Eight weeks ago, it was just a dream. Eight weeks ago, a group of friends started what today turned to be the biggest challenge of their poker lives. They decided to play a home game league, put some money aside for the Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney Main Event, and go with the flow. Whoever won the league would represent them at the Main Event.
Josh Redhouse was part of that challenge, eventually winning the league and entering the big event, according to PokerStars Blog. And after five days of intense playing, Josh brought the house down by taking the initial challenge to a whole new level.
He entered the final table third in chips and in front of much more experienced players like Milan Gurung, who has cashed in around $300,000 in his live tournament career, Chinese Steven Zhou, who can brag about significant cashes in Macau, and online poker tournament expert Oliver Gill, who won over $1.1 million on PokerStars.
Moreover, the first two stacks had almost 20 years of experience in playing the game.
However, this didn’t dishearten Redhouse; he played solid and took advantage of every opportunity he had. He wasn’t a major factor in the elimination frenzy, but he delivered the blows when it mattered most: during heads-up play.
Chip leader Peco “The Magician” Stojanovski took the most victims. Stojanovski started the action eliminating Brent Taunton in ninth place. Taunton attacked viciously with #as#9s on a #6s#qs#10d flop and eventually went all-in. The Magician called with the goodies, holding #qh#10s for two pair.
Gurung followed him, being eliminated by the hand of Redhouse, and Nathan Sawyers took his leave in seventh place after an #ah#jc vs. #qd#qc pre-flop clash. Stojanovski held the ladies and he also had #jh#js in a victorious all-in battle against Gill, who finished sixth.
After a series of ups and downs, Rory Young moved all-in with #ac#kc but couldn’t do anything when Jazz Mathers called with #10s#10h and hit the set on the flop. Young finished the tourney in fifth place, taking home a prize of AUD$48,000.
The four-handed play started with a round of negotiations but the deal wasn’t set until Zhou doubled-up twice. Eventually the chop was made with Stojanovski having the big prize of AUD$155,000. Zhou got AUD$120,000, while Redhouse (AUD$116,000) and Mathers (AUD$105,000) divided the remaining prize money.
As play resumed, Mathers had to sit up and leave the table in fourth; he moved all-in with #ks#10s and was called by Zhou, who held a dominant #as#kc. Zhou also dominated Stojanovski in another pre-flop all-in battle, #as#jh vs. #ac#4c. This time, however, “the Magician” got lucky and flopped a #4h that sent the Chinese back home.
Redhouse started heads-up play with a small chip lead and although he was playing a much more experienced player, he succeeded eliminating Stojanovski in second place. In the last hand, Peco shoved with #ad#6s and his opponent immediately called with #8d#8c. The #7c#4d#9h#7s#Qs board secured Redhouse the impressive Sydney title.
Along with his AUD$116,000, Redhouse also cashed in the AUD$17,360 bonus left for the ANZPT Sydney winner after the chop. According to him, though, he is entitled to only half of the money; the other half will be shared among his home game mates.