Final table battle set to play out for title
After nearly 19 levels and some 14 hours of play, the PMA NLH 6-handed event has concluded for the night. The final hand saw Rory Young raise, Henry Sun (pictured) re-raise all-in and Young make the call. Sun was always behind as he tabled KJ against Young’s AdKd. The flop came 7 A 7 10 3 to knock Sun out in 8th place and set our final table.
The latest busts included:
9th Roy Vandersluis – $3,932
8th Henry Sun – $3,932
The chip counts for our final table are as follows:
David Tam – 424,000
Rory Young – 418,000
Tony Kambouroglou – 360,000
Tom Rafferty – 286,000
Adrian Salter – 189,000
Minh Nguyen – 140,000
Aaron Benton – 99,000
Play will recommence at 4pm later today, Monday August 4. Stay tuned to PokerMedia Australia for all the action of the final table from The Star.
One to go before we conclude for the night
We’ve got either one more level or one more bust that will conclude play tonight. We were almost there a moment ago when Tom Rafferty’s Aces came up against Toothpick Tony’s KJ. You guessed it though, the board two-paired the KJ to keep all players alive! Level 19 is about to begin after a 5-minute break. Blinds will be at 5000/10000 with an ante of 500.
Luck runs out for Vandersluis
Roy Vandersluis nursed his stack through the bubble and well into the payouts. However, he was unable to keep his run going. Vandersluis raised pre-flop but ran into a re-raise all-in by Rory Young with his big stack. Vandersluis thought long and hard, finally calling and showing JJ. To his dismay Young tabled KK. The board provided no joy to Vandersluis who hits the rail in 9th place.
Tszhin Ng busts in 10th place
Tszhin Ng is our latest casualty, this time at the hands of Aaron Benton, when his AK was no match for KK.
Recent payouts include:
12th Alex Lynskey (pictured) – $3,025
11th Rod Batoz – $3,025
10th Tszhin Ng – $3,025
End of play has been confirmed
Play will continue for two more levels or cease if we reach seven players, whichever comes first.
Blinds are up
We’ve now reached level 18 with blinds 4000/8000 with an ante of 500. 10 players remain.
Action sees another two hit the rail
As we approach the end of an eventful level 17, two players have been eliminated in quick succession. Alex Lynskey shoved with Q2 and was called by Tszhin Ng holding A8. The board ran out 6 10 A 4 7 to knock Lynskey out in 12th place.
Rod Batoz (pictured) was left crippled after his Jc10c found no joy against Minh Nguyen’s pocket queens. Batoz was soon all-in again with his remaining few thousand chips, this time with Js9c coming up against Toothpick Tony’s Ah7h. Batoz found no joy and was out in 11th place.
Current chip counts – Level 17
We’re mid-way through level 17 where blinds are 3000/6000 with an ante of 500. 12 players remain. The current chip counts are as follows:
Tom Rafferty – 275,000
Rory Young – 240,000
David Tam – 224,000
‘Toothpick’ Tony Kambouroglou – 175,000
Minh Nguyen – 165,000
Rod Batoz – 141,000
Adrian Salter – 115,000
Aaron Benton – 115,000
Tszhin Ng – 81,000
Alex Lynsky – 80,000
Henry Sun – 52,000
Roy Vandersluis – 41,000
Bang, bang and bang
As could be expected, once the bubble burst, several players have fallen in quick succession. Recent busts include:
15th Michael Tran – $2,420
14th Matt Rolfe – $2,420
13th Ben Whittenbury – $2,420
He just couldn’t hole out
Graham ‘Kiwi G’ is the unfortunate bubble boy, well bubble gentleman. Kiwi G shoved with pocket tens but ran into Rod Batoz who had kings. The cards wouldn’t help Kiwi G who hits the rail in 16th place.
The bubble is trying to burst
Within minutes there have been two all-in calls. Peco Stojanovski went all-in for his remaining 65,000 and was called by Mihn Nguyen. Kiwi G got out the way so it was a race between Stojanovski who tabled AsQd and Nguyen with 10h10d. The board ran our 2h4h3d7c7d to knock Stojanovski out in 17th place.
The very next hands saw Rory Young call the all-in of Roy Vandersluis. Rory was confident of breaking the bubble once the flop came 3sAsQs as he tabled AcQh v 8d8c. However, the board amazingly ran out 9s6s to make a flush on the board and cause a chop!
Chip counts as we approach the bubble
18 players remain midway through level 16 as we approach the money bubble of 15 players. Chip counts are as follows, with Tom Rafferty the big mover to sit as a significant chip leader:
Tom Rafferty (pictured) – 297,000
Rory Young – 153,000
David Tam – 127,000
Adrian Salter – 118,000
Aaron Benton – 95,000
Toothpick Tony Kambouroglou – 94,000
Alex Lynsky – 85,000
Angelo Hamataj – 84,000
Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt – 81,000
Peco Stojanovski – 80,000
Roy Vandersluis – 70,000
Henry Sun – 61,000
Tszhin Ng – 61,000
Rod Batoz – 58,000
Matt Rolfe – 55,000
Minh Nguyen – 53,000
Ben Whittenbury – 30,000
Michael Tran – 21,000
Players on a break
With 19 players left, players are on a 10-minute break. When they return level 16 will bring blinds of 2000/4000 with an ante of 400.
Benton and Tran in the battlefield
According to Aaron Benton, finally, he’s been able to make a hand count. But just when he’s on a roll he comes crashing back down to reality. Benton was recently all-in with his tournament life on the line against Michael Tran. After action led to Benton all-in, his A8 ended up too good on the turn for Tran’s pocket tens when the board ran 6 8 7 8 5. Benton soon after was then in another winning hand against Alex Lynskey, reaching new heights of over 125,000 in chips. The very next hand he was at it again with Tran who, short stacked, went all-in pre-flop. Adrian Salter called, as did Benton. After a flop of Qc 8d 6s Benton bet, causing Salter to fold. It was then down to Tran again who tabled 77 against Benton’s Qd10d. The turn came 10s but the river a 7c for Tran to hit trips and stay alive!
Keep pushing, blinds are up
Level 15 is now upon us with blinds at 1500/3000 with an ante of 400. 21 players remain.
Pass the salt and pepper
Play is down to four tables as we progress through level 14. And it’s Adrian Salter who heads the pack as we approach the money bubble. Players have steadily hit the rail but we’re expecting things to tighten up until we make the money when 15 players remain. Latest chip counts are as follows:
Adrian Salter (pictured) – 145,000
David Tam – 138,000
Tom Rafferty – 135,000
Rory Young – 122,000
Henry Sun – 110,000
Minh Nguyen – 105,000
Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt – 103,000
Roy Vandersluis – 72,000
Angelo Hamataj – 72,000
Jeremy Dunkel – 71,000
Aaron Benton – 52,000
‘Toothpick’ Tony Kambouroglou – 46,000
Michael Tran – 38,000
Peco Stojanovski – 35,000
Andrew Davis – 16,000
Blinds are up
We’ve now reached level 14 with blinds 1200/2400 with an ante of 300. 26 players remain.
Rock Lily a-rockin’
Players in the tournament area of the Star Poker room have been provided with some quality entertainment from R&B regulars Suite AZ. Ok, staff may be enjoying the music a little more than the players but it’s certainly upped the vibe here in the room. Hopefully it inspires some players on as we continue onto our tenth hour of play.
Kiwi G good to go, for now
Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt has held his nerve today after a solid start and sits upwards of 115,000 in chips as we progress through level 13. He tells us that he’s been pleased with his play to this point in the tournament and was able to lay down a potentially fatal hand recently. Sitting with QQ he flat called a raise to see the flop come 10 high. After min-raising he was faced with an all-in over the top for 100k. He folded. The move was shown to be correct as his opponent showed pocket tens for trips. Onwards and upwards…
And then there was Level 13
Play has now reached level 13 which will commence after a 10-minute break. When players return they’ll be faced with blinds of 1000/2000 with an ante of 300. 26 players remain with play expected to continue tonight until we reach a final table of seven.
Opening Event update – No Quarms here
Jason Quarmby (pictured) has outlasted the field of 825 entries in the Opening Event of the 2014 Sydney Championships. In the final hand, Quarmby’s kings held up against Tam Truong’s AK. There was a scare on the turn though when Truong turned a flush draw but it wasn’t to be and Quarmby was crowned champion.
When you put your balls on the line
Angelo Hamataj (pictured) has finished a hand with an exuberant bang of his fist on the table before doing a happy dance in celebration as he was able to knock out another player from the field. In pre-flop action, Hamataj pushed all-in and was eventually called by a player to progress the hand to head’s up. Hamataj was behind when he showed A9 vs AK but thanks to the generous fall of the cards, he turned a straight to win the hand and initiate his jig.
Blinds are up
Level 12 is now upon us. Blinds head north to 800/1600 with an ante of 200. 31 players still remain.
Benton going backwards
Aaron Benton was part of the controversy earlier when staff had to view the cameras, but in that hand he doubled up an opponent holding JJ v AK to drop below 70,000. Recently at his new table he’s run into trouble against Michael Tran (pictured) who’s top pair remained ahead of Benton’s up and down flush draw. Benton is now below 50,000 and Tran has moved up to 62,000.
Bring on Level 11
Tables are now contained on six tables with the blinds at 600/1200 with an ante of 200. The average stack is 55,000 with 33 players remaining from the total of 121 entries.
Opening Event update – Head’s Up
Play has reached head’s up with Jason Quarmby narrowly ahead of Tam Truong. The winner will receive almost $58,000.
Payouts so far are as follows:
3rd Danny Ayoub – $18,653
4th Greg Cook – $14,602
5th Jason Sarkis – $11,880
6th Adam Schmidt – $8,910
7th Collin Tran – $6,435
8th Alex Lam – $4,950
9th Martin Comer – $3,589
Play paused, let’s go to the cameras
An all-in occurred on one of the tables where a player was busted which triggered the table to be broken. Upon the change being confirmed amongst players, one believed he’d been short changed about 10,000 in chips. Star Poker staff quickly halted play while they checked the cameras to confirm the correct change.
Cards are in the air
Players have returned from their break to face level 10 where blinds are 500/1000 with an ante of 100.
Main break for dinner
As we go into the main break tonight, 40 players remain. Aaron Benton and Rory Young have been building their stacks nicely but now battle each other on the same table. Players will have a half hour break for dinner before returning for level 10. Current chip leaders are as follows:
Alex Li – 113,000
Aaron Benton – 110,000
Toothpick Tony – 73,000
Rory Young – 72,000
A catch-cry made famous (or introduced) by Tony Hachem some years ago, the banana is again creating interest at the poker table. After Trevor Saunders (pictured – note his banana figurine in front of him) took down a recent pot, opponent Angelo Hamataj muttered to the table, “he knows what I’m going to do with his banana later tonight!” Saunders has 50,000 in chips while Hamataj has 32,000.
Thanks to The Inside Word
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We’ve now reached level 9 in the PMA NLH 6-handed event where blinds are 400/800 with an ante of 100. 45 players remain. Play will continue tonight until a final table of seven has been reached (set at seven players to keep it fair when play is between two tables of four).
Opening Event update
Five players remain at the final table of the Opening Event that’s also being played tonight. Jason Quarmby is the chip leader with 3.3m in chips, followed by Greg Cook with 1.9m and Tam Truong with 1.3m. Jason Sarkis and Danny Ayoub are further back. Payouts so far are as follows:
6th Adam Schmidt – $8,910
7th Collin Tran – $6,435
8th Alex Lam – $4,950
9th Martin Comer – $3,589
Getting a little more serious
As our blinds increase yet again, play is visibly getting a little more serious now that the bigger stacks start to hover around the 50,000 mark. Level 8 sees the blinds at 300/600 with an ante of 50. The average stack is now 36,300.
Leaders of the pack so far
Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt – 60,000
David Tam – 58,000
Rory Young – 52,000
Aaron Benton – 52,000
Alex Lynsky – 50,000
Wilson Li – 48,000
‘Toothpick’ Tony Kambouroglou – 39,000
Roy Vandersluis – 36,000
Blinds are up
We’ve now started level 7 where blinds are 200/400 with an ante of 50.
It’s break time
Players are now on a 10-minute break.
Top 15 players will be paid
It’s been announced that a prize pool of $121,000 has been generated from 121 entries that will provide for the top 15 to be paid. The payouts are as follows:
Heavy hitting the rail
We currently have 73 players remaining midway through level 6. Some notable busts include Tony Hachem, Andy Lee, Shivan Abdene, Errolyn Strang, Martin Rowe and Tolly Sakellariou (pictured).
Who will be champion in the Opening Event?
The final table of the Opening Event has begun with nine players looking to be crowned champion later tonight. The seat and chip counts are as follows:
Seat 1: Tam Truong (2,256,000)
Seat 2: Martin Comer (965,000)
Seat 3: Jason Quarmby (1,127,000)
Seat 4: Greg Cook (1,466,000)
Seat 5: Jason Sarkis (432,000)
Seat 6: Collin Tran (365,000)
Seat 7: Adam Schmidt (502,000)
Seat 8: Danny Ayoub (845,000)
Seat 9: Alex Lam (377,000)
We’re onto the next level
Level 5 has concluded. The blinds are now 150/300 with an ante of 25 for level 6. The average stack is 24,863 in chips. The next break will be at the end of this level for 10 minutes.
Final table will be set tonight
It’s been announced that we’ll be playing down to a final table tonight. Currently 78 players remain towards the end of level 5.
Putting well so far
Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt (pictured) is near chip-leader at the moment with 45,000 in chips. We’ve followed Kiwi G for many years and of his own admission he’s rarely in this position so early in a tournament. As proof, you can see the healthy chip stack in front of him. He’ll be hoping he can keep his run going to finish deep in this one.
Busts a plenty in Level 4 as blinds are up
With the re-entry period ending at the conclusion of the break, level 4 has seen the busts come thick and fast. Of the 121 total entries 85 players remain. We’ve now reached level 5 where blinds are now 100/200 but an ante of 25 has been introduced.
Have I any outs? Tony Hachem: yeah, out the door!
The table of Tony Hachem, David Tam and Andrew Davis has been left in hysterics after a player was recently eliminated. The hand in question saw some pre-flop action that eventually left four players in the hand, as the flop came Q 8 4. All players checked to see the turn card of 5. After a number of checks, an eventual re-raise and two folds, two runners were left to see a repeat Q hit on the river. After an initial bet David Tam raised, who was then re-raised all-in and so called, showing 5 5 for a full house. The all-in player stood up, tabled his jacks and asked Tony Hachem whether he had any outs, to which he replied, “yeah, out the door!”
First break of the day
We’ve reached the end of level 3 where 117 players remain after approximately eleven re-entries and no busts (without re-entering). When we return after the 10-minute break players will be faced with blinds increasing to 100/200.
Building well beyond the century
The total number of entries has reached 112 midway through the third level to break the total reached last year of 99. In 2012 there were 86 players that entered. It’s currently all a bit quiet here during the early levels with players seemingly content to keep the pots small while still deep-stacked.
Blinds are up
We’ve now reached level 3 where blinds are now 75/150. Re-entry will remain available through the end of this level and the following break.
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Blinds are up
Play has progressed to level 2 where blinds are now 50/100.
Who’s in the field?
There are plenty of Star Poker regulars and those with some serious poker experience in the field today. Some of those we’ve seen having taken a seat during this first level of play include Aaron Benton (pictured), Graham ‘Kiwi G’ Putt, Tolly Sakellariou, Shivan Abdene, Peco Stojanovski, Michael Doodson, John Caridad, Errolyn Strang, David Tam, Con Angelakis, Didier Guerin and Martin Rowe.
As we approach the end of the first level there are 92 players that have entered the tournament. We’re looking good to break the 100 mark this year.
Opening Event of the 2014 Sydney Champs to start at 4pm
The Opening Event (NLH $330 repechage) will also be played out today. A final table of nine players remain. Play will begin at 4pm. Players will be keen to finish on top of the pile for a payday of over $57,000. Final table payouts are as follows:
Welcome back to live reporting from The Star
Welcome to our live reporting coverage from the Star Poker room at The Star in Sydney. Coverage today will focus on the PokerMedia Australia 6-handed NLH event which will begin at 12.30pm. Buy-in is $1100 ($1000 + $100) and players will be provided with one re-entry opportunity. Starting stacks are 15,000 in chips with the blind levels set at 40 minutes.
Star Poker regular Peter Apostolou won the event last year for almost $27,000 after outlasting a field of 99 players. With 10 minutes to go before the start of play, 57 players have already registered. We are hopeful of breaking the ton this year. Registration will remain open until the first break (three blind levels) at which time the re-entry opportunities will also close.
Stay tuned throughout the day here at PokerMedia Australia. Good luck players.
Thanks to our live reporting partners The Inside Word
Live reporting for this event is proudly brought to you by PokerMedia Australia partners The Inside Word.