PokerMedia Australia’s first foray into sponsorship of a major casino tournament event has received a resounding thumbs-up from the Australian poker community with a field of 98 players joining the field for the $1100 PMA No Limit Hold’em Special Event at The Star.
After more than 12 hours of play, the field was whittled down to a final table of nine players with well-known local player Honglin Jiang (pictured left) leading the way. He’s best known for his third in the 2010 Sydney Champs Main Event behind Andrew Capelin and Milan Gurung.
Close behind is 2007 Melbourne Champs winner Haibo Chu, who also final-tabled the 2008 APPT Sydney Main Event at The Star. Fresh from a deep run in the recent 888PL/APL MAIN EVENT, Blaze Scott-Hutchinson sits in third chip position.
Others still in contention for the title and the first prize of $29,400 include John Shin (runner-up in the $1k NLHE at APPT Sydney in 2010), local high stakes cash player Michael Tran and NZ’s Jackson Zheng, fresh from victory in one of the $550 NLHE events at the 2012 Aussie Millions.
The PMA Special Event attracted an impressive line-up including Star Poker duo Grant Levy and Daniel Neilson, Jason Gray, Tony Hachem, Tom Rafferty, Martin Rowe, Graeme Putt, Peter Aristidou, Martin Kozlov, Jarred Graham, Sheldon Mayer, Luke Brabin and Mike Ivin.
None of those players were present, though, when Mustafa Abdulwahab bubbled both the final table and money. Abdulwahab, who’d been among the chip leaders for much of the day, was left with just 3000 in chips after he shoved for 35,000 holding pocket sevens. He was eventually called by Chris Lee who tanked for quite some time before calling for his last 30,000 with pocket eights. The board ran out 4-J-5-10-J.
That left Abdulwahab with a mountain to climb and it wasn’t going to happen for him when he put the last of his chips in next hand with J-8 only to see James Tai three-bet to 10,000. Haibo Chu then four-bet to 20,000 prompting a shove from the monster stack of Tai. Chu snapped him off and showed K-K which held on against Tai’s A-K on a 9-2-4-4-6 board to give him a huge double up heading into the final table. PMA’s live coverage of the event continues at the final table, which kicks-off at 4pm this afternoon (Monday).
ANZPT Sydney Event 2: $1100 PokerMedia Australia No Limit Hold’em Special Event final table chip count
Honglin Jiang 283,500
Haibo Chu 263,500
Blaze Scott-Hutchinson 214,500
John Shin 140,000
James Tai 134,000
Zac Boustani 133,500
Michael Tran 93,500
Jim Pizanias 87,500
Chris Lee 64,500
Jackson Zheng 58,000