LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH Day 2

Congratulations Francesco Losi ($107,000); WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH Champion!


Francesco Losi’s stellar performance at the final table of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH has earned him the biggest tournament cash of his career, pocketing $107,000 in prize money!

The 36-year-old grinder, who moved to Australia from the eastern Italian province of Pescara five years ago, said that he was “very happy” with the way he played, besting a field of 261 that featured many of Australian poker’s biggest names.

“I felt really comfortable coming into the last three tables, really playing my A-game,” Losi said. “I know that I played my best, but I was really lucky that I didn’t have any coolers or anything like that.”

Losi praised his fellow final tablists for their efforts, telling PokerMedia Australia that he had enjoyed the opportunity to meet and play alongside so many of our nation’s finest over the last couple of days.

“The field was a lot tougher than I expected, but I was able to learn a lot from everyone over the last three days about Australian poker. It was a really nice experience.”

WPTDEEPSTACKS SYDNEY $2K NLH – FINAL TABLE RESULTS ($2,000 buy-in, 261 entries, 33 players paid)

1stFrancesco LosiAustralia$107,000
2ndTravis O’GradyAustralia$75,276
3rdGary BensonAustralia$48,155
4thJulian WarhurstAustralia$29,292
5thLiam JehuAustralia$22,621
6thMike IvinAustralia$18,745
7thHari VarmaAustralia$15,738
8thDavid SaabAustralia$13,154
9thTerence CleeAustralia$10,702
*Full results available at

On behalf of all of us here at The Star Sydney, the PMA Live Reporting Team would like to congratulate Francesco on his breakthrough victory and wish him all the best for the Main Event later this week.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate George Lekowski on winning the $330 NLH Freezeout, defeating Patrick Barba heads-up for the trophy and taking home $26,098 in prize money! We’ll have the final table results posted along with our full daily wrap later this morning.

For now, it’s time for the PMA team to wrap things up before we return at 2:30pm AEST on Tuesday 5 April for Day 1 of the $440 PLO, which then leads us to Day 2 of the Big Bounty and the start of the Main Event.

Until next time, thanks again for joining us and we’ll see you again soon. ‘Bye for now!

Travis O’Grady eliminated in 2nd place ($75,276)

In the final hand of the tournament, Travis O’Grady completed from the button and Francesco Losi checked before they both checked a flop of 668.

The dealer then produced the J on the turn; Losi checked and O’Grady opened for 125,000, only to then see Losi check-raise to 450,000. O’Grady quickly moved all-in and Losi snap-called.

O’Grady: K7
Losi: 96

Down to just seven outs, the river 2 completed the board to end proceedings.

A sensational effort from the son of Sydney grinder Michael O’Grady and also his biggest ITM finish to date. Well played, young man!

Travis O’GradyBUSTED!

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

Back and forth

Two big double-ups each for Francesco Losi and Travis O’Grady as the heads-up battle rolls on in the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH Event.

Earlier, Liso raised from the button to 200,000 before O’Grady three-bet it to 660,000 out of the big blind. Losi returned fire with a four-bet worth 1.52 million; O’Grady shoved and Losi snap-called.

O’Grady: 44
Losi: AQ

O’Grady then flopped gin on the board of 49935 to double up to 6,860,000 and take the chip lead.

It didn’t last long tough, as Losi was able to even it out a short time later, getting his money in pre-flop with A, but despite being well behind O’Grady’s 1010, Losi made the better two pair after the dealer spread the board of 93A9Q.

Franceso Losi5,990,000
Travis O’Grady4,540,000

Gary Benson eliminated in 3rd place ($48,155)

Travis O’Grady limped in from the button and Francesco Losi completed the small blind before Gary Benson announced that he was all-in. O’Grady and Losi called, only to then check all the way down the board of 71010QQ.

O’Grady showed 66 and was playing the board, but although Benson tabled KJ, he was outkicked by Losi’s AJ.

Another huge result for the Aussie veteran and Australian Poker Hall of Famer, but it’s now heads-up between Losi and O’Grady for the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K trophy and a top prize of $107,000!

Franceso Losi7,435,000
Travis O’Grady3,095,000
Gary BensonBUSTED!

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

Benson holding on

After a couple of double-ups for Gary Benson, the Australian Poker Hall of Famer got his money in again with K3 and found himself trailing against the KQ, but Benson jagged two pair on the flop of 3K7 and filled up on the turn of the K.

However, the dealer peeled the river 7 from the shoe to chop the pot!

Benson put on an air of exasperation for the cameras.

“Oh, come on! I was ahead the whole way until the board paired!” Benson cried as he threw his hands up in the air.

“I’d thought you’d be happy with the chop!” O’Grady replied.

“How can I be happy with a chop?” replied Benson. “C’mon dealer, let’s run it twice!”

Julian Warhurst eliminated in 4th place ($29,292)

Just before the blinds went up, Julian Warhurst got the last of his money in with K6 and Tristan O’Grady called him down with 105, although Warhurst was favourite, O’Grady took the lead after the flop of 1057.

The 2 on the turn reduced Warhurst’s chances dramatically and the river 4 marked the end of Warhurst’s run.

Julian WarhurstBUSTED!

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

Liam Jehu eliminated in 5th place ($22,621)

No stand-up equity for Liam Jehu, who was felted by Tristan O’Grady in fifth place as action continues at the final table of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH.

Jehu moved the last of his stack into the middle pre-flop with A2 and O’Grady called him down with KQ.

Both players paired up on the flop of 42Q; a few more outs opened up for Jehu with the 3, but the river K completed the board and gave O’Grady two pair, Kings-up.

Liam JehuBUSTED!

Chip counts at the break

Francesco Losi4,470,000
Travis O’Grady4,005,000
Julian Warhurst1,075,000
Gary Benson520,000
Liam Jehu460,000

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

Mike Ivin eliminated in 6th place ($18,745)

Mike Ivin was confirmed as our sixth-place finisher after being felted by Travis O’Grady.

This time, all the money went in after the flop of K54; Ivin had ripped it in with A10, but needed some help against the AJ of O’Grady.

O’Grady kept the lead all the way down fourth and fifth streets as the board completed 5, 2 and thus ‘The Tank’ was off to the bank.

Travis O’Grady3,900,000
Mike IvinBUSTED!

Hari Varma eliminated in 7th place ($15,738)

Another huge elimination at this final table, with Francesco Losi moving up past five million in chips after taking out 2019 WPT Australia Main Event Champion, Hari Varma.

Varma got the last of his money in with AQ, but Losi called him off with 99 and won the race after the dealer spread the board of KK466.

Francesco Losi5,220,000
Hari VarmaBUSTED!

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

Ivin tanks

Mike ‘The Tank’ Ivin suffered a critical hit against Francesco Losi to move below one million in chips as the action continues at the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH final table.

There was action across all streets between the pair down the board of 2JQ610; from the UTG+1 position, Ivin led out on the river for 325,000, however Liso came back with a raise to 1.06 million.

Ivin made the call, but reeled after Liso showed down AK for Broadway – and with that hand, we found ourselves a new chip leader!

Francesco Losi3,500,000
Mike Ivin995,000

Terence Clee eliminated in 9th place ($10,702); David Saab eliminated in 8th place ($13,154)

A massive three-way all-in has resulted in Travis O’Grady taking out both Terence Clee and David Saab!

Saab went all-in from under the gun and action folded around to Clee who shoved from the small blind, before O’Grady snap-called out of the big blind.

O’Grady: KK
Clee: A6
Saab: QJ

O’Grady then turned the full house on the board of K7Q75 to move up past 1.5 million in chips.

Travis O’Grady1,650,000
David SaabBUSTED!
Terence CleeBUSTED!

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

School is now in session!

Ladies and gents, presenting to you the final nine of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH!

It’s an incredible mix of poker’s old guard and new generation of poker players, which will undoubtedly generate some interesting table dynamics. Be sure to head over to right now to watch all the action hand-for-hand with feature table commentary from our friends at LCAPoker!

And if you miss any of the major action, never fear: PokerMedia Australia will still be here right up until the final river falls!


1David SaabAustralia1,275,000
2Liam JehuAustralia205,000
3Julian WarhurstAustralia840,000
4Gary BensonAustralia980,000
5Mike IvinAustralia2,295,000
6Hari VarmaAustralia1,765,000
7Francesco LosiItaly1,335,000
8Terence CleeAustralia1,200,000
9Travis O’GradyAustralia635,000



Ryan Ong eliminated in 10th place ($9,044); final table set!

The final table of the 2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH has now been confirmed after Ryan Ong was taken out on the Star Poker Sydney feature table by Hari Varma!

Action folded to Hari Varma who raised from the button before Ong shoved out of the small blind; Varma called, tabling A5 against Ong’s K10, with Varma surging further ahead after the flop of 5J6.

Ong then departed after the turn and river ran out 2, 9, collecting $9,044 in cash.

Hari Varma635,000

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

Ajez annihilated

After building up a towering stack throughout the last two levels, it all came crashing down for Najeem Ajez who was confirmed as our 11th place finisher.

After having a sizeable chunk taken out him in a previous hand, Julian Warhust left him running on fumes when he got his money in good with QQ against Ajez’s 22, turning a boat on the board of 4J4QK

Ajez then managed to get some back off Warhurst a short time later, outdrawing Warhurst’s A10 on the board of 26J87 with his J9.

Liam Jehu then jammed with K10 and successfully doubled through Ajez, hitting a four-outer on the river on the board of 3755K against Ajez’s AJ.

Warhurst then delivered the knockout blow, winning the flip with his K10 against the 77 of Ajez after flopping the overpair on the 103482 board.

Julian Warhurst870,000
Liam Jehu275,000
Najeem AjezBUSTED!

Here comes the BOOM!

Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson has rocketed up the chip counts, now sitting behind a stack worth almost 1.2 million after back-to-back double ups!

Earlier, Benson got his money in good with KK against Najeem Ajez’s 99 and hit the bigger two pair on the board of 44573.

Then in one of the biggest hands we’ve seen so far, action folded around to Zhixiang Ang who open-shoved from the lojack; David Saab called from the hijack, only then see Jason Pritchard rip it in from the cutoff. Benson then came in over the top from the button and the blinds got out of the way before Saab made the call.

Benson: AA
Saab: 99
Pritchard: 66
Ang: QJ

Board: KK2J8

After all the stacks were cut down, Benson effectively quadrupled while both Pritchard and Ang were sent packing.

Najeem Ajez1,325,000
Gary Benson1,175,000
David Saab585,000
Jason PritchardBUSTED!
Zhengmin ZhangBUSTED!

Level 22: 10,000/25,000 (25,000)

Damelian done, Stavropoulous starved

Two more Aussie poker stalwarts sent to the rail, with Robert Damelian and Manny Stavropoulos both amongst the latest to have been eliminated in thsi level.

After Damelian made his way to the exits, Stavropoulos moved the last of his stack into the middle with pocket eights, but Hari Varma called him down with AQ which then paired up on the flop of A7J and held after the turn and river bricked 9, 4.

Hari Varma920,000
Manny StavropoulosBUSTED!
Robert DamelianBUSTED!


Nicholas Economos has just been eliminated by Najeem Ajez as we move closer to the final table of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH Event.

Despite Economos getting it in ahead pre-flop with QQ, Najeem Ajez was priced in and flicked in the remainder before rolling up A2 and proceeded to pair up after flopping top pair on the board of 7A583.

Ajez’s stack piled up to almost 1.5 million, much to the chagrin of his tablemates.

“You’re so gross!” said Manny Stavropoulos.

“So sick, it’s disgusting!” cried Jason Pritchard.

Najeem Ajez1,430,000
Nicholas EconomosBUSTED!

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

Bahir basted

Things are cooking along now here in the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K, with Karam Bahi having been felted at the hands of David Saab.

Despite doubling up twice, Bahi was still nursing a short stack as we approached the next level, eventually getting the last of it into the middle with 33, only to see Saab call him off with K8 before he paired up on the flop of 7108.

The turn and river then ran out Q, 6 and Bahi’s day was done.

David Saab895,000
Karam BahiBUSTED!

Kanaan cooked

A massive chunk of change was taken out of Michael Kanaan’s stack by David Saab before Mike Ivin swept up the crumbs as action continues with two tables remaining in the $2K NLH.

Earlier, Kanaan opened from middle position to 35,000 before Saab three-bet it to 80,000 from the cutoff; Kanaan called, then both players checked the flop of Q69 before Kanaan opened again on the turn of the 6.

Saab smooth-called, then snapped Kanaan off after he shoved on the river 3, turning over KQ which was best against Kanaan’s Q10.

“I thought you had Jacks there!” Kanaan said.

Down to just 60,000, Kanaan ripped it in on the very next hand with A7, but Ivin woke up with AK and there was no change after the dealer fanned out a board of 22658.

Mike Ivin1,335,000
David Saab720,000
Michael KanaanBUSTED!

Bean baked

In one of the first hands back from the break, Ron Bean was busted at the hands of Najeem Ajez.

Bean open-shoved from middle position before the flop with A10, however Ajez woke up out of the blinds with AA and held despite Bean hitting a ten on the board of 10723J.

Najeem Ajez910,000

Top five chip counts

Mike Ivin1,125,000
Francesco Losi1,170,000
Travis O’Grady960,000
Najeem Ajez910,000
Ryan Ong720,000

Level 20: 8,000/16,000 (16,000)

Break it up!

Our remaining 26 players are now on a 20-minute break. We’ll be back with our top five chip counts right after this.

Bean bounces

Ron Bean has been swinging wildly through the mid-way point of this level, crippled at the hands of Australian Poker Hall of Famer Manny Stavropoulos before doubling through Najeem Ajez.

Earlier, Bean got it in good with QQ against the A10 of Stavropoulos, but the 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event Champion turned a straight on the board of 79862.

“That’s how you win Main Events!” joked Ajez.

Bean then applied that theory himself in the very next hand, shoving with 66 and won the critical flip against Ajez’s J10 despite a very sweaty turn on the 4A982. Easy come, easy go.

Najeem Ajez687,000
Manny Stavropoulos350,000
Ron Bean255,000

Yazbeck busto

Mark Yazbeck approached the PMA Live Reporting hotdesk and informed us that he had been eliminated at the hands of Travis O’Grady.

“What can I do? I was so short!” Yazbeck lamented. “I move it all in with A-8, he has queens and flopped a set.”

It’s better news for Liam Jehu, who’s just scored a double-up against David Saab, getting his money in comfortably with KK against the J9 of Saab, with neither hand improving on the board of 23Q7A.

Liam Jehu216,000
Mark YazbeckBUSTED!

Shebat shut out

Another all-in-and-call before the flop after the bubble burst, this time between Ron Bean, whose 99 was ahead of Christopher Shebat, who was at risk with K7.

Shebat found no love after the dealer spread a board of Q8J35 to see him being flushed out of the tournament.

Ron Bean262,000
Christopher ShebatBUSTED!

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

Dilly of a pickle

“All in, call!”

The PMA Live Reporting crew rushed over to Table 36, where we saw Michael ‘Pickle’ Tran moving his remaining stacks into the middle against Julian Warhurst before the two players went to showdown.

Tran: KK
Warhurst: QQ

Warhurst found more outs after the flop of 98J and got there with the turn of the 10 before the river J repeated on the river. GG.

And just like that folks, we are now in the money for the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH!

Julian Warhurst938,000
Michael ‘Pickle’ TranBUSTED!

Saab puts two to the sword

As any poker player will tell you: when it comes to bubble play, there’s always an immense amount of mental pressure, and that was showcased in a couple of hands between David Saab, Jason Pritchard and Karam Bahi.

Our reporter witnessed some heads-up action between Pritchard and Saab on a board of 77889; Pritchard had led out for 45,000 into a pot worth around 90,000, only to then see Saab move a stack of yellow T5,000s over the line for a total of 110,000.

Pritchard went deep into the tank and after about four minutes he dropped his head and peeked at his cards.

“I reckon you’ve got the straight,” Pritchard said, pointing at Saab’s hand.

“A straight’s a nice hand, I reckon you should call!” replied Saab.

“Nah mate,” said Pritchard as he mucked his hand. “I reckon I’m brown bread … dead!”

Some time passed before Saab was once again involved in a big pot, this time against Karam Bahi, who had checked to Saab on the river on a board of 83Q7J; Saab then opened for 35,000 into a pot worth approximately 160,000 and Bahi agonised over his decision for more than six minutes before making a crying call.

“Sorry sir,” Saab quipped, turning AA for the nut flush.

Bahi was fuming, slapping QQ face-up on the table before the dealer pushed the pot in Saab’s direction.

David Saab525,000
Jason Pritchard490,000
Karam Bahi65,000

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

A double for Damelian

Just before the blinds ticked over to Level 18, Robert Damelian found himself all-in pre-flop against Zac Vigar, getting his money in good with AK against Vigar’s QJ.

Damelian then kept the lead all the way down the board of 93K4K and doubled through. And with Michael Tran taking out another player, we are now officially on the bubble in the $2K!

Robert Damelian213,000
Zac Vigar487,000

Fazzino fizzles

Salvatore Fazzino was also confirmed as one of our early eliminations, taken out by Michael ‘Pickle’ Tran.

After Fazzino open-shoved from the hijack pre-flop with 99, he found himself flipping for his tournament life against Tran’s AJ, which then flopped top pair on the board of J61043. That’ll do it.

Michael ‘Pickle’ Tran385,000
Salvatore FazzinoBUSTED!

Carden departs

Having made the final table of yesterday’s Opening Event, Yang Lei is already off to a hot start in the $2K NLH after eliminating Matthew Carden.

Our reporter picked up the action as the cards were being tabled; Carden was at risk with A8, but Lei had him covered with his AK, but although Carden picked up the gut-shot after the flop of 1096, the turn and river bricked out 3, 6.

Yang Lei207,000
Matthew CardenBUSTED!

Shuffle up and deal!

Cards are now in the air for Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH! We’ll be playing through 45-minute blinds until we have a winner tonight, but keep your head on a swivel folks, as we’re only eight bust-outs away from the money – and you can catch all the feature table action right now over at!


Players Paid33
Minimum Payout$3,228
First Prize$107,000
Total Prize Pool$469,800

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

Raising the stakes

After a marathon day of action around the felt here at The Star Sydney, the PokerMedia Australia Live Reporting Team is back at the hotdesk and set for Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $2K NLH Event!

From a total of 261 entries taken in yesterday, we’re now down to 41 and leading the charge is Jason Pritchard, who last night bagged up 690,000 in chips. Following close behind is Queensland crusher Najeem Ajez (672,000), Franceso Losi (600,000), Terence Clee (545,000) and David Saab (541,000).

The chip bags are now being cracked and stacked, so stay with us as we bring you all the updates here from 1:30pm AEST – and don’t forget to follow us on all our socials to keep up with all the latest on and around the Aussie felt!


Players Remaining41
Total Entries261
Recommencing Blinds4,000/8,000 (8,000)
Average Stack235,512 (29 BBs)

Day 2 seat draw

Table 30

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Table 31

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Table 32 (Feature Table)

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Table 36

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Table 37

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