Victoria Poker Championship early highlights: Eoin McLaverty wins opening event

Crown Melbourne has prided itself on being one of Australia’s premier locations for tournament poker in recent times.

This month sees the Victoria Poker Championship hosted there, bringing yet more tournament action to Melbourne.

Here is a recap of the early events.

Event 1 – AU$300 Opening Event – Winner: Eoin McLaverty

Opening Event winner Eoin McLaverty – Photo credit: Crown Melbourne

The opening event of this series carried a bold AU$100,000 (US$68,170) guarantee with it, along with a AU$300 (US$205) buy in. The 614 entries helped the prize pool to easily surpass the guarantee, eventually reaching AU$153,500 (US$104,641). Just 50 players would go on to get paid, with almost AU$35,000 up top.

The latter stages of the event saw 8 local players make the final table, with only Ireland’s Eoin McLaverty standing in the way of a home win in the series opener. His resistance didn’t fade either, as he gathered chips and earned his place in a heads-up tussle with Zachary Duce for the title. The players did not strike a deal for the prize money, and so it was all to play for. Despite the best efforts of Duce, he could not seize control of the heads-up match, and soon after finding himself on the back foot, he found himself on the rail.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Eoin McLaverty (Ireland) – AU$34,930 (US$23,812)
2nd – Zachary Duce (Australia) – AU$$21,880
3rd – Carmelo Dinatale (Australia) – AU$13,515
4th – Nikola Borkovic (Australia) – AU$$10,365
5th – Prithwiraj Roy (Australia) – AU$7,670
6th – Paul Altis (Australia) – AU$6,145
7th – Alex Ung (Australia) – $4,990
8th – Scott King (Australia) – $4,225
9th – Benjamin Tantau (Australia) – $3,460

Event 3 – AU$770 NLH Deepstack – Winner: Roy Agresta

VPC side
NLH Deepstack winner Roy Agresta – Photo credit: Crown Melbourne

Event 3 brought together a solid sized field of 274 runners to contest what has been the biggest prize pool in the series to date. The AU$770 (US$525) buy ins generated a total prize pool of AU$191,800 (US$130,750), with over AU$45,000 set aside for the champion.

The final phase of the tournament saw three Melbourne players contesting the title, with all of them having lifetime cashes comfortably in the five-figure range before this tournament began. While none of the final three could be considered amateurs, a victory here would easily mark a career-best score for any of the three survivors.

Michael Gulle was the first to make his way to the rail in 3rd place, leaving David Luong and Roy Agresta to contest the title. Agresta soon battled his way into the chiplead and kept consistent pressure on Luong, who eventually fell in 2nd place.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Roy Agresta (Australia) – AU$45,555 (US$31,055)
2nd – David Luong (Australia) – AU$29,250
3rd – Michael Gulle (Australia) – AU$18,700
4th – Antonio Fazzolari (Australia) – $14,865
5th – Peng Khoo (Australia) – AU$11,220
6th – David Moxon (Australia) – AU$9,115
7th – Lukas Byrns (Australia) – AU$7,190
8th – Gareth Pepper (Australia) – AU$5,760
9th – Dung Nguyen (Australia) – AU$4,605

Other events

Event 2 – AU$550 (US$375) 8 Game Mix
Entries: 61
Prize Pool: AU$30,500 (US$20,792)
Winner: Vasco Zapantzis (UK) – AU$10,065 (US$6,861)

Event 4 – AU$1,100 (US$750) PLO Shot Clock
Entries: 42
Prize Pool: AU$42,000 (US$28,631)
Winner: Sebastian Trisch (Germany) – AU$15,120 (US$10,307)

Event 5 – AU$400 (US$273) NLH Shot Clock Terminator
Entries: 189
Prize Pool: AU$66,150 (US$45,094)
Winner: George Kurubilis (Australia) – AU$12,055 (US$8,218)

Event 6 – AU$550 (US$375) NLH 6-Max
Entries: 191
Prize Pool: AU$95,500 (US$65,102)
Winner: Vikrant Gupta (Australia) – AU$24,810 (US$16,913)

Event 7 – AU$1,100 (US$750) NLH 6-Max Shot Clock
Entries: 112
Prize Pool: AU$112,000 (US$76,350)
Winner: Sean Ragozzini (Australia) – AU$30,240 (US$20,615)

Still to come

The Victoria Poker Championship may be almost halfway through, but the lion’s share of the excitement is still to come. The Main Event is fast approaching, but there is also a High Roller to contend before then, and even a teams event. Here is a more detailed look at the highlights which are yet to come.

  • AU$5,000 (US$3,409) High Roller Shot Clock Single Day Challenge – October 18th
  • AU$2,300 (US$1,568) VPC Main Event (two day 1 flights) – October 18th/19th
  • AU$550 (US$375) PLO – October 19th
  • AU1,100 (US$750) Teams Event – October 20th
  • AU$550 (US$375) NLH Deepstack – October 21st

Article by Craig Bradshaw