They say poker is a game of changing gears and we have not seen a greater example of somebody doing that then we did today from Nebojsa Blanusa in the Sydney Championships Main Event.
He started the day near the bottom of the chip counts and stayed there all the way through to the final table. On the final table again, Blanusa played a game of patience. We actually had very little to report on Blanusa and when we did refer to him we did so as the quiet type, assuming he was happy to just ladder jump his way through the prize pool.
With that in mind, when we got to heads-up play, we thought this would end quite quickly, with Lam taking his chip advantage to run over the top of Blanus, how wrong we were.
Whilst there was certainly some luck in the first two double ups which brought Blanusa back to even, that's poker and an important part of the game is making most of the opportunities that are given to you. When they were back to even however, Blanusa turned into a completely different person and stamped his authority on this event.
Blanusa completely steamrolled Lam when heads up and chipped away at his stack relentlessly. It became only a matter of time before Blanusa would land the killer blow and take down the title to be crowned the 2018 Sydney Champion.
Ironically, whilst Blanusa was ferocious in heads-up play, it was Lam who would completely annihilate the rest of the final table. Lam was a single-handed wrecking ball wreaking havoc on anyone who got in his way. The Kiwi based Lam eliminated most of the players in the final table and built a commanding chip lead, in fact with 6 players left he nearly had half of the chips in play. Brian Lam played a phenomenal tournament and it will not be too long before we see him go one step further and take down a major title.
A special mention must also go out to Suzy Khoueis, the matriarch of the Star Poker Room. Khoueis finished 6th in this event last year and went one better this year with a 5th place. A nice treat considering today was her 50th birthday. It seems every time we are reporting in Sydney, Suzy Khoueis is in the pointy end of the competition, as her game continues to grow and evolve we will definitely be seeing her lifting the Main Event trophy sometime in the very near future.
But not today, today the man of the moment is Nebojsa Blanusa, the champion of the 2018 Sydney Championships Main Event!
Want to know more about Nebojsa's journey to the top spot? Read the full Main Event Day 3 Live report here!