Mike Watson has done it! Four years after his last live tournament victory the Canadian pro has won the opening event of the inaugural Australian Poker Open at Star Gold Coast.
“I’m thrilled to have won it,” Watson exclaimed after taking down the event, “Especially in these series it’s great to get off to a good start and set the tone, get your confidence high, and try to make a run for that player of the series title. It’s also the first live event I’ve won a little while, so that monkey’s off my back.”
Watson last won an event in January 2016 when he took down the prestigious PCA Main Event for $750,000.
“It feels good to have all the chips stacked in front of you to have that photo taken for a change,” Watson smiled after acknowledging it had been a while since his last outright win.
|2020 Australian Poker Open Event #1 Results|
|5||Jamie Lee||United States||$47,200||60|
|7||Elio Fox||United States||$29,500||40|
|8||Ben Lamb||United States||$23,600||40|
The Australian Poker Open continues with Event #2 $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha which is underway right now with Day 1 action available on our Live Reporting platform.
The action started with the quick elimination of one of Hungary’s finest players, Andras Nemeth. Nemeth, sitting on a short stack, moved all in over the top of Michael O’Grady’s raise with deuces only to get called right away by the Aussie’s pocket aces. O’Grady’s aces held up and Nemeth was knocked out.
Next up to hit the rail was Jamie Lee, who pushed his small stack towards the middle with jack-nine suited. Mike Watson moved all in over the top with ace-queen and the board brought two aces to seal Lee’s fate.
Lee’s elimination tied Watson with O’Grady and Orpen Kisacikoglu for a three-way tie and the chips moved back and forth for a bit before Kisacikoglu got caught with his hand in the cookie jar by Watson. Kisacikoglu bluffed his stack off against the rivered flush of Watson and that brought play down to the final three.
Local hero Benjamin Shannon was then knocked out in fourth place. Shannon entered the tournament after parlaying a $250 satellite into a larger satellite which sent him into this $10,000 event. Shannon turned his $250 into $82,600 after getting eliminated with ace-two against O’Grady eight-four suited when he moved all-in with a short stack.
The heads-up between Mike Watson and Michael O’Grady was tremendously entertaining and filled with drama. In a massive pot, O’Grady picked up pocket aces only to see the Canadian pro turn over two pair after they ended up all in on king-deuce-three. Watson’s two pair were counterfeited with a three on the turn but a deuce on the river gave him a full house to double up.
An hour or so later, O’Grady was looking to get back into the race when he got king-ten all in versus queen-ten. Watson turned a straight but this time the river was kind to O’Grady who made a bigger straight on the river.
The back and forth continued for another hour before O’Grady ended up all in with ace-eight and he was knocked out against the ace-queen of Watson.
Watch the final table of Event #2 of the Australian Poker Open live on PokerGO on Sunday at 1pm AEST, 4am CET, 10pm ET, and 7pm PT. New to PokerGO? Subscribe right now. Check out the full winner story right here.
The stage is set for the first Australian Poker Open final table in history and you can watch all the action unfold live on PokerGO. The final table seating chart is as follows.
|4||Jamie Lee||United States||675,000|
The Event #1: AU$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em final table begins at 12 p.m. (AEST) on Sunday, January 26, with action continuing until the Event #1 champion is crowned. Follow every hand when the PokerGO coverage begins at 7 p.m. (PT) / 10 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, January 27. New to PokerGO? Subscribe now.
The opening event of the 2020 Australian Poker Open was Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em held from inside The Star Gold Coast poker room. After nearly 18 full levels of play, Australia Michael O’Grady finished as the chip leader 1,815,000 in chips heading into Sunday’s PokerGO streamed Event #1 final table.
A turnout of 59-entrants created a AU$590,000 prize pool as a mix of local players, and international high roller regulars looked to battle it out to claim the first Australian Poker Open title. With action flowing at a fast rate from the start of play, the money bubble would be reached in Level 16 when Sosia Jiang was eliminated by O’Grady when he won the flip to leave the final nine players in the money. Luc Greenwood (9th), Ben Lamb (8th), and Elio Fox (7th) all finished in the money, but all fell short of the inaugural Australian Poker Open final table.
The final six players are all guaranteed AU$35,400 in prize money, but all eyes are set on the first-place prize of AU$177,000 and the title of Event #1 champion. The player best positioned to make a run at the title is chip leader Michael O’Grady who is fresh off winning the AU$1,150 Accumulator at the Aussie Millions for AU$188,860. With this cash in Event #1, O’Grady will move over $1 million in lifetime tournament earnings and into 41st place on the Australia All-Time Money List.
Second in chips is Mike Watson with 1,355,000 in chips. Watson has yet to cash in a High Roller of the Year qualifying tournament, but Watson has over $11.95 million in lifetime tournament earnings, and a win in Event #1 will move him into sixth place on the Canada All-Time Money List and 52nd on the All-Time Money List.
Turkish high roller regular Orpen Kisacikoglu finished with 1,100,000 in chips and sits in third place overall. At last year’s Poker Masters, he collected a third-place finish in Event #8, and recently at the Aussie Millions he finished in third-place in the AU$50,000 Challenge for AU$477,240.
Sitting fourth overall is Jamie Lee with 675,000 in chips. The American that now calls Hong Kong home has only been playing tournaments for a few years, but in 2019 he won the Aussie Millions AU$5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max for AU$158,635 and followed that by winning the WPT Korea Super High Roller for KRW 104,650,000 (approximately $87,666). With a win in Event #1 of the Australian Poker Open, Lee will register his biggest career score.
Hungary’s Andras Nemeth sits fifth overall with 615,000. At the recent Poker Masters, Nemeth collected two final table cashes, and heading into the Australian Poker Open, his lifetime tournament earnings sit at over $3.1 million. Rounding out the final table is Benjamin Shannon with 400,000 in chips. Although he doesn’t regard himself as a professional, he is a local businessman that owns a multitude of stores.
|4||Jamie Lee||United States||675,000|
The button is on Michael O’Grady, and there is 5:40 remaining in Level 18 with blinds at 15,000-30,000 and a 30,000-big blind ante.
The Event #1: AU$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em final table begins at 12 p.m. (AEST) on Sunday, January 26, with action continuing until the Event #1 champion is crowned. Follow every hand when the PokerGO coverage begins at 7 p.m. (PT) / 10 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, January 27.
Elio Fox raised to 60,000 from middle position and Michael O’Grady called in the small blind.
The flop landed and O’Grady checked. Fox bet 40,000 and O’Grady check-raised to 130,000. Fox announced a reraise, and O’Grady immediately moved all in. Fox called all in for roughly 595,000.
The turn landed the to thrust O’Grady into the lead, and the river blanked out with the , Fox was eliminated in sixth place for a AU$29,500 payday.
Mike Watson raised to 60,000 from the cutoff. Ben Lamb moved all in for 205,000 from the small blind. Watson called.
Lamb was unable to improve against Watson’s pocket pair, after the board ran out , sending him to the rail in 8th place.
Andras Nemeth raised to 60,000 from the hijack and both Mike Watson and Ben Lamb called from the button and big blind.
The flop landed , and action checked round to Watson who bet 60,000. Lamb and Nemeth both folded, and Watson collected the pot.
Mike Watson raised to 105,000 from the small blind and was called by Orpen Kisacikoglu in the big blind.
The flop came and Watson continued for 60,000. Kisacikoglu raised to 150,000. Watson deliberated for a minute, using his time extension, before opting to fold.
15,000 / 30,000
Big Blind Ante
Luc Greenwood moved all in for 190,000 from the hijack, and Elio Fox iso-shoved from the button for 310,000.
The board ran out and Greenwood was eliminated in ninth place for an AU$17,700 payday.
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