WA leads the way as MAIN EVENT III kicks-off
The third edition of Full House Group’s MAIN EVENT kicked-off today at Crown Melbourne with a field of 444 players converging on Australia’s premier poker room from around the country.
In contrast to MAIN EVENT II where the field was split across two day one flights, all players took their seats for the opening day’s play with Full House Group CEO Brayden Haynes on hand to wish them the best of luck and announce the Group’s new partnership with the charity Save Our Sons.
The order was then given to “shuffle up and deal” from TD Garth Kay, with 13 levels of 30 minutes to complete the opening day. Incredibly, 60 per cent of the field would be eliminated (including MAIN EVENT II champion Olivier Baux), with just 178 players set to return for tomorrow’s day two.
Western Australia’s Matt Nienhuys emerged as one of the chip leaders midway through the day and remained the man to catch by day’s end after bagging 275,200. Maitland’s Daniel Keast (253,000) and Sydneysider Elshan Mammadov (251,000) finished close behind Nienhuys.
It’s an early start for the remaining players with cards in the air from 10.10am at Crown Poker as the field sets sail for one of the 50 spots in the money at MAIN EVENT III.
MAIN EVENT III (total players 445; players remaining 178; prizepool $446,000) end of day 1 top 20
Matt Nienhuys 275,200
Daniel Keast 253,000
Elshan Mammadov 251,000
Alan Bird 217,400
Luke Simpson 204,300
Marc Jankovic 192,100
Ian Courtney 172,200
James Boardman 168,500
Mark Szarafinski 165,700
Paul Fenton 163,200
Daniel Kidd 149,400
Amjed Slewa 131,400
Trung Lien 130,500
Gavin Awyzio 123,100
Wayne Serasin 120,100
Edith DeGianbattista 117,600
David Xu 115,800
Andrew Dales 115,700
Daniel Ey 113,400
Richard Dilkes 100,000
Nienhuys to end day one on a high
For the short stacks, it’s time to decide whether to gamble or slip into survival mode with less than 20 minutes to play. But for our chip leaders, their spots in the day two line-up are virtually assured – they include Matt Nienhuys (243,000), Luke Simpson (210,000), Alan Bird (199,000), Marc Jankovic (185,000), Pete Young (162,000) and Alex Falon (146,000).
The home stretch
We’re into the final level of play in MAIN EVENT III with blinds at 1500/3000 (ante 300) – it’s been a hot and humid Melbourne day and the action’s been just as steamy in the Crown Poker room where the field has been slashed from 446 to just 228 players.
Matt Free, Sam Kazonis, Yeliz Sanack, Ian Dalidowicz, Matthew Muir, Adi Dahari and Milos Kolar didn’t quite make it into the top half of the finishers having been eliminated late in the penultimate level of the day.
Dentist, we feel your pain
The Newcastle contingent is down one more after the departure of Keith “The Dentist” Walker just prior to the end of level 12. Matthew Cameron, Alex Parisi, Mark Beckett, Judith Robertson, Mark Vasileff, Teresa Sciascia, Linda McGuiness, Ben O’Connell, Peter Lau, Dion Radel, Jimmy Aschner and Nathan Purton have also been railed. Daniel Keast has been the big mover this level, building his stack to above 200,000.
Baux bows out
MAIN EVENT III is over for Janine Butler, Joshua Dickinson, Jesse Geary, Allan Humphrey, Stephine Ashley, Jackie Oakley, Dean Schneider, Renay Murray, Daniel Kidd, Wayne Stone and Stephen Clarke as the tournament clock shows we’re up to level 12 (1200/2400 with an ante of 300).
We’re also assured that a new name will be added to the MAIN EVENT honour roll after the elimination of MAIN EVENT II champion Olivier Baux, who struggled to gain much traction on the opening day of his title defence.
Place your bets
The Bookmaker team are watching a steady flow of money into the MAIN EVENT III market with the current odds reading Joe Boustani ($26), Craig Ivey ($31), Any Other Player ($41), Matt Nienhuys ($41), Bruce Reynolds ($61) and Charles Workman ($61).
And some more eliminations … Kodie Drew, MAIN EVENT III third-place finisher John Saratsopoulos, Lindsay Mather, Brad Livermore, Jeffrey Vallance, Nick Demarco, Robert Sabados, Jon Anning, Emily Hall, Chris Vale and Jake Flood. The field is down to 248.
It’s well and truly past ‘five thirsty’ and a rowdy rail has gathered for the final 90 minutes of play on the opening day of MAIN EVENT III. We’re down to 266 players, the average stack is up to 50,300 while the stack of Matt Nienhuys (pictured below) has grown to a massive 310,000 for the clear lead.
The most recent player cards to be spiked belonged to Lindsay Mather, Brett Rudman, Matt Kozole, Ricky Karan, Joseph Haddad, Charmaine Plane, Ante Dusevic and Tony Abikhair while the runner-up from MAIN EVENT I, Marion Fisher, has also been eliminated.
Phone a friend
We can barely keep track of the players leaving the MAIN EVENT tournament area, with many heading straight to the registration queue for the Partners Event, which starts at 6.15pm.
The list of recent eliminations comprises Brendan Pfitzner, Tina Eslegood, Pace Ognenovski, Daryl Paget, Terry Shepherd, Jan Pettersson, James, Nonnenmacher, Wayne Bannister, John Gouskos, Stacy Irwin, Stephanie Catterwell, Judith Hardacre, Pat Dillon, Jo Ingeri, Hatam Negarandeh and Matt Jones.
And, incredibly, we just watched another aces versus kings versus queens confrontation, with the queens (belonging to Mick Roughead) improving to a set on the flop. You’d rather be lucky than good!
The Price is right
Grant Meyer looked in good shape to triple his short stack when he found his aces up against the kings of Brad Wolfe and Darren Price’s pocket queens. But this can be a cruel game, as Meyer found out when a queen landed on the flop. The board ran out six-high, sending Meyer and Wolfe to the exit while a relieved Price scooped up a nice pot. Adrian Hinks, Tony Shamaon, Karen Nickalls, Margaret Mimica, Sarani Woodhouse, John Dale, Adrian Hodge, Jason Wicks, John Slodowy and Hadia Yawanis have also been KOed so far in level 10.
Down to 300!
Amazingly, more than one-quarter of the MAIN EVENT III field have been railed with just nine 30-minute levels down on day one here at Crown Melbourne.
The list of more than 140 players to be eliminated so far today includes Peter Bui, Melissa Necevska, Mark Vann, Robert Relph, Abrahim Daoud, Elizabeth Thomson, Leon Chisholm, Michael Iarossi, Melody De Mesa, Con Stergiois, Nima Moghimi, David Lim, Brendan Sadler, Wayne Gilbert, Peter Lazaropoulos, Deanne Mallia, Peter Porter and Jonathan Campbell.
Nienhuys on a high
With an average stack of less than 34,000 and blinds about to be bumped to 600/1200 (ante 200) after the next 10-minute break, Matt Nienhuys leads the field on 146,600 but the short stacks are already feeling the heat on day one of MAIN EVENT III.
Latest casualties include Jenny Reid, Nicolas Vizcaino, Paul Forrest, Paul Lane, Jim Kekatos, Archie Davis, Bruce Morris, Broderick Thomson, Greg Hoy, Gary Di Paolo, Sam Smith and Daniel Flynn, who watched the A-Q of Ricky Karan improve to trip queens against pocket sixes.
Mouawad hits the rail
We’re ticking down to the end of the second session on the opening day of MAIN EVENT III, with 25 minutes to go in level eight (500/1000 with an ante of 100). Among the players to depart in the previous level were MAIN EVENT II runner-up John Mouawad, Chris Chamoun, Pepita Abacan, Jesse Shepparbottom, Glynn Novice, Shaun Bray, Robin Smith, Sean Donaldson, Ray Griffin, Kon Pappas, Carmen Evans and Mark Detering.
At the other end of the count, Matt Nienhuys (140,000) is the current chip leader ahead of Ben Gage (130,000) and Peter Tsioustas (100,000). Approximately 420 of the 446 starters remain in the field.
The market movers
The money is starting to flow on Bookmaker.com.au as players and some of the more astute punters in the room look for the value. ‘Any Other Player’ remains the top tip at $26, while Joe Boustani and Keith ‘The Dentist’ Walker are the favoured outright picks, also at $26.
MAIN EVENT II final table finisher Craig Ivey is at $31, Dave Fox is $51 with Christopher Chamoun, Daniel Kidd, Matt Nienhuys, Simon Paskins, Bruce Reynolds and Charles Workman all rated $61 picks. Latest eliminations include Carmine De Sciscio, Simon Paskins, Troy Hunt, Richard Brett, Tyran Orchard, James Morris and Deb Green.
The pile of cards signifying player eliminations is steadily growing on our media desk, with the latest departures including Khai Nguyen, Tracy Frizell, Raju Rowe and Shane Dole, who shipped his stack to Charles Workman after his A-10 stayed dominated by pocket aces. Terry King is also out after his K-10 brushed the board of J-4-3-Q-10, with the A-Q of Peter Kassiotes holding court.
Thanks for the help, gentlemen
The MAIN EVENT II winner Olivier Baux and runner-up John Mouawad (pictured below) were presented with signed copies of Lee Nelson’s book Kill Everyone and Joe Hachem’s Pass the Sugar during the break. The personally signed books were provided in appreciation of their assistance and support of the Full House Group since the last event. Both players contributed in several ways for the benefit of The MAIN EVENT III including stories for the event program. To purchase copies of Kill Everyone or Pass the Sugar go to our store.
Jones tops count
Some big stacks are starting to emerge early in the fifth level of play, with Matt Jones leading the field on 80,000, while Mark Pendergast is close behind on 76,000. John Kanaley fills out the top three – he eliminated Tina Kennedy after his A-K made trip kings on the flop against pocket 10s then, on the next hand, made quad nines to acquire a slab of chips from Brad Livermore.
Takin’ a break
Players – all 438 of them – are heading off on their first 10-minute break of the day after the opening four levels of play in the MAIN EVENT. Just eight players were KOed during the first four levels of play, including former TeamAPL member Michael Doumani and Bernard Chadd. When play resumes, blinds will be up to 200/400 with an ante of 50.
Nines are fine for Nick
Nick Bouyioukos holds the first stack of note on day one of MAIN EVENT III. He holds more than 55,000 after winning a three-way pot with a set of nines against pocket 10s and A-K. Mark Pendergast is also up around the 50,000-mark after taking down a nice pot from Nick Silich, also with a set of nines.
Bouyioukos is one of the 239 players from NSW, representing by far the largest contingent here today. There are also 63 players from Queensland, 61 Victorians, 35 who’ve made the trek over from Western Australia, 26 from South Australia and 21 Tasmanians.
Full House Group CEO Brayden Haynes presents a cheque for $5304 to the Save Our Sons charity
Full House Group answers SOS from worthy cause
The team at Full House Group is proud to announce a partnership with Save Our Sons, a charity organisation that raises desperately needed funds and awareness funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) research.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a severe muscle wasting condition that mostly affects young boys, and heartbreakingly it currently has a 100 per cent mortality rate.
To date there is no known cure but Save Our Sons is working on changing that, with their endeavour to raise $1,000,000 to fund the world’s first human clinical trial. This trial has the potential to make an enormous impact on the life expectancy of those suffering with DMD and will also improve their quality of life.
Save Our Sons was incorporated in February 2008 by the Eid family as a charity seeking to raise public awareness and much needed funding for research into DMD.
As part of their fundraising efforts Save Our Sons has been running the Play for a Cure – Casino Royale poker event in Sydney which has been supported by such sports stars and celebrities including Joe Hachem, Mario Fenech, Ada Nicodemou and plenty of NRL stars including players from the Bulldogs, Rabbitohs and more. The next event will be played at the Revesby Workers Club on March 23.
For the past five years the Inner West region’s tireless licensee Con Valassis has been supporting the Play for a Cure event and when he approached Full House Group they were very keen to help out!
Full House Group Chief Operations Officer, Brayden Haynes, believes the poker community can unite behind a cause bigger than the game itself and help Save Our Sons raise the much-needed $1,000,000.
“The poker community has the chance to help achieve a medical breakthrough that is presently unknown. By uniting together and showing our support we can help Save Our Sons,” Haynes said.
Full House Group has kicked off the campaign by donating one per cent of every MAIN EVENT seat towards Save Our Sons and they are also encouraging players to donate one per cent of any MAIN EVENT winnings. There will be a number of ways players can assist Save Our Sons including participation in the ‘$5 Double Up Week’ from March 18-24. During this week at all events around the country, a $5 double up of the starting stack will be offered to all players.
So while everyone gathers for the excitement of MAIN EVENT III the Full House Group would like to encourage players and supporters to consider the endeavours of Save Our Sons and the brave young boys they are trying to save.
Aces cracked, dreams over
With 10 minutes down in the third level of the day (100/200), the first player has left the tournament area after his pocket aces were cracked by a flopped set of 10s. Oh well, it’s a warm day and there’s no better place to spend the rest of the afternoon than at one of Crown’s magnificent riverside restaurants, watch the world go by while sipping a pint and wonder what might have been!
445 seated, 445 remain
Two levels down, and still no eliminations to report from the MAIN EVENT. In the meantime, here’s the list of entrants for the third running of the tournament – log on to our Facebook page at PokerMedia Australia to send a shout-out to your friends or family competing here today.
Melody De Mesa
Rose De Michele
Gary Di Paolo
Carmine De Sciscio
Milton’s already minstering the field
All players in the MAIN EVENT have successfully negotiated their way through the opening level of play. But even with a stack of 30,000 and blinds at 25/50, the booming voice of Milton Nicolaou was heard to declare “all-in”. No takers Milton, and we remain at 445 players.
Taking a punt on the MAIN EVENT champ
Players have enjoyed the opportunity to back themselves or their friends in tournaments and Full House Group COO, Brayden Haynes has been thrilled with the feedback.
“The response from players has been really positive,” Haynes said. “Most players have a few bucks on themselves or back a few of their friends for a bit of fun. It adds an extra element of excitement.”
As an added reward, poker players from the Pub Poker, 888PL and APL leagues have been able to take advantage of the special bonus bet offers, including a deposit $10 get $100 in free bets and a 25% reload bonus for new customers.
“We wanted to make sure there was some value for our customers,” Bookmaker.com.au CEO Dean Shannon said. “Poker players have enjoyed getting on and having a few bucks on the tournaments, so we are happy to give them a head start.”
With the sheer number of participants in the MAIN EVENT III there’s sure to be some value bets. One punter recently backed NSW State Champion Daniel Flynn at $201 and walked away $5025 richer.
Last year’s MAIN EVENT II champion, Olivier Baux, made another lucky punter $5025 richer after $25 was laid out on him at $201. Another punter walked away a few thousand dollars richer after picking the Winning Hand (Straight) at $21.
The market for the Main Event is calculated by looking through a player’s history for the previous six months. Every game they have played with APL, 888PL or Pub Poker is taken into account.
Bookmaker.com.au look at how many events have been played, how many tournaments an individual has won or final tabled and how many players they beat in each tournament. A ranking is then assigned based on this information and the betting market is created and published.
Players will have the opportunity to place a bet at any time before the tournament commences either online over the phone or through their smart phones.
Once the tournament starts, players will be able to ‘bet in the run,’ but only by phoning their bets into Bookmaker.com.au. This means if you like your chances after day one, you can still back yourself to win the tournament but you must do it over the phone. For details of the MAIN EVENT market on Bookmaker, click here.
What’s on today
Other events being played in the Crown Poker room today are:
2.10pm $50 WSOP APAC Ultimate Bracelet Chase Qualifier
4.10pm $130 WSOP APAC Ultimate Bracelet Chase Qualifier
6.10pm $200 APL, 888PL & Pub Poker Partners Event
9.10pm $130 WSOP APAC Ultimate Bracelet Chase Qualifier
The structure for today’s play is:
Level 1: 25/50
Level 2: 50/100
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 150/300 (ante 25)
Level 5: 200/400 (ante 50)
Level 6: 300/600 (ante 50)
Level 7: 400/800 (ante 100)
Level 8: 500/1000 (ante 100)
Level 9: 600/1200 (ante 100)
Level 10: 800/1600 (ante 200)
Level 11: 1000/2000 (ante 200)
Level 12: 1200/2400 (ante 300)
Level 13: 1500/3000 (ante 300)
Welcome to MAIN EVENT III
The first six months of 2013 loom as the most important in the history of Australian poker since the boom that came in the wake of Joe Hachem’s 2005 WSOP victory.
The world’s poker spotlight will shine brighter than ever before on our nation when the first five gold bracelets ever offered in this region are put up for grabs in the first World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific at Crown in April.
Just weeks before WSOP APAC kicks-off, a bracelet every bit as coveted by players under the Full House Group banner – representing the 888PL, APL and Pub Poker brands – will again be on the line in the third edition of the MAIN EVENT.
Now firmly established as one of Australia’s most prestigious poker events, hundreds of players from around the country are again expected to converge on Crown Melbourne in pursuit of a piece of the massive prizepool worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
MAIN EVENT III starts at 12.10pm today. In contrast to the previous MAIN EVENT, all players will take seats for the first flight. There will also be a Partners’ Event at 6.10pm.
Play continues in the MAIN EVENT from 10am on Saturday, February 23. Other highlights of the day include Terminator and Staff events, while the Full House Group have scheduled a great summer-themed players’ party at The Boat Builders Yard from 7.30pm.
The tournament wraps-up on Sunday, February 24, with play starting at 10am with the final table scheduled for a 2pm kick-off.
Despite being hosted in Melbourne, the winners of MAIN EVENT I and II both hailed from NSW. Nathan Gauci celebrated victory in the first MAIN EVENT, taking home a package worth $120,000 after outpointing a massive field of 559 players.
Qualifiers headed back to Crown in September for MAIN EVENT II, with 32-year-old French-born Sydneysider Olivier Baux the last man standing, thus earning the lion’s share of the $461,000 prizepool – a $100,000-plus package that included a seat in the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event.
It was an all-NSW top three with John Mouawad and John Saratsopoulos finishing second and third while other results of note included Zac Durkin in 26th (the first Tasmanian player to cash in either MAIN EVENT), Paul Sayers in 32nd (the only player to cash in both MAIN EVENT tournaments played so far) and South Australia’s McDonald brothers (Ben and Russ placed 20th and 21st respectively).
PokerMedia Australia is thrilled to be back along side our friends from the Full House Group at Crown over the next three days in the battle for the MAIN EVENT III title.