LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney $440 PLO Day 2

Congratulations Roland Foster, WPTDeepStacks Sydney $440 PLO Champion! ($27,954*)

After not playing poker for 7-8 years after the scene ‘died off’ in Canberra, Roland Foster has secured his first major cash in style, winning the $440 PLO here today.

Speaking to PMA after the event, Roland said he’d come to play in the series “just for a bit of fun”, after being unable to play for many years due to inactive local scene and the federal government’s legislation that took online poker off the table.

“Since the first few hands today, I was making hands, hitting wraps, took out two people very quickly … I started then to think that OK, this might actually be my day.” Foster said, “It was definitely good fun, yeah!”

Asked if he’d be playing any other events, Roland confirmed he’d be around for the Main Event, and if that doesn’t go to plan – “I guess I’ve got a few bullets for the other PLO event now!”

Congratulations again, Roland, and we wish you every success in the future.

PMA will return tomorrow, to bring you full coverage of Day 2 of the Big Bounty tournament from 12.30, as well as all of the action from buy-in to bust-out from Day 1A of the Main Event kicking off at 14.30 AEST here at Star Sydney!

Lloyd Locsin eliminated in 2nd place ($17,000*)

Shortly into heads up play, on a board showing A510J, Roland Foster bet out 225,000, Lloyd Locsin hit the pot button, and Foster re-potted over the top to put Locsin all in. Locsin short-called, and the hands were tabled.

Locsin: K10108
Foster: KQ74

Needing the board to pair to turn his flopped set into a full house, Locsin was to be disappointed when the river peeled the 2.

We at PMA would like to extend congratulations to Lloyd Locsin on his result today!

Lloyd LocsinBUSTED!
Lloyd Locsin

Al Josue eliminated in 3rd place ($17,000*)

Al Josue and Lloyd Locsin clashed twice in quick succession, with Josue coming off worst both times.

In the first hand, Locsin was all in for 595,000 and held QJ107, whilst Josue held AKJ3. Josue hit two pair on the 634K board but the 4 river gave Locsin a flush and the full double.

In the second hand, Josue was all in for 520,000 and held 8876, Locsin was the caller and held AJ93. Josue found no help on the board of AQ1032 and was eliminated.

Lloyd Locsin2,265,000
Al Josue

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

Carlos Youssef eliminated in 4th place ($13,000*)

Immediately after reaching a deal, Carlos Youssef found himself all in and at risk against Roland Foster.

Foster’s Q1084 held all the way after flopping two pair on a board of Q9837 to best the AK52 of Youssef.

Roland Foster5,255,000
Carlos YoussefBUSTED!
Carlos Youssef

A treaty reached

The remaining players have agreed to an modified ICM-based deal which will see them take home a set amount each from this point, with $1,954 and the WPTDeepStacks trophy left to play for.

Roland Foster$26,000
Lloyd Locsin$17,000
Al Josue$17,000
Carlos Youssef$13,000

Talking time

The remaining players have departed the table for a short break. Chip counts in order of seating position.

Al Josue1,030,000
Roland Foster4,725,000
Carlos Youssef530,000
Lloyd Locsin1,035,000

Ali Ghezelbash eliminated in 5th place ($6,957)

Ali Ghezelbash has been taken out by the chip leader Roland Foster.

All the money was in preflop.

Foster: AQJJ
Ghezelbash: J987

Board: J867A

Foster flopped top set and held on to secure the elimination and extend his chip lead.

Roland Foster4,725,000
Ali GhezelbashBUSTED!
Ali Ghezelbash

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

Anthony Hachem eliminated in 6th place ($5,752)

Anthony Hachem raised and Ali Ghezelbash shoved, action folded around to Al Josue in the big blind, who let it go before Hachem snap called.

Ghezelbash: AAKK
Hachem: KQJ10

Two huge hands collide but on the 78357 board, Hachem was unable to really connect and was left with just 20,000, which then went in on the next hand as the ‘ante’. Anthony was unable to make a hand and was eliminated by Al Josue.

Anthony HachemBUSTED!
Anthony Hachem

Foster doubles the lead

With a limped pot of 180,000 and 598 on the flop, Ali Ghezelbash checked to Roland Foster in the big blind, who slid out a bet of 125,000. Ghezelbash then raised to 350,000, and Foster made the call a short time later.

On the turn of 10, Ghezelbash led out for 275,000 and Foster announced ‘pot’ – effectively all in for his remaining 1,685,000.

Ghezelbash tanked for a while, but made the call.

Ghezelbash: Q1088
Foster: QJ53

The nut straight on the turn held with the 7 river and Foster, already one of the biggest chipstacks on the table, doubled up.

Ghezelbash was left with just 165,000 and immediately shoved it in on the very next hand, with Youssef calling for the additional 105,000 over his big blind.

Ghezelbash: A1062
Youssef: J673

Board: Q24109

Ghezelbash doubled through.

Roland Foster4,250,000
Ali Ghezelbash420,000
Carlos Youssef355,000
Roland Foster

Daniel Hachem eliminated in 7th place ($4,825)

Daniel Hachem moved his shortening stack of 245,000 in preflop, and was called by Al Josue when action folded around.

Josue: AA62
D. Hachem: KKQ5

A nightmare scenario for Hachem, who was unable to catch up despite rivering a set of his own on the board of 9JA6K.

Al Josue585,000
Daniel HachemBUSTED!
Daniel Hachem

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

Fostering relations

Roland Foster and Lloyd Locsin saw a flop of 8J4 with 450,000 in the pot already preflop, and Foster hit the accelerator, shoving to apply pressure on Locsin. Locsin tanked, but eventually called.

Locsin: AAK9
Foster: AKQJ

Foster was unable to catch up as the board ran out 3, 3, and Locsin moves over the million mark.

Roland Foster1,975,000
Lloyd Locsin1,070,000
Roland Foster earlier today

Phillip Arcidiacono eliminated in 8th place ($3,942)

The very short stacked Philip Arcidiacono found himself all in on the big blind – with less than one big blind. Other players at the table queried the ruling, but floor staff confirmed that the ante had priority and was posted first, meaning Arcidiacono could only win back his ante, and nothing more, if he won the hand.

Al Josue limped UTG, and Lloyd Locsin completed on the small blind, to see a flop of Q6J, before Locsin slid out a full stack of yellow, a bet of 100,000.

Josue spun his cards into the muck, looking disgusted, and cards tabled.

Arcidiacono: KQ42
Locsin: K1098

Locsin had flopped a rather long wrap, needing any Ace, King, Ten, 9, 8, or 7 to make a straight immediately. He hit it immediately, as the board completed 8, 3 to send Arcidiacono to the rail.

For those wondering, Rehman Kassam was eliminated in 9th place on one of the first hands of the final table. We are endeavouring to get details.

Lloyd Locsin465,000
Phillip ArcidiaconoBUSTED!
Phillip Arcidiacono

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

The WPTDeepStacks $440 PLO Final Table has been set!

Players are now down to just the one table, with nine players remaining chasing for the beautiful WPTDeepStacks Sydney trophy.

Leading the way is Roland Foster, for whom we could not find a previous result on HendonMob, but the real story here perhaps is that not one, but TWO of the infamous Hachem family have made the final table here today.

Both Daniel and Anthony Hachem, sons of 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem, have now been seated on opposite sides of the Star Sydney feature table and will be looking to add onto the family’s collective list of achievements.

Daniel Hachem came close to emulating his father, finishing 79th in the 2019 WSOP for over US$98k, and collecting big scores with a win in APT’s “The Grind” event in 2018, and 2nd place in Event 15 NLH/PLO in the 2016 Aussie Millions (in which yours truly also cashed).

Anthony Hachem has the bigger single score of the pair, winning the 2013 ANZPT Melbourne Main Event for AU$181,460. He also came 2nd in the 2019 Melbourne Poker Championships Deepstack Event for $24,675.

Ali Ghezelbash, Al Josue, GC Champs Day 1 chipleader Lloyd Locsin, and GC Champs Big Bounty Champion Rehman Kassam have also made the final table today.

L-R (Back) Anthony Hachem, Carlos Youssef, Roland Foster, Lloyd Locsin, Rehman Kassam.
L-R (Front) Ali Ghezelbash, Al Josue, Phillip Arcidiacono
Photo courtesy of Star Sydney

Table 32

1Phillip Arcidiacono65,000
2Al Josue1,375,000
3Anthony Hachem885,000
4Ali Ghezelbash830,000
5Roland Foster2,170,000
6Daniel Hachem410,000
7Rehman Kassam325,000
8Carlos Youssef830,000
9Lloyd Locsin430,000

Angelakis archived

Con Angelakis charged into the big stack of Roland Foster with a premium pocket pair, but bad news as Foster held the superior pair.

Foster: KK109
Angelakis: QQ84

Foster’s King’s turned Angelakis dead on the board of K9AA10, and with Angelakis departing in 10th place, our unofficial final table of nine has been set!

Roland Foster2,170,000
Con AngelakisBUSTED!
Con Angelakis

Lin bashed

All in preflop action on Table 32, as Jianwei Lin and Ali Ghezelbash got all the chips in. Lin was the player at risk.

Ghezelbash: AQ104
Lin: J1098

The board ran 5A483 and Lin was eliminated in 11th place.

Ali Ghezelbash830,000
Jianwei LinBUSTED!
Jianwei Lin

Habib crippled then crushed

“I got very lucky” said Daniel Hachem to our Live Reporter after the hand.

The hand in question was all in between Hachem and Habib, with Habib having Hachem covered by just 35,000. Habib had A-A-6-4 with two diamonds, and Hachem had K-J-T-8. The flop came K-9-3 with two diamonds, then an Ace on the turn, and Hachem hit a miracle 3-outer non-diamond Queen on the river to claim the big pot with Broadway.

Habib then got the remainder of his chips in on the next hand, with Lloyd Locsin the only caller.

Locsin: KQ109
Habib: K1094

Both players hit two pair on the K7Q42 run-out, but Locsin’s was best to send Habib to the rail in 12th place.

Lloyd Locsin420,000
Daniel Hachem410,000
Bassam HabibBUSTED!
Bassam Habib

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

Habib teaches how to play jiggidies

Get it in good and hope they miss, apparently. Bassam Habib got all the chips in preflop versus Daniel Hachem, and with cards tabled, Hachem was hoping for a high board.

Habib: JJ87
D. Hachem: AK109

Habib stayed clear ahead as the board of 553Q6 completely whiffed Hachem.

“You’ll have to teach me how to do that!” laughed tablemate Con Angelakis.

Bassam Habib415,000
Daniel Hachem275,000

Set up!

When our Live Reporter approached, Jianwei Lin was well and truly in the tank, facing an all in shove worth 255,000 from Ali Ghezelbash.

It was a battle of the blinds, with Ghezelbash limping preflop, and Lin checking, before both players absolutely smashed the 36J flop. The board completed 2, 8 before Ghezelbash applied all of the pressure.

Lin eventually folded, and Ghezelbash showed first the 10, then the J, then the J, and finally the 3.

“I had a jack and a three too!” exclaimed Lin, “I actually flopped three pair … wow, what a set up, small blind versus big blind.”

“You were lucky to get away from that” remarked tablemate Carlos Youssef. Lucky Lin-deed.

Ali Ghezelbash520,000
Jianwei Lin480,000
Ali Ghezelbash earlier today

Laidlaw dusted

Daniel Laidlaw and Anthony Hachem got their short stacks in on a flop of 1039, with both tabling … not a single pair.

Laidlaw: KJ75
A. Hachem: QJ86

Both players had straight draws galore, however, it was Hachem who made the nut straight on the turn A, river 8.

“Lucky river!” said tablemate Carlos Youssef.
“I needed it.” remarked Hachem, “I was about to lose to King high!”

Laidlaw was left with dust, only 35,000, and promptly short called after Youssef opened the next pot to 90,000. Ali Ghezelbash called from the big blind, only to then check-fold to Youssef’s 100,000 bet on the 852 flop.

Youssef: AAKQ
Laidlaw: AKJ4

Needing a three, and only a three, Laidlaw was unable to catch up on the 2, 9 runout and walks away from the Star Sydney feature table.

Carlos Youssef835,000
Anthony Hachem510,000
Daniel LaidlawBUSTED!
Daniel Laidlaw

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

Yazbeck flies off

Patrick Yazbeck got the last of his chips in against the charismatic Lloyd Locsin, but it was Locsin who had the best hand when the cards were tabled.

Locsin: AA76
Yazbeck: A533

Board: 910262

Despite picking up a draw to the six high, needing either a 3 or a 4 to stay alive, the deuce on the river means Yazbeck is finished for the day.

Lloyd Locsin515,000
Patrick YazbeckBUSTED!
Patrick Yazbeck

And the fortunate Hachem

As his brother Daniel lost the below hand, Anthony Hachem got it all in and at risk, jamming for his last 110,000 over the 75,000 UTG open from Al Josue.

Josue: AJJ7
A. Hachem: 4322

Taking a gamble on a low board, Hachem got his wish, hitting a straight as the board ran out 54796 to secure a much needed double.

Both Hachem’s now have the most recognisable rail in the Australian poker world, as father Joe Hachem, 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion, has taken a seat in-between the two tables, looking rather relaxed!

Al Josue920,000
Anthony Hachem285,000
Anthony Hachem earlier today

“Well, thats (un)fortunate”

Rehman Kassam clicked the pot button on Daniel Hachem’s big blind, action folded to Hachem who announced all in, with Kassam quickly calling.

Kassam: KQ102
D. Hachem: J1098

Kassam: “You’re going to win with a 9, I reckon.”

The flop came 775, the turn 2, Kassam staying ahead, and finally, the river J paired Hachem.

“Well, that’s unfortunate” stated Kassam, before the dealer put all three hearts up, announcing flush. “OH! I didn’t even see my flush draw!”

Cue chuckles all round and Kassam stacked some much needed chippies.

Daniel Hachem370,000
Rehman Kassam340,000

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

Saghabi eliminated

David Saghabi limped in early position, Ali Ghezelbash called in middle position, and Phillip Arcidiacono completed the small blind. Carlos Youssef wasn’t having any of it, though, squeezing with a pot sized bet from the big blind.

Saghabi responded by jamming the remainder of his stack in, and with both Ghezelbash and Arcidiacono getting out the way, Youssef gave a little shrug and called.

Saghabi: A544
Youssef: AKQ7

The board ran out 6107JJ and Youssef secured the elimination.

Carlos Youssef860,000
David SaghabiBUSTED!
David Saghabi

Yanji cord snaps

Roland Foster has become the first millionaire, eliminating Ge Yanji in a huge hand immediately after the break.

Foster hit the pot button preflop from the hijack and received calls from Yanji in the cutoff as well as Kassam in the big blind.

On a flop of Q34, Kassam checked and Foster bet pot again, Yanji made the call and Kassam quickly got out of the way.

Foster then bet enough to put Yanji all in on the 5 turn and Yanji snap called.

“You have a straight?” enquired Foster.
“Nope, nut draw.” responded Yanji, tabling the A10, then the 109.
“Oh okay, I have Aces and an open ender.” replied Foster, tabling AA56.

The river 7 completed the straight for Foster, sending Yanji straight to the bottom.

Roland Foster1,420,000
Rehman Kassam135,000
Ge Yanji

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

Table draw and counts

Table 30

1Lloyd Locsin395,000
2Bassam Habib330,000
3Rehman Kassam235,000
4Patrick Yazbeck285,000
5Con Angelakis235,000
6Daniel Hachem585,000
7Roland Foster860,000
8Ge Yanji410,000

Table 32

1Carlos Youssef545,000
2Daniel Laidlaw375,000
3David Saghabi225,000
4Anthony Hachem275,000
5Ali Ghezelbash885,000
6Jianwei Lin445,000
7Al Josue720,000
8Phillip Arcidiacono510,000

Break time

The players have just left for a 20-minute break.

PMA will be back with a full re-draw, seating and counts, shortly.

Vulic vaulted

Luka Vulic, who missed a large portion of today’s play due to not realising it was a 2-day event and having other commitments today to attend to, turned up late to a shorter stack than he bagged and has recently been eliminated at the hands of Jianwei Lin.

Lin: AA108
Vulic: 10987

Vulic was, unfortunately for him, able to hit any kind of straight on the rather uncooperative board of Q24Q7 and with that elimination, the clock has been paused to break down to two tables, as there were 16 players remaining.

Jianwei Lin

Caris cut

On a flop of 6J9, Al Josue applied the ultimate pressure, shoving all in versus Charles Caris. Caris short-called and both players turned over their cards.

Josue: QQJ10
Caris: AK98

The board completed J to give Caris the nut flush draw, but still behind to Josue’s now-trips, then the river 8 to give Josue the straight and the pot.

Al Josue693,000
Charles CarisBUSTED!
Charles Caris

Rhodes hits the road

Paul Rhodes has been eliminated over the space of two hands in quick succession, including a rough beat.

Firstly, in the previous level, Ge Yanji was in action again, getting it in versus Rhodes; but when the cards were tabled, Yanji found he was drawing very thin indeed.

Rhodes: AAK10
Yanji: KK76

With the news that another player had folded a King, and with Rhodes holding one himself, Yanji needed another way to win the hand. He got it, though, flopping Rhodes nearly dead on the board of 6Q95A, with the Aces going from a 68% favourite preflop to just 2.8% on the flop.

Rhodes then bet pot from the button the next hand, stealing the blinds and antes, before repeating action the next hand, but this time receiving a call from Patrick Yazbeck in the small blind before Con Angelakis got out of the way.

The flop dropped 943 and Yazbeck shoved, Rhodes called in short order, and both players tabled their cards.

Yazbeck: J10102
Rhodes: KQ32

Rhodes couldn’t come from behind and the Tens held on the runout of 8, 6.

Ge Yanji408,000
Patrick Yazbeck346,000
Paul RhodesBUSTED!
Paul Rhodes

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

Straight is best for Kassam

Rehman Kassam has been short most of the day and recently got his remaining 102,000 in with AKQ9 against the KJJ3 of Ge Yanji.

Kassam hit Broadway and faded the board pairing on the board of K10J67 to double through.

Rehman Kassam248,000
Ge Yanji223,000

Laoyant, not buoyant

Daniel Hachem has eliminated Patrick Laoyant, who started on the day on Table 17 but as play is now down to the last 3 tables was broken into Table 31 not too long ago.

All the chips went in preflop and the cards were tabled.

Hachem: AKK3
Laoyant: AQJ10

Hachem rivered a nut flush on a board of 991024 and sunk Laoyant.

Daniel Hachem340,000
Patrick LaoyantBUSTED!
Patrick Laoyant

Full house on board

Bassam Habib has earned a full double up, getting it all in preflop versus the big-stacked Al Josue with pocket Aces.

Habib: AA106
Josue: AKJJ

The board came 55888 – a full house on board but playing the superior pocket pair Habib’s hand was best the whole way through for a full double.

Al Josue432,000
Bassam Habib256,000

Pongrass mowed

Roland Foster has claimed another scalp for today, this time getting it in on the flop of J75 versus Matt Pongrass.

Foster: AK98
Pongrass: AJ76

Pongrass had flopped top two, but Foster hit his double gutshot as the board completed 3, 6.

Roland Foster849,000
Matt PongrassBUSTED!
Matt Pongrass

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

All aboard the Caris-coaster

Charles Caris has had a very down and up last couple of hands, first matching Jianwei Lin’s remaining 138,000 on a flop of 858 before the cards were tabled.

Caris: QQ76
Lin: AQ98

The turn and river completed 3, 2, with trips good enough to secure Lin the full double.

Caris was left with 38,000, which promptly went in on the next hand, jamming over Daniel Hachem’s 20,000 open. Locsin made the call, Josue made the call, and Hachem completed to see a four way flop of Q74. Hachem bet 60,000 into the dead side pot, forcing Locsin and Josue out of the way.

Hachem: AA25
Caris: K544

The flopped set was enough for Caris, as Hachem couldn’t spike an Ace on the 8, 3 runout.

Jianwei Lin352,000
Charles Caris170,000
Daniel Hachem165,000

Thiel terminated

Con Angelakis raised in early position before Joshua Thiel jammed his remaining 58,000 in. Action folded all the way back around to Angelakis, who made a quick call.

Angelakis: KK107
Thiel: QJ108

Board: 23656

Thiel knew his run was over as soon as the flop dropped, needing runner runner and already packing his bags.

Con Angelakis286,000
Joshua ThielBUSTED!
Joshua Thiel

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

Lox rox

Lloyd Locsin raised to 19,000 UTG and recieved a call from Al Josue in seat 4. Charles Caris and Bassam Habib folded their blinds and the dealer spread a flop of 1044, which was checked by both “Lox” and Josue.

On the turn of 9, Locsin fired 40,000 and Josue considered his options for a couple of minutes before making the call, but folded when Locsin fired 60,000 on the 6 river.

Josue got some back the next hand, raising to 18,000 UTG on Locsin’s big blind, then continuing for 35,000 on the AJJ flop to a fold from Locsin.

A few hands later, Charles Caris, who is seated to the left of the still-absent Luka Vulic, raised to 18,000 UTG after complaining to our Live Reporter about being UTG ‘twice every orbit’. Action folded around to Daniel Hachem in the big blind, who made the call to see a A55 flop.

Hachem checked, Caris continued for 28,000, only to let his cards go when Hachem came over the top to 75,000.

Al Josue589,000
Charles Caris335,000
Lloyd Locsin324,000
Daniel Hachem275,000

Grant goneski

Roland Foster has claimed Stephen Grant as the first scalp of the day, with all the chips going in on the flop of 439 except for 10,000, which was bet and called blind before the turn fell anyway.

Grant: AQQ5
Foster: 5624

The turn and river completed 2, 6, with both players making a straight, but Grant’s wheel not wheel-y enough.

Elsewhere on a different table, Lloyd Locsin made the cardinal error of folding without realising he was big blind on first hand… and asked us not to put it in the blog, so of course, it’s going in the blog.

Roland Foster605,000
Stephen GrantBUSTED!
Stephen Grant

Shuffle up and deal!

And we’re away! Tournament staff have commenced proceedings and our remaining 27 players have been dealt their first cards of the day.

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

A new day!

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia‘s coverage of the WPTDeepStacks series from The Star Sydney!

Today, the $440 PLO tournament plays to a conclusion; from 365 entries, we have 27 players remaining currently on 4 tables. All players are in the money and guaranteed $1,054 as the bubble burst late yesterday, and will be playing for a top prize of $30,662.

Leading the way after yesterday’s action is Sydney poker veteran Ali Ghezelbash, who will be gunning for a first WPT title.

Play is 8-max, meaning we have 4 tables at the moment, but play will be broken down to 3 tables as soon as we hit 24 players.

The players have unbagged their chips, the dealers have loaded their shoes; so stay with us here on the PMA Live Reporting blog and follow the feature table streaming over at Best of luck to all our players today!

Day 2 seat draw

Table 17

SeatFirst NameSurnameChips

Table 30


Table 31


Table 32 (Feature Table)


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