The 2011 PokerStars.net Australia New Zealand Poker Tour made its way to Melbourne over the weekend, and after three grueling days, Lee Nelson was crowned champion. Nelson is known by the nickname “Final Table,” and this win in the ANZPT confirms just how he got that name, while solidifying him as one of the most successful Australasian players of all time.
A tough field of some of the regions finest players along with a small contingent of recognizable international names ponied up the $2,200 entry fee to make a solid 310-player field. Some players who took to the felt but made it to the rail over the weekend included David Steicke, Celina Lin, Jackie Glazier, Jesse McKenzie, Brendon Rubie, Ben Delaney, Harry Demetriou, Billy Jordanou and Leo Boxell. The days were demanding and long but eventually the final table was reached.
It wasn’t an easy ride to the final table for Nelson, who enjoyed a roller coaster few days that included receiving an irritating two-orbit penalty on Day 2 when he acted out of turn. After two long days, the field was whittled to a final table, and Nelson was looking good to pick up the title, coming into the final day third in chips and having more experience than any player at the table.
Final Table Lineup
New Zealander Phillip Willcocks was again under the final table lights in Melbourne after finishing in an impressive second place at the 2011 APPT Melbourne event just a few months ago. Even though the final table was full of accomplished players from around the region, Nelson’s biggest threat was from the young online players Tom Wing and Brett Chalhoub.
The table was quick to lose Justin Sanchez in ninth place, but it took over two hours for the next elimination when Chalhoub was sent to the rail in eighth place. Willcocks then dealt the fatal blow to Stephen Eliesen in seventh place before leaving Wing crippled just a few hands later when Willcocks moved all-in from the button holding and received a call from Wing holding a dominated . Wing couldn’t recover and was sent home in sixth place shortly after his battle with Willcocks.
Lee Nelson then turned the executioner duties around on Willcocks, sending his fellow countrymen home in fifth place, as a quick succession of eliminations occurred to see Nelson and local player Nick Georgoulas start the heads-up battle.
Georgoulas managed to hold his own against Nelson's experience but the inevitable final hand of the night saw Georgoulas open the button with a raise before Nelson shipped his stack in from the big blind. Georgoulas held and made the call to come up against Nelson's . The flop gave Nelson a dominating flush, and by the time the hit the turn it was all over for Georgoulas as he was sent home in second place
Final Table Results
Nelson can now add $156,550 and an ANZPT title to his established career, which includes over $2.2 million in lifetime earnings.
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