LIVE REPORTING: Stacked Poker Championship PLO5

Jacyn Che wins Australia’s first PLO5 title

Jacyn Che has claimed a slice of Australian poker history as winner of the first ever PLO5 event to be held as part of a major poker series. 

What began as a novel experiment based around a game that has grown increasingly popular in South Australia in recent times ultimately saw a massive 121 entries, creating a prize pool of some $37,510 – the largest of this Stacked Poker Championship to date.

Part of that was due to the “loose” nature of the field: at one stage all six players seated at a table agreed to get it all-in pre-flop and essentially flip for a massive pot. Max Chea was the beneficiary, eventually taking that stack all the way to a runner-up finish. 

But despite the carnival atmosphere early on, play became more serious as the re-entry period ended and the money bubble approached. At least five players held the chip lead at various stages of the final table, including 2021 Stacked Poker Championship Main Event winner Michael Haddad.

But the tables turned when Che won a massive pot against him four-handed holding a five-card hand with two Aces against a five-card hand with two Kings for Haddad.

Che would still enter heads-up play with Chea facing a deficit and at one stage that deficit blew out to 4:1. But Che maintained discipline, picked his spots and after twice doubling through his heads-up opponent eventually sealed the deal shortly before 3am local time.

Che takes home $10,200 for his efforts and the title of Australia’s first ever PLO5 champion!

Max Chea eliminated in 2nd ($7,500)

Max Chea held a 4:1 chip lead at one stage of the heads-up battle, but after finding himself on the wrong end of two all-ins, the final hand saw him farewell the remainder of his stack thanks to running cards for Jacyn Che on the turn and river.

The duo got it all in pre with Chea holding 7889Q to Che’s 35679.

The AKJ flop was safe enough for Chea, but the turn 3 and river 3h gave Che trips and with it the title!

Max Chea

Last level … literally!

It should be noted that the last hour of play was all played with blinds at 50,000/100,000. This was because the tournament staff never actually expected the PLO5 event to last as long as it has, so they only programmed in 22 levels.

That’s a credit to just how popular this event has been with 121 entries ensuring the biggest prize pool of the series to date!

Michael Haddad eliminated in 3rd ($5,400)

Much like Chris Edgar, Michael Haddad was crippled shortly before his exit, running his Kings into the Aces of Jacyn Che who flopped a set and rivered a full house just to rub it in.

Haddad busted at the hands of Che moments later to leave us heads-up for the title.

Chris Edgar eliminated in 4th ($4,100)

Chris Edgar was crippled after getting it all-in holding two Aces in his hands and finding himself up against the Kings of Max Chea. Chea flopped a set, leaving Edgar with just 100,000.

Two hands later, both Chea and Michael Haddad called Edgar’s all-in and Chea finished the job he started, rivering a King-high straight holding the K10 on a Q82J9 board.

We are down to three.

Level 22: 50,000/100,000

Joe Sandaev eliminated in 5th ($3,100)

Michael Haddad potted to 210,000 and Joe Sandaev called. On the 476 flop Sanjaev announced he was all-in and Haddad called.

It was Sanjaev with A10527 against the AJK68 of Haddad and when the J hit the turn and 8 on the river it was Haddad who had completed his flush to soar to over 1.2 million.

Damien Mills eliminated in 6th ($2,350)

Damien Mills shoved his short stack from the small blind and Michael Haddad called from the big blind.

Mills showed AJ6Q2 but it was Haddad who turned the straight holding 79 on a 3856J board.

We are now down to five players remaining as Haddad moves to 890,000.

Level 21: 30,000/60,000

Updated stacks

Max Chea900,000
Michael Haddad720,000
Jacyn Che630,000
Joe Sanjaev425,000
Damien Mills250,000
Chris Edgar200,000

Level 20: 20,000/40,000

Huge pot for Che

Michael Haddad opened to 60,000 and Jaycn Che 3-bet all-in to 225,000. Joe Sanjaev then announced he was all-in with Haddad tanking before making the call.

“I feel lucky,” he said as he tabled 1023J10. He was well behind however with Che’s hand including a pair of Aces and Sanjaev a pair of Kings.

When the board ran out 23JA7, both Che and Sanjaev had made flushes with Che holding the nuts to soar towards the chip lead.

Jacyn Che880,000
Joe Sanjaev700,000
Michael Haddad85,000

Lionel Shea eliminated in 7th ($1,750)

Joe Sanjaev opened to 60,000 and Max Chea called, as did Lionel Shea in the big blind. 

On a flop of J45, Shea put his remaining 35,000 into the middle and both players called. The turn was the 8 and the river the A, with Shea mucking as Chea showed all three of the other Aces in his hand for the rivered set.

Level 19: 15,000/30,000

Nick Panagopoulos eliminated in 8th ($1,300)

Nick Panagopoulos shoved for his remaining 130,000 and Joe Sanjaev made the call. Panagopoulos needed his pocket Kings to hold against Sanjaev’s 689J10 and he was in decent shape when he rivered a set, but the river gave Sanjaev a straight as the board ran out Q94K8.

Sanjaev is now up to 250,000.

Final table chip counts

1Joe Sanjaev100,000
2Max Chea375,000
3Damien Mills630,000
4Nick Panagopoulos140,000
5Michael Haddad870,000
6Chris Edgar280,000
7Jacyn Che230,000
8Lionel Seah 110,000

Jin Lee eliminated in 9th ($1,000)

Michael Haddad opened to 50,000 and Jin Lee potted to 164,000. Haddad thought for some time before making the call.

Lee then moved in blind as the dealer spread a flop of Q95. Haddad called to find himself trailing the Aces of Jin with 5610JQ. The turn 7 and river J gave Haddad the flush and ended Jin’s tournament.

We know have our final table of eight.

Level 18: 10,000/20,000

Matt Dapollonio eliminated in 10th ($800)

We were busy taking some photos at Table 1 when we saw Matt Dapollonio heading to the cage. As Max Chea explained to us, Dapollonio flopped top set while Chea had a flush draw and double gutter.

The straight got there and Dapollonio is out the door, while Chea moves to 410,000.

Level 17: 7,000/14,000

Dave Ewing busted on money bubble

Omaha specialist Dave Ewing got his remaining 130,000 in the middle with a set of 7s on a board reading KJ76 but needed to dodge plenty of outs with Jin Lee showing a low wrap and a flush draw.

The river 3 was one of the cards Jin needed, completing his wrap and sending Ewing to the rail.

We are now in the money with 10 players remaining!

Chip counts

Damien Mills510,000
Michael Haddad500,000
Jin Lee330,000
Max Chea310,000
Jacyn Che285,000
Matt Dapollonio185,000
Nick Panagopoulos160,000
Chris Edgar155,000
Joe Sanjaev150,000
Dave Ewing130,000
Lionel Seah 130,000

Level 16: 5,000/10,000

Slow as she goes

The sheer number of re-entries in today’s event means that we are now surprisingly deep sitting on the bubble with an average stack of 275,000 or 34 big blinds.

As such, play has slowed considerably on the bubble with no one in urgent need of taking any risks. It could be a long one folks!

Bubble snapshot

Level 15: 4,000/8,000

Pipped at the post

On a 5610 flop, Michael Haddad led out for 60,000 and Jin Lee called. Pip Chea then shoved for a little under 200,000 with only Haddad making the call.

The cards were flipped over and it was Haddad holding the most slender of leads with A8779 against the AQ789 of Chea.

Incredibly, the turn 5 and river J were both bricks, meaning Haddad scooped the pot with only his pair of 7s.

Chea hits the rail and we are down to 11. We’re on the bubble!

Mills applies the pressure

After opening in late position and receiving a call out of the blinds from Jin Lee, Daniel Mills called a bet of 55,000 from Jin on a flop of J28.

Jin checked the 5 turn and Mills potted for 173,000. Jin thought for a good minute before reluctantly folding.

He falls back to 400,000 while Mills has more than 500,000.

Level 14: 3,000/6,000

Seal drowns

Michael Haddad called in mid-position before Emmanuel Seal bumped it up to 22,500. Jin Lee cold-called and Michael Haddad came along for the ride.

On a flop of 5710, Haddad checked to seal who pushed forward his remaining 24,000. Jin quickly called and Haddad folded.

“Have you got the flush?” Seal asked?

“Yep, and a straight flush draw,” said Jin as he showed the 46.

Seal need running cards with his pocket Queens but couldn’t find what he needed and hit the rail. Jin is now up to around 525,000 with 14 players remaining.

Che steals one

Three players limped in to take a flop of K69. Joe Sandaev then bet 12,000 with both Jaycn Che and Matt Dapollonio making the call.

When the turn landed J, it was checked to Che who fired 50,000.

Dapollonio thought long and hard before folding, as did Sandaev.

Che then cheekily showed his hand as a wrap, which didn’t please Dapollonio who had folded JJ.

Jaycn Che375,000
Joe Sanjaev185,000
Matt Dapollonio160,000

Level 13: 2,500/5,000

Break time

Players are now on a 10-minute break.

Jin jumping for joy

On a 58J flop, Nick Williams was all in for 68,000 and Jin Lee had potted over the top – enough to put “AC” all-in. He made the call to make it monster three-way pot but needing help with a wrap against the top set of Williams and nut flush draw held by Jin.

Instead, it was the K that landed on the turn to give Jin the nuts and when the river didn’t pair for Williams both he and “AC” were heading for the exit.

Meanwhile Jin is now pushing towards the overall chip lead with 450,000.

Jin Lee



Level 12: 2,000/4,000

Double for Croc

The money went all-in on the turn with Jin Lee showing pocket 5s for the flopped set on a board of 5AK9. It wasn’t enough for the lead though with Billy “The Croc Argyros” having flopped a set of Aces.

The river was the 8 to help Argyros to a much-needed double up.

Jin Lee195,000
Billy Argyros125,000

Mickus kickus the bucket

On a board reading 6JQK, “Mickus” shipped for his remaining 32,400 and Michael Haddad stood to examine his cards.

“I know you’ve got the straight,” he said. “But I have too many outs to fold.”

He eventually called, showing KQ688 and needing any K, Q, 6 or diamond to send Mickus to the rail. The 6 duly fell on the river as Haddad climbs ever higher to 390,000.

Level 11: 1,500/3,000

The big stacks

Damien Mills400,000
Michael Haddad320,000
Jacyn Che315,000
Max Chea195,000
Jin Lee190,000

History in the making

With the re-entry period now closed, play will now continue in a freezeout format.

We believe this is the first PLO5 tournament in a major tournament series in Australia … and what a warm welcome it’s been with a total of 121 entries creating a prize pool of $37,510!

We will bring you the payouts shortly.

Level 10: 1,200/2,400

To re-enter or not to re-enter

We’ve reached the end of the re-entry period, with players given one more hand to double up or head to the cage!

Anyone with less than starting stack (25,000) has the option to surrender their chips and re-enter before the start of Level 10.

Nick knocking

Frank Pezzaniti opened to 5,000 and received two callers as they took a flop of QJ2. Joe Sandaev checked it to Pezzaniti who fired 11,800, only for Nick Panagopoulos to bump it up to 52,000.

Sandaev folded and Pezzaniti thought long and hard before eventually calling.

With the 2 landing on the turn, the rest of the money went in and it was Panagopoulos with the dominating JJ that had Pezzaniti dead in the water with only the naked AQ.

Nick Panagopoulos – 130,000
Frank Pezzaniti – 58,000

Extended rego

The floor staff have made an executive decision to extend the re-entry period for one extra level given the huge amount of action we’ve seen to this point.

Although each of the five tables has been capped at a maximum of eight players (due to each player being dealt five cards each hand), there are already 114 entries with the prize pool currently sitting at an impressive $34,200.

Level 9: 1,000/2,000

Break it up

Players are now on a 10-minute beak.

Stacking up

“Hey media,” called Michael Haddad to our intrepid reporter. “Have you told the world that I’ve knocked out 67 players?”

While that might be a slight exaggeration, it’s true that Haddad has sent plenty to the rail. He is currently second in chips with around 280,000.

Eager Edgar

Four players took a flop of 4106 before one led out for 3,500. Emmanuel Seal called but Chris Edgar bumped it up to 25,000. The original bettor announced he was all-in, Seal folded and Edgar called.

After the turn fell J and the river the 8, it was Edgar whose wrap got home as he showed the 79 to scoop the pot.

He sits right on 200,000 in chips.

Chris Edgar

Level 8: 800/1,600

Croc’s craic

Australian Poker Hall of Famer Billy “The Croc” Argyros will be hosting a special Main Event qualifier tomorrow night here at Stacked Social, with not one, not two, but TEN seats guaranteed, plus a whole heap of bonus giveaways!

Crocky sat down with PMA‘s Ben Blaschke in between hands to have a chat about his satellite soiree.

As slippery as a Seal

We caught the action with the board reading 5KQ76 and the stacks of Emmanuel Seal and Billy Argyros both in the middle.

It was Seal holding KKJ710 with the win as Argyros showed his pocket rockets. 

“What are you doing with that shit?” Seal asked his good mate as he scooped the pot to send Argyros back to the cage.

Seal moves to 170,000 with that hand.

Level 7: 600/1,200

Slim pickings

Michael Mariakis pushed his desperately short stack into the middle from early position and it was folded around to Michael Haddad who potted. Josh Kelty made the call as they took a flop of 384.

Haddad announced pot and Kelty announced he was all-in, with Haddad making the call.

With the turn 2 and river 10, it was Kelty scooping the largest chunk of chips by simply pairing an 8 while Mariakis tripled up with A5 for the wheel.

Michael Haddad – 150,000
Josh Kelty – 120,000

Level 6: 500/1,000

Michael Mariakis – 18,000

The big stacks

Damien Mills370,000
Max Chea270,000
Michael Haddad185,000
Hamid Shaori130,000

Mills on the move

Damien Mills has been on a heater to start today’s play to emerge as a dominant chip leader and he has just added even more after emerging on top from another four-way pre-flop all-in.

Mills held AA4K5 and was never troubled as the board ran out A2Q4Q.

He now has 370,000.

Level 5: 400/800

Break time

Players are now on a 10-minute break.

Faces in the field

Argyros chips up

Damien Mills opened to 1,200 on the button and Roman Priplotski pushed his short stack all-in. Billy Argyros then potted to 17,500 and Mills made the call.

Both Argyros and Mills checked the 78J flop before Argyros potted on the 3 turn. 

Mills folded as Priplotski turned over two pair with his 73. He was well behind Argyros’ 98437 however and when no help arrived on the river it was Argyros scooping the pot.

He now has 80,000, although Mills is a massive chip leader with 340,000 already.

Level 4: 300/600

6-way all-in!

There is plenty of noise coming from Table 5, where their first order of business was to get all six players all-in pre-flop on their first hand.

They duly obliged and it was Max Chea scooping the lot holding KQ on a K8KQ9 board. He instantly has a stack of 150,000 while the rest of the table has already rebought!

Haddad had it

Inaugural Stacked Poker Championship Main Event winner Michael Haddad opened to 500 and received 3 callers.

The flop fell A83 and Haddad potted to 2,100. Only Jon Stark called.

On the 6 turn Haddad potted again and Stark made the call.

The turn was the 2 and Haddad potted it again, putting Stark all-in. He eventually called but mucked when Haddad showed A5.

Haddad moves to 65,000.

Michael Haddad

Level 3: 200/400

Mills fills up

There is no shortage of action here in the Stacked Social poker room and with each player holding five cards and it can be challenging to stay abreast of exactly what’s going on in any given hand.

What we do know is that Damien Mills is the early chip leader after coming out on top in a four-way pre-flop all-in clash.

Mills held 85742 and flopped huge as the board ran out 55683 to end all three of his opponents back to the rego desk.

He now has a hefty 125,000 stack.

Level 2: 100/200

Mills fills up

Damien Mills enjoyed a 6th place finish in the Monster Stack last night and he’s off to a strong start here in the PLO5.

We just caught him clashing with Hamid Shoari on the river of a 4A10QA board, with Mills showing the A4 to best the Qs of Shoari. Shoari is still well-placed after doubling up early, however.

Hamid Shoari – 47,000
Damien Mills – 43,000

Damien Mills

Vale sails in his boat

On a board reading AQQ, Peter Vale bet 4,000 and Shamus Heeman announced he was all-in. It was folded back to Vale who said, “You’re going to show me quads aren’t you? I’ve got Aces obviously.”

He quickly called, showing A8A710 while Heemen only had the single Q with 47Q67.

There was no miracle turn or river to save the say as Vale chips up to 47,000 early.

Peter Vale

Cards are in the air!

Play is underway in the PLO5, with around a dozen players currently seated but plenty more expected as they finish work for the day and reach the venue.

Level 1: 100/100

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia’s coverage of the Stacked Poker Championship (SPC), live from North Adelaide’s Stacked Social.

Today brings us the third event on the SPC schedule and what a fascinating event it promises to be! PLO 5 is a variant of Omaha that has been growing in popularity across Adelaide in recent times, adding an additional layer of complexity to a game that is already known for its wild swings.

PLO5 follows identical rules to traditional PLO except that each player is dealt five cards instead of four, of which two are used in conjunction with the five community cards to make the best hand.

Exactly how much difference does that extra hole card make? Well, while No Limit Hold’em offers up 169 unique potential starting hands and PLO 16,432, PLO5 has a massive 134,459 unique starting hands that can be dealt – and with more cards to choose from the redraw possibilities on any given board can be enormous. Expect to hear a kazillion bad beat stories coming from the Stacked poker room today!

Play kicks off at 6pm sharp and players will be given a starting stack of 25,000 with 20-minute levels. Registration and re-entry is available until the end of Level 8 or a little earlier than 9pm.

It promises to be action-packed so strap in and enjoy the ride!

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