All heart: Warnke, Mirza shine at APT Sydney

Dylan Warnke’s decision to grind out the APT Sydney series has paid off big time, winning almost $10,000 in prize money and three trophies.

The 25-year-old, who ventured down to Campbelltown from Lismore, made a last-minute change of plans to stay and play midway through the the week, finished on top of the Sapphire Tier Player of the Series (POTS) leader board after winning both the Accelerator and PokerShop 200, as well as making the final table of the Bounty Event.

Warnke sported a completely different look for his two official winner’s portraits, revealing to PokerMedia Australia that he had taken a moment for some self-care after enduring a great deal of trauma, having fallen victim to a violent carjacking last October before being caught in the midst of the recent flooding throughout the Northern Rivers region.

“I didn’t like my look in the Accelerator’s winner’s photo,” Warnke explained, “so I got a shave and a haircut to look and feel my best, because I knew if I took down the PokerShop 200 I’d lock up the Sapphire POTS race – and I did it!”

“I focused so hard on my goals, folded a lot of big hands and played my spots well.  Three trophies in the one series … I’m so, so proud of my achievements.  It makes my heart soar.”

Noman Mirza

It was also a massive week for Queensland grinder Noman Mirza, who took home the Diamond POTS title after three final table appearances which included victory in the Big Bounty. Mirza now joins an ever-growing list of players on the verge of completing the mid-tier Triple Crown, having won his first QPC ring in Tweed Heads late last month.

There were plenty of notables back in the winner’s circle, with Australian Poker Mindset guru Brendon Rubie defeating John Caridad heads-up in the Big PLO. Greg Hoy also brought in his good form from APLPT Sydney II with victory in The Grind, while Melbourne poker veteran Stephen ‘The Big Show’ Topakas clinched The Goliath for almost $59,000 in cash.

And in other major results, Robert Hill took out the coveted Dracakis Players Championship, while Sydney grinder Nurlan Boobekov rounded out the series with victory in the Main Event, besting a field of 558 entries for a top prize worth $65,000.

The APT now returns to Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast from 26 April to 1 May; for more information, including full results and images from the series, follow APT Live on Facebook or visit

All images courtesy of APT/Gigi Fab.

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