The action at the start of a final table can go a number of different ways. Some players will come out all guns blazing to try and assert their dominance on proceedings. Others will sit back and watch the fireworks unfold in the hope of climbing a pay jump or two.
This final table has had a bit of everything so far. Scott Davies, Patrick Mahoney and Paul Murray had been pretty active as the big stacks in the first two levels of play, but most of the attention was at the other end of the table where the short stacks fought for their life. Justin Walch was been up and down, Matt Rolfe picked his spots carefully, Dean Blatt appeared pretty card dead while Vesko Zmukic battled with everything he had to stay alive.
All four landed double ups in the first levels of play, with Zmukic in particular flirting with the felt on a number of occasions, seemingly comfortable to wait until his stack was perilously close to extinction before committing himself
Eventually something had to give.
The man who would progress no further than 9th place on this final table was Justin Walch. That’s much to the relief of the rest of the table who knew he was a major threat if he got some chips in hand. Unfortunately for Walch, he was never able to get his head above water.
Walch’s final stand came when he three-bet shoved with A♣9♥ but the price was cheap enough for Patrick Mahoney to quickly call and table a dominant A♠J♣. The flop landed 10♥A♥2♥ to bring hope for Walch with a flush draw but the 4♦ turn and 2♦ river left Mahoney’s kicker to play to eliminate Walch from the Main Event.
Walch takes home $12,300 for his efforts in Perth and you get the feeling it’s not the last time we’ll be seeing him on an ANZPT final table.
Meanwhile the other short stacks are happy to have climbed a pay jump. The accordion affect is likely to come into play now, with some rapid-fire eliminations expected, as they look to double up or die trying.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.