Since 2008, two of Australia's most prominent figures, Joe Hachem and Shane Warne, have joined forces to host the Joe Hachem and Shane Warne Charity Poker Tournament. The event has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for The Shane Warne Foundation. This year marked the fifth installment of the charity tournament, which took place on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.
The lavish event was held in Studio 3, the official film studio of the Aussie Millions, and it was complete with a red carpet as celebrities and poker pros came out from around the world. In addition to Hachem and Warne, guest celebrities included AFL players Luke Hodge, Leigh Montagna, Gary Ablett Jr., Brendon Goddard, Jason Akermanis, Jimmy Bartel, Dermott Brereton, and AFL media personality Dermott Brereton; television star Fifi Box; and boxer Jeff Fenech, to name a few.
The aforementioned celebrities certainly had their work cut out for them as a laundry list of poker pros turned out for the event including Tony G, Patrik Antonius, Tony Hachem, Robert Williamson III, Daniel Cates, Tiffany Michelle, Maria Ho, Clonie Gowen, Marsha Waggoner, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Annette Obrestad.
All of the celebrities and poker pros, as well as the guests in attendance, competed for some great prizes. Set aside for the winner of the charity event was a 2012 World Series of Poker High Rollers Package that included a Main Event entry, airfare, and accommodations, not to mention a Tissot PRS516 watch and a signed Shane Warne cricket ball. In addition, both the second and third-place finishers would win a seat in the Aussie Millions Main Event, among other gifts. There were various other prizes up for grabs for the top 15 finishers, including satellite tickets at both the Aussie Millions and online at 888poker.
The atmosphere was jovial and it was apparent all were having a good time. “Very interesting, I think I was the oldest there by 20 years.” David Gorr, 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event champion, told PokerNews when asked his thoughts on the tournament. “They had to get the charity event down to the final table, so they increased the blinds very quickly . . . but then I played in a $200 Last Chance and I got to the final table, I made another final table [at the Aussie Millions]!”
A couple of well-respected poker pros put themselves in contention for the win, though both failed to capitalize. Annette Obrestad became the first final-table casualty after her failed to overcome John Millar's . Not long after, German pro Rettenmaier was felled in 10th place when his ran into Glen McGregor's .
Warne ended up being eliminated in eighth place when his was easily beaten by Kris McKenzie’s . The other half of the charity event host duo, Hachem, got revenge for Warne a little later on by eliminating McKenzie in fourth place. In that hand, McKenzie was all-in holding and was up against Hachem’s . The board ran out , signaling the end for McKenzie.
Unfortunately Hachem wasn’t able to gain any momentum and was eliminated in third place, leaving Alain Boratuad to do battle with McGregor in heads-up play. It took just two hands for the match to end, with the first hand giving McGregor a huge chip lead after his defeated Boratuad’s .
In what would be the last hand of the event, Boratuad was all-in with and dominated by the of McGregor. The board ran out and uneventful and McGregor’s jack-high gave him the title and WSOP package.
Interestingly, McGregor, a 36-year-old forklift driver, wasn’t even going to play in the charity event until a friend asked him to come along and paid for his entry. Here’s a look at the 5th Annual Joe Hachem and Shane Warne Charity Poker Tournament Final Table results:
|1||Glen McGregor||2012 WSOP Package|
|2||Alain Boratuad||Aussie Millions Main Event Seat|
|3||Joe Hachem||Aussie Millions Main Event Seat|
|4||Kris McKenzie||Aussie Millions $1,650 Feature Event Seat|
|5||Steven Baker||Aussie Millions Supershot satellite|
|6||Craig Schloeffel||Aussie Millions Supershot satellite|
|7||John Millar||Aussie Millions Supershot satellite|
|8||Shane Warne||Aussie Millions Supershot satellite|
|9||Aaron Hamill||Aussie Millions Supershot satellite|
|10||Martin Rettenmaier||Aussie Millions Supershot satellite|
|11||Annette Obrestad||888poker Satellite Ticket|
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand at the Crown Casino in Melbourne for the next two weeks bringing you all the action from the 2012 Aussie Millions, so be sure to visit our live blog for all the action from the 2012 Aussie Millions!