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Henry Tran Wins Star Sydney Championships Main Event

Henry Tran
  • Henry Tran topped a field of 496 at the Star Sydney Championships Main Event.

The 2017 Star Sydney Championships wrapped up with a $3,000 Main Event that carried a $1 million guarantee, and Henry Tran emerged as the champion Monday afternoon after three days of play. Tran conquered a field of 496 entries for a first-place prize of AU$300,000, about five times his career live tournament winnings.

Tran wasn't even planning to fire the Main Event but got a good result with a sixth-place finish in the AU$1,100 Monster Stack event earlier in the series, cashing for AU$14,368. That encourage him to roll it over and take a shot.

"It feels unreal," Tran told Star media after his win. "I am so happy. This is a great event, it has such an excellent structure. I really like deep stack poker and this tournament is perfect for that."

Official Final Table Results

PlacePlayerPrize (AU$)
1Henry Tran$300,000
2Brad Hawkins$185,000
3Damon Zhou$135,000
4Rafe Aman$100,000
5Grant Levy$75,000
6Suzy Khoueis$57,000
7Chris Tran$44,000

There were 54 places paid, and Australia's most famous poker brothers both made runs into the money. However, Tony Hachem fell early on after the bubble when he got unlucky with jacks against eights for most of his chips, according to the live updates.

The more famous brother, former world champ Joe Hachem, ran deeper by advancing to Day 3, which meant he made the final 14. He busted just two spots before the unofficial final table of seven when he shoved over an open holding pocket fives and had Damon Zhou wake up with two aces behind him. Hachem was unable to find any help and bowed out in ninth.

Leading up to the final table, meanwhile, Tran doubled up when he made a seven-high straight with {a-Clubs}{7-Hearts}. He went into the official final table trailing only Brad Hawkins, who has a couple of outright wins earlier this year in regularly scheduled AU$330 tournaments at Star for about AU$10,000 apiece.

In his comfort zone, Hawkins increased his lead and had about half of the chips in play after he busted Suzy Khoueis in sixth all in preflop with {a-Spades}{j-Clubs} against {k-Spades}{q-Hearts} as the board ran out {q-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}.

He then won a flip with nines against the ace-king of Grant Levy to send him out in fifth. Levy was the most accomplished of the final table participants with about $2.3 million in live cashes.

Rafe Aman found himself short after losing a flip but managed a couple of doubles. However, he would lose his remaining chips and take fourth place when he check-jammed an open-ended straight only to run into the flopped two pair of Hawkins. Zhou followed in third, also at the hands of Hawkins, and Tran was staring at nearly a 10-1 deficit going heads up.

Tran got it in bad right away with {k-Spades}{10-Clubs} against {k-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}, but an {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}{q-Clubs} flop gave Tran Broadway and new life. Tran then found another double with {a-Spades}{4-Diamonds} on a board of {a-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. Hawkins tried to put the pressure on with {8-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}, but Tran wouldn't budge and shoved all in over a turn bet. Hawkins called and missed on the river, evening things up.

From there, Tran took the lead and closed out Hawkins to complete the comeback, forcing Hawkins to settle for second place and AU$185,000.

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