LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney $1,100 NLH Freezeout Day 2

Congratulations Stephen Tambouras ($74,779), WPTDeepStacks Sydney $1,100 NLH Freezeout Champion!

After joining the tournament poker scene in 2015, travelling as far and wide as Las Vegas to play events, and years of hoping he’d have the cards fall his way to take down a big tournament, Stephen Tambouras has finally done it.

Speaking to PMA after his victory, he says the win “hasn’t really sunk in yet”. Tambouras expressed his pride to win the tournament is driven more by a competitive desire more than any monetary gain.

“It’s not about the money for me, it’s about this”, he said as he held the trophy aloft with a look of pure joy in his eyes.

For now, he plans to go home and get some sleep, maybe buy his kids a Playstation 5, and have some lobster next time he goes out for dinner. He intends on playing more tournaments throughout the rest of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Series, including the Main Event.

He spoke highly of the structure of the game, and the joy of having “lots of chips” to stack on top of each other. The blinds structure allowed for him to play his usually patient and conservative style without being rushed, allowing him to capitalise when the right spots arrived. As a result, he is proud to call this his biggest cash to date.

“I’ve always said to myself that I’ll never win a WSOP bracelet until I take down a WPT event. Now that I’ve done this I feel like the next step isn’t far away!”

All of us here at PMA wish to congratulate Stephen on his triumph and wish him every success in the future.

Stephen Tambouras

Emad Moaref eliminated in 2nd Place ($52,374)

After almost 12 hours of play, we have a winner. Emad Moaref raised to 375,000 from the button, only for Stephen to move all in. Moaref called and the two flipped to potentially find a winner.

Moaref: 66
Tambouras: AQ

Board: 743A9

With a good looking flop for pocket sixes, Moaref had hope of another double, however Tambouras making his pair on the turn and riveting a blank was enough to seal the deal and send the two gentlemen home with hefty paydays.

WPTDEEPSTACKS SYDNEY EVENT #2 $1,100 NLH FREEZEOUT – FINAL TABLE RESULTS ($1,100 buy-in, 352 entries, 44 players paid)

1stStephen Tambouras$74,779
2ndEmad Moaref$52,374
3rdGavin Ogilvy$33,672
4thAaron Cauchi$21,806
5thAdrian Salter$16,808
6thKen Demlakian$13,608
7thDylan Garland$11,669
8thJethro Horowitz$9,557
9thJoel Dodds$7,476

Yes limit hold’em

Not too often is clock called on a player, let alone two simultaneously. That was the case as the time read 12:30am. As reported in one of PMA‘s first blogs of the tournament, the blind levels were increased in order to reflect the advertising promoted to the players. This meant that the structure was going to be difficult to squeeze within a single day’s play, especially considering the enforcement of a Royal Commission recommendation that limits patrons to no more than 12 hours of consecutive play within a 24 hour period.

Our heads up runners were told that had 30 minutes remaining to either achieve a result or return at 12:30 Monday to finish the tournament.

Emad happy to double up early

Heads up commenced as a one horse race, with Stephen Tambouras holding roughly 80% of the chips in play. Emad Moaref jumped at an early opportunity to double up, by moving all in over a raise from Tambouras on the button. Emad thought his K8 may have been strong in this heads up situation. Unfortunately he was up against Tambouras’ AK, and needed to get lucky to make this heads up battle last longer than 10 minutes.

The board came through as 710963 granting Moaref a fighting chance to claw his way back.

Stephen Tambouras5,960,000
Emad Moaref4,600,000
Stephen Tambouras (L) and Emad Moaref (R)

Level 29: 75,000/125,000 (125,000)

Gavin Ogilvy eliminated in 3rd Place ($33,672)

Gavin Ogilvy’s fantastic tournament came to a conclusion, taking a strong line that took a brave call from Stephen Tambouras to knock him out.

Ogilvy opened the action to 250,000, Tambouras called from the small blind and Moaref got out of the way in the big blind. The flop was 3AK, Tambouras lead out for 400,000 and Ogilvy pondered for a moment, then made it 850,000.

Tambouras cautiously made the call to see the turn of 4 to which Tambouras checked. Ogilvy moved all in for 2,425,000, Tambouras tanked for two minutes before deciding to call.

Ogilvy showed KQ for second pair and, with a sigh of relief, Tambouras showed down his top pair with A10.

The riverJ couldn’t save Ogilvy and we went to heads-up in the $1,100 event.

Gavin Ogilvy

Aaron Cauchi eliminated in 4th Place ($21,806)

Level 28 got off to an exciting start involving Stephen Tambouras raising before having to make another tough fold.

Tambouras opened UTG once again, this time to 350,000. The button folded, then Gavin Ogilvy slammed all of his chips in over the top for 2,175,000. Aaron Cauchi quickly moved all in, for less than Ogilvy’s total and Tambouras folded what he later said to be pocket tens.

Ogilvy turned over AK and Cauchi revealed 99.

With Cauchi at risk, he had hoped to avoid an ace or a king on a board that ended up 4AJ6J. In a short space of time, Cauchi lost two flips for all of his chips. Luckily he still gets to head home with $21,806 to his name.

Aaron Cauchi

Level 28: 50,000/100,000 (100,000)

Crunch time

In addition to the prize money, there’s plenty more up for grabs in the $1,100 NLH Freezeout. Just the trophy itself is worth playing for, on top of the points available in the Player of the Series competition. A WPT Australia Main Event seat worth over $5,000 is awarded to the Player of the Series, based off points gained from placings in each of the tournaments.

Shortly after taking the chip lead, Stephen Tambouras was put to the test. Tambouras made it 300,000 UTG, the button folded and Gavin Ogilvy moved all in from the small blind for 2,110,000 in chips.

Tambouras went into the tank for over a minute, eventually folding AQ face up. Ogilvy gave nothing away and slid his cards back to the dealer.

Tambouras said at the time that he didn’t want to put half his stack at risk pre-flop in that situation and would wait for better spots.

Four-handed grind

After a quick series of knockouts, play settled down. Pots were raised and won preflop, and Emad Moaref’s stack bled out in a series of calling and folding.

Eventually, Moaref found AJ and moved all in for 1,050,000 from the button. Aaron Cauchi woke up in the big blind with 44, the board coming out JQ395 gave Moaref a lovely double up and put a large dent in Cauchi’s stack.

Emad Moaref2,250,000
Aaron Cauchi1,400,000

Level 27: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)

Adrian Salter eliminated in 5th Place ($16,808)

Adrian Salter’s strong run throughout the tournament came to a close as he became the fourth consecutive victim to be knocked out by Emad Moaref on the final table.

Action folded to Salter in the small blind who jammed on Moaref’s big blind with A8, Moaref called with AQ. The board ran out 59KQ7, sealing Salter’s fate.

Ken Demlakian eliminated in 6th Place ($13,904)

Demlakian’s stack dwindled slowly as time went on, to the point where he was left with 265,000 to put all in with QJ UTG. Emad Moaref made the call from the big blind, waking up with A5.

The board was K43102, the turn giving Demlakian hope of a straight draw, but it was not to be for the overnight chip leader.

Emad Moaref2,750,000
Ken DemlakianBUSTED!

Dylan Garland eliminated in 7th Place ($11,669)

Dylan Garland will head home with a wallet slightly heavier than when he arrived this morning.

Garland opened UTG to 120,000, Emad re-popped it to 325,000. Garland flatted the bet and we saw a flop of 5A4. Garland checked, Emad lead out for 130,000, Garland check-raised all in for 730,000.

Emad called, showing AJ. Garland was chasing a flush draw with his KJ.

The rest of the board came 7K, sending Garland out in seventh place for a tidy $11,669.

Emad Moaref2,575,000
Dylan GarlandBUSTED!

Level 26: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)

Pressure building

With $225,012 in prize money remaining as of top seven, the stakes are high as the gentlemen on the final table all battle to outlast each other to take home the top prize of $74,779.

With most raises getting no resistance, the occasional three-bet generates tension by default.

A hand where Demlakian opened to 100,000 from the hijack, Cauchi made it 250,000 and Demlakian tanked before making the call. 9Q9 was the flop, Demlakian checked, Aaron continued and Demlakian looked disgruntled in making the fold.

Warming into the action

After a slow start to the Final Table, with plenty of folding with the occasional raise, we finally have some action in the form of two successive eliminations in the space of minutes.

Joel Dodds was knocked out in 9th for $7,476 and Jethro Horowitz cashed for $9,557. Both gentlemen were dismissed in eerily similar manners, with both going all in pre-flop with Ace-Ten, and both being called off by Ace-King.

Adrian Salty was responsible for taking Dodds’ chips and Emad Moaref took Horowitz’s.

Adrian Salter2,150,000
Emad Moaref1,650,000
Aaron Cauchi1,520,000
Stephen Tambouras1,475,000
Ken Demlakian1,300,000
Dylan Garland1,190,000
Gavin Ogilvy1,100,000

Level 25: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)

Final Table

From an initial field of 352, we are now down to our final nine players, with the elimination of in Vincent Choy 10th place, the players have drawn for their positions and are seated as follows:

Seat 1Stephen Tambouras
Seat 2Dylan Garland
Seat 3Jethro Horowitz
Seat 4Joel Dodds
Seat 5Adrian Salter
Seat 6Emad Moaref
Seat 7Gavin Ogilvy
Seat 8Ken Demlakian
Seat 9Aaron Cauchi

Final Table Payouts

1st Place$74,779
2nd Place$52,374
3rd Place$33,672
4th Place$21,806
5th Place$16,808
6th Place$13,904
7th Place$11,669
8th Place$9,557
9th Place$7,476

Level 24: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)

Ouchie Cauchi

A huge hand between two big stacks saw Dingxiang Ong opened the action to 65,000, when Aaron Cauchi made it 150,000. Ong evaluated his options and decided to move all in for 600,000, Cauchi obliged and matched the bet having Ong well covered.

Ong showed AK and Cauchi tabled 88. The board ran out J558A, the set of eights for Cauchi doing the job.

Aaron Cauchi1,600,000
Dingxiang OngBUSTED!

No bu-ing please

Tianyu Bu was eliminated in a hand against Gavin Ogilvy. Action began with a raise from Bu on the button to 60,000, Ogilvy defended his big blind and they took it to a flop of 63K, they both checked.

The turn was a 5, Ogilvy checked it over to Bu who made it 40,000. Ogilvy called and the river came the 7. Ogilvy checked once more, Bu bet 150,000, Ogilvy moved all in and Bu called for his tournament life.

Ogilvy: 89

Bu: A4

Bu’s straight was no match for the higher straight in Ogilvy’s hand an so Bu left in 16th place, also for $4418.

Gavin Ogilvy2,340,000
Tianyu BuBUSTED!

Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)

Time to go home, Jerome

After being involved in plenty of action throughout the day, it all finally came to an end for Jerome Tan. Folding around to Tan in the small blind, he put all 500,000 of his chips in the pot against Dingxiang Ong in the big blind. Dingxiang quickly called, and sent Tan to the rail.

Ong: AQ
Tan: K9

Board: J8432

Jerome took $4,418 for his 17th place finish, and says he’s happy with the result considering how at one point he had only 35,000 with three tables remaining at the time.

Dingxiang Ong1,700,000
Jerome TanBUSTED!

Making Moves

Upon reaching our top 16, play has been slow. The remaining runners are deep stacked and looking to grind their way to the top. Ken Demlakian is one of many players being put to the test, and putting others to the test.

Demlakian opened the action from middle position to 65,000, only to be three-bet by Jethro Horowitz on the button. Demlakian paid the price of 200,000 to see a flop of 1085, to which both players checked.

The turn of 3 induced a bet all in from Demlakian, forcing Horowitz into the tank.

Horowitz found the fold and in good spirits, Demlakian showed his 99 confirming to Horowitz he made a good fold.

Ken Demlakian1,590,000
Jethro Horowitz450,000

Level 22: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)


A huge hand over on table 28 has seen Vincent Choy be the beneficiary of a set over set situation.

Haowen Sun opened from middle position to 40,000 and was met with calls from Choy in the hijack, Stephen Tambouras in the small blind, and Jethro Horowitz in the big blind.

On a flop of 7106, Tambouras open shoved for 325,000, Horowitz folded and the action fell to Sun, the pre-flop raiser. After strong deliberation he folded what he later revealed as pocket aces. Choy quickly called for his remaining 220,000, and Tambouras showed 66 for a flopped set.

Choy showed his 77, before the turn of 5 and river of 5 failed to produce a miracle for Tambouras.

Vincent Choy620,000
Stephen Tambouras105,000

Big stacks in town

Let’s have a look round the grounds for the big stacks as we reach the final two tables in the WPTDeepStacks $1,100 NLH Freezeout. The current top 8 chip counts are as follows:

Ken Demlakian1,325,000
Dingxiang Ong1,315,000
Gavin Ogilvy980,000
Adrian Salter695,000
Jethro Horowitz690,000
Milan Stojkovic660,000
Aaron Cauchi645,000
Dylan Garland625,000

Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)

On your bike, Mike

Michael O’Grady’s strong run in the tournament came to an end at the hands of Ken Demlakian. Demlakian opened to 35,000 from UTG, The action folded around to O’Grady in the big blind, who push his stack of 140,000 into the middle, hoping to push Demlakian out of the hand.

Demlakian called with A8, O’Grady showed his K5 and the board came out 651086.

Ken Demlakian1,315,000
Michael O’GradyBUSTED!

Sun Tan Motion

Jerome Tan found himself in the midst of plenty of action once more. Tianyu Bu opened to 35,000 from middle position, Tan moved all in over the top from the button for 195,000, covering Bu’s stack of 160,000.

Bu made the correct call with AJ, dominating Tan’s J10.

The board came out 7357, on the river came a 10, Jerome jumped up in celebration at pairing his live card, then had to settle back down upon the realisation that Bu had completed his flush.

Left with 35,000, Tan announced to the table “Now it begins”.

Two hands later he was all-in. Haowen Sun re-jammed from the small blind, pushing the big blind out of the way. The two tabled their cards:

Tan: K10
Sun: K4

Board: 7610Q3

The next hand, Tan picked up KJ, again going all in pre-flop and being called by Sun with A5. The Board ran out JJ10K7. Taking Tan’s stack from 35,000 to over 250,000.

Jerome Tan

Level 20: 10,000/15,000 (15,000)

Arrivederci from Milan

Suzy Khoueis met her downfall in an unfortunate way. Coming up against Milan Stojkovic with the same hand, but different suits, she just had to avoid losing to a flush in order to stay in contention in the tournament.

Khoueis: KJ
Stojkovic: KJ

Board: 2A8K6

Milan Stojkovic580,000
Suzy KhoueisBUSTED!

Tan lines receding

Jerome Tan lost a large chunk of his chip stack to Josh Norvock in the form of a flip, giving Norvock another double-up. Norvock moved all in or 108,000. Action folded to Jerome in the small blind who made the call, the big blind moved out of the way and the two players raced.

Norvock: 66
Tan: AJ

Board: 810728

Josh Norvock248,000
Jerome Tan235,000

Level 19: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)


VB Patodia became the latest victim of Vanig’s knockout frenzy throughout this freezeout. Patodia moved all in for 88,000 from the lojack with A2, only to run into Kalpakian’s AK.

Upon seeing the flop of 5A7, Patodia exclaimed “GG”, and started to walk away, only for the 2 to drop on the turn, giving him two pair.

Just as he began to take his seat again, Patodia was felted by a counterfeiting 5, sending him home with a payout of $2,587.

Vanig Kalpakian477,000

Ace-King curse continues

If you have Ace-Queen, and come up against Ace-King in this tournament, history suggests you’ll come out a winner. PMA reported on two hands yesterday where this exact circumstance occurred and it has just happened again!

Leo Kamiya open jammed for 137,000, finding a call from Dylan Garland. Kamiya opened his AK to see he was a favourite against Garland’s AQ.

The flop of 634 gave Garland a flush draw, but the turn of Q followed by a 10was enough to get the win.

Dylan Garland521,000
Leo KamiyaBUSTED!

Level 18: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

Prizes up for grabs

The payouts for the $1,100 NLH Freezeout have been confirmed, with the 352 entrants culminating in a $352,000 prize pool.



Bubble Busto

2017 Sydney Championships Main Event Champion, Henry Tran, has done the remaining 44 players a favour and eliminated Ali Aria to burst the pay bubble and send the rest of the field into the money.

A short stacked Aria moved all in over an UTG+1 raise from Tran. Tran called and Ali sadly had to leave empty handed.

Tran: 1010
Aria: A7

Board: K5299

The flop gave Aria the nut flush draw, but was unable to complete it. Minimum payout is $1795, and will increase all the way to a lovely $74,779 for first place.

Henry Tran350,000
Henry Tran

Level 17: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)

Vanig sends them -pakian

Vanig Kalpakian has been responsible for two eliminations in a short space of time, ending the tournaments of both Daniel Shan and PMA‘s very own Josh Emerton.

Earlier, Emerton raised from the button, Kalpakian three-bet and Emerton called to see a flop of K47. Kalpakian continued for 21,000 and Emerton called.

The 6 on the turn saw another bet from Valpakian, Emerton raised all in and was called. Emerton tabled his KJ, and saw his was behind against Kalpakian’s AK.

The river of 6 did no help to save Emerton from elimination.

Later on, Daniel Shan met the same fate, moving all in from the hijack for 48,000 against Kalpakian in the big blind.

Kalpakian: A5
Shan: KQ

Board: 210A77

Vanig Kalpakian425,000
Josh EmertonBUSTED!
Daniel ShanBUSTED!
Vanig Kalpakian

Run it up, Norvock

After ending the Day 1 with 26,000 in chips, Josh Norvock has managed to work his way to get it up to over 225,000. Michael Doumani had a hand in helping Norvock get there, going all in pre flop and Norvock scooping his chips after calling from the big blind.

Doumani: 66
Norvock: AK

Board: 5KQJ9

Josh Norvock227,000
Michael DoumaniBUSTED!
Josh Norvock

Level 16: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

Big stack Bennett

Matthew Bennett gets a chip lead early on Day 2. Winning a huge three-way all in. A short stacked Domenico Zappia got his chips in for 43,000, only to have Jason Pritchard move in over the top for 220,000.

Bennett woke up with a monster and knocked them both out as a clean runout handed him a comfortable position in the tournament.

Bennett: KK
Pritchard: AK
Zappia: 88

Board: QJ673

Matthew Bennett547,000
Jason PritchardBUSTED!
Domenico ZappiaBUSTED!
Matthew Bennett

Aria awards

Over on Table 29, action folded to the Haowen Sun on the button who opened it up to 11,000. Ali Aria bumped it up from the small blind to 25,000, the big blind got out of the way before Sun moved all in and Aria called.

Sun: 77
Aria: AK

Board: J4410Q

The rivered straight giving Aria a double up and leaving Sun with some work to do.

Ali Aria155,000
Haowen Sun87,5000

Hill to die on

We already have our first bust-out of the Day. Nebojsa Blanusa moved all-in from UTG+1 for 85,500. The action folded around to Tanya Hill in the big blind as she snapped off, exclaiming “Let’s go!”, and turned over her cards to find out the bad news that she was behind.

Blanusa: QQ
Hill: JJ

Board: 2JK6A

Hill dished out a cooler and we lost our first player on Day 2.

Tanya Hill187,500
Nebojsa BlanusaBUSTED!
Tanya Hill

Level 15: 3,000/5,000 (5,000)

Making amends

Barely three minutes into play, the clock was stopped due to a conflict between the WPTDeepStacks Sydney schedule and The Star Sydney Terms & Conditions. According to the schedule overview, blind levels would increase from 30 minutes on Day 1 to 45 minutes on Day 2, as was the case for the Opening Event.

However, the T&Cs for the tournament stipulated 30 minute levels the whole way through the tournament.

To ensure fairness to the players, Star Poker management have decided to increase the blind timer to 45 minutes for the rest of Day 2. A short break has been taken to amend the clock, and then we’ll begin!

Half time almost over

We’re nearing the end of the bridge between the end of Day 1 and the start of Day 2 for the $1,100 NLH Freezeout.

Players are slowly but surely congregating into the poker area, fulfilling their seat allocations and getting comfortable for what they all hope will be a deep run in the second event of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney series.

Ken Demlakian, our chip leader finds himself on Table 34, seated to the left of Anthony Hachem. Second in chips is Michael O’Grady with 362,000 on Table 37, alongside Suzy Khoueis as well as Josh Norvock.

PMA keep you all posted with information regarding prize pool payouts once they are finalised. Until then, let’s get into the action!

Day 2 seat draw

Play will resume at 12:30pm AEST. Recommencing blinds will be 3,000/5,000 with a 5,000 big blind ante. Payout results will be updated soon.

Table 25

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Table 26

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Table 27

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Table 28

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Table 29

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Table 34

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Table 36

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Table 37

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Table 38

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