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Young Stars Lead Aussie Millions Final
After a week of poker action in Melbourne, the 2010 Aussie Millions final table was set Friday featuring three of the brightest young stars in the game today.
Betfair Poker pro Sorel Mizzi will come in to the final eight with a massive chip lead and all the confidence that comes with it following a day where it appeared he could do no wrong on the felt.
"Confident is definitely the one word to describe how I'm feeling right now," the 23-year-old Canadian said. "Everything is just going my way. I'm getting hands, I'm making the correct reads. I feel like I'm playing the most perfect poker I know how.
"I might not be playing perfectly, but it's the best that I know how to play and things are working out for me right now."
Using the screen names Imper1um and zangbezan24, Mizzi is one of the most feared tournament players in online poker history.
While he has also amassed more than $1.6 million in career earnings in live tournaments, a major title has escaped his clutches to date, making this shot at Aussie Millions glory even more desirable to him.
"How badly do I want this?" he asked. "On a scale from zero to ten, it's a ten."
Mizzi holds close to half of the chips in play with eight players remaining, but said he has no plans to bully the table tomorrow.
"I'm just going to adjust to the situations when I see what they are," he said. "I don't really know my strategy going into tomorrow, but I'm really good at just feeling things out. Hopefully I feel things right and hopefully I keep hitting the cards I was hitting today."
In Mizzi's way stands fellow Betfair Poker pro and 2007 World Series of Poker Europe champ Annette Obrestad.
Considering she currently sits fifth in chips, Obrestad is being cautiously optimistic about her chances.
"I can't say I'm too confident, considering Sorel has six times the amount of chips I do," she said.
No less than an online poker legend, Obrestad, otherwise known as Annette_15, is hoping the experience of playing on a big stage in the past will pay off in Australia Saturday.
"I think it helps a lot because I'm not really nervous when I play," she said. "For me it's just another game of poker, just for a lot more money."
She's also banking on the deep structure here at the Aussie Millions allowing her to remain patient despite her stack size.
"I think people are going to be way too aggressive and try to outplay each other," the 21-year-old Norwegian said. "I don't really see the point in that because with my image, people think I'm nuts anyway, so I'll just wait for a hand and probably get it in good."
Also posing a major threat to Mizzi's lead is 24-year-old fellow Canadian Peter "Apathy" Jetten.
With a European Poker Tour High Roller and two World Series of Poker final tables on his resume, including a runner up finish in the 2008 WSOP $10k Pot-Limit Omaha, Jetten is another player hoping experience will help him get over the hump Down Under.
"I think that experience just helps so much, if not in my play then at least in making me more comfortable," he said. "The PLO event eluding me heads-up hurt a lot. It's really nice to be back with a shot at winning again and I want to win this one very badly."
Rounding out the final eight are PartyPoker qualifier's Tyron Krost and Fred Jensen, both of whom have a couple of small WSOP cashes on their sheets.
Plus Aussie Hold'em Poker group qualifier Steven Shelly, fellow local Kosta Varoxis and Reno Nevada's Steve Friedlander.
To follow all the action until the AUD$2 million first-place prize and 2010 Aussie Millions title is handed out, tune in to PokerListings' Live Updates beginning at 2 p.m. Melbourne time Saturday.