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A week of high-octane action at the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Sydney reached a crescendo with the $2,200 Main Event running through a thrilling finale. The event attracted 1,191 entries across four opening flights and topping them all was Alex Lynskey (cover image), who defeated Matt Pongrass heads-up to win AU$442,796, along with a WSOPC ring.
“I feel fantastic,” said Lynskey after the win. Lynskey has enjoyed a breakout year so far as he entered this event with $3.4 Million in live tournament winnings, the bulk of which came earlier this year when he finished seventh at the 2018 WSOP Main Event, for $1,500,000.
“It went crazy fast in the end. Was expecting the final table to last seven to eight hours. Went way quicker and smoother than I expected especially with those five knockouts in the first 45 minutes,” he added.
Talking about the heads-up match, Lynskey said, “It was swingy as hell. I was down to four and a half million against his thirty million and got it in with ace-ten against kings and hit an ace and spun it up from there. Then got insanely lucky again on that last river.”
Lynskey who is now planning to participate in the Aussie Millions added, “It’s my biggest score for winning a tournament. And on home soil I couldn’t be happier. It always feels better to win so this is a better feeling than that (7th place finish in the WSOP Main Event).”
The original field was cut into half on the opening day with 230 hopefuls returning back on Day 2. Chris Wookey ended up bubbling the event after his pocket aces were cracked by Mark Yazbeck’s pocket nines that improved to a set on the flop. With Wookay’s elimination in 136th place, the 135 players were in the money for at least $3,549.
Only 27 players survived Day 2 and the penultimate day came to a halt with the elimination of Ricky Kroesen (10th for AU$33,634).
Henry Tran (24th for AU$15,864), Dominick French (27th for AU$13,506), Sam Ruha (28th for AU$11,624), Joseph Nati (41st for AU$7,884), Adam Bevis (51st for AU$7,075), Heidi May (119th for AU$3,549), and Paul Altis (129th for AU$3,549) were just some of the notables who made it in the money.
Indian-origin Rahul Rastogi was among the nine finalists who sat down on the final table in the hunt for the title. With a stack of 7,935,000, Rastogi came into the final table with a sizeable chip lead and was way ahead his closest rival Matt Pongrass (6,950,000). Lynskey held the third biggest stack with 5,520,000.
1. Rahul Rastogi – 7,935,000
2. Matt Pongrass – 6,950,000
3. Alex Lynskey – 5,520,000
4. Luke Martinelli – 5,245,000
5. Justin Layden – 3,150,000
6. Sam Capra – 2,155,000
7. Barry Forrester – 2,105,000
8. Cameron Chen – 1,815,000
9. John Sormi – 1,550,000
Action on the final table saw five players falling in quick succession within the first hour. Cameron Chen who entered the final table as the second-shortest stack found himself all in with ace-jack and trailing Lynskey’s ace-queen. No jack on the rundown sent him packing in ninth place.
Justin Layden went out in eighth place after he open shoved his ace-king but couldn’t match up to Lynskey’s pocket queens.
Barry Forrester then got himself in trouble with pocket eights that were crushed by Matt Pongrass’ pocket queens resulting in the formers exit in seventh place.
John Sormi who had come into the final table as the shortest stack managed to outlive his position on the chip counts but was finally busted after moving all in with ace-nine ahead of Lynskey’s queen-ten. However Sormi ran out of luck when Lynskey flopped two pair and scored his third knockout at the final table.
It wasn`t long before Sam Capra exited next in fifth place. Capra was quite the dark horse at the event as he spun his short stack up on Day 2. On his final hand, Capra held ace-nine versus Lynskey’s jack-ten and lost all hopes when Lynskey turned a pair.
Lynskey the slayer continued his rampage as he eliminated Luke Martinelli next. Martinelli, who had recently won the 2018 WSOPC International Circuit The Star Sydney $20,000 High Roller, called Lynskey`s UTG raise of 350,000 from the big blind. The flop fell and Martinelli checked, while Lynskey continued for 275,000. Martinelli made the call again. The turn saw Martinelli check and Lynskey raised to 4 Million. Martinelli only had 1.8 M left and he called. The cards were turned over, Lynskey tabled against Martinelli’s . Lynskey held top pair but Martinelli had outs to a flush. However he couldn’t connect on the river and was eliminated in fourth place.
Rahul Rastogi was shown the door in third place when he called from the small blind prompting Pongrass to lead out for 700,000 from the big blind. Rastogi moved all in for 6.5 Million and Pongrass snap-called. Pongrass tabled [j11] against Rastogi’s . Rastogi was at risk and needed a lot of help but none was forthcoming on the rundown ..
Coming into the heads-up play Matt Pongrass held a massive chip lead over his heads-up opponent Lynskey, who held only 6,520,000 against his 29,210,000. However, slowly but steadily, Lysnkey evened out the gap and even took over the lead to finally emerge victorious. On the final hand of the tournament, Pongrass raised on the button with and Lynskey moved all in from the big blind . Pongrass instantly called, putting his tournament life at risk and was looking in good shape to double-up all the way through the flop and the turn. Pongrass however got quite the setback as the appeared on the river, and Lynskey hit a full house. Pongrass had to concede the title to Lynskey while collecting the runner-up payout.
1. Alex Lynskey – AU$422,796
2. Matt Pongrass – AU$262,020
3. Rahul Rastogi – AU$192,299
4. Luke Martinelli – AU$145,302
5. Sam Capra – AU$110,882
6. John Sormi – AU$85,347
7. Barry Forrester – AU$66,458
8. Justin Layden – AU$52,306
9. Cameron Chen – AU$41,733
Content & Images courtesy wsop.com