LIVE REPORTING: Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event Day 1A

Locsin locks in the chip lead for Day 1A of the Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event

Lloyd Locsin has been on a flyer today, seizing the chip lead during Level 12 and never looking back, building piles on piles as he finished the day with a massive 818,000.

Speaking with PokerMedia Australia after the conclusion of the day, Locsin said he had been in the zone today, making good reads and acting on instinct as he stormed home.

Asked if there was any key moment, he recalled a hand earlier in the day where an opponent had tripled barrelled on a board of A-4-5-A-9 and he had made the call on every street with just a five and a two kicker; correctly.

“This was the moment, talking about instinct and good reads,” Locsin said. “Watching him, hearing him breathing heavy, looking stiff … when I called, that’s when I knew I was playing well.”

Asked if he had a game plan for Sunday, he responded that he was going to “keep calm and stay focused, and to make and keep making the right decisions at the right times.”

That certainly sounds like a solid plan to us!

Current chipleader Lloyd Locsin

Other players to have bagged for Day 2 include Angel Guillen, Corey Van Jaarsveldt, Aroha Ngata, Janet Wyvil, Rod Meneses, and WPTDeepstacks Gold Coast Main Event Champion Will Davies, whilst it was a tough day at the office for Faraz Ayyaz, Matt Pongrass, Chin Wang, Satul Rayak, and Hasian Hyde.

PokerMedia Australia will return tomorrow at 11.30am for live coverage of Day 1B of the Main Event, to once again bring you all the action from buy-in to bust-out. Thank you for joining us today!

Malice in the Palace

Poker Palace Director Rod Meneses opened the action to 15,000 and Faraz Ayyaz, who has been impressively nursing a short stack all day, shoved his remaining 73,000 from the next seat over.

Action folded around to Geoff Milner in the big blind, who took his time before letting it go. Meneses asked for a count, but eventually called to put Ayyaz at risk.

Ayyaz: AJ
Meneses: A4

Both players flopped top pair AKQ, giving some chop outs to Meneses. He didn’t need them, however, as the board completed 67 to a simple “Ouch” from Ayyaz.

Rod Meneses427,000
Faraz AyyazBUSTED!
Rod Meneses

Angel takes a life

Angel Guillen called the under-the-gun shove of Ratul Sayak when action folded around to him, and cards were tabled. Sayak had run into the worst possible scenario when shoving under-the-gun; someone waking up with pocket rockets.

Sayak: 22
Guillen: AA

The board ran out 94878, improving both players to two pair, but Guillen’s Aces held through to knock out Sayak.

Angel Guillen240,000
Ratul SayakBUSTED!
Ratul Sayak

Moongap flushes Smiljanic

Our Live Reporter picked up the action with a full board showing of J79J4, where Dan Smiljanic had bet 25,000 into a pot of approximately 100k.

Chung Moongap then raised to 75,000, and Smiljanic called. Moongap tabled A10, the flopped nut flush enough to take it down, as Smiljanic flashed the J before mucking.

Chung Moongap351,000
Dan Smiljanic293,000
Chung Moongap

Sportelli sent off

Defending GC Champs title holder, albeit from back in the last iteration of the GC Champs back in 2011, has been eliminated by Michael Brahim.

Sportelli, with a short stack, shoved and was called by Brahim.

Sportelli: J6
Brahim: QJ

Sportelli was his usual animated self as the board ran down 34K7 calling for his outs loudly to the assembled crowd. “Any five, any six, any club!” he called “BINK!….Dammit.” as the river peeled K. “Call with J-Qo, they crazy!”

Sportelli also won the Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event in January for his career biggest score of $76,433. With that elimination, Brahim moves up over 500k.

Michael Brahim505,000
Adrian SportelliBUSTED!
Michael Brahim

Level 15: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

Yiu win some, you lose some

Ali Zebarjad limped under the gun, followed suit by Graham Davies, Zac Vigar on the button, and Geoff Mooney completing the small blind. Ming Yiu took a pause on the big blind, before checking, to see a five way flop of 839 with 30,000 in the pot.

The small blind checked, and Yiu decided to take the initiative at this point, betting 13,000. Zebarjad called, Davies folded, Vigar called, and Mooney folded. With 69,000 now in the pot, the dealer peeled the 4 on the turn. Yiu bet 30,000, again with calls from both Zebarjad and Vigar.

Now with a 159,000 pot created between between them, all three checked the 5 river.

Yiu tabled K9, both Zebarjad and Vigar mucked.

Ming Yiu350,000
Zac Vigar83,500
Ali Zebarjad77,000
Ming Yiu

Level 14: 2,500/5,000 (5,000)

Norvock in control

Josh Norvock has been quietly amassing a stack, and recently added to it.

A player in middle position opened to 8500, called by Norvock on the button, before Dan Smiljanic 3-bet to 30,000 from the big blind. The original raiser folded, and Norvock made the call.

Smiljanic checked the 467 flop and Norvock fired a small bet of 13,000 into the 74,500 pot, called by Smiljanic. Both players then checked through the 9J runout. Smiljanic tabled AQ but Norvock had that beat, tabling 55 to take the pot.

Josh Norvock571,000
Dan Smiljanic381,000
Josh Norvock

Viva Van Jaarsveldt

Corey Van Jaarsveldt has been on the move, eliminating an opponent before crippling another throughout the level.

Van Jaarsveldt defended his big blind from an UTG open which folded all the way around to him, before check-calling 11,000 on the 398 flop. Van Jaarsveldt then elected to lead out for 25,000 on the 8 turn, before check-calling the 65,000 all in of his opponent on the J river.

A few hands later, our live reporter picked up the action with a full board showing of AQ9J7, where Janet Wyvil had checked across to Van Jaarsveldt. Van Jaarsveldt had fired out a bet of 107,000 and action was pending on Wyvil. Wyvil eventually made the call, sliding the remainder of her yellow 5,000 chips forward, leaving herself about 50,000 behind.

Van Jaarsfeldt tabled K10 for the nut straight. “You’re the four out genius!” commented Adrian Sportelli. “You just keep hitting them. Bink, bink, and getting paid!”

Corey Van Jaarsveldt505,000
Janet Wyvil50,000
Corey Van Jaarsveldt

Pongrass mowed

Matt Pongrass has been eliminated, after 3-bet jamming his remaining 75,000 from small blind halfway through Level 13. Russell Fogarty relinquished his big blind, but Morgan Ma, who had opened to 8,000 from UTG+2, made the call relatively quickly.

Pongrass: A8
Ma: JJ

The board ran out 710482 and Ma secured the elimination.

Morgan Ma223,500
Matt PongrassBUSTED!
Morgan Ma

Assorted chip counts

Our chipleaders are starting to take shape!

Lloyd Locsin687,000
Josh Norvock533,500
Matthew Howearth387,000
Graham Davies339,000
Josh McSwiney324,000
Jan Koss297,000
Dan Smiljanic288,000
Josh Duce264,000
Dylan Wayne251,000
Matt Rolfe236,000
Ratul Sayak197,000
Corey Van Jaarsveldt191,500
Aroha Ngata180,500
Janet Wyvil180,000
Geoff Milner178,000
Russell Fogarty170,000
Lawrence Stephenson169,000
Jayden Butler137,000
Matt Pongrass75,000

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)

Break time!

Our remaining players have headed off on their final break of the day – three more 40 minute levels after this break to the end of Day 1!

We will have some chip counts coming for you after the break.

Best bested

Our Live Reporting team was called over to Table 20 by Matt Pongrass, where a big hand was developing.

A player had raised preflop, called by Gavin Best and Lloyd Locsin. The three players saw a flop of 664 and then the action really kicked off.

The initial raiser continued for 8,000 and Lloyd Locsin hit the accelerator, raising to 26,000. Gavin Best put it to the floor, shoving his entire stack into the middle, approximately 126k. The initial raiser then 4-bet jammed over the top, and Locsin called, having both players covered.

Locsin: A7
Best: A6
Opponent: KK

Best had the best of it, flopping trips. Locsin had the Ace high flush draw, and the initial raiser an overpair to the board.

The turn 5 gave Locsin additional outs to the straight, but the river 3 was a dagger in the heart to Best’s day, giving Locsin the Ace high flush.

Gavin Best is no stranger to PMA – he carried the chip lead through to the final table of the GC Summer Series Main Event in December and converted it to a second place, being bested only by WSOP November Niner Alex Lynskey to the title.

Lloyd Locsin454,000
Gavin BestBUSTED!
Lloyd Locsin

Brothers in arms

Josh Duce has finally taken out Mina Elias, who has had a rollercoaster of a day (see below) after winning the PLO Event here two days ago.

The two got it all in preflop and the cards were tabled.

Duce: AK
Elias: A8

Duce held on the runout of 10104J7 to eliminate Elias.

Duce’s brother Zac Duce was on the rail watching his brother, and took the time to speak to PMA about the family’s accomplishments.

“We actually have one more brother at home, Oscar. He doesn’t play much… but if he did, he’d be the best there is, he’s super smart!”

Josh Duce251,500
Mina EliasBUSTED!
Josh Duce

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)

Clash of the titans

Picking up the action on the river, with a board showing 2Q38K, Poker Palace regular Rehman Kassam checked to the action across to Poker Palace tournament director Will Davies, who fired 25,000 before Geoff Milner shoved all in.

Kassam folded, and Davies went deep into the tank before eventually folding behind.

All three players have impressive resumes; Milner has had an impressive string of results since returning to poker, recording 17 cashes this year leading up to the Star Gold Coast Champs. Will Davies won the WPTDeepstacks Main Event here at the Star Gold Coast in May last year, while Kassam, who is actually Will’s roommate, won the $550 Big Bounty Shot Clock only hours ago.

Geoff Milner195,000
Rehman Kassam115,500
Will Davies47,600

Small one for Smiljanic

Dan Smiljanic completed, and Jen Cassell checked her option, with both players seeing a flop of AK9.

Smiljanic led out, and Cassell called. Both players then checked through the 5-4 runout and cards were tabled.

Smiljanic: K5
Cassell: 95

Both players turned two pair but utilised pot control to minimise any potential damage.

Dan Smiljanic235,000
Jen Cassell86,500

Pedler on his bike

Simon Pedler has been eliminated at the hands of chipleader Graham Davies.

The two got it all in preflop and cards were tabled.

Pedler: AK
Davies: JJ

Davies held on the board of 107Q46 to send Pedler home.

Graham Davies334,000
Simon PedlerBUSTED!
Graham Davies

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)

The Elias Saga

Mina Elias has had a rollercoaster of late, moving all of his chips into the middle in four near-consecutive hands.

First, Elias found AQ and got it in versus Robert Spano’s 99. Spano flopped a set on the 7A93J board, and Elias started to walk away. Spano called him back “Hey! Come back, you might still have chips!”

Elias did indeed still have some chips – 1,800 of them, to be exact, less than one big blind. The very next hand, Elias called all in from the hijack. Adrian Sportelli limped the button, Aroha Ngata completed the small blind, and the big blind checked. Action checked through board of J-J-X-X-X and Elias turned over K-K, the two pair good to take down the pot, moving up to 9,200.

The very next hand, Elias shoved that 9,200 straight back in from the ‘lojack’, following an open to 4,200 from an unnamed opponent, and received no callers. To everyone’s amazement, Elias tabled KK for back-to-back pocket kings! He moved up to 18,400.

Two hands later, Elias again shoved, this time from middle position. He was called by Fletcher Smith.

Smith: KQ

Elias held through the jack high board and after finding three pocket pairs in four hands, now nears his original starting stack.

Tablemate Adrian Sportelli had our Live Reporter laughing as he commented “If you get one more pocket pair, seriously, I’m calling the cops!”

Fletcher Smith265,000
Robert Spano73,000
Mina Elias42,800

Tomeny fades the Royal

Michael Tomeny has doubled through Josh McSwiney early in Level 10, getting it in preflop with KK. McSwiney tabled AQ.

The flop fell J49, and the turn K gave Tomeny top set – but McSwiney picked up a Royal Flush draw. Unfortunately for McSwiney, the river was the J to fill up Tomeny.

Josh McSwiney211,800
Michael Tomeny83,400
Michael Tomeny

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)

Assorted chip counts at the break

Graham Davies339,100
Matthew Howearth276,500
Lawrence Stephenson270,800
Josh McSwiney251,000
Josh Duce240,200
Jayden Butler167,000
Corey Van Jaarsveldt162,600
Shem Goltz152,700
Janet Wyvil152,000
Russell Fogarty138,100
Dylan Wayne136,500
Aroha Ngata126,200
Attila Bognar125,300
Jaisan Patel100,600
Jarrod Thatcher100,000
Jonny Rodden86,600
Anthony Cierco76,100

Maddocks marauded

Mike Maddocks 3-bet jammed for 29,000 over the 3,200 open from Nikki Lewis. Lewis made the call.

Maddocks: A3
Lewis: KQ

Maddocks possibly taking on a high variance spot just prior to the end of late registration, flopped gold on the A410 flop – but the turn and river KK was running trips for Lewis, sending the pot her way.

Nikki Lewis76,000
Mike MaddocksBUSTED!
Nikki Lewis

Juan for the books

Juan Arevalo has been flying today but was just savaged and knocked out in brutal fashion.

Action recounted to us by the dealer on the table during the break, Graham Davies limped UTG+1 and action folded all the way around to Arevalo on the big blind, who checked to see a flop of A87. Arevalo check-called a bet of 2,500 from Davies.

The turn Q dropped and Arevalo again check-called, this time a bet of 5,500 from Davies.

The river then fell A and Arevalo hit the hammer, shoving for “around 100k”, according to the dealer. Davies gave a little sigh and called in short order.

Arevalo tabled 77 for a full house, but Davies had Greenstein’d him – the ace on the river giving him Aces full with A8. Davies flew up to the chip lead with this pot.

Graham Davies339,100
Juan ArevaloBUSTED!
Graham Davies

Vigar on the up

Zac Vigar has cracked Aces to send his stack up the counts – the action is unknown.

Vigar: A3
Opponent: AA

Vigar hit the nuts on a 925K3 board.

Besides him, Shem Goltz has amassed a stack over 200k. The players have now headed off for a break.

Shem Goltz240,000
Zac Vigar160,000
Shem Goltz

Grube goneski

Taylor Grube, who finished 3rd in the Star Gold Coast Champs PLO the other day, has been eliminated after a preflop raising war with Josh McSwiney.

McSwiney opened the action to 3,600, action folded over to Grube who 3-bet to 11,200. Action folded all the way back around to McSwiney who put the ultimate pressure on with a 4-bet shove for over 100k. Grube called, and it was off to the races.

Grube: AK
McSwiney: JJ

McSwiney had the premium pockets, and was able to fade the overcards on the 610Q62 runout to eliminate Grube.

Josh McSwiney253,200
Taylor GrubeBUSTED!
Josh McSwiney

Level 9: 800/1,600 (1,600)

Bye bye Blanusa

Neb Blanusa has run into trouble twice in quick succession in Level 8, getting it all in preflop twice.

In the first hand, Blanusa had KQ and ran into the 1010 of Juan Arevalo. The board ran out QJQ109, Blanusa hitting trip Queens and then running into a backdoor straight; but the Ten on the turn filled up Arevalo, sending Blanusa spiralling down the counts.

Shortly later, Blanusa again got it in preflop, this time with JJ, but ran headlong into the QQ of Michael Blake. The board didn’t come anywhere near either hand, running all low cards 59235. Blanusa’s bullet is over, but he can still re-enter should he chose, with just over an hour left of late registration.

Juan Arevalo116,000
Michael Blake107,400
Neb BlanusaBUSTED!
Juan Arevalo

Hiding in the Pongrass

Josh Norvock opened the action to 6,000 and Kane Peters flat called from the next seat over. Immediately to Peters left, an opponent shoved their stack in. Action folded around to Matt Pongrass, who didn’t hesitate, re-jamming over the top of everybody.

Norvock called off, and Peters laughed “Well, I did this to get this action!” before folding.

Norvock: AQ
Opponent: A9
Pongrass: JJ

Pongrass had woken up behind the action with jiggities and flopped both opponents dead. The board ran out 33J87; the full house on the flop sending Pongrass up the chip counts.

Matt Pongrass126,000
Josh NorvockBUSTED!
Matt Pongrass

The rich get richer

Lawrence Stephenson has certainly been busy since being coolered earlier today – losing with A-A against A-K – but recently took down a hand to be the first player over the 200,000 chip mark.

Chin Wang opened the action to 3,000, Stephenson called, before the big blind squeezed to 13,500. Wang and Stephenson both called to see a flop of QQ9. Wang checked it over, and Stephenson took the initiative, betting 12,500. Both the original raiser and Wang folded.

Chin Wang has since been eliminated.

Lawrence Stephenson210,800
Chin WangBUSTED!
Lawrence Stephenson

Level 8: 600/1,200 (1,200)

Davies gets one

Will Davies, winner of the WPTDS Main Event here at this venue in May last year, has just doubled through Ali Zebarjad.

We caught the action right at the end of the hand; with a completed board showing K6785, Zebarjad’s hand was mucked but confirmed as A6. Zebarjad had Davies completely crushed on the flop, but the runner runner straight for Davies’ A4 came through as he doubled back up to starting stack.

Will Davies47,100
Ali Zebarjad14,800
Ali Zebarjad

Some updated chip counts

Lawrence Stephenson177,500
Russell Fogarty174,300
Morgan Ma171,000
Jayden Butler147,000
Ratul Sayak138,000
Anthony Cierco127,100
Jaisan Patel125,000
Corey Van Jaarsveldt116,500
Aroha Ngata115,000
Angel Guillen103,400
Attila Bognar92,000
Nikki Lewis87,200
Chin Wang55,600
Adrian Sportelli49,800
Gavin Best45,800

Abernethy to the rescue!

There’s been a glitch in the Matrix today that has resulted in a delay with uploading images onto the blog, however Gold Coast local and IT professional Craig Abernethy stopped by the PokerMedia Australia hot desk and was able to fix the issue.

Craig is also the mastermind behind Australian Poker Schedule, a brand-new website which ranks every listed tournament structure through an innovative S-Rating points system.

Thank you all for your continued support of PMA and be sure to check out so you can start adding in those all-important diary dates!

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)

Well done, Wheldon

Andrew Wheldon has secured a huge boost to his stack, getting it all in preflop against two opponents with the best hand in poker.

Wheldon: AA
Mitch Bognar: AK
Opponent: 99

The board completed 7A726; Wheldon flopped a rare near certainty and turned both opponents dead to move up to 99,000 in chips.

Players have now left for a 10 minute break.

Andrew Wheldon99,000
Mitch BognarBUSTED!


“GOTTEM!” was the cry as Adrian Sportelli fist-pumped the air, after Angel Guillen folded to his river shove.

On a board showing K4593 with 35,800 in the pot, Sportelli had shoved for 30,800, putting Guillen to the test as Guillen had Sportelli barely covered with just 39,200 behind. After a long tank, with an apology to his tablemates, Guillen eventually let his hand go.

Reigning Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event Champion Sportelli jubilantly tabled AJ and let out the war cry.

Adrian Sportelli66,600
Angel Guillen39,200
Angel Guillen


Mal Chapman limped UTG and Alexander Kollis opened the action to 1,600. the cut-off and big blind called, before Chapman limp-shoved his remaining 17,300. Kollis quickly called, and the other players quickly got out of the way.

Chapman: AK
Kollis: 44

It was a standard race, but on a board of 1053A5, Chapman spiked the Ace on the turn to double up.

Alexander Kollis 97,200
Mal Chapman37,400

Level 6: 400/800 (800)

Marshalling the deuce

Action a’plenty on Table 20 as action folded to Michael Tomeny in middle position, who open shoved his remaining 29,800. Michael Mariakis then 3-bet shoved from the cut-off, and Brett Marshall called from the button before both blinds got out of the way.

Tomeny: 1010
Mariakis: AK
Marshall: 22

Tomeny was ahead with the best pocket pair, dominating Marshall suits and all; but racing against Mariakis, who hit hard on the 6K8 flop to take the lead. The turn A prompted a “well, that’ll do it” comment from a railbird, causing Marshall to give them a look of indignation.

Marshall’s feelings were immediately vindicated as the dealer dropped the 2 to give Marshall a set, the knockout of Tomeny, and most of Mariakis’ chips in a huge pot. Tomeny headed off to the re-entry desk; this tournament allows for unlimited re-entries.

Brett Marshall75,000
Michael Mariakis28,400
Michael TomenyBUSTED!

Level 5: 300/600 (600)

Cheerio Giuriolo

Stefano Giuriolo has been eliminated in the most unfortunate of coolers. PMA’s Live Reporter was beckoned over to a table where there was a three way all in.

Hasian Hyde and Nikki Lewis were the other two players in the hand.

Hyde: AA
Lewis: AA
Guiriolo: KK

Jubilation and instant regret for Guiriolo, who had run into not one, but TWO pocket rockets. The board ran 1022910, no one improving and Guiriolo sent to the rebuy desk.

“You can say that was a cold 7-bet shove!” commented tablemate Corey van Jaarsveldt, signifying Hyde.

Hasian Hyde71,700
Nikki Lewis58,200
Stefano GuirioloBUSTED!
Hasian Hyde

Bevan gets one through

Ricky Kroesen opened the action from the button to 1,000, defended by Matt Bevan on the big blind.

The flop came down J96 and both players checked, before Bevan check-raised on the turn K – amounts are approximate but as recalled to us by Dylan Wayne, Kroesen bet about half pot (1,300) and Bevan raised to three times that (3,900).

Bevan again check-raised Kroesen’s one third pot bet on the river, to about four times Kroesen’s bet, and Kroesen open-folded Aces into the middle of the table.

Bevan then shocked the table by showing a stone cold air ball: 103

Matt Bevan64,600
Ricky KroesenBUSTED!

Level 4: 200/400 (400)

Players on a break

The players have left on a 20 minute break. Here are some updated counts and notable names.

Russell Fogarty137,000
Yefei Han110,800
Jen Cassell96,900
Attila Bognar89,200
Anthony Cierco77,800
Nuno Da Silva68,500
Chin Wang63,700
Corey Van Jaarsveldt63,400
Charles Caris53,200
Hussein Hassan48,600
Sam Haddad12,200

Fogarty fades half the deck

Recounted to us afterwards by the table, Russell Fogarty managed to fade practically half the deck to build up a stack recently.

On a board of J8109, Andrej Sanic bet 25,000 before Fogarty shoved. Dennis Huntly re-jammed and Sanic made the call.

Sanic: Q10
Fogarty: KQ
Huntly: J8.

Fogarty had the nut straight made, but needed to fade any Jack, Eight, club, or heart – a total of twenty four outs – to actually win the hand.

He was able to, as the dealer peeled the 3 river to launch his stack to the moon, while Huntly heads off to rebuy.

Russell Fogarty137,000
Andrej Senic27,000
Dennis HuntlyBUSTED!
Russell Fogarty

Smiljanic sets off

On a board showing 10J8AK with 11,400 in the pot, Yefei Han opened to 5,500. Lawrence Stephenson made the call before Dan Smiljanic shoved his remaining 16,900 into the middle, sending Han into the tank.

Eventually Han called. Stephenson folded, and Smiljanic tabled 88 before Han tabled KQ for Broadway.

“Why did you tank?” said Smiljanic. “He wanted my money” interjected Stephenson, to agreement from Han.

Immediately afterwards, Stephenson was involved in another hand, raising preflop and getting three callers to a flop of KKK, which everyone checked, before Adrian King led out 1,200 on the 9 turn, called by Chin Wang and Stephenson. King bet 3,600 on the 7 river, called only by Stephenson and both quickly tabled their hands.

King: AK
Stephenson: AA

Yefei Han117,100
Adrian King67,600
Lawrence Stephenson17,800
Dan SmiljanicBUSTED!
Yefei Han

Level 3: 200/300 (300)

Late arrivals

Some big names have arrived in the last level of play.

Frenchman Anthony Cierco, who has had nearly $100,000 in cashes in the last two months, has taken his seat on Table 8. Cierco won the Alpha3 Event at the recent WPTL QPC for $61,360, before finishing second in the Star Gold Coast Champs Opening Event for $34,750.

Sitting right next to Cierco is Sam Haddad, who also has nearly $100,000 in cashes in the last few months. Haddad won the GC Summer Series Opening Event in November last year for $41,867, before a second place finish at the Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event in January for $53,508.

Also taking a seat is South Australian ex-pat Chin Wang, fresh off winning the Star Gold Coast Champs Big Wave two days ago for $22,498, who came second to Haddad in the aforementioned Opening Event last November. Wang earned $29,347 for that effort, and backed it up with third place in the APT Brisbane Season V Main Event for $27,000 in January.

You gotta believe!

A pot developing on Table 18 with 13,500 in the pot so far on a board showing J963, where action had checked around to Andrew Braun on the button.

Braun bet 8,000, and yesterday’s PLO Champion Mina Elias got out of the way, but Juan Arevalo made the call from the hijack.

The river fell 4 and Arevalo quickly checked, before Braun cut out 12,000 in chips and slid them forward. Arevalo thought about it for a while, but then made the call.

“You have a set?” said Arevalo before Braun tabled KJ. Arevalo looked surprised, then tabled QQ, the overpair good enough to take it down.

“You didn’t believe me?” said Braun. Arevalo responded “I did believe you, I’m just a fish!”

Juan Arevalo83400
Andrew Braun28200
Mina Elias

Level 2: 100/200 (200)

Turn of dreams

Attila Bognar has picked up a healthy pot very early on. Our Live Reporter picked up the action on a board of K98, with 2,800 already in the pot preflop.

Action had been checked around to Bognar, who led out for 800. The player in the big blind called, as did Chris Wookey from middle position, and all three players saw a A on the turn.

Action again checked to Bognar, who bet 4,000 into the pot of 5200. The big blind got out the way, and Wookey came along to see a 2.

Wookey checked, Bognar bet 6,500, and then Wookey took a little time before announcing a check-raise to 18,000, throwing out a single 25,000 chip. Bognar looked a little flummoxed, but called without much delay, to see Wookey table AK.

Bognar would have been loving that turn card, though, as he tabled 88 for bottom set on the flop. Wookey rapped the table to signify nice hand as the pot was pushed across to Bognar.

Attila Bognar67,000
Chris Wookey25,900
Atilla Bognar

Familiar faces

With action in the Main Event barely underway, plenty of familiar faces have already taken their seats in Star Poker Gold Coast’s spacious poker room.

Walking around the room, we’ve seen GC Summer Series headliner Mark Ericksen, and yesterday’s PLO Champion Mina Elias.

Also already seated are locals Kane Peters, Bert Perry, Aroha Ngata, and Jen Cassell. Charles “Chuck Caris” of the Cyprus Poker club is also seated, along with LCA Poker Commentator Corey Van Jaarsveldt on the same table.

The Main Event is a go!

Following the always entertaining pre-flight performance from Velvet Rope Entertainment, Tournament Director Jason Whimp has announced Shuffle Up and Deal!

Play commences at 100/100 with a 100 big blind ante. 72 players have taken their seats at the start of Level 1, with late registration open until the end of Level 10 – 6 hours and 40 minutes into the flight.

Day 1 continues up until the end of Level 15: 3,000/6,000 (6,000).

Level 1: 100/100 (100)

Hello, and welcome to PokerMedia Australia’s live coverage of the Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event!

This Star Gold Coast Champs is the latest in a string of elite poker events for the Star Entertainment Group in Queensland, continuing on from the success of last year’s WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast, the Star Poker Gold Coast Summer Series and the most recent Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival, won by the dynamic Adrian Sportelli.

Adrian Sportelli

Coincidentally, Sportelli is also the reigning champion in this Main Event, having shipped it way, way back in 2011, however we are expecting possibly one of the toughest fields ever assembled now that interstate borders are open.

Today represents the first of two Day 1 flights, with play kicking off at 12.30pm local time (1.30pm AEDT). Day 1B will take place tomorrow, before the survivors combine on Sunday for Day 2, with the final table to be played on Monday.

PMA will provide full coverage from beginning to bust-out, so stay tuned to as we bring you all the action live from The Star Gold Coast!

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