John Thompson claimed his first major live tournament win to his name as he defeated 152 entrants in 2018 Sydney Championships $5000 Challenge.
Playing at the Star Poker Room, he earned a$195, 000 and doubled the cash he had acquired leading into the event. “Gentleman John” as he is known, battled it out against 28 finalists in the final day of the tournament. His major competitor Andy Lee, started the day with the chip lead, Thompson on the other hand started the action with the short stacks. Glenn Pollett beat Dean Boskovic to start the final table. At the final table, Michael Asad was eliminated after claiming the ninth place for a$17400. He three – bet jammed with ace – ten suits against Jim Pizanias.
After the victory, Thompson told the Star Poker Live, “I felt very relaxed through the whole tournament”. Mathew Wakemann was the most successful player in the table; he clinched the third place with a$87, 000. He had entered the tournament having won more than a$7 million in the online tournaments. For the final victory, Thompson started the hands – play with his fellow Star Poker Zhi Hong Ma with an advantage chip of 6:1. But the battle between them did not last very long. After a string of clever moves by Thompson, a king appeared and Ma was unable to cope with it and improve the river to collect the second place prize of a$120, 000. Thompson, in his dominating fashion eliminated the final six players at the final table.
Further, Thompson said “I felt calm and focused on what I was doing. I also didn’t feel tired”. He also mentioned that although he was playing for a long time, he had felt extremely good. Finally, he reasoned the victory to the experience he had all the while in the sport.