Mladen Avramovski played his first tournament at The Star more than three and half years ago. It was an auspicious debut, with Avramovski placing second in that Anzac Day special event and taking home almost $30,000.
In his first major tournament cash since that event in 2008, Avramovski carefully negotiated his way through the final table of the 2011 Star Poker Summer Series Opening Event to a famous victory.
Vlastimil Kral started the final day as the outright short stack and made his final stand after a flop of 9c-8c-9d. Kral showed pocket kings and looked in good shape against the Ac-10c of Kenney Troung until the Ah landed on the turn, sending the Czech player to the rail in ninth.
Adam Ratten’s short stack was next to be committed, and he too found himself ahead with K-J on a flop of K-K-3 against the pocket eights of Tri Nguyen until an 8 landed on the turn, and Ratten was out in eighth.
Alan Bustany also fell victim to pocket eights when Kenney Troung’s hand held against Bustany’s pocket threes before Matt Cauchi’s pocket kings fell victim to Matviy Bilenky’s A-3 in brutal circumstances when the board fell A-2-5-4-X.
Nguyen was confirmed as the fifth-place finisher after his Ac-Kc lost a race to the pocket jacks of Avramovski – he then added the scalp of McKay after flopping an ace-high straight.
Avramovski and Bilenky then clashed in a pivotal hand, with the chips going all-in after a flop of J-8-2. Avramovski showed 10-9 for a straight draw, while Bilenky rolled over A-J. However, a 7 on the turn left Bilenky drawing dead and heading for the cage to collect his money for third place.
Holding a 4:1 chip lead, Avramovski ended it there and then on the first hand of heads-up play with K-Q against the Q-J of Troung, with the king playing to deliver Avramovski the first major title of his poker career.
Star Poker Summer Series Event 1: $330 Opening Event No Limit Hold’em (583 players; 57 players paid; total prizepool $174,900) – final table results
1 Mladen Avramovski $42,588
2 Kenney Troung $26,672
3 Matviy Bilenky $14,604
4 Will McKay $11,280
5 Tri Nguyen $9182
6 Matt Cauchi $7433
7 Alan Bustany $5684
8 Adam Ratten $4197
9 Vlastimil Kral $2973