City poker room yesterday – every one of them hoping to reach the last nine – but in the end only a handful survived to take their shot at the $119,542 first prize.
Among those on the final table are local regulars Kamyar Ekrami and Graham Hounsell, John Donohue who ran deep in the same event last year and 2010 ANZPT Sydney final fourth-place finisher Michael O’Grady who is looking to put a run of near misses behind him with his first major live victory. O’Grady currently sits second in chips behind chip leader and tournament veteran Tom Motherwell – the only player to currently crack the million chip mark.
Play began with a rush yesterday as the short stacks looked to double up or head home with the 121 surviving players slashed to less than 60 within only a few hours but play tightened up considerably as the money bubble approached.
The top 33 finishers at this year’s event were guaranteed a minimum of $2835 with those to make the money including Connie Lai (26th), Sheldon Mayer (25th), Justin Cohen ($4725) and Jackie Glazier ($5198). Mayer now holds the rare distinction of having reached the money in all three Sydney Championships Main Events since the tournament was first held in 2009.
The final table kicks off at 2pm today with the chip counts as follows:
Seat 1: Tom Motherwell 1,222,000
Seat 2: Hang Nhan 703,000
Seat 3: Nick Polias 406,000
Seat 4: Graham Hounsell 555,000
Seat 5: Errolyn Strang 548,000
Seat 6: Kamyar Ekrami 915,000
Seat 7: Michael O’Grady 978,000
Seat 8: John Donohue 599,000
Seat 9: Narbeh Horsepian 401,000
The final table payouts will be:
• For all information and results from the 2011 Sydney Poker Championships, click here