PUB POKER: Ladies take centre stage at 2012’s final Pro Open

Blacktown Workers Club was the venue for the final major event on the APL calendar for 2012, with the Pink Heart Ladies event and NSW Pro Open attracting excellent numbers.

• A field of 88 players enjoyed a champagne breakfast to settle the nerves before taking to the felt for the fourth Pink Heart Ladies Championships.

Busloads of players converged on the Blacktown Workers Club from across Sydney, with some coming from as far as Tweed Heads and Brisbane to support the ‘I heart PINK’ Breast Cancer Foundation.

Four ladies were selected at the start of the tournament as the ‘Queens of the Day’ (bounties) – they were Gail Jackson (Sydney South West), Margaret Mimica (Outer West), Jessica German (Outer West) and Anne Fernant (Newcastle). However, the bounties had all been claimed by the time the final table was decided, which comprised:

Atua Tofaeono (Inner West) 270,000
Dolores Cruz (South West) 250,000
Maria Batten (Port Stephens) 160,000
Nat Segon (Inner West) 160,000
Jacqueline Carnevale (Illawarra North) 150,000
Melody De Mesa (Newcastle) 145,000
Lerrina Heinrich (Outer West) 120,000
Kasey Warren (Illawarra North) 65,000
Luana Edmonds (South West) 50,000

Final table chip leader Atua Tofaeono (pictured) carried her lead all the way to victory to claim the Pink Heart Ladies Champs title and $3000 guaranteed prize package including $1500 cash, a MAIN EVENT seat and the Pink Heart Winners Trophy!

Pink Heart Ladies Championship results

1 Atua Tofaeono $1500 + MAIN EVENT III seat
2 Dolores Cruz $600
3 Nat Segon $450
4 Melody De Mesa $300
5 Maria Batten $275
6 Lerrina Heinrich $250
7 Kasey Warren $200
8 Luana Edmonds $175

• Another huge field of 461 players took to the felt for the December edition of the NSW Pro Open with former champions Trevor Allan, Cameron Shephard, Cameron McNeill, Sean Birmingham and November winner Anthony Nguyen chasing repeat titles.

After another typically fierce contest, Adam Bortolazzo earned himself $1000 but, more importantly, a $17,000 TeamWSOP package that will ensure him a seat in the WSOP Main Event.

Players who dominated throughout the afternoon included Sophie Hawkins from the Hills District who had amassed the chip lead, making some bold plays and using her stack to the fullest while MAIN EVENT II winner Olivier Baux also reached the final table.

Jacob O’Rance fell one spot short of the final eight, while the last two female players – Hawkins and the ultra-consistent Suzy Khoueis were the first two players KOed at the final table.

Daily Wong (sixth) and Jimmy Muscat (fifth) narrowly missed MAIN EVENT seats but will be in action at the next NSW State Champs.

It was at this point of the tournament that the short-stacked Bortolazzo changed gears, eliminating Baux (fourth) and Peter Tsioustas (third) to set-up a showdown with David Logan.

However, Bortolazzo seemed on an unstoppable heater and hit a gutshot straight on the river to claim a famous victory. However, the 19-year-old will need to wait until turning 21 to take his seat in the world’s most famous poker tournament.

The first edition of the NSW Pro Open for 2013 will be played at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, which will include the first NSW State Champs for the New Year!

December 2012 NSW Pro Open results

1 Adam Bortolazzo $1000 + $17,000 TeamWSOP package + State Champs seat
2 David Logan $700 + MAIN EVENT III seat  + State Champs seat
3 Peter Tsioustas $450 + MAIN EVENT III seat + State Champs seat
4 Olivier Baux $350 + MAIN EVENT III seat  + State Champs seat
5 James Muscat $300 + State Champs seat
6 Daily Wong $300 + State Champs seat
7 Sophie Hawkins $250 + State Champs seat
8 Suzy Khoueis $250 + State Champs seat
9 Jacob O’Rance $100 + Pro Open seat
10 Chris Ross $100 + Pro Open seat
11 Shivan Abdine $100 + Pro Open seat
12 Brett Dannevig $100 + Pro Open seat
13 Walter Haare $100 + Pro Open seat
14 Brendon Holliday $100 + Pro Open seat
15 James Whelan $100 + Pro Open seat
16 Marco Legovich $100 + Pro Open seat

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