The ANZPT Perth Main Event has been brought to an exciting conclusion with Dean Blatt and Patrick Mahoney tangling in a pot that was virtually worth all the chips in play.
It started off innocently enough. Dean Blatt raised the button to 100,000 and Patrick Mahoney defended his big blind with a call. The flop landed J♦6♣3♦ and Mahoney checked to Blatt who continued for 100,000. Mahoney responded with a check raise to 300,000, but the hand wasn’t done with there. Blatt came back with a re-raise to 700,000 to put the pressure back on his American opponent. After some brief thought, Mahoney announced himself all in. Blatt rocked back in his chair before verbalizing a call!
Both players were pretty much even in chips so this hand would likely decide our champion. It was Mahoney with top pair, but Blatt’s pair and flush draw had plenty of outs to catch up. Those outs were slimmed when the J♣ hit the turn to give Mahoney trips, and the K♠ was the exclamation point on the hand as Mahoney ended with a full house. The chips were cut down and it was Mahoney who narrowly covered Blatt to be crowned champion!
It was a rather dramatic end to the tournament leaving Dean Blatt to collect a post-deal amount of $86,100 as the ANZPT trophy heads overseas with Patrick Mahoney along with a novelty cheque and $120,000 in prize money!
Earlier in the day, the final nine participants entered the Crown Perth Poker Room with plenty of anticipation and high hopes for what lay ahead. They were hoping to see a few of the short stacks succumb to climb a pay jump or two but it didn’t happen that easily. The early few levels would see the short stacks fight, double and repeat.
Eventually something had to give and it would be online heads-up specialist Justin Walch who was first to fall.
That opened the floodgates as Vesko Zmukic ran out of lives, and was soon followed to the rail by Paul Murray.
The overnight chip leader deserves special mention. We’ve seen some bad luck stories at the poker tables in our time, but Murray’s fall from chip leader to be out in seventh place was as spectacular as it was cruel. Lady luck was not on his side as he was on the wrong end of a set over set clash with Scott Davies, before his pocket jacks were rivered by Dean Blatt’s pocket tens. Not the sort of luck that wins tournaments unfortunately.
Matt Rolfe survived to reach sixth place and he was soon followed by Sal Fazzino.
Fazzino ran his A♠6♥ into Patrick Mahoney’s A♦J♣ to fall in fifth place, but he’ll earn enough points here in Perth to go with his Aussie Millions result to take over the lead in the ANZ Player of the Year race.
Brian McAllister stayed out of trouble long enough to make it to the final four, but that would be as far as he reached as he blinded down to the point of no return.
That would leave Dean Blatt to take on the all-American duo of Scott Davies and Patrick Mahoney. After some arm twisting, Blatt managed to get his opponents to agree to flatten the payouts, but following the deal, it was Blatt who went on a rush.
Blatt four-bet with pocket queens and Davies couldn’t get away from pocket tens to see the chip lead swing and leave Davies on the ropes. When Blatt shoved the small blind, Davies called off his chips with Q♠J♦ to trail Blatt’s K♠5♥. The board missed both players to see Davies out in third place as we were heads-up for the title.
A little drama unfolded when Dean Blatt was keen to secure a further deal with Patrick Mahoney. Blatt held a handy lead and after plenty of to-and-fro discussion, the cards were launched back into the air without a deal agreed to.
In the first few hands, Mahoney was able manoeuvre himself back to an even playing field before the final hand – a bit of a heads-up cooler – would ultimately decide the champion.
It was a brave run by Dean Blatt. He was short stacked on the bubble and he was short stacked for long periods of this final table. In the end, he got himself back into contention and had a big shot at the title. However the cards fell against him as he took home $86,100 for a fine tournament.
That left American Patrick Mahoney as our ANZPT Perth champion. Mahoney had a rollercoaster ride late on day two, but today he was rock solid throughout. He adapted his game at the right times – limping when the short stacks might shove and three-betting when stacks were deeper short-handed. He is clearly a class act and deserving of this breakthrough victory. Congratulations!
ANZPT Perth Main Event Final Table Results
1st Patrick Mahoney (USA) – $120,000*
2nd Dean Blatt (Australia) – $86,100*
3rd Scott Davies (USA) – $57,400*
4th Brian McAllister (Australia) – $37,100
5th Sal Fazzino (Australia) – $30,700
6th Matthew Rolfe (Australia) – $25,600
7th Paul Murray (Australia) – $20,500
8th Vesko Zmukic (Australia) – $16,400
9th Justin Walch (Australia) – $12,300
* denotes three-handed deal
That wraps up our coverage of the ANZPT Perth Main Event. It’s been an incredible week that had it all – record fields, big name players, a little controversy and a dramatic climax! What more could you ask for?
Many thanks to Deb Wyatt and the entire Crown Perth Poker team for their hospitality throughout the week. One of the reasons we loving coming to Perth is how well the staff look after us. They really are a friendly bunch, and we can’t wait to come back again next year.
Also thanks to my co-blogger Joshua Bell for his assistance during the week, and to the ANZPT team for running another great event.
If you’ve been following our coverage during the week and are thinking to yourself that you could beat these donkeys at poker, then why not give it a crack? The next event on the local calendar is the ANZPT Sydney Main Event which runs from March 20-24. You can qualify right now for just a few bucks online at PokerStars.
Until then, it’s good night from Perth!
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.