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Big winners of the Melbourne Poker Championship; Gautam Dhingra wins the Main Event

Kicking off the month in Australia was the Melbourne Poker Championship running from August 1 to August 13 at the Crown Melbourne. 15 events were gobbled up amassing prize pools from A$25K up to A$196K with attendance as large as 740. The Main Event pulled in the richest pot, an enormous A$784,500. Overall, there were over 3500 entries with a grand prize pool well exceeding A$2.1M.

Now that all the trophies have been claimed, here are the event’s biggest winners:

Gautam Dhingra wins the Main Event

Gautam Dhingra – Photo Crown Poker

Closing the festival as the wealthiest was Melbourne’s very own Gautam Dhingra. Dhingra outlasted the 523-entry field of the Main Event to ship in the hefty A$156,051 (~US$112,765) first prize. This was Dhingra’s first major victory and his largest live score to-date. In fact, it was larger than his total live tournament career earnings per Hendon Mob listing.

While a majority of the players in attendance were from the home country, Dhingra faced Korean national Hyung Tai Kim for the title. Both players struck a deal that guaranteed Kim A$124,424. Finishing in 3rd place was well-known Australian pro Julius Colman who pocketed A$66,690 to bring his total live tournament earnings to just over $1M.

63 players were in the money, among them were notable players Minh Hau Nguyen (9th), Dennis Huntly (19th), NLH 6-Max Shot Clock winner Joel Williams (25th), Dean Blatt (26th), Kahle Burns (28th), Jarred Graham (30th), and Petros Aristidou (49th).

Final 10 Payouts
Prizepool: A$784,500 – Buyin: A$1,650 – ITM: 63 places

1st Gautam Dhingra – Australia – A$156,051
2nd Hyung Tai Kim – Korea – A$124,424
3rd Julius Colman – Australia – A$66,690
4th Simon Chahine – Australia – A$50,210
5th Jordan Westmoreland – USA – A$34,520
6th James Harketts – Australia – A$27,455
7th Adam Markiewicz – Australia – A$22,360
8th Andrew Zebrovius – Australia – A$18,830
9th Minh Hau Nguyen – Australia – A$15,690
10th Paul Altis – Australia – A$13,335

Tino Lechich wins the 5K Challenge High Roller

Tino Lechich – Photo Crown Poker

For one of the most recognized poker players from Australia, with cashes dating back to 2003, Tino Lechich aka Dice hasn’t had a live tournament victory since 2009. Well, that dry spell is now over. Lechich overcame the 61-entry 5K Challenge High Roller event and pocketed a cool A$95,620. To claim the title, Lechich had to get past several heavy hitters that included Andrew Hinrichsen who finished 3rd and Robert Spano at the heads up round.

Payouts
Prizepool: A$289,750 – Buyin: A$5,000

1st Tino Lechich – Australia – A$95,620
2nd Robert Spano – Australia – A$60,850
3rd Andrew Hinrichsen – Australia – A$40,565
4th Henri Buhler – Scotland – A$31,870
5th Jordan Westmoreland – Australia – A$23,180
6th Luke Stokie – Australia – A$20,280
7th Zackery Lowrie – New Zealand – A$17,385

David Kelly wins the Opening Event

David Kelly – Photo Crown Poker

The festival had a smashing start with 740 entrants pouring in for the Opening Event. With a buyin of just A$300, players were guaranteed at least a 100K pot. Due to the huge turnout, that quickly grew to A$185,000. 72 players claimed a cut with David Kelly pocketing the largest of A$40,240.

Top 10 payouts
Prizepool: A$185,000 – Buyin: A$300 – ITM: 72 places

1st David Kelly – Australia – A$40,240
2nd Petrit Abazi – Australia – A$24,975
3rd Anita Le – Australia – A$15,450
4th David Elias – Australia – A$11,785mel
5th Lukas Byrns – Australia – A$8,145
6th George Eleftheradis – Australia – A$6,475
7th Nicholas Walk – Australia – A$5,275
8th John Perry – Australia – A$4,445
9th Richard Aspinall – Australia – A$3,705
10th Nathan Gubieski – Australia – A$3,150

Idris Hassan wins the NLHE Deepstack

Another event bringing in a large field was the NLHE Deepstack. 392 graced the tables, each entry costing A$550 for a prize pool of A$196,000. With all of the 45 players in the money hailing from Australia, besting them all was Idris Hassan. Hassan shipped in the A$45,030 first prize, pocketing a personal record live tournament career payout.

Top 10 Payouts

1st Idris Hassan – Australia – A$45,030
2nd Natalia Rozova – Australia – A$28,420
3rd David Tam – Australia – A$17,640
4th Eugene Portlen – Australia – A$13,915
5th William Funnell – Australia – A$10,290
6th Dominic Cavdar – Australia – A$8,340
7th Dale West – Australia – A$6,370
8th Daniel Gabriel – Australia – A$5,390
9th George Cotaidis – Australia – A$4,510
10th Roberto Rotatori – Australia – A$3,725

Article by Tricia David


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