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Andy Lee Defeats Martin Finger in WSOP Sydney High Roller for $273,600

Andy Lee Defeats Martin Finger in WSOP Sydney High Roller for $273,600 0001
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  • "That was the longest heads-up battle I have ever played in my life." -- Andy Lee

The $20,000 buy-in High Roller event was an obvious favorite among players at the World Series of Poker Circuit Sydney. The two-day event attracted local and international poker talent to The Star Poker Room in hopes of claiming the top prize of $273,600.

Day 1 Highlights

Day 1 saw 36 buy-ins, which included several re-entries.

As you would expect in a high-roller, the field was littered with accomplished players. On hand, there was recently crowned WSOP Sydney $5k Champion, Brendon Rubie, German poker pro Martin Finger with over $7 million in career earnings, local talent Andy Lee, who has been a constant presence during the series making a few final tables already, and crowd-favorite Tolly Sakellariou who is clearly on a roll after winning his seat in a $1,100 satellite the night before.

While Sakellariou spent most of the Day 1 as chip leader, it was Lee who made a late day surge by dominating play to build a massive stack and take his place at the top the leaderboard. It was Lee's elimination of Malaysian Christopher Soyza and Lithuanian Dominykas Karmazinas in the same hand the put Lee in the position to do real damage on Day 2.

It took 10 hours of play before a final table was reached, concluding play for the day. The last nine would return for Day 2 but wouldn't necessarily be guaranteed a paycheck, as only the top four players will earn a portion of the $608,000 prize pool.

Final Table Lineup

SeatPlayerChips
1Michael Addamo35,500
2Martin Finger328,500
3David Wang48,500
4Kahle Burns80,000
5Tolly Sakellariou287,500
6Michael O'Grady111,000
7Xiangxiang Ni84,000
8Brendon Rubie118,000
9Andy Lee518,500

Knowing that five players are going to go home empty-handed, chips made their way around the table as players were trying to secure a cash. With fourth place awarding $60,800, the difference is worth fighting for.

The eliminations of Michael Addamo, Xiangxiang Ni, Kahle Burns, and Brendon Rubie in ninth to sixth place respectively, set up a substantial bubble.

It was Michael O'Grady who earned the unenviable distinction of the bubble boy when his {8-Clubs}{8-Spades} failed to hold against Finger's {k-Hearts}{q-Spades}. It looked good for O'Grady on the flop, but the {q-Diamonds} on the turn sealed O'Grady's fate, and he left the tournament empty-handed.

After the money was reached, play sped up significantly, and just a few minutes later the tournament lost another player. David Wang, who started the day as the second short stack, moved all in over the 11,000 raise of Finger. Finger made the call with {k-Clubs}{6-Spades}, and Wang showed {a-Clubs}{5-Spades}. The {8-Hearts}{q-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{k-Spades}{9-Diamonds} board paired Finger's king on the turn, sending Wang to the rail in fourth place with $60,800.

Sakellariou was the next to fall after moving all in with {q-Clubs}{8-Clubs} and finding a caller in Lee with {a-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}. Sakellariou could not improve, and Lee continued to build his chip stack. Sakellariou finished the tournament in third place earning $91,200 for his stellar play over the past two days.

Sakellariou's elimination set up an exciting heads-up battle between Lee and Finger.

With Lee (1,005,500) holding nearly a 2:1 lead over Finger (607,000), you would expect a quick match. But that wasn't the case, as Finger, an experienced heads-up player fought to stay in it.

Finger's stack would go up and down over the next few hours. At one point he was down to just over 100,000 in chips. But he maintained his patience and climbed back up, eventually getting to over 700,000.

However, after over five hours of heads-up play, Finger found himself all in with {q-Hearts}{6-Hearts} against the {7-Clubs}{8-Clubs} of Lee. Finger saw the bad news when the {7-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} flop was dealt. And his hopes were dashed on the {8-Hearts} turn leaving the {k-Clubs} river to finalize his runner-up finish. Finger walked away from the tournament with $182,400.

And that left local Andy Lee as the last man standing. Lee, who has been having a great WSOP Sydney series and his most successful year of his career is your 2017 WSOP Sydney High Roller Champion.

"I seem to be doing really well in Star Poker Tournaments lately," Lee continued. "I guess I am just lucky in my home state!"

When asked about the lengthy heads-up battle, Lee told the Star Poker Live Reporting Team, "That was the longest heads-up battle I have ever played in my life. Martin (Finger) is a very good player, so it was very tough."

Final Table Results

PlacePlayerPrize
1Andy Lee$273,600
2Martin Finger$182,400
3Tolly Sakellariou$91,200
4David Wang$60,800

There's Still Time to Get in On the Action

The 2017 WSOP Sydney Circuit might be winding down, but there are still some popular events on the schedule. The tournament series is being held through December 18, 2017, and the schedule can be found on the StarPoker website.

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