He Just Smiled and Gave Me a Vegemite Sandwich

Published on May 6th, 2012

Two weeks ago, the felts of PokerStars came alive with the Sunday Warm-Up, which brought in 3,468 runners and offered up a total prize pool that nearly lapped $700,000. In the end, Australia's Mishel MISHELA Anunu (pictured) pulled out all the stops and walked away with $108,000 for the win. He doubled his cashes in tracked tournaments here on PocketFives in the process and currently sits at #49 in the Sortable Poker Rankings for the "Land Down Under."

His wife and daughter will be the primary beneficiaries of the $108,000 haul, and Anunu also plans to invest a portion of his winnings. It was a fitting end to the tournament, which saw the Aussie reach the final table as the chip leader. "At the time, I felt there were two other players I could get heads-up with," Anunu told PocketFives in an exclusive interview. "But I knocked out one of them with K-J against A-A and the second guy I went heads-up with."

Anunu began heads-up play with a 2:1 chip lead over PokerStars member MrBarrett82. The Sunday Warm-Up's eventual winner narrated, "He got me down to even and then he got the chip lead. So at that point, I had to come up with a new strategy. I felt the longer we played, the more he would keep chipping me down, so I wanted to play fast. Since I thought our skills were pretty even, I wanted to bring luck back to the table."

His fast-paced strategy paid off, as he explained, "I didn't mind races, and we had gotten into raising wars before, so I felt I was in a good spot." MrBarrett82 earned $81,000 for second place and the top eight players collected at least $10,000. Finishing eighth at the game's final table was Casey bigdogpckt5s Jarzabek (pictured), who was once as high as #3 in the PocketFives Poker Player Rankings.

We said at the top of this article that Anunu's $108,000 take in the Sunday Warm-Up represents about half of the $285,000 in total winnings in his PocketFives profile. So, will this tournament fundamentally change his poker career? "I will keep doing pretty much the same thing I'm doing now and also play live events in Asia-Pacific and Australia," he predicted.

Anunu claims he's more of a live player than an online player anyway. According to the Hendon Mob, the Gold Coast resident has over $50,000 in live scores to his credit. What determines his poker schedule? "I have a business and a family, so I'm not a full-time grinder, but I love the game and enjoy the challenge and the people, so I play three online poker tables max at a time and also play live."

Anunu is in the construction business, which he claims "has worked out very well for me. I go to work sites in the morning, meet people, sign contracts, organize my men, and make the job work for me and not me for the job. I can gel poker, work, and family together pretty well. You have to have a balance between poker and life, so I have two calendars and will combine them into one that works the best for me."

He has a 15-year-old daughter. If you're getting ready to have kids, or have one approaching their teenage years, here's what you can look forward to: "As a teenager, the only things they care about are friends and themselves, so she is happy when I win because she gets spoiled."

Other marquee online scores for Anunu include a second place finish in the PokerStars $11 Rebuy for $10,000 last month and a final table in that site's $109 Cubed for $3,800 on the second day of 2012. He's the #9 player in Queensland and tops in the Gold Coast. Check out our newly launched Australia poker community.

By the way, PokerStars is holding a special freeroll on May 13th at 2:30pm ET for PocketFives readers. It's a winner-take-all freebie for a $1,050 ticket into the 27th event of the Spring Championship of Online Poker. We'd like to thank PokerStars for bringing this type of value to the PocketFives community. Sign up for PokerStars today.


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