We were anticipating a lengthy battle between two deep-stacked, highly-skilled players, but Iori Yogo and Dejan Divkovic possibly had a plane to catch back home as our two international players stepped up the aggression to new heights for their heads-up contest.
Yogo gained the early advantage and had a shot at the title when he pushed with an open-ended straight draw, but Divkovic's flopped set of threes improved to a full house on the turn for a game-defining double up.
Yogo wasn't done with yet, landing another double up, before the final hand of the tournament unfolded. Yogo called a preflop raise, check-called the flop and then check-raised the turn on a board of 2♠6♦4♦T♥. Divkovic made the call before Yogo declared himself all in on the Q♥ river. Divkovic gave it some thought before making the call with his J♣J♦ which proved good when Yogo opened 9♦7♦ for busted flush and straight draws.
Iori Yogo was a strong competitor and pockets $72,000 for his efforts, while the ANZPT Perth title and $114,000 in prize money goes to Bosnia's Dejan Divkovic!
At the start of every final table there's some friendly banter among media row about how long we think the day will take. After the ANZPT Auckland final table was over in record time, there were a few optimistic reporters who perhaps might have had it a little too good! The realists among us knew there were many factors to consider when setting a good line.
The day started with the blinds relatively low in comparison to the chip stacks, which set us up for a potentially long day. Our short stack was James Broom, the Day 2 chip leader, but even he had some room to manoeuvre for a few orbits. In fact, Broom managed to survive long enough to see David Fragomeni and Luke Brabin fall in the early stages of play.
Broom managed to land a double up and was fighting hard to get back into contention, but when he ran two pair into the gutshot straight of his online nemesis Dejan Divkovic, Broom's battle was done in 7th place.
Another factor to consider in the pace of today's final table was that we had a number of recreational players in the mix and they were determined to sit back and climb the pay jumps. It created an interesting dynamic at the table with six players left as Dejan Divkovic, Dale Marsland and overnight chip leader Iori Yogo were extremely active, with many three and four-bets preflop, while Colin Wilford, David Evans and Philip Gidley-King sat back and enjoyed the show.
However eventually it caught up with the short stacks as Wilford and Evans were bundled out in quick succession to leave Gidley-King as the amateur to take on the pros.
Gidley-King found a pretty good spot when he pushed with a flush draw, despite the fact that Iori Yogo had flopped a set of kings and immediately called. The turn brought the flush for Gidley-King but the river gave Yogo a full house to see Gidley-King out in 4th place.
Dale Marsland was the last Australian standing after experiencing a roller coaster final table. Earlier in the evening, Marsland had won a big pot after an aggressive bet/three-bet with K♥Q♥ on a ten-high flop, that ended up rivering top pair against a frustrated Iori Yogo. However the luck deserted Marsland late, as he lost a huge pot against the Broadway straight of Dejan Divkovic, before flipping for his life with A♦K♥ against Yogo's pocket jacks. Marsland turned straight and flush outs to go with his overcards, but the river bricked out to see the popular Aussie out in 3rd place.
Suddenly, just four hours into play, we found ourselves heads-up for the title! Could we really be in for an early night again?
With effective stacks of over 100 big blinds deep, we theoretically could've been playing heads-up for many hours, but such was the entertaining style of our two international players that it was all over in barely half an hour. Just like that, the tournament was over half way through Level 21 - a stat which Danny McDonagh claims is "a record for sure". Pay the unders (again)!
For the first time the ANZPT title (and two massive trophies) are heading to Bosnia to a young talent who clearly has developed a game that is capable of beating the best in Australia. If that wasn't scary enough, Divkovic has already won a seat into the ANZPT Sydney Main Event next month! Watch out Australia!
ANZPT Perth Final Table results
1st Dejan Divkovic (Bosnia) - $114,000
2nd Iori Yogo (Japan) - $72,000
3rd Dale Marsland (Australia) - $41,000
4th Philip Gidley-King (Australia) - $32,800
5th David Evans (Australia) - $27,300
6th Colin Wilford (Australia) - $23,000
7th James Broom (Australia) -$18,500
8th Luke Brabin (Australia) - $14,200
9th David Fragomeni (Australia) - $10,900
We wish him all the best in Sydney and we hope to see you there as well. Online satellites are running now on PokerStars with the Main Event running from March 21st-24th.
That's it from Perth! It's been a great week with Deb Wyatt and the Crown Perth Poker Room staff doing a sensational job and providing wonderful hospitality for our team. We look forward to returning again for the next major series here.
Thanks for following along at home. We hope you've enjoyed our coverage and we look forward to seeing you in Sydney!