The Tony G Celebrity Shootout Bounty Tournament, Event #5 at the 2008 PokerNews Cup Australia Championships, drew a stacked field of tough competitors, all gunning for each other and the bounty lanyards that a portion of the field wore. 240 players entered, and more than 20 of them had $500 bounties on their heads. This, coupled with the 20-second time limit on actions in this event, made for a wild ride. Some of the big names in the field included PokerNews' own John Caldwell, Graeme "Kiwi G" Putt, Celina Lin, Mark Vos, Jay "Seabeast" Kinkade, and of course, longtime Team PokerNews captain Tony "Tony G" Guoga.
Unlike a traditional shootout tournament, this event played like a normal multi-table tournament until the field reached 32 players. At that point, the shootout rules went into effect, as the remaining players were re-seated across four tables, balanced for chip stacks, and the last two players standing at each table made the final table. When all the dust and bounties settled, Sam Khouiss stood atop the leader board as the eight remaining players bagged their chips for the night.
After losing a few chips early to quads, Tony G became the first bounty player to bust when he moved all in with preflop. Con Cotsomitis called blind, and turned over . Not as far behind as one would expect from a blind call, Cotsomitis hit the flop hard, as it came down . Tony G was drawing to two outs on the flop, and the on the turn wasn't one of them. The on the river sealed his fate, and left Cotsomitis $500 richer.
Other early eliminations included Celina Lin, Graeme Putt, Julian Powell, Billy "The Croc" Argyros and Event #3 winner Jamie Pickering. Pickering moved all in preflop with A-Q, and found one caller who showed pocket eights. No help came for Pickering on a board of -4-, and he was done early.
After the redraw to the final four tables, the shootout portion of the tournament began. Sam Khouiss began his shootout in fine fashion, doubling through Antonis Kambouris in one of the first hands at their new table. Khouiss moved all in preflop with , and Kambouris made the call with . Khouiss picked up a king on the turn as the board ran out , and he was back in contention.
Reza Vakili made his own move towards the top of the leader board shortly after the bubble burst when he knocked off Stefan Fuchs in 18th place ($1,085). Fuchs moved all in preflop with pocket nines and needed a lot of help against Vakili's . Nothing came on the board of for Fuchs, and he was done. Vakili then continued his good run by putting a rough beat on Roy Vandersluis to send him to the rail in 14th ($1,628). Vandersluis raised from the button with , and Vakili re-raised with . Vandersluis moved all in, and Vakili called to see a flop of , and Vandersluis hit top pair, top kicker to Vakili's gutshot draw. The on the turn was no help, but the on the river filled Vakili's straight and busted Vandersluis.
With four tables in play, there were multiple final-table bubbles, spreading the pain around for all to enjoy Dennis Huntly was one to feel the suffering of the bubble when Reza Vakili snapped off his with on a board of . Vakili opened for raise preflop, Huntly moved all in for not much more, and the pot-committed Vakili made the call that sent Huntly to the rail.
After hovering near the top of the chip stacks for most of the day, Jay "Seabeast" Kinkade was one of the last eliminations. Kinkade moved all in from the button with , and Vito Montalto called with . The flop came down , with Kinkade's sixes still in the lead. Montalto picked up a flush draw on the turn, and the on the river gave Montalto the four-flush and Kinkade's bounty as he finished the event in 13th place ($1,628).
Antonis Kambouris became the final casualty of the night when he and Sam Khouiss tangled in a string of hands. In the first, Khouiss raised preflop from the small blind with , and Kambouris moved all in over the top with . Khouiss quickly called, and the spot at the final table rested on a coin flip. When the board cards came down , Khouiss' nines held up and Kambouris was left with one T1,000 chip. It went into the pot on the next hand, and Kambouris tripled up. His last few chips went in again for the third hand in a row, and both opponents called to see a flop of . Khouiss bet out, Tony Bromham folded, and Khouiss tabled for top pair, top kicker. Kambouris tabled a dominated , and the turn and river brought no help. He finished in 10th for $2,170 as the final table was set.
The chip stacks looked like this as the final eight players headed off into the early morning:
Sam Khouiss - 220,000
Reza Vakili - 205,000
Vito Montalto - 180,000
Eoghan Lyons - 160,500
Kenneth Damm - 140,000
Gursel Ali - 115,000
Tony Bromham - 80,000
Andre Andrade - 25,000
Join PokerNews at 4PM Melbourne time on Thursday as the final eight play down to the eventual winner in Event #5, the Tony G Celebrity Shootout, in the 2008 PokerNews Cup Australia Championships.
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