Deaf Poker Australia (DPA) works to support deaf culture and identity in the country by using poker. It has been around for 10 years and has made a significant impact on the lives of individuals through cards. It recently held its DPA X tournament, also called the 2018 Australian Deaf Poker Championship, at Crown Melbourne, and Alisha Wormald, who took fourth at the WSOP International Circuit in Sydney two years ago, emerged as the tournament champion.
The event had a buy-in of US$178 (AU$250) and drew 114 players. The turnout resulted in a nice prize pool of US$16,287, which was split among the top 15 finalists. Victoria’s David Thomas was sent to the rail on the bubble, giving the remaining players the satisfaction of knowing that they would all be taking home some cash.
On the first hand of the final table, New Zealand player Chris Blum was sent to the rail. He was followed soon after by Rena Muscat, who took down the same event last year. Another New Zealand regular, Caleb Thorn, was making his fourth consecutive event appearance, but would be sent home in seventh place.
DPA founding member and former treasurer Mark Theodossiou would fall next. His performance marked the second time he has finished in the money at the tournament. Michael Lockrey made it all the way to fifth before running into a bad hand that would see him be eliminated in fourth.
Down to just three players, Rino Spadea decided to put some pressure on with an A-10 combo, but the timing wasn’t the best. Wormald had managed to be rewarded with A-Q, which held up on a A-8-6-2-3 board to send Spadea out.
Wormald now faced Daryl Jordan for the title and the top prize. They started off almost even in chips and turned the game into an all-night affair. The duo were almost definitely running out of steam and the final hand might have come more as a blessing than a disappointment for Jordan. Wormald limped in on the button and Jordan checked. When the flop produced a 6-7-3 of spades, Jordan decided it was time to test Lady Luck and moved all in.
It wasn’t a bad move—he was holding the 4 of spades and a 2. He had a number of outs, including a straight, a flush draw and a straight flush draw. However, it wasn’t a difficult call for Wormald, who had flopped a straight. When the rest of the board only produced an 8 and a 2 with no spades, Jordan was relegated to be the tournament runner-up, taking home US$2,849. Wormald pocketed US$4,235 and also became the leader on the DPA all-time money list. The former leader, Michelle Rowlands, had held the honor for the past five years.