Go West: Shark Poker Winter Festival showcases local talent

The Western Australian poker community continues to take advantage of COVID-free conditions in the state, throwing their full support behind the Shark Poker Winter Festival which wrapped up on Monday night.

In what was arguably one of the toughest Player of the Series races of the year, Brittany Law took down the Opening Event to kick-start her campaign but was closely followed by Dee Dee Chen and Aaron Smith, who all mounted multiple ITM and final table finishes over the course of the 17-day schedule.

Aaron Smith (left): Shark Poker Winter Festival Player of the Series

Although Chen led for most of the way, Smith scored a clutch victory in the penultimate event of the series against Law heads-up to take out the POTS title, however Chen didn’t go home empty-handed, taking out the $20,000 GTD Arthur Richards memorial tournament to finish second overall.  A special Winter Series awards presentation will be held at the Balga Soccer Club this Friday night.


1stAaron SmithWA650
2ndDee Dee ChenWA480
3rdBrittany LawWA440
4thKevin HuangWA370
5thKevin KennyWA310
*Top five results shown.

In other major results, Kevin Huang topped a field of 128 entries in the $400 buy-in $30K GTD High Roller Event, scoring himself a $13K payday and was in good shape going into the final table of the Main Event on Sunday night, however despite starting with the chip lead, Huang fell in fifth place before Jason Byrne defeated Blair Hampton heads-up for a $12K payday.

Jason Byrne (left): Shark Poker Winter Series Main Event Champion

The win was Byrne’s second of the series, having taken out the $3K GTD PLO Event the week before, as well as his second-largest career cash to date, just shy of his third-place finish in the ANZPT Perth Accumulator Event back in 2014.

SHARK POKER WINTER FESTIVAL MAIN EVENT – FINAL TABLE RESULTS ($250 buy-in, 286 entries, 27 players paid)

1stJason ByrneWA$12,000
2ndBlair HamptonWA$8,000
3rdJamie SutherlandWA$6,000
4thEddie FowlerWA$4,000
5thKevin HuangWA$2,500
6thJohn CorrWA$2,000
7thPaul RhodesWA$1,500
8thThierry BertolinoWA$1,300
9thTrevor KreiderWA$1,100

Shark Poker North Director Steven Burgess was very pleased with the series overall, particularly with the turnout for the Main Event which, as was the case during the Autumn Series edition, sold out before the final Day 1 flight.

“We did have Day 1D scheduled at Balga, but unfortunately we couldn’t do that because we’re capped at a $50,000 prize pool,” Burgess said.  “The regulations [for community poker in WA] can be challenging at times, but to cap out the Main Event two series in a row is a good problem to have!”

Shark Poker has since confirmed that planning for their Spring Series is already underway, with tentative dates pencilled in for late October or early November; for more information, search for Shark Poker on Facebook. You can also view the full replay of the PMA Livecast with the Shark Poker crew by clicking here.

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