2015 Star Poker Summer Series – Summer Series Main Event NLH $2000 / Day 1 / Flight 1

Ronald Bean leads Day 1a field

That’s all she wrote for Day 1a of the 2015 Star Summer Series Main Event!

It’s been a busy day here in The Star poker room with 159 players taking their seats – 25 more than took part on the same day last year.

Among them were the likes of Daniel Neilson, Jonathan Karamalikis, Michael Kanaan, Sam Capra, Michael O’Grady, Daniel Laidlaw, Peco Stojanovski, Errolyn Strang, Andrew Scarf, Alexander Antonius, Rory Young and John Caridad.

While many of those were sent packing, some thrived with Antonius, Caridad, Stojanovski and Laidlaw among those with healthy stacks heading into Day 2. Of notable mention, Trevor Saunders went on a heater in the last two levels to recover for a measley 6,000 in chips to end the day with a healthy 149,000.

In total, 59 of today’s 159 starters survived with each eyeing a first prize likely to be somewhere around the $200,000 mark.

In the meantime, we’ll be back here at 12.30pm tomorrow for Day 1b of this year’s Main Event to see how many more join them on Sunday.

See you then!

Top 5 stacks:

Ronald Bean (pictured) – 222,000
Daniel Laidlaw – 194,700
Chris Ozer – 192,400
Alexander “AJ” Antonius – 187,500
John Caridad – 186,600

Other notables:

JunQiu Lin – 154,000
Trevor Saunders – 149,000
Al Latif – 116,000
Toothpick Tony K – 114,000
Jono Karamalikis – 111,800
Adam Ratten – 105,500
John Moffitt – 101,400
Jason O’Brien – 75,300
Peco Stojanovski – 47,200
Adrian Attenborough – 34,200

10.05pm: Three hands to go

The clock has hit 15 minutes remaining and the floor has called three more hands to be played on each table tonight before we bag and tag.

9.55pm: Laying down the law

We wandered past Daniel Laidlaw’s table just in time to see him stacking a pile of chips and an empty chair in Seat 1.

As he relayed it to us, the same opponent that had folded the river for just 3,100 more in a huge pot earlier 5-bet shoved with AQ. Laidlaw called with KK and the board ran out J-high to ship a monster his way.

Laidlaw soars to 210,000 as the end of the day’s play nears.

9.50pm: Stacked table

With around 30 minutes remaining in the final level of the day, the breaking of tables and relocation of players has resulted in a few stacked tables, including a nice little grouping on table 11 where Ronald Bean, David Sanis and Luca Borreggine are all seated alongside one another.

Their stacks respectively are 230,000, 160,000 and 135,000.

9.20pm: Final level

Players have returned from their last break of the day to face Level 9 where blinds are 600/1200 with an ante of 100. 74 players remain of the 159 total runners for the day.

9.10pm: Break time

Players are now on their final 10 minute break of the day.

9.10pm: Kanaan gone

Michael Kanaan (pictured) sat on a short stack for much of the day and was finally forced to get it in with 33 to be racing the KQ of John Caridad.

His day came to an end when a Q landed on the flop wit Caridad now up to 150,000.

9.00pm: Caridad soars

John Caridad has moved over 100,000 after winning a hefty pot at the expense of Bruce Hall. The two went to war on an 88AQ7 board with Hall showing 8T only to find himself rivered by Caridad’s 87.

Caridad now has 120,000 while Hall is down to 25,000.

8.50pm: The Magician cracks O’Grady

Michael O’Grady (pictured) shoved pre-flop for his remaining 22,000 with KK and was called by Peco Stojanovski with QQ.

All looked good for O’Grady to double until a Q spiked on the rover – sending O’Grady to the rail while Stojanovski moves to 115,000.

8.50pm: Chip counts 

Luca Borreggine – 140,000
Alexander “AJ” Antonios – 110,000
Nick Williams – 91,000
Steven Zhou – 91,000
Peco Stojanovski – 75,000
Toothpick Tony K – 70,000
Errolyn Strang – 68,000
Jason Pritchard – 60,000
John Caridad – 60,000
Ronald Bean – 55,000
Jonathan Karamalikis – 55,000
Daniel Laidlaw – 45,000
Rick Soloman – 38,000
Jimmy Ghobrial – 36,000
Tobin Marsh – 30,000
Chris Ayoub – 20,000
Michael O’Grady – 18,000
Trevor Saunders – 17,000
Michael Kanaan – 14,000
Adrian Attenborough – 10,000
Andrew Scarf – 7,000
Mohammed El Kassir – Busted
Roy Vandersluis – Busted
Steve Pappas – Busted
Sam Capra – Busted
Tolly Sakellariou – Busted

8.45pm: The fold that stunned the world 

Daniel Laidlaw (pictured) 3-bet a middle position open to 7,000 and picked up two cold callers on the button and in the small blind.

The flop came J55 and it was checked around to the button who bet 10,500. Only Laidlaw called.

The turn was a K and here’s where it got strange. Laidlaw checked and his opponent bet 25,000. Laidlaw slowly counted out his chips before announcing he was all-in for just 3,100 more. His opponent mucked instantly, causing the whole table to cry out in disbelief!

Laidlaw is now up to 105,000.

8.25pm: The ultimate blind v blind cooler

Adrian Attenborough 3-bet a middle position open from the small blind to 7,600 and Luca Borreggine (pictured) cold 4-bet to 20,000 from the big blind. The original raiser folded and Attenborough thought for 30 seconds before announcing he was all-in.

Borreggine snap-called and rolled over AA as Attenborough showed KK. The board ran out 78T88 to leave the unlucky Attenborough with just 10,000.

Borreggine is travelling along nicely however with 140,000.

8.10pm: Level up

Blinds are now at 500/1,000 with a 100 ante. There are currently 86 players remaining with play set to continue for one more level after this one before we wrap up for the night.

8.00pm: Pappas punished

Steve Pappas (pictured) waited patiently for a big hand to commit his stack with and finally found it with KK. The Poker Gods are fickle creatures though and as luck would have it he ran straight into AA.

The board ran out T2T82 and Pappas is no more.

7.40pm: Zhou on a roll

Steven Zhou (pictured) is on a bit of a run, having sent Jim Pizanias to the rail just two hands after ending Yibo He’s day.

Zhou was well behind when he got his 4s in against the KK of a short-stacked Pizanias, but a 4 on the river sent the pot his way as he climbs to 110,000.

7.35pm: Yibo free

Just a few hands after that clash with Jason Pritchard, Yibo He’s run has come to an end after getting the rest of his chips in with A7 against the 99 of Steven Zhou.

The board ran out K-high with Zhou moving up to 95,000.

7.30pm: No backwards steps

Yibo He and Jason Pritchard are both renowned for their aggression so they were always going to clash when seated at the same table. They’ve been going back and forth for some time now but Pritchard now finds himself well on top after their most recent meeting.

The hand began with Yibo opening to 2,000 and Pritchard making the call. The flop came Q64 and Pritchard called Yibo’s 2,500 continuation bet.

The turn was an A and after Yibo bet 5,500, Pritchard raised to 13,800. Yibo called. The river was another A, forcing Yibo to check-fold with a shake of the head when Pritchard bet 7,700.

Both of these players enjoyed very early doubles today but six hours later Yibo is back under starting stack with 25,000 while Pritchard has inched up to 90,000.

7.10pm: Power on

Players have returned from their short break to face Level 7 where blinds are 400/800 with an ante of 100. Registration for the day has now concluded with 159 in the field today. Currently 100 players remain alive.

7.00pm: Break time! 

Players are now on a 10 minute break.

6.55pm: Approaching double digits

We’re almost at the end of Level 6 with the number of players remaining down to 102 from the 159 registered.

Registration for flight one will close at the end of the upcoming 10-minute break.

6.35pm: Not a square to spare

With the Star Summer Series Main Event, cash tables in operation and now a satellite to tomorrow’s flight running, the Star Poker room is absolutely bursting at the seams with every single table full.

It’s a good sign for poker manager Stephen Ibrahim as he looks to better last year’s total of 345 players or even, fingers crossed, get close to the magical 400 number!

6.25pm: Caridad slowly building

We sauntered past John Caridad’s (pictured) table a few moments ago just in time to see him scoop a decent sized pot with KQ on a KQ9Q9 board.

He is up to 90,000.

6.15pm: Capra KO’d

Sam Capra (pictured) hasn’t been able to parlay his victory in the 6-handed event into similar success here today.

Having previously run JJ into KK and KQ into AK to fall below starting stack, his day ended on another cooler when his QQ ran smack bang into the old pocket rockets.

6.05pm: Level 6!

Blinds are up to 300/600 with a 75 ante.

5.35pm: Chip stacks

Mohammed El Kassir – 108,000
Peco Stojanovski (pictured) – 90,000
AJ – 63,000
Nick Williams – 62,000
Toothpick Tony K – 60,000
Ronald Bean – 55,000
Jason Pritchard – 51,000
Andrew Scarf – 45,000
Jimmy Ghobrial – 45,000
Michael Kanaan – 44,000
Daniel Laidlaw – 43,000
Errolyn Strang – 42,000
Luca Borreggine – 40,000
John Caridad – 38,000
Chris Ayoub – 38,000
Roy Vandersluis – 33,000
Michael O’Grady – 32,000
Jonathan Karamalikis – 30,000
Steve Pappas – 30,000
Rick Soloman – 25,000
Trevor Saunders – 25,000
Sam Capra – 16,000
Tolly Sakellariou – 11,000
John Thomson – Busted
Rory Young – Busted
Daniel Neilson – Busted
Marcello Bo – Busted

5.35pm: Tobin talking tough

Tobin Marsh (pictured) is applying pressure at his table. On a JT5 board, he check-raised an opponent’s 3,800 bet to 12,500 to send him deep into the tank.

His rival looked perplexed as time was eventually called and a few seconds later his cards made their way into the muck.

Marsh is up to 90,000.

5.15pm: Falling like flies

We’re closing in on the halfway mark of today’s flight and there have already been a significant number of casualties.

Of the 159 players to take their seats, just 125 remain with another four-and-a-half hours of play remaining.

5.10pm: Peco picks one off

Peco Stojanovski didn’t have much luck in the $5k Challenge – running KK and then QQ into Aces on his first bullet then falling to a gutshot on his second.

His luck seems to be turning though. He just ran KK into an opponent’s AA once again but this time a K on the turn sent the chips his way – propelling him to a very respectable 90,000.

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5pm: Giddy up

The break is over so players have returned to the tables to face Level 5 where blinds are 200/400 with an ante of 50.

4.40pm: Long break

Players are on a 20-minute break to stretch their legs, get some fresh air or a bite to eat. A total of 158 players have entered but registration will remain open until the end of the next break after the following two levels.

4.35pm: El Kassir hits his miracle

A crazy hand has just gone down that has seen two players shaking their heads in disbelief on their way to the rail and Mohammed El Kassir (pictured) stacking a mountain of chips.

We caught the action on a KT2Q board with Kassir holding 22 and just four outs against the AJ and KT of his opponents. However, a repeat Q was one of those outs – powering him to 130,000 in chips.

4.15pm: Boskovic sets it up

Dean Boskovic is up to 70,000 after flopping set over set. Boskovic held JJ and his opponent 55 on a J57 board to win a tidy pot and send one more player to the rail.

4.05pm: Karamalikis reading well

Sam Capra opened to 700 and found a caller in late position. Jonathan Karamalikis (pictured) then 3bet to 2,500 from the big blind, with Capra folding but the late position player making the call.

The flop landed 7dTc8d and Karamalikis bet another 2,500. His opponent called. On the 3s turn both players checked before the 2h landed on the river.

Karamalikis checked again and his opponent bet 5,800. Karamalikis thought briefly then made the call – his AK good enough to take the pot over the Ad5d of his opponent.

He is up to 45,000.

3.45pm: Numbers promising

The numbers are already looking good for this year’s Main Event, with 155 registered so far for today’s flight. That’s 21 more than played the opening flight 12 months ago.

The total number we’re looking to beat after tomorrow is 345.

3.40pm: Level up

Blinds are up to 150/300 with a 25 ante

3.35pm: Notable chip counts

Peco Stojanovski 56,000
Jason Pritchard (pictured) 55,000
Michael Kanaan 50,000
Roy Vandersluis 50,000
Daniel Laidlaw 44,000
Nick Williams 43,000
Errolyn Strang 40,000
John Thomson 35,000
Jonathan Karamalikis 35,000
Michael O’Grady 26,000
Rory Young 25,000
Rick Soloman 19,000
John Caridad 18,000
Sam Capra 17,000
Daniel Neilson 17,000
Toothpick Tony K 16,000
Trevor Saunders 14,000
Steve Pappas 13,000
Marcello Bo 11,000
Tolly Sakellariou 7,000

3.35pm: O’Grady sends two home 

Michael O’Grady has sent two players to the rail – including Xian Liu – to get his tournament going after a slow start.

We caught the action on a 4J5A board with O’Grady’s AQ well ahead of the A9 of a short-stacked Liu and the 68 of the third player. The river Q cemented the hand as he moves to around 35,000.

3.05pm: Mr Bean catches a break

On a board of 597 with two hearts, Ronald Bean (pictured) shoved for his remaining 13k and was called by Rick Soloman, who turned over 55 for a set.

Mr Bean tabled 10hJh, looking to catch his flush. However, he had other outs, as Soloman discovered, as a Q then a K fell to make Mr Bean’s straight and double him up to his starting stack of the day.

3.00pm: Set over set over set 

Andrew Kitchen is our tournament chip leader after a remarkable hand in which three players all flopped a set! It was a K52 board that set the action in motion as the player with pocket 2s bet, Kitchen raised with KK and Allan Dabbagh shoved with 55.

The player with 22 managed to find a fold while Kitchen called and avoided the case 5 to move to 110,000.

It hasn’t been a complete disaster for Dabbagh though. Left with chips to spare, he has since built his stack back up to a respectable 40,000.

2.40pm: Back in business 

The players have now returned from their first break of the day.

2.30pm: First break 

Players are on their first break of the day having completed the first two levels of the Main Event. They will return in 10 minutes to face level 3 where blinds will be 150/300.

A total of 150 players have registered so far. Last year’s event saw a total 134 players complete on Day 1, so support for the tournament is going from strength to strength.

2.15pm: Pritchard make instant impact 

Jason Pritchard has just arrived … and doubled up about two minutes later! We caught the aftermath with all the chips in the middle and a board reading 85TQK.

From what we’re told, the chips went in on the turn with Pritchard holding J9 and his unlucky opponent QT.

A nice start just a day after he reached the final table of the $5k Challenge.

2.00pm: Bo on the go 

One for the locals – Marcello Bo is in the house and ready to crush some souls! Or so we’re told …

1.55pm: Tough table 

Young guns Michael Kanaan (pictured left) and Jonathan Karamalikis (pictured right) find themselves seated next to one another today and both will be looking to build on an impressive record here at The Star.

Karamalikis famously won the last APPT Sydney in 2010 for $460,000 and has twice won High Rollers events here as well for a combined $200,000.

Kanaan won ANZPT Sydney in 2011, made the final table of the inaugural Star Summer Series Main Event the same year and finished third at the 2013 Sydney Championships.

Their table today also boasts Sam Capra, Luis Arrilucea and Tony Kambouroglou.

1.45pm: Top of the hats 

WSOP bracelet winner Rory Young (pictured) has taken his seat – still dressed up in the top hat he has donned since the start of the series.

We won’t go into the reasons why he is wearing it, but needless to say he stands out from the crowd.

1.30pm: Blind rise 

Blinds are up for the first time today, now at 100/200.

1.15pm: New arrivals 

Jonathan Karamalikis and John Caridad are some of the late arrivals for today’s flight.

1.00pm: Our first casualty! 

We’ve lost a player already! Yibo He is the early beneficiary, moving into an early chip lead at the expense of Joshua Jicu.

Their brief battle began on just the third hand of the day as Yibo opened to 300 and Jicu 3-bet to 925. Yibo called to see a flop of J32 as Jicu continued for 1,100. Yibo called again.

The turn was a 7 with Yibo check-calling a 3,300 bet and then a 7,000 bet on a repeat 3 river. Jicu sheepishly showed K5 with Yibo’s 66 taking down the pot.

A few minutes later the pair got it all-in pre-flop with Yibo’s QQ holding firm against Jicu’s AK. With that, Jicu’s Main Event comes to an end after just 25 minutes – $2,000 well spent!

12.50pm: Another temporary move for Star Poker?

It’s usually slow going in the first few levels of any main event, so we’ll take the opportunity to talk a bit about The Star Poker Room.

It’s fair to say poker has been somewhat nomadic here over the years – originally located just outside the sports bar, then moving upstairs to its least popular location in a long, narrow hallway, back down to the far end of the main gaming floor near Rock Lily bar and finally down to the other end where it now has a great area just off to the side of the main gaming floor.

The bad news is that next year it will be moving again – but only temporarily. The Star has decided to upgrade this current poker area to make it even better for players. That means demolishing a few walls and expanding the whole room to fit more tables, so in the meantime poker will spend a few months just across near Cherry bar.

We look forward to seeing the finished product late next year.

12.45pm: Notables aplenty

The field currently sits at 122 starters including Daniel Neilson (pictured, with an impressive beard!), Sam Capra, Michael O’Grady, Daniel Laidlaw, Peco Stojanovski, Errolyn Strang, Andrew Scarf, Alexander Antonius and Tony Kambouroglou.

12.30pm: Cards are in the air!

And we’re underway! Blinds start at 50/100 with a 30,000 starting stack and one hour levels.

There will be nine levels played today.

12.30pm: 2015 Star Summer Series Main Event about to begin!

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia and our coverage of the 2015 Star Summer Series. Today sees the start of the one we’ve been waiting for … the Main Event!

Now in its fifth year, the Star Summer Series has become one of the must-play events on the local poker calendar with a healthy field of 345 players stumping up the $2,000 buy-in last year for their shot at glory.

Germany’s Timo Pfutzenreuter ended up taking home the $157,000 top prize.

We’ve already got a healthy sized field gathering for Day 1a with 117 already registered.

Play is about to begin so stay tuned here on PMA as we bring you all the live action from the 2015 Star Summer Series Main Event.

Thanks to The Inside Word

Live reporting for this event is proudly brought to you by PokerMedia Australia partners The Inside Word who provide detailed sports betting analysis and insightful, independent commentary about local and international sports. Check them out!

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