After five days of poker at the Crown Casino, the 2013 PokerStars.net ANZPT Melbourne Repechage Main Event came to a close on Monday with Anthony Hachem receiving the trophy and the $181,460 first-place prize.
Hachem, Joe Hachem's son, bested a field of 844 to claim his first ANZPT title and join the like of his uncle, Tony Hachem, among the ranks of ANZPT champions.
Fabian Craib had the chip lead entering the final day but had eight formidable foes ready to play poker. One of the two international players hoping to give Craib a headache was Ian Thomson, but in the space of two hands, Thomson was eliminated in ninth place.
Thomson lasted just 30 minutes before a run-in with Anthony Hachem crippled his stack, and the remainder went to Iori Yogo in the next hand. It all started with Dean Francis opening the pot with a bet of 125,000. Both Hachem and Thomson called from the blinds as the flop showed . Hachem checked, and Thomson took the chance to bet. Francis mucked his cards, and Hachem paused before moving all in for 970,000 in chips. Thomson convinced himself to call but had run his into the Hachem's bottom set . The very next hand saw Thomson move all in preflop with his against Yogo’s , and although he was in front, a cruel turn card on a board reading spelled the end for the man from the United Kingdom.
Dean Francis came into the final table as one of the bigger stacks, but a confrontation with Yogo sent him to the rail just minutes after Thomson’s elimination. Yogo put the pressure on Francis by reraising all in preflop, putting Francis’ last million at risk. He made the call and tabled and was in front of Yogo's . The fell on the flop, however, giving Yogo the lead, and when the board bricked out, he had moved into the chip lead, leaving Francis shaking his head.
With Thomson and Francis out of the way, the short-stacked Tony Kondevski had managed to jump a couple of pay spots, but his run ended in seventh place. On his last stand, Kondevski moved all in holding Hachem called with. No help came for Kondevski and it was all over for him in seventh place.
Following Kondevski’s elimination, the bust-outs of the two most notable players at the final table made things interesting. Daniel Neilson exited in sixth place, followed by Michael Kanaan two hours later in fifth. Neilson’s elimination saw him open-shove all-in for his last 950,000 from the small blind, and he was called by Michel Bouskila in the big blind. Neilsons was up against , and when the board ran out eight-high, it meant the end for Neilson.
In Kanaan's elimination, he moved all-in for his last 1.6 million preflop and was called by Hachem. His was way in front of the , but an unlucky river on a board showing saw Hachem hit his trump-card, and Kanaan was sent out the door.
After five players had been eliminated in just three hours, Craib hit the rail in fourth place when he shoved his last 2,320,000 into the middle preflop with with and was flipping against Hachem's . A six-high board came up empty for Craib, who collected $56,970 for his three days of work.
The chips were relatively even during three-handed play, with Hachem and Iori swapping the chip lead while Bouskila sat and watched. Then, Hachem began to pull away, building his stack to cover his two opponents by a few million in chips. Bouskila felt the pressure to make a move, and finally pushed his last 2,500,000 into the middle holding . Yogo called with , and the board ran out to set up heads-up play.
Hachem held a 2-to-1 chip lead heading into the heads-up battle and it took just over an hour for him to eliminate Iori Yogo in second place. Hachem opened to 500,000, before Yogo moved all in for just over 3,000,000. Hachem called and both players tabled their cards.
The board ran out , and Yogo missed his straight draw and live cards, knocking him out in second place for $126,600. More importantly for him, he propels himself to the outright leader in the race for the ANZPT Player of the Year with only two stops left in this season.
Meanwhile, Hachem was crowned the 2013 ANZPT Melbourne Repechage Champion, adding to an already impressive résumé that includes a title at the 2013 Aussie Millions!
Photo courtesy of the PokerStars Blog.
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