Minagar leads final 43
Day 2 of the inaugural APT Sydney main event was a long one as predicted but by the time play came to an end after 12 hours of play we had seen the field of 357 players who started the day skittled to just 43 remaining.
Leading the way is little known Amir Minagar (pictured above) who went on a late heater to finish with a monster stack of 1,318,000. The key hand for Minagar came with about 90 minutes remaining when he got it all-in with A-K against an opponent’s K-K and saw not one but two Aces land by the river.
He is one of three players sitting above a million with Michael Malki and Alexander Antonios also well placed for a run at the final table tomorrow.
Although we saw a lot of big names fall by the wayside on Day 2, a number of notables remain including Jonathan Karamalikis, Jim Collopy, Tristan Bain, Tony Kambouroglou, Errolyn Strang, Sheldon Mayer and Sam Capra.
The top 5 stacks are:
Amir Minagar – 1,318,000
Michael Malki – 1,086,000
Alexander Antonios – 1,022,000
Tristan Bain – 902,000
Tony Kambouroglou – 829,000
Play will resume at 2pm on Sunday as we look to play down to our final table, and PokerMedia Australia will again be there to bring you all the action.
1.20am: It’s a Lock for Nichols
You don’t find six-way limped pots at this stage of a tournament too often and Andrew Lock will be hoping he doesn’t see too many more after this one led to his demise.
Lock turned a straight but was drawing dead against the flopped nut flush of Brent Nichols as he fired three barrels including a river shove to find himself headed to the rail with less than an hour of play remaining today.
Nichols, meanwhile, enjoyed the free ride as he moves up to 700,000.
1.10am: Last level
We’re into our final level of the night with blinds at 6,000/12,000 with a 1,000 ante.
12.50am: Kozlov sent packing
Martin Kozlov (pictured above) got the last of his chips in holding J-J but found himself facing the Kings of Tony Kondevski. There were to be no miracles for Kozlov and he hits the rail in 55th spot – good for $4,082.
Kondevski is back up to 420,000 after that hand.
12.45am: Bain back in black
Tristan Bain’s chaotic style often sees his fortunes fluctuate throughout a tournament and after going from a big stack earlier in the day to a short stack, he has just scored a near triple up to get himself back in contention.
Bain opened in early position before Teresa Natoli shoved for her last 100,000. Tony Kondevski then came in over the top with Bain making the call.
It was the 10s of Bain up against Natoli’s A-9 and Kondevski’s A-K. The board ran out 4-8-8-J-5 and Bain is up to 470,000. Kondevski is still alive with 200,000 while Natoli’s race has been run.
12.30am: Kambouroglou flying
Tony Kambouroglou has been particularly active of late and has just added another 100,000 or so to his growing stack. Kambouroglou opened to 28,000 in the cut-off and had Errolyn Strang 3-bet from the blinds to 80,000.
Kambouroglou then came back over the top for 205,000, Strang flashing A-Q as she folded.
12.25am: Putting along
Graeme “Kiwi G” Putt (pictured above) is still alive and kicking after scoring a much-needed double up thanks to Michael Malki. It was Putt’s A-J against Malki’s K-Q as the board ran out J-high to move Putt up to 220,000.
12.20am: Chip leaders
Michael Malki – 860,000
Jonathan Karamalikis – 780,000
Tony Kambouroglou – 750,000
Alexander Antonios – 750,000
Tony Sama – 650,000
David Yan – 620,000
12.20am: Not so great for Scott
He was eliminated moments later when he shipped his last 40,000 with 3-3 and was called by Sam Vakili with 4-5. A 5 on the flop was all Vakili needed and Sakellariou just misses the money. We now have exactly 62 remaining.
Former Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott has just been sent to the rail by none other than Jonathan Karamalikis. A short-stacked Scott shipped his last 130,000 with 5s and was called by Karamalikis with A-K.
The board ran out 3-3-4-6-K and Karamalikis moves up to almost 800,000.
11.55pm: Bubble bursts
And just like that the bubble bursts as both Michel Bouskila and Tolly Sakellariou are eliminated on the last hand before the final break of the night.
As far as we know, Sakellariou is our official bubble boy because he was the shortest stack on that particular hand. The damage was actually done for Sakellariou two hands earlier when he held J-10 on a J-10-9 flop but ran into the 9-9 of Errolyn Strang.
11.50pm: Nearing the bubble
With 64 players remaining, we are now one spot away from the bubble – two places away from the money.
This is often a spot where the small and medium stacks all slow down a little to try and reach the cash, however there are a number of particularly short stacks in play at the moment so we don’t expect the bubble to last too long.
11.45pm: The power of the toothpick
Tony Kambouroglou (pictured above) has just won a massive pot to rocket towards the overall chip lead and put a huge dent in Sam Vakili’s chances of going all the way.
We caught the action on a 9-6-4 flop with 210,000 all in the middle following a 4-bet pot pre-flop. Vakili checked to Kambouroglou who bet 80,000, sending Vakili deep into the tank. Eventually he announced he was all-in, with Kambouroglou calling immediately with A-A.
Vakili rolled over K-9 and when an Ace landed on the turn Kambouroglou was up to 750,000 while Vakili drops to 220,000.
11.15pm: Jim in a jungle
One thing we can’t say is that the action has slowed down at all as the bubble approaches. If anything, the pots are just getting bigger and more aggressive.
But it would be remiss of us not to mention the progress of WSOP bracelet winner Jim Collopy, who has been quietly riding a short stack all day yet has managed to play the patience game superbly.
Collopy moved to Australia from the US a few years back in the aftermath of Black Friday with good mate Dan “djk123” Kelly and aside from being a superb tournament player, is also renowned for his high stakes Omaha skills.
He still has only about 100,000 in front but we’ll keep an eye on him to see if he can make a move.
11.05pm: Webb of intrigue
Mick Webb (pictured above) has just about doubled up to 420,000 after hitting the perfect flop to eliminate an opponent. Having opened in early position, Webb was 3-bet by his opponent in late position before shipping over the top. His opponent called and Webb would need some help with his A-Q of diamonds against pocket Qs, but the all diamond flop was too good to be true as he rocketed back up the leaderboard.
10.55pm: Level 18
The blinds are up again! We’re now at 4,000/8,000 with a 5,000 ante.
10.35pm: The ride of Vakili
Our Day 1b chip leader Meveni Tonga is no longer with us. Having lost a stack of chips to Jonathan Karamalikis among others earlier in the day, he was recently eliminated at the hands of Sam Vakili (pictured above), who is now our tournament chip leader with just under 700,000.
Tonga and Vakili got it in on the river of an A-Q-8-4-Q board, with Vakili showing pocked 4s for the turned set, while Tonga flashed a Q before mucking and exiting the tournament area.
Vakili has 680,000 in chips, just a few more than Jonathan Karamalikis who sits with around 650,000.
10.15pm: Capra cruising
Sam Capra is the latest to hit 500,000 and stay in touch with the bigger stacks. As he relayed the story to us, Capra held Jacks against an opponent’s A-J and managed to get paid off when a Jack landed on the river of a 3-3-7-8-J board.
10.10pm: Some of those still alive
With 86 players left in th Main Event field we’re approaching the money (at 62). Players still alive include Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt, Sam Capra, Stewart Scott, Dave Allan, Mel Judah, Jono Karamalikis, Sheldon Mayer, David Yan, Kahle Burns, Laurence Hall, Dean Yuen, Andrew Scarf, Martin Kozlov, Errolyn Strang, Tolly Sakellariou, Ricky Lim, Michel Bouskila, Tony Kondevski, Tom Rafferty and Toothpick Tony Kambouroglou.
9.55pm: Cards are in the air
Players are back from their break, starting Level 17 where the blinds are now 3000/6000 with an ante of 500.
9.40pm: Breaky break time
Players are now on a 15 minute break. 88 players remain from the 648 total entrants.
9.25pm: Kondevski Under Siege
As we wandered past veteran Tony Kondevski’s (picture above) table, we quipped to him that it was good to see him still alive and fighting with around 190,000.
“I’m like Steven Seagal,” he replied. “They can’t kill me!”
9.15pm: Magical milestones
Last night, we spent much of the last hour or two with one eye on the time clock as the number of remaining players edged gradually closer to the magical milestone of 229 players remaining in the flight. Why? Because 229 was the maximum number The Star could afford to have progress to Day 2 in order to fit them and the surviving players onto the tables today.
The good news is that they made it with 15 minutes to go. Tonight we’ll be keeping an eye on a few more milestones – and we’ve just hit one of them with the number of players remaining in the event having just dipped under 100.
Next on the agenda will be the bubble, with 62 players to be paid. And from there it will be a matter of getting as close to the final table as possible. If there are two tables remaining at the end of the day’s play we’ll be very confident of playing until we have a winner tomorrow, three tables not so much and four tables or more suggests a Monday finish instead.
9.00pm: Scott looking for some luck
It’s been a frustrating day for former Aussie Millions champ Stewart Scott (pictured above) although he is fighting hard for his tournament life. Scott was closing in on 400,000 a few hours ago but as he just explained to us he has lost four consecutive flips in that time worth a combined total of over 700,000.
Still, having been down to 65,000 an hour ago he is back up to 180,000 now and ready to make his move once his luck turns around.
8.45pm: Big stacks
David Yan – 480,000
Sam Capra – 430,000
Hao Li – 430,000
Dave Allan – 410,000
Michael Malki – 360,000
Tony Kambouroglou – 340,000
Jonathan Karamalikis – 380,000
Brent Nichols – 360,000
Tony Sama – 380,000
Ricky Lim – 280,000
Sheldon Mayer – 280,000
8.40pm: Level up
Blinds are up to 2,500/5,000 with a 500 ante
8.40pm: Li loves his 3s
Table 10, located just a few metres from the bar at Rock Lily, has been the action table today with a number of huge pots played out. As a result, former big stacks Jackson Zheng and John Caridad have both been knocked out during Level 15, however others have certainly benefited from the flowing chips.
One of them is Hao Li (pictured above), who just won a massive pot against Kamyar Ekrami to move to 430,000. The hand began with Li opening to 8,000 from the cut-off and Ekrami 3-betting to 21,000 from the small blind. Li called and they took an 8d-10c-3h flop.
Ekrami led out for 28,000 and Li called. The turn brought the 4d and Ekrami bet again, with Li shoving for 170,000. Ekrami called.
It was Li’s set of 3s against the Qd-9d of Ekrami, who held flush and straight outs, but the 8 on the river filled Li up and saw the huge pot shipped his way.
Ekrami is still alive, however, with 180,000.
7.45pm: Break over
Players have returned from the dinner break as we prepare for the business end of the day’s play. Having started with 357 players, we are now down to 131 with six more levels to go until we call it quits.
By then we should be well into the money although it remains to be seen how close we are to the final table.
Level 15 brings blinds of 2000/4000 with an ante of 500.
6.55pm: Dinner break
The 132 remaining players are now on a 45-minute dinner break. We’ll be back for the second half of the day’s play at around 7.40pm.
6.50pm: Capra takes chip lead
As we walked past Sam ‘the owl’ Capra’s (pictured above) table, we noticed he was sitting behind what has become a very, very large stack of chips. We asked how he got them and he explained that it was a simple case of Aces v Kings all-in pre-flop.
The unfortunate victim was Rhys Gould, who was eliminated in the hand, while Capra now sits with 450,000 to sit alongside Jonathan Karamalikis and David Yan as our chip leaders.
6.40pm: Hachem crippled
Tony Hachem was looking good earlier in the day but he has just been crippled in a pre-flop clash with Michael Tran.
It was Tran’s 9-9 against the A-K of Hachem and no help arrived for Hachem with a 9 landing on the river just to rub salt into the wound. He is now below 10,000 while Tran is hanging on with 100,000.
6.30pm: Karamalikis making his move
The bad news for every other player in the tournament is that Jonathan Karamalikis is one of the monster stacks in the room with around 400,000. One of the most feared tournament players going around with a remarkable record both online and in the live arena, Karamalikis has also enjoyed great success here in Sydney having won APPT Sydney in 2010 for a handy $459,510.
That event was particularly memorable because it featured one of the stroingest final tables ever seen in Australia, including Daniel Negreanu, Roland de Wolfe, Eddy Sabat and Antoine Amourette.
Karamalikis’ fortunes here today have come on the back of two huge hands – the first against Day 1b chip leader Meveni Tonga and the second against former big stack Kirby Marsh. And, to be honest, both were gift wrapped with a nice big bow on top.
Against Tonga, Karamalikis held A-J on an A-J-10-A-4 board and saw Tonga check-raise both the flop and turn then shove the river holding K-8!
Then in the second, he got it in pre-against Marsh for the whopping 400,000 pot with A-A to her Jacks. Easy money if you can get it!
6.15pm: The action bad for Jackson
Jackson Zheng was looking good for much of the afternoon but he has just lost a monster pot after running his A-K into A-A on a K-high board.
The beneficiary was Adam Picker (pictured above), who flatted Zheng’s 4-bet pre-flop as they saw a K-5-3 flop. Picker checked to Zheng who bet 8,800, with Picker check-raising to 23,800. Zheng called.
The turn was an 8 and Picker bet 30,000. Zheng called. When a 9 landed on the river, Picker shoved for 105,500, sending Zheng deep into the tank. After thinking for a good five minutes, he eventually called only to discover the bad news.
He is down to 50,000 while Picker has rocketed up to 330,000.
5.55pm: New level
Blinds are up to 1,500/3,000 with a 300 ante. At the end of this level we’ll be heading off on a 45-minute dinner break.
5.55pm: It’s rough for Rafe
Rafe Aman is having to play the patience game over on Table 8 where he hasn’t been given the greatest of seating draws. Seated immediately to his left – all in a row – are Dave Allan, Martin Kozlov and Tristan Bain.
“The place is full of pub players and I get these three,” Aman said. “Every time I open, they 3-bet me!”
5.50pm: Yan upping the ante
David Yan has certainly put the foot down over the past few levels and just took down another big pot to move to around 350,000.
It began with an opponent opening to 5,000 and Yan re-raising to 17,000. His opponent called. The flop fell J-8-7 and Yan checked. When his opponent bet 12,000, Yan re-raised to 36,000 and received a call.
The turn was a 6 and this time Yan bet 43,000 with his opponent again calling. On the river 7, Yan shoved for 120,000 more, sending his opponent deep into the tank. He eventually folded and Yan added even more to his rapidly growing stack.
5.45pm: This update brought to you by OPSM
Sheldon Mayer (pictured above) is now one of the big stacks in the room following a remarkable hand in which his opponent completely misread his hand.
It was a pre-flop raising war that eventually saw Mayer get it in with A-A against his opponent’s K-4! His opponent had mistakenly looked down at what he thought was K-K – don’t ask us how – so was more than happy to ship his 60,000 stack.
The board blanked and Mayer is up to 300,000 and counting. As the table shook their heads in disbelief, the eliminated player stood up and berated himself, yelling “Why didn’t you check your cards?”
Sounds like good advice!
5.30pm: Calling time
Tony Hachem made a huge call earlier after spending quite some time in the tank and it seems his determination to take his time had riled one of his table mates. He was recently involved in a hand in which a pit of around 55,000 sat in the middle.
On a board of 4-10-2-4, Toby Ryall bet 25,000 which again sent Hachem into the tank until tournament staff eventually called time at the request of another at the table. Some banter ensued, Hachem folded and the gent who called time said “You could have done that 5 minutes ago.” The table how since been broken.
4.55pm: Players are back
Players have returned to face level 13 with the blinds at 1,200/2,400 with an ante of 300.
4.45pm: Time for a Kit Kat
Players are headed off on their second 10-minute break of the day.
4.45pm: 12 levels to play today
We’ve just been informed by the tournament staff that we will be playing 12 levels today, which won’t take us to a final table but should ensure we get well into the money.
We’ll be taking a 45-minute dinner break just before 7pm and should be calling it quits around 2am – so it’s going to be a long day for those who make it that far.
The plan is still to play down to a winner tomorrow, but don’t be surprised if a decision is made to play the final table on Monday instead.
4.35pm: Hachem makes the call
Tony Hachem (pictured above) has just made a terrific call on the river to boost his stack by around 30,000 and move to around 160,000 in total.
On a board of Q-10-Q, Hachem led out small and was called by his opponent. Both players checked the 2 on the turn before Hachem bet 7,000 on the 8 river. His opponent re-raised to 20,000.
Hachem went deep into the tank and eventually called with 7s. His opponent showed K-J and Hachem continues on his merry way.
4.30pm: Yan the man
We’re at that point of the tournament where some clear big stacks are starting to develop, with David Yan (pictured above) and Brent Nichols the first to reach the 300,000 mark.
Another deep run would round off a remarkable year for Yan, who began by reaching the final table of the Aussie Millions where he finished sixth for $220,000, chopped the APPT Melbourne main event (officially finishing third) and made deep runs at both EPT London and WSOP-Europe.
Let’s take a look at the chip leaders here at APT Sydney:
David Yan – 300,000
Brent Nichols – 300,000
Tristan Bain – 290,000
Andrew Lock – 270,000
Ivan Ong – 260,000
Stewart Scott – 240,000
Ricky Lim – 235,000
Ali Ghezelbash – 230,000
John Caridad – 210,000
Kirby Marsh – 210,000
Meveni Tonga – 210,000
Tony Sama – 200,000
Joseph LoRusso – 200,000
4.05pm: Lock and load
Andrew Lock has been running exceptionally well this afternoon and he just caught running miracles to eliminate a desperately unlucky opponent.
The action all happened on the Q-J-3 flop as Lock raised, his opponent re-raised and Lock shoved – easily having his opponent covered.
Lock would need help with A-Q against the Q-J of his rival, but running Kings counterfeited the Q-J and Lock finds himself sitting with 280,000.
3.55pm: A waste of time?
We’ve just witnessed quite the kerfuffle on Table 6 – one that has angered much of the table for what they believe to be a waste of time.
The hand in question began simply enough with Sheldon Mayer raising to 3,500 and a player calling on the button. Allan Davis then attempted to shove for around 50,000 from the small blind but the button player complained that he hadn’t done so in one motion after one of his stacks fell onto the table.A supervisor was called and security then contacted to check the camera footage. This took a good 10 minutes and of course by this stage quite a crowd was gathering. Sheldon was quick to express his frustration, as were a number of players not involved with the hand.
It was eventually deemed that Davis had pushed one stack in ahead of the other, with only the first stack allowed to count. This meant a chip count of said stack to determine whether it was indeed a raise or just a call. The stack added up to 7,800, which was a raise, which both Sheldon and the button called.
Frustratingly for the rest of the table after such a long wait, the flop came 10-high, Davis shoved and both opponents folded in an instant – just in time for the blinds to rise!
3.45pm: Level 12
Blinds are up to 1,000/2,000 with a 200 ante.
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3.30pm: Notable stacks
Tristan Bain – 275,000
Stewart Scott – 160,000
John Caridad – 160,000
Jonathan Karamalikis – 150,000 (pictured above)
Dale Marsland – 140,000
Dale Marsland – 140,000
Andrew Scarf – 130,000
Dean Yuen – 120,000
Michel Bouskila – 120,000
Tony Hachem – 105,000
Errolyn Strang – 100,000
Kahle Burns – 100,000
Tobin Ryall – 95,000
Sam Capra – 90,000
Jordan Westmorland – 80,000
Sam Khouiss – 80,000
Jackson Zheng – 80,000
Mel Judah – 75,000
Tim English – 70,000
Tom Rafferty – 65,000
Martin Kozlov – 55,000
Dave Allan – 50,000
2.40pm: We’re back
Players are returning from their break with blinds now at 800/1,600 with a 200 ante.
2.40pm: Esber wins monster
On the last hand before the break, a huge three-way all-in developed near the main registration desk here in The Star poker room with Eli Esber (pictured above) now sitting with one of the tournament big stacks.
The hand began with a short stack shoving with A-Q and Esber calling with Q-Q. A third player then announced he was all-in for 70,000 with Esber making the call.
Esber was in trouble against K-K with just a lone Q remaining in the deck, but tit nevertheless managed to find its way onto the flop as the board ran out A-Q-8-2-9 – eliminating both opponents and sending him up to 185,000.
No doubt Esber is enjoying his break a lot more now!
The payout list has been finalized with 62 players set to make the money. The payouts are ads follows:
1st – $281,685
2nd – $176,127
3rd – $95,645
4th – $72,900
5th – $59,486
6th – $47,823
7th – $36,160
8th – $25,660
9th – $18,080
10th-12th – $13,997
13th-15th – $11,664
16th-18th – $9,915
19th-21st – $8,748
22nd-24th – $7,582
33rd-39th – $5,832
40th-46th – $5,249
47th-53rd – $4,665
54th-60th – $4,082
61st-62nd – $3,500
2.30pm: Break time
Players are enjoying their first 10 minute break of the day
1.55pm: More gain for Bain
We just noted Tristan Bain’s (pictured above) penchant for aggression, but he is also a difficult man to shake. Opening to 2,400 UTG, Bain found four callers including Rafe Aman on the button.
The flop came Q-9-4 with two clubs. It was checked to Aman who bet 4,000. Bain was the only caller.
Both players checked the 2 turn before the J of clubs fell on the river. When Bain checked, Aman bet 8,500 but after a few seconds of deliberation bain made the call with J-10 which was good against Aman’s A-10 off.
It’s not all bad for Aman though. Just a few hands later he won those chips back and a few more holding Q-Q on a K-7-7-8-Q board.
Bain is closing in on 200,000 while Aman is hovering right on 100,000.
1.45pm: Angelakis, McKenzie eliminated
Con Angelakis got off to a very fast start yesterday when he flopped quads and an opponent turned Aces full, but it has pretty much been all downhill from there.
He came into Day with just under 17,000 in chips and has just been eliminated at the hands of Ben Gilholme. Jesse McKenzie is another no longer with us after the first level of the day.
1.30pm: Blind rise
Blinds are up to 600/1,200 with a 100 ante.
1.35pm: No riskin’ for Tristan
Tristan Bain is renowned for his relentlessly aggressive style, but sometimes he does actually have a hand.
So it was on a board reading J-4-A-J-3 as he bet 10,200 after Katie Sekhas had checked to him. Sekhas thought about it for a minute before eventually making the call, but mucked when Bain showed K-J.
Bain is up to 170,000.
1.25pm: No signs of aggression here
We were surprised to see a lot of limping going on over on Table 3, where the likes of “Toothpick” Tony Kambouroglou, Errolyn Strang (pictured above), Ivan Zalac and Luke Spano are all seated.
After the third consecutive limped community pot, Strang – who won the Sydney Championships in 2011 and is mentored by Brendon Rubie – tried to take a stand and raised it up on the button. Tim Kelly-agius and Terry Langmead came along for the ride, and Kelly-agius donked for 4,200 when the flop fell Q-2-3, forcing folds from Langmead and Strang.
1.10pm: Early action
It’s pretty common in main events for the first hour or so of Day 2 to bring with it a flurry of action and it’s no different today, with around 30 players hitting the rail in the first 40 minutes as the short stacks try to score an early double-up.
We currently have 324 players remaining.
12.40pm: Condylis off to a flyer
Jim Condylis has enjoyed a perfect start today, but not so much the unlucky opponent he just sent to the rail after just a few minutes of play today.
It was a brutal cooler as Condylis got it in with J-J against his opponent’s 10-10 on a J-10-Q flop to move up to 120,000 in chips.
12.30pm: Day 2 of APT Sydney underway
It’s Saturday, which means it’s also Day 2 of the inaugural APT Sydney main event here at The Star.
After two record breaking opening flights, we have 357 players returning today all shooting for a first prize of around $280,000. Among them are some of the biggest names in poker both in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world – none moreso than five-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro.
Also still in the field are the likes of Jonathan Karamalikis, Mel Judah, Tony Hachem and former Aussie Millions winner Stewart Scott as well as young guns Martin Kozlov, Tim English, Tom Grigg and Jesse McKenzie among many others.
The original plan was to play down to a final table by the end of the day’s play, but that seems highly unlikely given the number of players remaining. We’ll bring you further details on that as the day progresses.
In the meantime, play has just begun in what promises to be an eventful day here at APT Sydney.