The first two months of each year belong to Australian poker players, with hundreds of them traveling to Sydney for the Aussie Millions. Action cooled down over the next couple of months and even though local casinos run occasional tournaments, they are no match for their counterparts in America and Europe. Right now the European Poker Tour is underway and the World Series of Poker is expected to resume in early November, with the vast majority of poker players attending these competitions.
Australians who don’t have the desire to travel the long distance or the resources to participate in the highroller events in Macau, have a couple of alternatives. The 2014 Championship Main Event attracted plenty of professionals and amateurs, with a Sydney casino acting as a gracious host for the competition. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those who play the AU$3000 buy-in were locals, but there were several foreigners who found it impossible to resist the temptation of playing.
Australian poker players had a hard time outshining opponents, but many of them survived the bubble stage and almost all of those who made the final table were locals. A total of 235 players participated and the prize pool greatly exceeded the initial estimates, with the winner expected to win in excess of $170,000. By comparison, the first one to be sent to the rail at the stage was guaranteed an amount 10 times lower, which explains why the last nine survivors were so cautious.
Martin Kozlov, Bernard Beh and Daniel Neilson emerged as favorites to win once the final table began, but Daniel suffered a disappointing early exit. He had to settle for the fifth-place and just a bit over $40,000, leaving the other two players to compete for the first prize and the glory. It was an exciting heads-up, with both players being at the helm for a couple of hands and the game could have gone either way. After the final hand was dealt, Martin was the last player standing and for his tenacity he received the first prize of $171,000.
Check out the complete list of finalists and the prizes collected by each of them: