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
In the final hand of the tournament, Chao Duan opened the button and Hannah Lee 3-bet. Duan then announced he was all-in and Lee called.
It was Lee's racing against the with Duan scraping in on the river with a four-card flush as the board ran out .
There was some interesting banter between these two players a short while back, with Chao Duan asking Hannah Lee for a deal ... because he wanted to play cash games!
Lee refused, explaining that they had played this event for two days and she wanted to play through to the end.
The result has been a fairly uneventful past 40 minutes as they trade small pots.
Play has resumed, with blinds at 12,000/24,000 and a 4,000 ante.
Chao Duan - 1,690,000
Hannah Lee - 1,380,000
Fortunes have swung back and forth somewhat throughout this heads-up battle but still neither player has assumed any great control - and with over 80 big blinds each they're in no rush to go crazy either.
Chao Duan holds a slight chip lead at the moment with 1,910,000 to Hannah Lee's 1,160,000.
On a flop, Chao Duan bet 100,000 before Hannah Lee announced she was all-in.
Duan didnt need too much time to call with his , surviving a sweat against Lee's as the turn and river bricked to move back ahead with around 2 million.
Hannah Lee is putting Chao Duan to the test in this heads-up battle to take back control.
Their latest clash saw Lee open to 46,000 and Duan 3-bet to 146,000. Lee then announced she was all-in, with Duan eventually mucking.
Hannah Lee - 2.07 million
Chao Duan - 1 million
Najeem Ajez opened to 32,000 from the small blind and Hannah Lee 3-bet to 126,000. Ajez then announced he was all-in, with Lee asking for a count before making the call for another 450,000.
It was the of Ajez against the of Lee and the latter resumed her ruthless run as the board fell .
We are now heads-up!
Hannah Lee - 1.67 million
Chao Duan - 1.4 million
Chao Duan has just scord a huge double at the expense of Hannah Lee to throw some life back into the contest.
The action began on a board with Lee check-raising Duan's 25,000 bet to 75,000. Duan called.
The turn was the and this time Lee led for 125,000. Duan tank-called.
On the river , Lee announced she was all-in with Duan again going deep into the tank. He eventually called and showed for two pair, with Hannah revealing before mucking.
Duan is now chip leader with 1.46 million as Lee drops to just under 1.1 million.