The Sydney Championships concluded its 10th year anniversary celebration with the largest-ever seen Main Event attendance in the festival’s history. A total of 522 runners came out to play, and with the buy-in set at A$3,000, the A$1 Million guarantee was easily surpassed for a grand prize pool of A$1,461,600 (~US$1,078,000).
Last night, Australia’s Nebojsa Blanusa navigated his way up the final table rankings to come from behind and defeat New Zealand’s Brian Lam for the title. Though Blanusa has had a couple of victories under his belt in the past, this was his first major title. He won the lion’s share A$314,265 (~US$231,890) first prize, which was the first six-digit score of his live tournament career.
Second-place finisher Lam didn’t do too bad for himself as well. His incredible run earned him A$194,290 (~US$143,320). Like Blanusa, this was his first six-digit payday. Entering heads up, Lam was the dominant force at the final table. He eliminated five of the players before falling to Blanusa.
Another deep finisher was one of Sydney’s highly revered players, Suzy Khoueis. Khoueis had a rockin’ rail to cheer her on throughout the final table as she gunned for the title on her 50th birthday. Although she missed the mark, she bowed out in a respectable 5th place for A$79,131 (~US$58,400) earning her largest-ever live tournament career payout.
Final table payouts
1st Nebojsa Blanusa – A$314,265
2nd Brian Lam – A$194,290
3rd Charlie Hawes – A$141,935
4th Dhiya Majeed – A$105,220
5th Suzy Khoueis – A$79,131
6th Michael Levy – A$60,364
7th Martin Ward – A$46,698
8th Michel Bouskila – A$36,642
9th Mohammed Elkassir – A$29,158
Sosia Jiang wins the High Rollers
Sosia Jiang rose to victory at the High Roller event to pocket A$266,000 (~US$196,300) in winnings. Jiang overcame a tight field of 28 players, each one having coughed up the A$19,000 buy-in to generate a prize pool of A$532,000 (~US$392,800).
This was another impressive triumph for the New Zealander who now earned her second high roller career title. Last year, Jiang shipped in her largest live tournament win at the High Roller event of the PokerStars Championship Macau to bring home nearly US$500K.
To close out her recent victory, Jiang defeated a tough competitor in Matthew Wakeman at heads up. Just a week prior, Wakeman finished 3rd at the 5K challenge. According to the Star Poker live reports, the final hand was quite dramatic,
“Board . Wakeman had flopped the nut straight . Jiang called his all in with a very heavy draw hand including an up and down straight draw, a backdoor draw to a higher straight and a backdoor flush draw . The turn and the river would both fall clubs and give Sosia Jiang the hand and the title.”
Wakeman earned A$159,600 for his efforts. Finishing 3rd was Michel Bouskila for A$106,400. Bouskila went on to reach the final table of the Main Event where he finished in 8th place.
Article by Tricia David