Sam to his old Tricketts
Trickett showing off his winning hand
Sam Trickett has started 2011 just as he ended 2010, on fire at the tables! The previous 12 months saw the Nottingham-born former professional footballer net $1,071,356 from live tournaments and he has added a further $1,525,000 to that total after winning the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge.
Trickett has live scores dating back to 2007 but it was the following year that the poker community really started to take notice of him. He finished fourth from 805 entrants in a $5,000 No Limit Hold'em event for $245,927 and he followed that up a month later by winning the Luton leg of the GUKPT for £109,050.
Although 2009 was pretty quiet by his standards, netting "only" $94,894, he exploded in 2010 and took the world by storm. It started badly with his long-term girlfriend leaving him but it has turned out to be for the best as it allowed him to follow his dreams and move to London, where he has been plying his trade at the live cash game tables. In a recent interview he told of winning more than £100,000 in a week and that he had a renewed passion for poker and was playing the best he ever had.
This showed at the 2011 World Series of Poker with him cashing six times, including a runner-up finish in the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em event and a final table appearance of the $25,000 Six Handed event. He followed this up with a fourth place finish at EPT Vilamoura, the tournament eventually won by fellow Brit, Toby Lewis. Add to this the $200,000 he won for winning the World Open and the fact he is rumoured to have won hundreds of thousands playing the same high stakes cash games in Macau that Phil Ivey and Tom "durrrr" Dwan were smashing up and it is easy to say 2010 was his best year at the felt.
However, if his start to 2011 is anything to go by then he could be set to eclipse his achievements of last year and become one of poker's true superstars. He is currently in Australia for the 2011 Aussie Millions and he has got off to a blistering start by winning the $100,000 Challenge, an invite-only event that saw 38 of the world's best players take part in the largest buy-in tournament in the Southern Hemisphere.
The tournament was paused after around ten hours of play on Day 1 as the 38 players were whittled down to the final table of eight, with only six of those getting any financial reward for their efforts. Trickett lead the way going into the final table with 961,000 chips, more than 300,000 extra than David Steike and Erik Seidel in second and third place. The first player to head for the rail was Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who put his short stack into the middle with Ah8c and ran into the AsJc of Tony "The Lizard" Bloom.
Jeffrey Lisandro was the tournament's bubble boy, committing his entire stack with pocket tens on a 3c-Kd-3d flop only to find Steike, the preflop aggressor, held a pair of aces! With Lisandro out of the picture the rest of the table were each guaranteed to take home at least $150,000. David Benyamine was the first to pick up this amount after clashing with Trickett and half hour later James Obst was on his way to the cage to pick up $200,000 after making a play with king-ten offsuit and failing to outrun the pair of jacks in the hand of Bloom.
Four became three with the elimination of Steike at the hands of Seidel, with the latter being the third placed finisher a whole three hours after the demise of Steike. This left two Brits heads-up for the title and the $1,525,000 first place prize. Trickett held a 2,455,000 to 1,345,000 chip lead over Bloom but the latter, making his third consecutive cash in this event, was not phased by this fact. However, within 25 minutes he found himself down to 650,000 after Trickett had managed to make two straights in quick succession.
The final hand saw Trickett make his standard opening min-raise of 60,000, Bloom move all in for 650,000 and Tricket instantly call. Bloom turned over Qd9d which would need to improve against the AhKd of Trickett, who was more than a 62% favourite to get his hands on the biggest cash of his career so far. The 8h-3c-2c put some extra distance between the two hand value and when the 8c fell on the turn, Bloom was drawing thinly with only a 1% chance of victory. That was taken away from him as the 4c peeled off on the river, resigning Bloom to the $975,000 runner-up prize and gifting Trickett the huge $1,525,000 first place prize.
With this win Trickett now has more than $3,300,000 from live poker tournaments and will have added to his already growing reputation as one of the best players in not only Europe but the world.
Final table payouts
1.) Sam Trickett: $1,525,000
2.) Tony Bloom: $975,000
3.) Erik Seidel: $625,000
4.) David Steike: $350,000
5.) James Obst: $200,000
6.) David Benyamine: $150,000
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