It wouldn't be a big dollar buy-in final table if Andy Lee wasn't there.
The Sydney local has had an amazing run at the bigger tournaments over the past 12 months. He came 2nd in the only other $20,000 buy-in event held in the Star Poker Room, during the Sydney Champs. He also came 2nd in the $5k Challenge held earlier this year during the Star Poker Festival, the same event this week during the WSOP saw him finish in 5th place.
In fact, it was in a $5k buy-in event that Andy Lee nearly won a WSOP Bracelet, in 2013 during the WSOP Asia Pacific Lee again finished in 2nd place, coming painfully short of winning some WSOP jewelry, he righted that wrong here tonight by becoming our 2017 WSOP High Rollers Champion.
Andy Lee picked up the $273,600 first prize, the WSOP Gold Ring and the Championship after an epic Head Up Battle that lasted more than five hours against German Pro, Martin Finger.
Finger is no slouch at the poker table, with over $7.3m in tournament winnings including EPT titles in London and Barcelona. But it is fair to say that Lee was the more dominant player in tonight's marathon heads-up match.
"That was the longest heads-up battle I have ever played in my life," Andy Lee told the Star Poker Live Reporting Team. "Martin (Finger) is a very good player so it was very tough."
Not only was Finger touch but he also appeared to have nine lives. There were several times that Lee got him all in behind only to have him hit the right card and claw back into the game.
We had 36 entrants who put up the $20,000 buy in for this event and there were high-quality players riddled throughout this entire field. These include our fourth place finisher, David Wang, 2017 5k Challenge winner and Main Event Chip Leader, Brendon Rubie, US pro Jordan Westmorland, rising star Michael Addamo, Jonathan Karamalikis, Daniel Neilson and WSOP Bracelet winners Martin Kozlov and Jarred Graham as well as the man that won the only other $20k to be held in Sydney, Defending Champion Warwick Mirzikinian.
The tables were drenched with quality poker and we saw poker play to match that, the event was truly a battle of the minds and Andy Lee reigned supreme.
The success of this event has surely cemented these $20,000 High Roller Events as permanent fixtures on the Sydney Poker Scene. The numbers have been strong in both events held and the players have all genuinely enjoyed the experience. This is definitely a good thing for Sydney Local, Andy Lee.
"I seem to be doing really well in Star Poker Tournaments lately," Lee continued. "I guess I am just lucky in my home state!"
Whilst a little bit of luck never hurt anyone, for a poker player of Andy Lee's amazing talents, the luck is just an added bonus, it is his skill that keeps him finishing near the top over and over again.