The second installment of the PokerNews Cup at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia kicked off with 422 entrants easily combining to exceed the $75,000 guaranteed prize pool for the series' opening event, a no-limit hold'em tourney. Among the notable players in the field were Karib Karib, Antonio Casale and Jozef Berec. After a whirlwind one-day event that say more than half the field head to the rail in the first three hours of play, Australian Harry Ligos took down the trophy and the $17,732 top prize.
The pace of eliminations was breathtaking in the first few levels, as players headed to the rail in a steady stream. One notable early elimination was Trung Tran, who made final tables multiple times during the Victorian Poker Championships. Tran had a rollercoaster day that ended when he moved all in with A-Q only to run into A-K. No miracle for Tran here and he was done. Other notable early bustouts included Karib Karib, who busted not far off the bubble.
Greg Heaver and Fotios Pavlidis learned the answer to the age-old question, "When is the bubble not the bubble?" as they busted on the same hand during hand-for-hand play. Since they busted on the same hand on different tables, they split 40th-place money, and essentially received refunds on their buy-ins. Heaver was all in from the big blind with and found himself facing Matt Walker with . No help for either player on the board, and Heaver was done. At the same time, Pavlidis got his pocket kings cracked by an opponent's A-J on an ace-high board to send him home.
The quick pace of play continued all the way to the final-table bubble, when Joshua Abor moved all in preflop with and was called by Michael Bancroft, who tabled . The dominated Bancroft hit the flop of , and Abor couldn't catch a king or another heart as the turn and river ran out to confirm his 11th-place ($928) exit.
With Abor's elimination, the final table lineup looked like this:
Seat 1: Philip Iglesias - 32,000
Seat 2: Michael Bancroft - 223,000
Seat 3: Danny Tang - 230,000
Seat 4: Nick Bizimoski - 68,000
Seat 5: Andrew Jeffreys - 217,000
Seat 6: Louise Ingram - 62,000
Seat 7: Steve Little - 80,000
Seat 8: Harry Ligos - 206,000
Seat 9: Liad Moshe - 97,000
Seat 10: Geoff Channing - 54,000
Nick Bizimoski got the last of his chips in preflop in a coin flip against eventual champion Harry Ligos. Bizimoski moved all in with , and Ligos called with . Bizimoski held the lead all the way until the river as the board ran out , with the river jack sending him to the payout line to collect $1,266 for tenth. Ligos next took out Geoff Channing in ninth place $1,899 when his pocket kings held up against Channing's . The board ran out , and Channing was done.
Philip Iglesias moved all in for the remnants of his stack from late position, and Michael Bancroft and Andrew Jeffreys both called. Bancroft and Jeffreys checked down a board of , and Jeffreys tabled 6-3 for one pair. Iglesias was ahead of Jeffreys with , but Bancroft sent Iglesias to the rail in eighth place ($2,352) when he tabled pocket nines for the rivered set.
Liad Moshe headed to the rail in seventh place ($3,376) when his lost a coin flip to Danny Tang's in a most dramatic fashion. Moshe moved all in preflop, and Tang thought for a long moment before calling, and was rewarded on the flop with for a set. He improved when the turn came down Js to give him quads and leave Moshe drawing completely dead. The on the river was meaningless, as only six players remained and Tang took over the chip lead.
Next, Harry Ligos and Danny Tang both saw a flop of against the all-in Louse Ingram. Ligos and Tang both checked the flop, and then Ligos bet out on the turn. Tang folded, showing the , and Ligos tabled to Ingram's . The on the river was no help for Ingram, and she picked up $4,220 for her sixth-place finish.
Steve Little was next to fall when Harry Ligos called his all-in move preflop. Little tabled , and Ligos was ahead with . Both players picked up a pair on the flop, but running fives on the turn and river were no help to Little as he busted in fifth place ($5,275). Ligos took out another when Andrew Jeffreys moved all in on the flop, and Ligos called. Jeffreys' was ahead of Ligos' , but the on the turn gave Ligos two pair and left Jeffreys drawing slim. The on the river was no help, and Jeffreys busted in fourth place for $6,752.
Former chip leader Danny Tang was the next to fall to Ligos, who eliminated almost every opponent at the final table. Tang moved all in over the top of Ligos' preflop raise with , and Ligos thought for a moment before calling with . The flop of gave Ligos top pair, but left a straight draw and the overcard king as hopes for Tang. The on the turn was no help, and the on the river sent him home in third place ($8,440). Ligos took more than a 3:1 chip lead into heads-up play, and it didn't take long for him to close the deal against eventual runner-up Michael Bancroft.
Bancroft moved all in preflop with , only to have Ligos wake up with pocket queens and snap-call. Nothing on the board helped Bancroft, and he picked up $12,238 for second place. Harry Ligos put on a commanding final-table performance on his way to the victory in PokerNews Cup Event #1 and with it, its $17,732 payday.
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