2015 Star Poker Summer Series – $5k Challenge (re-entry) / Day 1

12.45am: 20 remain after Day 1

And that’s all she wrote! After 10 hours of play, the field has been whittled down to 20 remaining – all of whom will return tomorrow afternoon at 4pm to play down to a winner.

We’ll bring you all the chip counts when they become available. But for now the top 5 are as follows:

Ajay Toolooa – 207,100
Grant Levy – 174,200
Tom Rafferty – 129,400
Jeff Rossiter – 119,100
Jason Pritchard – 115,200

12.30am: Three more hands

The floor staff have stopped the clock and announced that there will be three more hands played for the night on each of the remaining three tables.

12.25am: Khouiss caves

Sam Khouiss has just hit the rail, leaving 21 players remaining as we head into the final 15 minutes of play for the day.

12.15am: Chip leaders

With 30 minutes remaining in the day’s play, there are six “big stacks” that clearly stand above the rest. They are:

Ajay Toolooa – 220,000
Grant Levy – 145,000
Jason Pritchard – 145,000
Donald Civic – 130,000
Dejan Boskovic – 130,000
Tom Rafferty – 110,000

12.00am: Last level

We’re into our final 45-minute level of the night with blinds now at 800/1,600 with a 2,000 ante.  There are 24 remaining.

12.00pm: Recent casualties

There are 27 players remaining here in the $5k Challenge, with some of the recent eliminations including Daniel Laidlaw, Chad Awerbuch, Peco Stojanovski, Andy Lee, Daniel Levy, Michel Bouskila and Xuan Liu.

11.40pm: Lisandro lifts

Another to find a big hand at the right time was Jeff Lisandro. The five-time WSOP bracelet winner ended Frank Ferraro’s day when he flopped a set of 5s – the money all going in before Ferraro mucked his cards and headed to the rail.

Lisandro is up to 105,000.

11.35pm: Quads for Levy

Grant Levy has made the most of his big hands today and for the second time in a few hours has taken down a monster pot to take the chip lead.

Levy opened UTG with pocket 3s and hit his hand on a 563 flop. Both players checked and a 9 landed on the turn.

Levy check called a 3,600 from his opponent and was more than pleased to see the river gibe him quads. He was even better when his opponent shoved over his 8,700 lead for around 55,000 – Levy snapping him off with the nuts to soar to 145,000.

11.20pm: Who’s left?

The 35 players remaining include plenty of familiar faces, including Jonathan Karamalikis, Jeff Lisandro, Grant Levy, Jeff Rossiter, Andy Lee, Michael O’Grady, Daniel Laidlaw, Daniel Levy, Tom Rafferty, Michel Bouskila, Jackson Zheng, Dean Blatt, Xuan Liu, Daniel Neilson, Minh Nguyen and Adrian Attenborough.

11.10pm: Two levels to go

The clock is about to tick over into the penultimate level of the night with 35 players remaining. The new blinds will be 600/1,200 with a 200 ante.

10.45pm: Payouts

The top 10 places will be paid with the payouts as follows:

1st – $152,500
2nd – $102,500
3rd – $75,000
4th – $48,500
5th – $36,000
6th – $27,000
7th – $23,000
8th – $20,000
9th – $15,500
10th – $13,000

10.30pm: The serious stuff begins

The rebuy period is now officially over as players return from their 10-minute break for Level 10 of the $5k Challenge.A few late rebuys has lifted the number of players remaining back up to 45 although with blinds now at 500/1,000 those players will have some work to do.

We’ve been told play will continue for three more levels tonight with the remaining players to return tomorrow to play down to a winner.

10.25pm: Boskovic bossing

Dejan Boskovic – the junior member of the father-son duo in today’s field – has taken down a very tidy pot on the final hand before the break to climb to 80,000.

It began with Robert Spano opening to 1,700 and both Boskovic and Jason Pritchard calling. The flop came TJ3 with two spades and Spano continued for 2,500. Both opponents called.

The turn was a red Q  and this time Spano bet 5,600. Boskovic called while Pritchard folded.

The river 3 of spades brought a tonne of possibilities with it, pairing the board and putting a third spade out there. Spano bet 8,300 and after some thought Boskovic re-raised all in for 35,000.

Spano looked pained but eventually folded. He is left with around 13,000.

10.05pm: Stacks

Grant Levy – 90,000
Jeff Rossiter – 80,000
Minh Nguyen – 75,000
Jason Pritchard – 70,000
Donald Civic – 70,000
Dejan Boskovic – 65,000
Tom Rafferty – 50,000

9.45pm: Six tables remaining

There are currently 23 minutes remaining in Level 9 with the rebuy period set to end at the conclusion of the ensuing 10-minute break.

There have been 102 entries so far including rebuys with the actual number of players remaining down to just 40 by our calculations.

Blinds are currently at 400/800 with the average stack around 39,000.

9.15pm: Carnage all round

With around an hour to go before the rebuy period closes, the tournament clock is currently displaying the number of players remaining and the total number of entries as the same – 97.

The actual players remaining will be updated once the freezeout phase begins, however we’ve done a quick count and found that there are 54 players still in the mix.

It seems $5,000 is a bit too much for some players to pay for a second chance.

9.10pm: Toothpick snapped again

Having only fired his second bullet 30 minutes ago, “Toothpick” Tony Kambouroglou shoved for his remaining 13,000 holding AQ on the turn of a TQ55 board. He was called by Jarryd Godena whose KJ suited gave him straight and flush draws.

A 6 of clubs on the river was one of the cards he needed, completing his flush and leaving Kambouroglou to ponder if he should fire again.

8.40pm: Levy soars highest

We just witnessed a huge three-way pot play out that has seen Grant Levy over to the top of the chip counts with almost 80,000.

It all happened on a 56K flop with Levy, Steven Zhou and a short-stacked Dinesh Velupillay getting it in. While Velupillay was hoping his flush draw would win him back some chips, the much bigger clash saw Levy holding set over set with 66 to Zhou’s 55.

There was no miracle 5, nor a heart for Velupillay, and Levy suddenly boasts a monster stack.

Zhou’s rollercoaster day continues however as he drops right back down to 4,500.

8.40pm: Godena swoops

Dinesh Velupillay has been very active today, but getting away from hands has proved difficult at times and just cost him a few more chips.

We caught the hand on a flop of KJT with around 6,000 in the middle and Velupillay facing a 5,500 bet from Jarryd Godena, which represented most of Godena’s stack.

Velupillay went deep into the tank before throwing in 10,000 to cover Godena’s remaining chips but soon discovered the bad news with his K5 destroyed by Godena’s KK.

Godena is up to 40,000.

8.30pm: Arrilucea survives

Luis Arrilucea was all in for his last 6,000 with AJ and in a race against the TT of Tony Kambouroglou.

An A on the flop saved him a trip back to the rego desk, but it won’t be long before Kambouroglou is headed that way with only around 2,500 remaining.

8.20pm: Another bullet for Gray

We spotted a short-stacked Jason Gray all-in with A7 against the AJ of Grant Levy. The board ran out Q-high and Gray will need to fire another bullet.

Levy was one of the later arrivals today but has quietly gone about building his stack to 35,000.

8.15pm: Zhou rides the rollercoaster

Steven Zhou was tournament chip leader a few hours ago after building his 15,000 starting stack to 45,000. When we walked past his table again shortly before the break we noticed his seat suddenly vacant and a big stack of chips sitting in front of Dean Boskovic instead.

But after buying back in, Zhou has quickly picked up where he left off – tripling up and then some to move to 50,000.

8.05pm: We’re back!

Cards are back in the air with blinds at 200/400 and a 50 ante.

There are currently 92 entries with new player registration now closed, although players already in the field can still rebuy until the end of Level 9.

7.40pm: Veteran affairs

Two of the more experienced players in this event have emerged as clear chip leaders as we prepare to head off for our second break of the day.

Donald Civic and Dean Boskovic both have around 60,000 and are well placed to make a deep run once they return in 20 minutes.

7.30pm: Blatt blessed

Dean Blatt finds himself at a tough table this afternoon with Rory Young, Jackson Zheng and Sam Capra among his rivals, but that hasn’t stopped him creeping over 40,000 to be the table big stack. A fair chunk of those chips came at the expense of Greg Cook, with Blatt’s AA holding firm against Cook’s JJ in a huge pot.

7.00pm: Level 6!

Blinds are up again to 150/300 with a 25 ante.

6.45pm: Pritchard on a roll

Jason Pritchard has been steadily moving up and just hit 40,000 after stacking Geoff Mooney.

It took a bit of luck to get there though. The chips went in with Mooney having turned a flush over Pritchard’s 78 on a 7297 board. A 2 on the river changed all that though as Mooney headed back to the registration desk to rebuy.

6.30pm: Chip counts

Some of the notable stacks around the room are as follows:

Steven Zhou – 45,000
Chao Duan – 41,000
Tom Rafferty – 33,000
Andy Lee – 32,000
Rafe Aman – 29,000
Xuan Liu – 29,000
Jason Pritchard 24,000
Daniel Levy – 23,000

6.10pm: Level up

Blinds are up to 100/200 with a 25 ante.

6.05pm: Rafferty rising

Tom Rafferty has started to get quite busy now that he has a few chips. On his most recent hand the action was opened to 550 in the cut off by Michael Tran and Chad Awerbuch 3-bet from the button before Rafferty 4-bet from the big blind.

Tran and Awerbuch folded as Rafferty moves to around 30,000.

5.35pm: Level 4

With players now back from their break, the number of entries has climbed to 83 with a handful of players having already utilized a rebuy.

Blinds are currently at 100/200.

5.15pm: Break time

We’re about to go on our first 10-minute break of the day and one man that will enjoy it a little more than he was a few minutes ago is Sam Khouiss.

Khouiss was down to 9,000 but just doubled with a set of 2s against an opponent’s A4 on an A42Q8 board. He moves to slightly above starting stack.

5.05pm: Raising wars

A 245 flop with two clubs caught the interest of Michael Tran and Tom Rafferty, with Tran leading for 1,000, Rafferty raising to 2,700 and Tran coming back over the top  to 6,200.

Rafferty quickly announced he was all in, sending Tran into the tank for around a minute before he mucked.

He is down to 12,000 while Rafferty has moved to 25,000.

4.55pm: Gray grinding

We wandered past Jason Gray’s table just in time to see him heads up with Dinesh Velupillay and facing a hefty 5,200 river bet on a board of A59KT.

Gray thought briefly before making the call but mucked when Velupillay showed KK.

The Australian Poker Hall of Famer is down to just 3,500 while Velupillay has a touch over 20,000.

4.35pm: More arrivals! 

Players are still trickling in with Adrian Attenborough, Michael Tran and Luis Arrilucea among them.

4.30pm: New level

The tournament clock has ticked over into Level 3 with blinds now at 75/150.

4.10pm: Lucky number

Xuan Liu and Rory Young have both taken their seats during this level with the field up to 69 starters.

4.00pm: The Dong dances in

Jonathan Karamalikis is the latest to join the action, with the field now up to 67 players early in Level 2.

3.55pm: Quit while you’re behind 

Sometimes you just know it’s not going to be your day. Such has been the case for two players in the first hour, including Peco Stojanovski who has headed to the exit. Having lost most of his chips when he ran KK into AA, he got the remainder of his stack in with QQ … and ran into AA again!

Even more unlucky was Ria Renfrey. Renfrey lost three-quarters of her stack on the first hand of the day when she flopped a set of 7s only for Greg Cook to turn a set of Queens. Soon after she picked up AA and got it in against Cook’s KK, with a K on the river compounding the pain!

Cook is now sitting on a touch over 30,000.

3.45pm: How bad is your hand? 

Tolly Sakellariou and Chao Duan have been duelling early on, with Chao having forced Sakellariou off an earlier hand when he check-raised the turn then bet the river hard as a fourth diamond fell.

Their latest clash was notable not so much for the action but for the hands they showed down. On an A23K6 board, both players checked the river with Sakellariou showing 75. Incredibly, Chao mucked – nodding that he did indeed have 74 when the table pointed out it was the one and only hand Sakellariou could beat!

3.35pm: Early double 

Daniel Levy has enjoyed an early double thanks to a classic AA v KK cooler. The unlucky recipient was Peco Stojanovski, who thought he was onto a winner after racing back from a short break just in time to stop the dealer mucking his cards.

Instead, he is down to less than 1,000 and looks likely to be the first to re-enter.

3.15pm: More arrivals 

Also taking their seats recently have been Jason Gray, Daniel Laidlaw, Matthew Wakeman, Jeff Rossiter and Tom Rafferty

3.10pm: Big names aplenty

There are currently 50 players registered although registration will remain open until the end of the second break – roughly 4.5 hours from now.

Among those in the field so far are Jeff Lisandro, Daniel Neilson, Dean Blatt, Sam Capra, Sam Khouiss, Peco Stojanovski, Andy Lee, Alexander Antonis, Nabil Edgtton and Michael O’Grady.

3.00pm: And we’re off

Cards are in the air! Blinds are 25/50 with  starting stack of 15,000.

Star Summer Series $5k Challenge

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia and our coverage of the 2015 Star Summer Series.

Today sees Event #5 on the schedule take pride of place with the $5k Challenge Re-entry certain to bring out some of the region’s best players.

We’ll be here to bring you all the live action throughout the afternoon and evening so stick around for what should be an intriguing event.

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