MEDIA RELEASE: Con Eglezos crowned Australian Deaf Poker champion

Queensland’s own Con Eglezos (pictured right) has become the fourth Australian Deaf Poker champion, defeating Michelle Rowlands (pictured left) heads-up and the largest field ever assembled for a DPAC Main Event at the Treasury Casino and Hotel in Brisbane.

On Saturday, October 13, 89 Deaf/HI/HOH players flocked to the $100 ($85 + $15) buy-in 2012 DPA Championship Main Event.

It was a star-studded field, with all three Australian Deaf Poker Champions in the field for the very first time (Ashley Thornton, Daniel Bachi and defending champion Stacey Reilly) as well as all eligible members of the DPA Committee (President Sokong Kim, Treasurer Mark Theodossiou and Deaf Community Liaison Anthony Clews).

Although there were plenty of familiar faces among the record-breaking field, many big names in Australian Deaf poker fell by the wayside, with Adrick Martin (2012 NSW State Deaf Poker champion) the shock first elimination of the day.

Reigning DPA Ladies Champion Alisha Wormald also hit the rail, along with other big names including Carlos Navarro, Rick Oteri, Matthew Phillips, Wayne “Snapperman” Barrett and Michael “Spoonman” Shepherd.

DPAC 2012 also marked the debut of Team New Zealand, with eight players from Auckland making the trip across the Tasman to participate in the Main Event. Mark Siviter was the best of the Kiwis, finishing in 20th place, but it was Victoria’s Amanda Richardson who bowed out in 11th place, just one short of a second DPAC final table appearance in as many years.

And with that, the last 10 players were set, with Queensland and New South Wales dominating the final table with four players each:

Seat 1: Mark Pegg (Qld) 111,000
Seat 2: Kathleen Ogders (SA) 95,000
Seat 3: Scott Turner (Qld) 24,000
Seat 4: Ersel Uzel (NSW) 89,000
Seat 5: Nikolas Schlie (Qld) 137,000
Seat 6: Con Eglezos (Qld) 70,000
Seat 7: Matthew Hayman (NSW) 29,000
Seat 8: George Fecht (NSW) 115,000
Seat 9: Michelle Rowlands (Vic) 59,000
Seat 10: John Ziogas (NSW) 162,000

Two-time DPA Online Series champion Scott Turner was the first to go in 10th place ($170), having first been crippled in an earlier hand before being forced all-in on the blinds with 6-4, failing to improve against John Ziogas‘ pocket twos.

Matthew “Big Matty” Hayman, also a two-time DPA Online Series champion, followed soon after in ninth ($303) when he ran his A-9 into Michelle Rowlands‘ pocket queens.

DPAC 2011 runner-up Kathleen Ogders added a second consecutive final table appearance to her poker CV, but was unable to progress further than eighth place ($378) when she was eliminated at the hands of Con Eglezos.

Queensland’s Mark Pegg was then taken out by Rowlands in seventh place ($435), while New South Welshman George (Uwe) Fecht was busted in sixth place ($511) after being caught out bluffing with 6-3 by Rowlands, who woke up with pocket eights.

John Ziogas then hit the rail in fifth place ($586) when his Q-10 failed to improve against Nikolas Schlie’s A-10 and was joined soon after by fellow Sydneysider Ersel Uzel, who was eliminated in fourth place ($756) by Rowlands who called with A-K when Uzel moved all-in with his A-10.

Although having not participated in previous DPAC events due to schedule clashes with other major poker tournaments, Nikolas Schlie proved that all that practice in the “Big Time” paid off, taking third place ($832) after moving all in with J-7, only to see Eglezos’s A-5 improve to a full house on the flop.

It was yet another big result for Schlie, adding to his $18,000 payday after taking victory in the WPPT Tweed Heads Main Event almost two weeks ago.

The field was then down to just two players, and it took the same number of hands to decide the winner. The final hand of the night saw Michelle Rowlands move all in after the flop of Kh-7s-Kc with 5s-5c, but Con Eglezos snap-called and tabled Js-Jc. The turn and river ran out 6d, 8s and Rowlands was confirmed as this year’s runner-up ($1400), the best-ever result by a Victorian.

However, the locals were quick to jump the rail and start the celebrations with a clearly stunned Eglezos, who took home $2194 in prize money, the winner’s trophy and most importantly, the prestigious title of Australian Deaf Poker champion!

2012 DPA Championships Main Event ($100 buy-in, 89 entries, 10 players paid)

1 Con Eglezos (Qld) $2914
2 Michelle Rowlands (Vic) $1400
3 Nikolas Schlie (Qld) $832
4 Ersel Uzel (NSW) $756
5 John Ziogas (NSW) $586
6 George Fecht (NSW) $511
7 Mark Pegg (Qld) $435
8 Kathleen Ogders (SA) $378
9 Matthew Hayman (NSW) $303
10 Scott Turner (Qld) $170

The 2012 DPA Championship series included two officially sanctioned “Open” side events, allowing the participation of both deaf and hearing players.

The action kicked off with 18 teams in a $200 ($180 + $20) buy-in Open Teams Event on Friday, October 12. Nick Lamport and Francis Nguyen finished on top, defeating Deaf interstate combo George Fecht (NSW) and Phil Holton (Queensland) heads-up for the title.

The 2012 DPA Championship series was capped off on Sunday, October 14 with a $150 ($135 + $15) Open Turbo Event. 21 players took part in the high-speed No Limit Hold’em tournament format, with another local champion crowned in the form of Paul Henderson after just three hours of play. DPA Tournament Director Landon Blackhall was runner-up, while Elizabeth Luckett was the highest-placed deaf player in third place.

• The 2013 DPA Championship (DPAC 2013) will be returning to Deaf Poker Australia’s birthplace in Sydney for a special Fifth Anniversary Edition before heading out west to Perth in 2014. For more information, visit our official Facebook page, check out our website ( or email

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