The final eight players in the PokerNews Cup Main Event returned to the felt at the Crown Casino in Melbourne on Monday. The last six would set the TV final table, with the winner walking away with the $300,000 first-place prize money. Kenny Ng held the chip lead as play resumed, but it would be Dory Zayner who finally captured the trophy and the AU $300,000 prize money.
The seating assignments and chip counts for the final eight looked like this as play began:
Seat 1: Tanya Hill - 511,000
Seat 2: John Maver - 455,000
Seat 3: Ozzie Yildiz - 560,000
Seat 4: Dory Zayner - 1,185,000
Seat 5: Mouris Ahou - 772,000
Seat 6: Grant Levy - 1,458,000
Seat 7: Kenny Ng - 2,004,000
Seat 8: Jordan "JL514" Lamberg - 1,619,000
The pace of play was deliberate early, with players jockeying for position throughout the first several orbits. Tanya Hill was the first to be eliminated when she tangled with Jordan Lamberg. Lamberg raised preflop with , and Hill moved all in with . Lamberg made the call, and the flop brought , pairing Lamberg. Running fives on the turn and river left Lamberg with two pair, sevens and fives, enough to send Hill to the rail in eighth place (AU $23,880).
Next, Dory Zayner took over the chip lead on the hand that sent Morris Ahou to the rail. Zayner moved all in from the small blind, and Ahou called from the big blind. Ahou tabled to Zayner's . No help arrived on the board for Ahou, and he was eliminated in seventh place ($35,900).
Once the TV final table was set, Jordan Lamberg's run came to an end shortly after a break. After a Kenny Ng pre-flop raise, Lamberg re-raised all in with . Ng quickly called with , and the in the door sealed Lamberg's fate. The online qualifier collected $47,900 for his sixth-place finish. It was only a few hands later that Ozzie Yildiz went to the rail in fifth place, again running a lesser ace into A-K. Yildiz moved all in pre-flop and got a quick call from Zayner, and Zayner's held up over Yildiz's when the board ran out , Yildiz was eliminated in fifth place ($71,900).
Action slowed considerably after Yildiz's exit, with nearly 50 hands passing before the next elimination. That came when Ng moved all in from the small blind with , and John Maver called from the big blind with . The flop looked good for Maver, bringing , but the on the turn gave Ng additional flush outs. The river paired Ng and sealed Maver's fate, sending him home in fourth place with $95,800 to show for his efforts. Grant Levy was next to bust, when he called Zayner's pre-flop all-in with . Levy was in a virtual coin flip to beat Zayner's pocket threes, but the board came with no ace, no four, and Levy was eliminated in third place for $131,800.
Zayner took a small chip lead into heads-up play, with the final two chip stacks looking like this, ahead of Ng 4,870,000 to 3,755,000 in chips. Heads-up play between Zayner and Ng was deliberate, with many hands decided by a pre-flop raise, but after about 25 hands of heads-up play, Zayner made a move against Ng that paid off to give him a dominating chip lead. Ng raised pre-flop with , and Zayner moved all in over the top holding . Ng called, and the board missed both players, bringing . Zayner's king kicker played, and he dragged a pot worth over seven million in chips.
The last of the chips went in the middle on the very next hand, as Ng pushed all in over the top of Zayner's pre-flop raise with ; Zayner called with . The flop was , giving Ng a gutshot draw, but the on the turn left him drawing even worse. The river brought the , and Kenny Ng was eliminated in second place ($203,700). Dory Zayner claimed the first-ever PokerNews Cup Main Event Championship and the AU $300,000 first-place prize money.
1. Dory Zayner (AU $300,000)
2. Kenny Ng ($203,700)
3. Grant Levy ($131,800)
4. John Maver ($95,800)
5. Ozzie Yildiz ($71,900)
6. Jordan Lamberg ($47,900)