NZPT Season 4 News

NZPT Auckland: Geoff Smith Wins Shortest Final Table Ever

by Joshua Bell on November 24, 2012 7:36 PM

Tonight, history has been made as a record has been broken. It's one of those records that the media teams love to talk about. It's the record that affects us the most. What's that record? Tonight, the shortest final table in NZPT history played out.

It was less than four hours ago that nine players entered the SKYCITY Auckland Casino with the hopes of becoming the champion. It seemed like a normal day. The play began as it usually does, but then things changed. Things got quicker. We blinked and two players were on the rail, with Patrick Healy finishing in 9th place, followed by Graeme Putt in 8th place.

Jamie Mulligan
Jamie Mulligan - 5th Place

We thought things were surely going to slow down here. Wrong. We blinked again and three more players had been eliminated, as Xiaodong Xia (7th), Miroslav Sheynin (6th) and Jamie Mulligan (5th) were no longer in contention for the title.

The pace was surely going to change now wasn't it? Think again. The four remaining players got together and made a deal and we were finally coming to terms with the fact that things were not going to slow down.

Monica Eastick
Monica Eastick - 4th Place

When four-handed play began, we had an inkling that the action was going to continue at a rapid pace and that's exactly what happened. Within 15 minutes of the deal being made, Monica Eastick was all-in on a 8♠7♣2♣ flop, holding T♣T♠. Geoff Smith held A♥A♣ and was in great shape to pick up all of Eastick's chips. The 7♥ turn and K♥ river changed nothing and Eastick went home with NZ$55,00 for her 4th-place finish.

When Eastick left the table, she immediately went to the registration desk and asked if she could play the side event that is running today. "I want to win a trophy!" said Eastick and her former final table foes laughed. They would have to get back to business for now though, having their own trophy to play for.

Pravin Harji
Pravin Harji - 3rd place

Just a short while into three-handed play and Geoff Smith would once again eliminate a player, ensuring he would take a huge chip lead into the heads-up battle. This time Smith would deal the fatal blow to Pravin Harji, with Harji getting all his chips in preflop holding 8♦8♠. Smith was out in front with Q♠Q♥ and it stayed that was as a T♣9♣3♣6♠T♠ board was spread on the felt. Harji was home $55,000 and then there were two.

Having eliminated the 3rd and 4th place finishers, Geoff Smith took a massive chip lead into heads-up play against Sebastian Martineau. Below is how they stacked up.

Geoff Smith
Geoff Smith

Heads-Up Chip Count
Geoff Smith - 3,010,000
Sebastian Martineau - 1,030,000

Media row didn't know what to do at this point. The eliminations were flying so quick it was hard to keep up and with the chip stacks as they were above, it didn't look like it was going to slow down any time soon. Play went on for a few orbits, with some blinds being exchanged back and forth before Martineau managed to gain back some ground. Then, somewhat inevitably, the final hand of NZPT Auckland played out.

The beginning of the end started with Martineau opening the button to 60,000. Geoff Smith called and the players watched a 6♥J♠4♦. Smith check-called a bet of 80,000 here and a 3♠ landed on the turn. Smith opted to again check here, at which point Martineau slid out a stack of 100,000. Smith used this moment to instantly move all in and after a short pause, Martineau called.

When Martineau tabled J♦3♣, Smith was a little shocked as his K♥J♣ was behind and it was looking like Martineau be doubling up.

River: 4♥
The board had paired and with that, the quickest NZPT final table in history was in the record books and Geoff Smith was crowned the NZPT Auckland champion!

NZPT Auckland Final Table Payouts
1st: Geoff Smith - NZ$80,502*
2nd: Sebastian Martineau - NZ$55,000*
3rd: Pravin Harji - NZ$55,000*
4th: Monica Eastick - NZ$55,000*
5th: Jamie Mulligan - NZ$25,875
6th: Miroslav Sheynin - NZ$21,735
7th: Xiaodong Xia - NZ$17,595
8th: Graeme Putt - NZ$13,455
9th: Patrick Healy - NZ$10,350
*denotes four-handed deal

Photography © Joe Giron | Joe Giron Photography |

Queenstown Snowfest: Dave Allan claims victory!

by Heath "TassieDevil" Chick on July 29, 2012 3:08 AM

It took a long heads-up battle but we've finally crowned a Queenstown Snowfest champion with Dave Allan overcoming illness and a tough heads-up opponent in Ken Demlakian to claim the title.

Close to two hours ago, Demlakian looked across the table at Allan and chirped, "You're not enjoying this are you?"

"Not really. I'm pretty sick, mate," came the blunt reply.

Allan was visibly spent at the table. Clearly sick with the flu that has been hanging around some of the players, Allan seemed physically and emotionally drained, after a long week, and another long day, of poker.

Yet he was able to maintain his composure throughout the heads-up battle to weather the storm that was Ken Demlakian.Queenstown Snowfest

Allan played small-ball throughout the heads-up match, preferring to limp most buttons and use his experience advantage post-flop. He avoided risks and didn't make too many moves or bluffs, but instead, waited to connect with the board and chip away at his opponent's stack.

For Demlakian, he steamrolled his way to the final table, talked the talk and, for the most part, he was able to walk the walk. But eventually Allan wore him down and the chips swung in the other direction.

Allan got a key double up with top pair on a flop of 7♠3♣5♣. Allan shoved all in with 7♦6♦ for top pair and a straight draw, with Demlakian making the call with K♠5♦ for middle pair. The T♦ turn and J♦ river completed the board to see Allan back in control.

Demlakian's stack dwindled before the final hand saw Allan limp the button and Demlakian check his option. The flop landed 8♦3♠7♠ and both players checked. Demlakian led for 50,000 on the Q♣ turn card and Allan made the call as the 4♠ completed board. Demlakian fired another 60,000 before Allan raised to 170,000. Demlakian sighed, waved his arms in the air and announced all in for a few hundred thousand more. Allan gave a grunt of his own before calling with T♠6♠ for a rivered flush which was too good for Demlakian's 7♥3♦ two pair.

Demlakian picked up NZ$70,400 for a fantastic tournament as Allan grabs his first major live tournament victory and NZ$110,600 in prize money!Queenstown Snowfest

Earlier in the day, we were licking our lips at what may lay ahead with a stacked final table line up that was sure to provide an entertaining day of poker.

We lost the two short stacks of David Evans and Ivan Zalac in the early stages of play, before Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang departed. It's the second time Huang has made the final table of this event, but when he shoved pocket sevens and ran into Jordan Westmorland's pocket kings, Huang had to be content with 7th place.

Matthew Wakeman was unable to get much going, but he picked up the largest score of his live poker career when he was eliminated in 6th place, before play entered into an epic stalemate five-handed.

Dave Allan was on the short stack as he and Ricky Kroesen waited patiently for their moment to strike, while Jordan Westmorland and Ken Demlakian tangled for the chip lead.Queenstown Snowfest

Allan found a crucial double up through David Zhao with ace-ten against ace-eight, to leave Zhao in the danger zone. Zhao was the only non-PokerStars qualifier or sponsored player at the final table, and was certainly a tough nut to crack, but eventually bowed out in 5th place. Zhao found one double up, but he couldn't make it two when he ran his pocket threes into the pocket tens of Westmorland.

NZPT Leaderboard


Place Player Points
1 Aristomenis Stavropoulos 180.74
2 Yew Fatt 'Raiden' Kan 136.81
3 James Rann 135.38
4 Li-Ta Hsu 122.89
5 Joel Douaglin 109.44
6 Dimitrios Psaros 108.90
7 Anthony Legg 107.81
8 Lennart Uphoff 107.19
9 Stevan Chew 105.00
10 Bryan Huang 100.73