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Matt Wakeman was the last man standing at the end of the final day of the WSOPC The Star Sydney. Despite the tough lineup, he managed to march his way to an appreciable victory. The Australian is now 61st on the all-time money list.

With his tournament winnings bordering on $1 million, Wakeman returned home with a WSOPC ring and a story to tell. And what a story that is. You’d think that he was off to a good start since the beginning, but that’s not the case.

Heading into the second half of day one off the back of a huge cooler, he rebought for another $5000 to stay in the game. Wakeman kept his cool and bounced back. With a few clutch plays, he established a commanding chip lead and ended the day on a high note.

It was all about momentum. Despite the initial setback, Matt Wakeman just kept making the right decisions and his chip lead snowballed. In his mind, what kept him afloat when his tournament life was on the line was self-discipline. Even the overwhelmingly advantageous position couldn’t cloud his decision-making “I tried not to get ahead of myself” Wakeman said, adding that he ran really good. His performance at times had to do with luck, but on balance, it was composure that got him through.

Playing the tournament one hand at a time and not thinking about the big picture actually did him justice. Wakeman admits. In the past, he’s been in the driver’s seat not once, amassing a respectable chip lead, but things haven’t gone that well.

The Final Table Strategy

At no moment at the final table did Wakeman have to play catch up. He avoided confrontation with the small stacks for the longest time, letting them battle it out on their own. In fact, the only player he ended up eliminating at the final table was Dejan Boskovic. Wakeman kept on chipping away at his stack with tempting value bets. And then, in the deciding hand, Boskovic put everything on the line with his four-bet affairline. He largely underestimated the lack of kicker in his hand (ace deuce off suit) and that was the last mistake he made in the tournament. Boskovic couldn’t contest Wakeman’s romp to the title and ended up in second place.

Earlier in the tournament, Dhingra took his chances trying to eliminate Boskovic, but his call couldn’t have been wider of the mark. It turned out that Boskovic had the stone-cold nuts. It seemed as though Dhingra got the short end of the stick that day as he left the tournament losing a coin flip against Boskovic and finished third.

It’s not the first time we see a nitty strategy performed by the big stack at the final table, but what Wakeman did was close to perfection. Really flawless execution, he gave action selectively, defended his blinds so as to not fall behind, and timed his aggression perfectly. While he didn’t vastly outplay the field he was just the better player that day.

On the whole, Matt Wakeman showed he has the skills to pay the bills, locking in the first prize of 255, 311 Australian dollars, which is the biggest of this series yet. With this memorable win whetting his appetite for more tournament action, Wakeman promised to take part in the rest of the series’ events.