Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series: Main Event Day 3

Congratulations Alex Lynskey ($94,046), Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series Main Event Champion!

Alex Lynskey is once again the toast of the nation after defeating a field of 475 entries to take out the Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series Main Event!

The 2018 WSOP November Niner, who went on to win the WSOP International Circuit Main Event in Sydney that same year, now has more than AUD $5.6 million in career tournament earnings and jumps one spot up the Australian All-Time Money List to #7 over David Steicke.

Speaking with PokerMedia Australia in the wake of his victory, Lynskey was pleased to have gone all the way this time around after finishing third here in the WPTDeepStacks Main Event earlier this year.

“It does feel good, yeah,” Lynskey said. “It was a pretty brutal way to have busted last time, but it felt really good to run so pure and get the job done.”

Lynskey also revealed that he’ll be taking more time for himself in 2022, but will jump into a few more major events on the local circuit.

“I’m planning to play less poker in general … maybe the [WSOP] Main Event next year, but that will be the extent of it.”

Final table payouts

1stAlex Lynskey$94,046
2ndGavin Best$65,859
3rdJosh Norvock$42,323
4thRyan Xu$29,046
5thLucho Vargas$22,301
6thMartin Ward$18,587
7thDustin Jung$15,518
8thJeremy Winlaw$12,459
9thQais Shanasa$9,405

And with that, the 2021 Star Gold Coast Summer Series Main Event is now all wrapped up!

On behalf of everyone at PokerMedia Australia, we’d like to congratulate Alex once again on his well-deserved victory, as well as thanking all the players for their support of The Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series.

Special thanks to Martin Coughlan and The Star Gold Coast Poker team who have once again gone above and beyond for their players and staff to deliver the ultimate poker experience.

Finally, we’d like to thank everyone for supporting PMA over the last four days – we hope you enjoyed our live reporting coverage as much as we did in bringing it to you.

And with 2022 promising to be an epic year for poker as the world begins to open up again, rest assured that the PMA Live Reporting Team will be front and centre at many major events across the country!

Be sure to bookmark in your browsers to keep up with the latest on all that’s happening on and around the felt, and follow us on all our socials – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Discord – to be a part of the PMA community.

From all of us here at The Star Gold Coast: stay safe, enjoy the holidays and we’ll see you all again in the New Year. Until then, it’s ‘bye for now!

Gavin Best eliminated in 2nd ($65,859)

Having been left short-stacked, Gavin Best shoved his remaining chips into the middle holding 910 following Alex Lynskey’s 600,000 open and was snap-called, with Lynskey in the lead holding AJ.

The board missed everyone, running out 5Q375 which was enough to give us our winner in this year’s Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series Main Event!

Gavin Best

Best bleeding

Gavin Best is now down to 3.1 million in chips as Alex Lynskey keeps applying the pressure.

Earlier, Lynskey completed and Best checked before both players checked the flop of K84. Best opened for 400,000 after the dealer produced the 10 on the turn and Lynskey called.

Best then fired 700,000 on the river 7; Lynskey called and showed K8. Best fires 700,000 and Lynskey calls . “You win,” quipped Best as he tossed his hand into the muck.

After a couple of shoves from Lynskey to pick up the blinds, Lynskey completed and Best checked to see a flop of QQJ.

Both players checked the flop and the turn of the 4 before Best check-folded to Lynskey’s bet of 1,000,000.

Alex Lynskey – 20.7 million
Gavin Best – 3.1 million

Lynskey applying the pressure

Alex Lynskey is starting to turn up the heat against Gavin Best as this heads-up battle continues.

In the first hand of the new level, Lynskey raised to 600,000 and Best called to see a flop of J2Q. Best then check-folded to Lynskey’s c-bet.

A few hands later, with the board reading 5789, Lynskey fired out 650,000 and Best called before repeating the action after Lynskey’s bet of 2.2 million with the 8 on the river. Lynskey tabled J10 for the nut straight and took it down.

Two hands after that, Lynskey completed and Best called before check-calling Lynskey’s bet of 300,000 after the flop of 39J. Best then check-folded to Lynskey after he bet 800,000 on the turn of the J.

Alex Lynskey – 18 million
Gavin Best – 5.3 million

Level 31: 150,000/300,000 (300,000)

Even stevens

Gavin Best called pre and Alex Lynskey raised it to 750,000 Best called to see a flop of A7Q.

Lynskey led for 450,000 and Best quickly called to see a 3 on the turn.

Lynskey checked and Best followed suit as a 2 landed on the river. Lynskey checked again and Best fired 1.2 million, sending Lynskey into thr tank before he eventually folded.

On the next hand, Best again completed and Lynskey once again raised it up to 750,000 with Best making the call. Both players checked the AJ8 flop as the dealer dealt the Q on the turn.

Lynskey led out for 450,000 and Best made the call. The K completed the board, attracting a bet of 1.2 million from Lynskey and a snap fold from Best.

Chip stacks are now just about dead even.

Best starts fast

On the first hand of heads-up play, Gavin Best led for 250,000 on a 2A5 flop and Alex Lynskey raised to 750,000. Best called as the players took a J turn. 

Best checked to Lynskey who bet 2.2 million. Best then shoved over the top, forcing Lynskey to lay it down.

Heads-up chip counts

The final two players are now on a short break before the begin heads-up play. 

Alex Lynskey16,700,000
Gavin Best7,100,000
This elegant trophy awaits the winner

Josh Norvock eliminated in 3rd ($42,323)

Having lost another chunk of chips in a hand against Gavin Best’s rivered trip 9s, a short-stacked Josh Norvock shoved his remaining 2.7 million from the button and was called by Alex Lynskey.

Norvock was well behind with his K7 up against the QK of Lynskey. The boards ran out 810A5Q as Norvock hits the rail. With that elimination we are heads-up!

Josh Norvock

Lynskey takes control

The tables have turned in double quick time since players returned from the last break, with Alex Lynskey establishing a dominant chip lead.

Having only recently moved past Josh Norvock, the two young guns clashed again with Lynskey completing in the small blind and Norvock checking his option.

On the K3A flop, Lynskey led for 250,000 and Norvock responded with a raise to 750,000. Lynskey called and the players saw a 10 turn.

This time Lynskey checked and Norvock bet 900,000. Lynskey made the call and then immediately checked the 10 river with Norvock following suit. Lynskey tabled A2 and Norvock gave a little sigh, mucking behind. 

Alex Lynskey – 14.5 million
Josh Norvock – 5.7 million

Lynskey reclaims the chip lead

Josh Norvock opened to 500,000 from the button and Lynskey 3-bet to 1.8 million from the big blind. 

Norvock didn’t think for long before making the call as they took a flop of 77J. Lynskey checked to Norvock, who checked back. 

The 3 turn was again checked by both players before the 9 river drew a bet of 950,000 from Lynskey.

Norvock immediately threw him a sideways glance, checking his cards as he did so. A minute later, he folded. 

Alex Lynskey – 9.6 million
Josh Norvock – 7.7 million

Short order

Alex Lynskey opened to 500,000 from the button and Gavin Best defended to see a flop of J3J.

Both checked to the 4 turn as Best checked it to Lynskey, who fired 650,000. Best wasted no time calling as the 5 fell on the river.

Best checked again and wasted no time folding this time as Lynskey fired 1.65 million.

Best is down to 4.5 million.

Level 31: 125,000/250,000 (250,000)

Norvock liking the ladies

Josh Norvock opened to 400,000 on the button, Gavin Best 3-bet to 1.2 million from the small blind and Norvock made the call.

The flop came 4AQ and Best led out for 600,000. Norvock called and both players checked the 3 turn and the 7 river.

Best tabled K7 but Norvock was best, tabling QJ for a pair of Queens. 

With that, the players have chosen to take a short break.

Josh Norvock12,650,000
Alex Lynskey5,750,000
Gavin Best5,400,000

Current stacks

Josh Norvock11,150,000
Gavin Best7,500,000
Alex Lynskey5,150,000

Norvock gets there on the river

Alex Lynskey opened his button to 400,000 and Josh Norvock announced upped it to 1.4 million. Best got out the way but Lynskey made the call. 

On a flop of 3K7, Norvock continued for 600,000 and Lynskey considered for a moment before raising to 1.5 million. Norvock called. 

The turn was the 10 and both players checked. 

On the river 8 both checked again as Norvock tabled K9 for the rivered flush. 

Lynskey flashed KQ to our reporter behind him before mucking in disgust. 

Josh Norvock

You lose some, you win some

Gavin Best raised from the small blind to 400,000. Alex Lynskey paused before 3-betting from the big blind to 1.1 million. Best announced he was all-in and Lynskey quickly called.

It looked like we were about to go heads-up with Lynskey holding QQ versus the A5 of Best, but the 7A4 rocketed Best into the lead and he stayed there as Lynskey dropped down to 2.9 million in chips.

Not for long through as very next hand the duo found themselves all-in again with Lynskey’s Q10 up against Best’s 77.

The board ran out 8JAQJ and the three-way battle endures!

“Nice bluff”

Gavin Best opened the button to 400,000. Alex Lynskey folded but Josh Norvock defended to see a flop of 739

Norvock checked to Best who continued for 400,000 again, with Norvock making the call after a few moments to see a 10 turn. 

Both players checked and the 5 dropped on the river. Norvock took his time before betting 2.5 million, sending Best into the tank for several minutes. 

“Nice bluff,” he said as he eventually folded.

Josh Norvock8,900,000
Alex Lynskey8,100,000
Gavin Best6,300,000

Best takes one

Alex Lynskey raised the button to 400,000 and Best called to see a flop of 5K8. He then check-called a bet of 500,000 from Lynskey, and another 575,000 on the 3 turn.

Both players checked the 4 river as Best tabled Q8 to win it over the J8 of Lynskey.

No more headaches for Norvock

Josh Norvock has returned a man on a mission, winning the first three hands of three-way action. Perhaps it’s the new outlook he’s enjoying, with the floor staff having changed the final table backdrop that seemed to be giving him a headache to a plain black with a logo.

Chip counts

Alex Lynskey12,075,000
Josh Norvock6,900,000
Gavin Best4,875,000

Break time

Players are now one their second break of the day.

Ryan Xu eliminated in 4th ($29,046)

Gavin Best shoved UTG and Alex Lynskey folded. Ryan Xu asked for a count and eventually made the call. It was bad news for Xu’s A9 against the 1010 of Best and he was left crippled as the board ran out 74K86.

Next hand Xu was all-in for his last 265,000 with all three opponents m aking sure they were in the pot. 

The hand was checked down until Best fired 500,000 on the river, showing the made flush holding KJ on a 48102Q to end Xu’s day early.

Ryan Xu

Lynskey getting the best of Best

Alex Lynskey has moved above the 10 million chip mark courtesy of a series of hands against Gavin Best.

In the first, Lynskey opened to 300,000 UTG and Bets defended his big blind. Both checked the 576 flop before Best folded to Lynskey’s delayed c-bet on the A turn. 

Next hand Best raised in the small blind to 325,000 and Lynskey defended. Best continued for 225,000 on the 848 flop but folded when Lynskey raised to 650,000.

Moments later Best opened again to 300,000 from the button but was forced to fold when Lynskey shoved.

Alex Lynskey – 10.5 million

Norvock making moves

Josh Norvock completed in the small blind and Gavin Best checked his option in the big.

Both players checked the 10A6 flop before Norvock fired 150,000 on the 3 turn. Best called.

When the 10 landed on the river Norvock fired another 425,000 and Best snap-called but mucked when Norvock showed JJ for two pair.

Norvock moves to 7.7 million.

Lucho Vargas eliminated in 5th ($22,301)

On the very next hand following Martin Ward’s elimination, Gavin Best opened to 300,000 and Lucho Vargas in the big blind who counted his chips before announcing he was all-in. 

Best snap-called, just about beating Vargas into the pot.

The cards were tabled and it was Vargas looking to fade the high cards with 33 against Best’s QA. He couldn’t do so as the board ran out KQ8A6.

In the space of two hands the field has been slashed to just four remaining!

Lucho Vargas

Martin Ward eliminated in 6th ($18,587)

Josh Norvock opened to 300,000 from UTG+1 and Martin Ward shoved from the cut-off. It folded back around to Norvock who quickly called.

Ward needed help with his AQ up against the AK of Norvock but it didn’t arrive on the 53326 board.

We’re now down to five players remaining.

Vargas, Lynskey on the move

Down to just 575,000 only a short time ago, Lucho Vargas now sits with a stack of 2.6 million after shoving over opens from Martin ward and Josh Norvock in consecutive hands and getting it through.

But it is Lynskey starting to move ahead of the field after a run of hands that has pushed him above the 8 million mark. He has now taken down the last four hands in a row, none of them going to showdown.

Chop it up

Alex Lynskey and Lucho Vargas got it in yet again with Vargas holding JJ against the A9 of Lynskey.

He looked in trouble when the flop fell A24 but the turn 5 and the 3 put a wheel on the board as they chopped it up!

Level 29: 75,000/150,000 (150,000)

Back and forth

Action folded around to Alex Lynskey on the button, who raised to 300,000. Ryan Xu got out the way but Norvock  made the call to defend.

The flop was J8J and Norvock checked across to Lynskey who fired 200,000. Norvock called to see a K turn. Both players checked before Norvock led for 260,000 on the 7 river.

Lynskey considered the hand but eventually folded. 

Josh Norvock – 5.76 million
Alex Lynskey – 3.8 million

Josh Norvock

Ladies for Lucho

Lucho Vargas has scored a double and change, just in time too, after getting his remaining chips in with QQ and holding on against the K10 of Josh Norvock. He is back to 1.6 million.

Vargas critically short

Lucho Vargas is hanging on for dear life, down to just 575,000 or barely two big blinds. Moments ago he folded in the big blind after Ryan Xu opened to 240,000, prompting Xu to cry “Oh come on!” as he flashed AK.

Easy does it for Lynskey

Gavin Best opened UTG to 250,000 and next to act Lynskey asked to see his stack before 3-betting to 725,000. Action folded back to Best, who paused to think for a minute before making the call. 

The flop came 398 and Best quickly checked. Lynskey put out a 400,000 feeler, getting a quick fold from Best. 

On the very next hand Lynskey opened UTG to 240,000 with only Best calling.

Lynskey again forced a fold from best on the Q8K flop as he keeps the pressure on.

Alex Lynskey – 6.4 million
Gavin Best – 3.6 million

Alex Lynskey

Norvock on the up

Josh Norvock appears to be feeling a bit better based on the fact that he’s been far more involved in the action since returning from the break.

Moments ago he opened UTG to 240,000 and action folded to Gavin Best on the button, who called.

Both blinds got out the way as the flop came 446. Norvock fired 275,000 and Best quickly called. Both checked the A turn before Norvock bet 725,000 on the 6 river.

“I’m folding a chop here,” said Best before mucking his cards.

Josh Norvock – 5.78 million
Gavin Best – 4.5 million

Ward wakes

Alex Lynskey opened to 240,000 before Martin Ward announced he was all-in for just over 1 million in chips.

Lynskey asked for a count but quickly made the call holding A4 to trail the 88 of Ward.

The board ran out 6J979 and Ward scores a big double to move to 2.39 million.

Martin Ward

Lynskey takes the lead

Alex Lynskey opened to 240,000 from cutoff and Josh Norvock 3-bet to 850,000 from the small blind. Lucho Vargas got out the way and Lynskey called. 

They took a flop of 8106 with Norvock checking his option to Lynskey who bet 525,000. Norvock snap-folded as Lynskey moves into the overall chip lead. 

Alex Lynskey – 6.64 million
Josh Norvock – 4.95 million

Cards back in the air

Josh Norvock has returned and play has resumed, but not before he asked for the clock screen to be turned off. That request was declined. 

There is some talk of rotating players but we’ll have to see what happens in that regard. Meanwhile, Will Wong has turned up with a pair of sunglasses for Norvock, who appears to be suffering from a migraine.

Level 28: 60,000/120,000 (120,000)

Waiting time …

Five of the six players have returned from their break but Josh Norvock is still absent. The other players have agreed to wait for him before restarting the clock.

Chip counts

With six players remaining and plenty of action during the first 90 minutes of today’s play, the chip stacks look like this:

Josh Norvock6,265,000
Ryan Xu5,610,000
Alex Lynskey5,290,000
Gavin Best3,875,000
Lucho Vargas1,425,000
Martin Ward1,365,000

Break time

Players are now on their first 20-minute break of the day.

Norvock nauseas 

Josh Norvock has been surprisingly quiet at this final table and it could be that he’s not feeling well. A few moments ago he left the table to get some more water, knocking over some chips as he did so. 

Let’s hope he feels better soon given the hefty pay jumps at stake from here on in!

Vargas chipping up

Lucho Vargas shoved for 975,000 from late position and Gavin Best on the button asked for a count. The dealer broke down the stacks before Best reluctantly let it go.

After getting that one through, next hand Vargas shoved over the top of Alex Lynskey’s open. Lynskey also made a slow fold as Vargas climbs to 1.48 million.

Best busy

Gavin Best opened to 200,000 from button and was called by Alex Lynskey and Ryan Xu in the blinds. The flop fell 767 and it was checked around. 

On the turn 3 it was checked to Best who bet 325,000. 

Lynskey called but Xu folded. 

The river 10 saw both players check and Lynskey mucked when Best showed 93. Best is back up to 4.62 million.

Dustin Jung eliminated in 7th ($15,518)

Lucho Vargas shoved from middle position and a short-stacked Dustin Jung called without looking from the big blind.

To his surprise he rolled over 44 and it was off to the races against the KQ of Vargas.

The flop came down J85 but with Jung on the precipice the dealer accidentally knocked over the shoe! Insisting they were confident which cards were to be drawn next, the floor was called over to adjudicate.

Jung put his hands behind his head as the table waited for the cameras to make a decision, his tournament life on the line

“Are you guys nervous or what?” asked Lynskey, drawing a nervous chuckle from those involved. When it was confirmed the hand could continue, the dealer immediately drew the 10 to end Jung’s tournament before a meaningless 9 landed on the river.

Level 27: 50,000/100,000 (100,000)

Jeremy Winlaw eliminated in 8th ($12,459).

Ryan Xu opened from late position, then called when Jeremy Winlaw announced he was all-in from the blinds.

Xu showed KJ but Winlaw looked set to double when he flopped a set holding 1010 on a 10A3 flop. 

The turn 5 was no help to Xu but the river Q was as he made Broadway to send another one to the rail.

Jeremy Winlaw

Qais Shanasa eliminated in 9th ($9,405)

Alex Lynskey opened in middle position and Qais Shanasa shoved from the button. Lynskey made the call and it was off to the races with Lynskey holding 1010 against the KQ of Shanasa.

No help arrived for Shanasa on the 3A625 as the field is cut down to eight players remaining.

Qais Shanasa

Lynskey doubles through Best

Alex Lynskey has been the action man early on Day 3 and after taking a few early hits has just doubled through at the expense of our chip leader Gavin Best.

Best opened to 160,000 from the hijack and Lynskey 3-bet to 415,000 from the cut-off. It folded back around to Best who announced he was all-in. Lynskey snap-called and rolled over KK to be well ahead of Best’s A5.

The board ran out 7J1036 and Lynskey is back in the game

Gavin Best – 7 million
Alex Lynskey – 3.6 million

Vargas doubles

Lucho Vargas shoved for his remaining 310,000 from the button holding 88 and was called by Alex Lynskey with KJ.

It was off to the races and Vargas survived his first test of the day as the board ran out Q2347.

He moves to 730,000 while Lynskey falls back to 2.25 million.

Best takes from Lynskey 

On a board reading 10A104, Gavin Best bet 325,000 and Alex Lynskey made the call.

The river was the 3 and Lynskey this time led out for 525,000. Best snap-called and showed AQ with Lynskey having missed his flush draw holding 89.

Gavin Best – 8 million
Alex Lynskey – 2.63 million

Alex Lynskey

Best hands

Our chip leader Gavin Best has wasted no time today, opening the first hand of the afternoon from the button and forcing folds from the blinds, then stealing the blinds again from the cut-off on Hand #2. He’s moved above 5.5 million.

Cash incentive

This is what the remaining nine players are playing for today:


Shuffle up and deal

The floor staff have started the clock and we’re underway here at the final table! There are around 40 minutes left of Level 26 at the start of today’s play.

Level 26: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia and our live coverage of the 2021 Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series Main Event!

Today represents the culmination of a huge 10 days of action here at The Star Coast as the crème de la crème of Queensland’s poker crop came out in force for the first casino-based tournament series Australia-wide since this same venue hosted the WPTDeepStacks in May.

It all pointed to a huge Main Event and we haven’t been disappointed with 475 entries creating a hefty $475,000 prize pool and a $94,046 for our eventual champion. 

Leading the way heading into today’s final table is Gavin Best with a little north of 5.2 million in chips, although he will undoubtedly be looking over his shoulder with young guns Josh Norvock and Alex Lynskey not far behind.

Josh Norvock came into this event fresh off winning three titles at the most recent Check Raise Poker Championships, while Alex Lynskey is already one of the most feared men on the global poker felt and will be looking to improve on his third-place finish in the WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast Main Event at this very venue in May.

Lynskey, of course, was a member of the November Nine at the 2018 WSOP and was WSOP International Circuit Sydney champion that same year – just a few of his many accomplishments in recent times.

The final table kicks off at 12.30pm AEST (1.30pm AEDT) and PMA will be here for the whole journey as well look to hail another Aussie poker champion!

Final table line-up

1Alex Lynskey4,090,000
2Dustin Jung755,000
3Ryan Xu3,065,000
4Qais Shanasa1,600,000
5Josh Norvock4,360,000
6Jeremy Winlaw1,455,000
7Lucho Vargas510,000
8Martin Ward2,715,000
9Gavin Best5,230,000

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