Sydney Championships: Henry Tran wins the Main Event for $AU300,000

The Sydney Championships has attracted hundreds of players from many parts of the world here to Star Poker Room for this festival, and they have not been disappointed. Big guarantees have been met and great poker has been played, but the curtain is now closing on this series for another year. Here is a rundown of the highlights.

The Main Event sees Henry Tran take the title

Henry Tran - Photo Star Poker
Henry Tran – Photo Star Poker

The Sydney Championships has seen countless players competing for titles and paydays here in Australia, but the one title they all want most, is now in the pocket of Henry Tran, provided he can find room for it alongside his AU$300,000 in prize money.

496 players pulled up a chair here, having left AU$3,000 at the cashier’s cage, and promptly went to war with each other to see who would take the elusive title and huge score. 54 of those players would go on to cash for a minimum of AU$5,272 with 4th place and above promising a six-figure payday.

After the two starting flights, 123 players were left standing, but that figure had been decimated by the end of the second day, with Steve Pappas leading the final 14 contenders. Despite looking good for a deep run at the final table, Pappas eventually had to bow out in 8th place. He was followed by Chris Tran and perennial ladies event winner, Suzy Khoueis, leaving the final table 5 handed.

With almost $2.3 million in live career cashes, Grant Levy was certainly one of the more experience players at the final table, but could not manage better than a 5th place finish. He was followed Rafe Aman in 4th and a cash game enthusiast who didn’t even want to play the Main Event Damon Zhou, who took 3rd. Zhou had entered a satellite tournament for this event as he was fed up of waiting to get a seat in a cash game, and won his seat into the Main Event. Regardless of how good he is at cash poker, he’s unlikely to have done better than he did here, picking up AU$135,000 for his finish.

Brad Hawkins began heads-up play with a massive 9 to 1 chiplead over Henry Tran, but the early exchanges saw a lucky double up for Tran, followed by another double a short time later, putting him right back into contention. Less than 10 minutes later, he had completed a remarkable turnaround, winning the event for AU$300,000.

Official Final Table Results

Place Player Prize (AU$)
1 Henry Tran $300,000
2 Brad Hawkins $185,000
3 Damon Zhou $135,000
4 Rafe Aman $100,000
5 Grant Levy $75,000
6 Suzy Khoueis $57,000
7 Chris Tran $44,000

Warwick Mirzikinian takes down High Roller to claim second title

Warwick Mirzikinian - Photo Star Sydney
Warwick Mirzikinian – Photo Star Sydney

The early part of the Sydney Championships had been a dream come true for Warwick Mirzikinian, as he took down the 6-max event for just over AU$61,000. Little did he know, this victory would become a mere footnote of his trip a few days later. With prize money in hand, he decided to buy into the AU$20,000 High Roller. The field size grew to 26, which was a good size for an event of this buy in, and many notables were in the field as play began.

As Joe Hachem fell by the wayside, along with other recognisable names, Mirzikinian was busy building. By the time the final table was getting down to the final phase, well known Australian pro Jonathan Karamalikis had put on a stoic showing, but was forced to hit the rail in 3rd. Mirzikinian started heads-up fairly level with his opponent Andy Lee, but it didn’t stay that way for long. Lee soon grabbed the lead before Mirzikinian wrestled it back, and with neither player adopting a cautious approach, the match soon came to an explosive finish as Lee bluff raised a flop all in, only to be called by Mirzikinian with top two. With that, Mirzikinian adds a second title to his earlier 6-max win, and takes home AU$247,000. Lee picks up AU$148,200 for 2nd.

More: Star Poker Championships first highlights

All Winners

– Opening Event: Nurlan Boobekov – AU$84,735
– Ladies Event: Suzy Khoueis – AU$5,965
– Turbo Event: Kristjan Rausberg – AU$23,824
– $5k Challenge: Jason Gray – AU$188,866
– Monster Stack: Ash Gupta – AU$77,093
– 6 Max Event: Warwick Mirzkinian – AU$76,498
– Master Event: Graham Cowan – AU$12,354
– Team Event: Despina Yiannakoulias and Andrew Markos – AU$19,340
– High Rollers Event: Warwick Mirzikinian – AU$247,000
– Pot Limit Omaha Event: Tam Truong – AU$19,185
– Bounty Event: Daniel Hope – AU$23,610 + $AU900
– Main Event: Henry Tran – AU$300,000

Article by Craig Bradshaw