It took a touch over three hours for the final eight players to play down to a winner in the 2016 Sydney Championships $1,100 Poker Media Australia 6-handed No Limit Hold’em event. On the second day of play, after an entertaining heads-up battle, it would be Chao Duan (pictured) who proved triumphant!
Just a few days after the Opening Event attracted its biggest ever field, the PMA 6-handed repeated the feat by attracting over 200 entries for the very first time. The final figure of 205 smashed the 156 who bought in for this event at last year's Sydney Championships. However, the bigger field didn't last long as it was slashed to just one person shy of the final table over the course of 17 levels on Day 1.
Hannah Lee came into the final day’s play almost double her nearest rival in Najeem Ajez, having dominated the final levels to bag up 958,000 in chips. Lee brought some form into the tournament, having won the inaugural Ladies Event the day before the PMA 6-handed event began.
As often happens, a few names pop up with deep runs across a number of tournaments during a Series. It will be interesting to see if Lee can continue to impress by making a deep run in the upcoming Main Event later in the week, as Alex Lynskey did in the previous Series - the Australasian Poker Challenge - winning the Opening Event and then following up with a Main Event victory.
The large field attracted many Star Poker regulars and experienced poker players. These included the likes of Michael Kanaan, Chad Awerbuch, Sheldon Mayer, Errolyn Strang, Sam Capra, Matt Rolfe, Sam Khouiss, John Caridad, Steve Pappas, David Sanis and two men coming off deep runs in this year's WSOP Main Event - Dean Blatt and Michael O'Grady.
Day 2 began with a bang as Lee proceeded to obliterate the field in what was shaping as a one-sided victory. After cracking Nick Polias’ Aces with K9 to start proceedings, she also eliminated Ross Coveney in 6th, Samuel Kennedy in 5th, Jason Pritchard in 4th and Najeem Ajez in 3rd.
But Duan proved a tougher obstacle to overcome. He had held nerve, carefully nursing his starting stack of 441,000 in chips, largely keeping out of Lee’s way as she unleashed carnage on the other players.
After Pritchard was railed to leave three players, Duan and Ajez, each even in chips holding 600,000, Lee sat alongside with a clear lead having amassed 2 million in chips. However, Duan was to get well and truly back into the contest when he doubled through Lee with two pair over Lee’s pair of Aces. Although Lee would then end Ajez’s run soon afterward, eventually, after a back-and-forth 90-minute head’s-up battle, they got it all in with Duan’s AK running down the JJ of Lee for the victory.
Event 3 PMA 6-handed NLH final 8 payouts: (205 entries; $205,000 prize pool):
1st: Chao Duan - $51,250
2nd: Hannah Lee - $34,850
3rd: Najeem Ajez - $24,600
4th: Jason Pritchard - $16,400
5th: Samuel Kennedy - $12,300
6th: Ross Coveney - $10,250
7th: Steve Pappas - $6,150
8th: Nick Polias - $6,150