He is known as the Croc and is an Australian Poker Hall of Famer, and Billy Argyros showed people exactly why he deserves that accolade on Monday night. The Croc took out the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Melbourne at the Crown, topping a field of 309 entrants in solid fashion.
Things heated up rather quickly at the final table, with the first four players getting knocked out of the event within the first hour of play. Jazz Mathers was the first to go, while Ravi Maravar bowed out of the tournament in eighth spot. Phi Luu finished up in seventh spot after falling to the pocket Sevens of Argyros, and Joe Cabret settled for sixth place after he was eliminated by David Yan.
Fifth place ended up going to Robert Damelian after he fell victim to Bowdy Tolhopf just before the first major break of the final day. With pocket Eights, Damelian was actually ahead before the flop as Tolhopf called his all-in with Ace-Seven offsuit.
The flop was kind to Tolhopf, however, as the Ace of diamonds was one of the first three cards shown on the board, which eventually won him the hand and put the event down to the final four players.
Perth-based Brit Ashley Mason settled for fourth place after coming into the final table as the chip leader. Mason had a strong hand in pocket Queens when he made the decision to go all in pre-flop, and was slightly ahead when the eventual winner called him with Ace-King of hearts.
While Argyros hit a flush draw on the flop, Mason’s Queens were still good on the turn, and it looked like he was in line for a double up. But the river stopped him, as the King of diamonds was the last card shown on the board, which gave Argyros the hand and sent Mason packing.
Three-handed play lasted several hours, a stark contrast to the fast-paced eliminations that took place before that. Eventually, though, it was Yan who succumbed and was eliminated in third.
It came at the hands of Tolhopf, who moved all-in pre-flop with Ace-Nine offsuit, which was actually behind Yan’s offsuited Ace-King. Unfortunately for Yan, the Nine of clubs came on the river, giving Tolhopf a pair and ending Yan’s shot at the title.
Yan’s elimination put Tolhopf and Argyros in heads-up play, with Argyros holding a slight chip lead when play began. The Croc took charge early on, however, broadening his lead before eventually going in for his last bite of the tournament.
Tolhopf moved all-in before the flop with Ace-Ten offsuit, and Argyros pounced, calling with pocket Eights. The Croc’s Eights held on the board and he was declared the winner of the APPT Melbourne Main Event.
It was yet another solid achievement in what has been a stellar career for Argyros, and a sure sign that he still has what it takes to take on all comers at the poker table.