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Australia New Zealand Poker Tour –- Michael Kanaan Wins Sydney Main Event

The Australian Kanaan Wins $195,714 in Prize Money and his First Major Title

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Michael Kanaan -- Photo Courtesy of PokerStarsThe Australia New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney $2,200 AUD no-limit hold’em main event attracted a total field of 393 players and the tournament came to a conclusion on Sunday, April 17. There was a total prize pool worth $786,000 and the top 45 walked away with prize money.

The largest chunk of change from the prize pool went to the eventual champion Michael Kanaan. The Australian took home $195,714 for the win along with his first major tournament title. The final table was very heavily populated with Australians, with only two non-Aussies (Mike Stecker from the United States and A.J. Bertenshaw from New Zealand) rounding out the final nine.

The final table played out lightning fast during the final day of the tournament. Cards got into the air at 12:30 p.m. local time and it was shortly after 5 p.m. when Kanaan wrapped up his victory. Professional Jay Kinkade was Kanaan’s toughest competition at the final table so it came as a relief when he quickly exited in ninth place to start the eliminations. His pocket nines spiked a set on the flop after he moved all in preflop, but Andy Lee caught up to him with pocket kings on a J-10-9-3-Q board.

Aggression led to pre-flop confrontations producing the next five eliminations after that in a brisk march to the rail. Lee had run hot up to that point of the final table, but in the rare hand that saw some post-flop play on the final day his tournament came to an end. Lee had bet every street on a 9Spade Suit 7Club Suit 4Heart Suit 9Club Suit 6Spade Suit only to be called and then reraised all in on the river by Kanaan. Lee made the all-in call but he quickly mucked and left the tournament area when Kanaan revealed 9Diamond Suit 7Diamond Suit for a full house.

That win gave Kanaan a 2-1 chip lead heading into the heads-up final against Luis Arrilucea. Two hands into the final all of the chips got into the middle preflop. A series of raises saw Arrilucea shove with AHeart Suit KSpade Suit in the hole and Kanaan was happily waiting to make the call with KClub Suit KDiamond Suit. The board ran out ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit 3Spade Suit 8Heart Suit 6Heart Suit and Arrilucea was eliminated in second place. He took home $124,581 in prize money, but it was Kanaan who walked away with the title and top prize of $195,714.

The next ANZPT event will take place on the Gold Coast at the Jupiters Hotel and Casino from May 17-22.

Final-Table Results:

1st Michael Kanaan (Australia) – $195,714
2nd Luis Arrilucea (Australia) – $124,581
3rd Andy Lee (Australia) – $69,168
4th John Karroobee (Australia) – $54,234
5th Alex Lee (Australia) – $43,230
6th Stevan Chew (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) – $35,370
7th AJ Bertenshaw (New Zealand) (PokerStars Qualifier) – $27,510
8th Mike Stecker (United States) (PokerStars Qualifier) – $21,615
9th Jay Kinkade (Australia) (PokerStars Qualifier) – $15,720