LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event Day 1A

Who’s got all the chips? He’s Gautam.

After not having played a poker tournament in over two years, Gautam Dhingra would have been forgiven for not expecting too much from this Main Event. However, he has ended the day with a resounding 648,500 in chips bagged for Day 2.

In a trip initially meant primarily to catch up with friends in Sydney, the Melbourne local now has his sights set on a larger goal from his stay in the harbour city.

PokerMedia Australia asked when he touched down in Sydney and how long he plans to stay, Dhingra responded with, “I only arrived yesterday…” “Hopefully I’ll be here ’til the end of Day 3!”

Reflecting on the 10 and a half hours of play, and how he garnered his chips, Dhingra simply said “I won a few flips.”

After so long without playing tournaments, Dhingra felt a little bit bored merely an hour in, but the encouragement of a friend who said to “not get impatient”, gave Dhingra the mental kick he needed to push through the day and come out on top.

“I played tighter than usual, hopefully I can keep this up”.

Well, it seems to be working. We’ll find out how his stack compares to the other big stacks across the remaining two flights on Friday and Saturday. Average stack currently stands at about 195,500.

Other players to bag today include German wunderkind Martin Finger, and no less than FOUR members of Australia’s Poker Hall of Fame in Jeff Lisandro, Grant Levy, Manny Stavropoulos, and Gary Benson.

Janet Wyvil, Zac Duce, and Team PMA‘s own Russell Fogarty also bagged, whilst it was a rough day on the felt for Angel Guillen, Jarred Graham, Aroha Ngata, Martin Ward, and Aaron Cauchi.

Other big stacks included Hamish Crawshaw, Jiapeng Yang (468,500), Josh Norvock (368,000), and Ken Foo (348,500). Official stack confirmation still to come from The Star Sydney.

As of the end of Day 1A, we had 85 runners remaining from a total of 554 entries. The prize pool currently stands at a whopping $736,820 with two flights remaining. Large turnouts taking their seats in the surrounding satellites are giving promise to what may be a record field for a DeepStacks tournament with a buy-in of over $1,000.

Play gets underway for Flight Day 1B on Friday at 2:30pm AEST. PMA will be back once more with plenty of live updates so you can continue to follow the action here at The Star Sydney for the WPTDeepStacks Series.

Gautam Dhingra

Foo’d for thought

A massive three-way all in during one of the final hands of the day saw Michael Hornstein, Nikhil Autar, and Ken Foo all show their cards pre-flop.

Foo: KK
Autar: 88
Hornstein: A10

The board ran out: 2210J2

Ken Foo405,000
Nikhil Autar350,000
Michael HornsteinBUSTED!

Hanging on a little l-Onger

“All in and a call!” Yelled Team PMA‘s Russell Fogarty from a nearby table, where Eddie Onger shoved preflop for 73,000 from early position, and Dominic Coombe re-jammed to put him at risk, forcing the blinds out of the way in the process, and cards were tabled.

Onger: 44
Coombe: AK

Coombe certainly had a premium holding … but that went out the window when the 4 appeared in the window, followed by the 93 to complete the flop.

Looking for runner runner cards, they didn’t materialise on the 10, 5 runout.


Yang-er management

Jiapeng Yang was in the big blind when UTG raised it up to 10,500. Hijack called, button called and Yang defended his big blind. On a flop of K46, Yang checked to the pre-flop aggressor UTG who fired a continuation bet of 12,500.

The hijack called once more, button folded and then Yang re-popped it to 55,000. UTG moved all in and Yang promptly called.

Yang: 66

The board ran out UTG: 3, 5 and Yang picked up a healthy pot.

Jiapeng Yang368,000
Jiapeng Yang

The Jack of fades

Jumping into the final level of Day 1A brings an expectation of action as players look to double their stacks, or bust and hope to do better in the next flight.

This involves many flips and we saw the first of which at Table 9, Jack Zhang got his chips all in with AJ on a flop of A8K against his opponent’s 65.

Needing to fade any hearts on the remaining two cards, Zhang did just that. The rest of the board came out A8, seeing the demise of his opponent and a good stack to head into Day 2.

Jack Zhang240,000
Jack Zhang

Level 14: 3,000/5,000 (5,000)

Shaq attacked

Moving all in from the cut-off, Altrim “Shaq-Attack” Shaqiri aimed to put pressure on the smaller stacks in the blinds, however, he didn’t expect to run into a monster in the hands of David Evans.

Flopping top pair, Shaqiri thought he’d gotten away with it, but the river had other ideas.

Evans: AJ
Shaqiri: K10

Board: 74103J

Stand-up equity

The age-old practice of standing up when at risk and behind has worked a charm for Chris Zenonos.

Going all in pre flop with KQ, he found a quick caller in David Sebesfi with AK.

Zenonos stood up and turned around, only to hear there’d been a flop of AQQ. The turn of 8 brought about a sweat in the form of a flush draw, but Zenonos survived with a 7 on the river.

Chris Zenonos100,000
David Sebesfi30,000

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

Dial A for Aces

It was a different Hitchcock involved in the telling of this story.

Milan Stojkovic opened to 7,000, and Simon Hitchcock 3-bet from the button to 18,000.

With both blinds getting out of the way, action was back to Stojkovic, who wasted no time shoving all in, only to see Hitchcock check his cards to make sure, then call instantly.

Hitchcock: AA
Stojkovic: AK

“Michael, Michael! Ace King into Aces” yelled Stojkovic, presumably at someone named Michael across the room (we still don’t know who).

The board spread 3627, and Stokjovic forlornly stated “I’m dead” before the 4 hit the river.

Simon Hitchcock282,500
Milan StojkovicBUSTED!
Simon Hitchcock

Pedro Busto

Pedro Papaleo, getting short, open jammed his remaining chips from UTG+1. 

Action folded to $1,100 final tablist Jethro Horowitz then re-jammed over the top, and both blinds quickly got out of the way. 

Horowitz: AA 
Papaleo: A8 

The board didn’t even give Papaleo a whisper of a dream, running 6J9A6 to send him home.

Jethro Horowitz159,900
Pedro PapleoBUSTED!

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

Danny doubles through

Danny Ayoub has been getting short, but found his spot a moment ago, shoving preflop for his last 49,500. Wilson Luong, after getting a count, shoved over the top, and David Sebesfi quickly got out of the way.

Ayoub: 99
Luong: AK

It was a classic race, but Ayoub had the best of it after the board ran out JJ755, his pocket pair besting the overcards this time round.

Danny Ayoub104,000
Wilson Luong106,000
David Sebesfi113,000

Rub of the Green

Steven Green raised under the gun, and was three-bet by Jayden Zalac. Action folded back around to Green, who applied maximum pressure, four-bet shoving all-in – but it was no pressure to Zalac, who snap called to put Green at risk.

Green: AA
Zalac: AK.

Zalac had found himself in a dominated spot and was unable to catch up on the board of 710K46.

Green doubled through to be among the average stacks.

Steven Green106,000
Jayden Zalac120,000

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

Shebat trap

Chris Shebat sat back and let Jerome Tan do all the betting after Shebat flopped a monster.

After UTG+1 opened the action to 4,000, Shebat flatted. Tan then made it 15,000 from the big blind, pushing UTG+1 out of the way and allowing Shebat to close the action with a call.

The flop came 5410, Tan lead for 9,500, and Shebat called. The turn of 3, saw another bet from Tan for 18,000.

On the river 3, Tan moved all in. Shebat called for his tournament life without hesitation.

Shebat: 44
Tan: AQ

Chris Shebat186,000
Jerome Tan44,000

Huang out to dry

Najeem Ajez three-bet all in for 38,000 over the top of an UTG raise to 4,500. After asking for a count, Vincent Huang elected to re-jam for 98,000. UTG got out of the way and the two turned over their cards.

Huang: AK
Ajez: A4

Upon seeing the cards, Ajez saw his odds were slim and utter the words “Bye, bye.”

A flop of 625 gave him some hope, announcing “I’ve got a gutshot!”

The dream turn card of the 7 gave him plenty of outs, and he hit his straight on the river of 3.

Najeem Ajez85,500
Vincent Huang60,000

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

Fraser blazes through to a double knockout

Michael Fraser was the centre of a three way all in, putting his chips in the middle against two shorter stacks.

Michael Fraser: KK
Aden Ang: AQ
Sam Higgs: Q10

Board: JJ295

Michael Fraser135,000
Sam HiggsBUSTED!
Michael Fraser

Varma vanquished

Sammy Baghdadi continued his big stack ways, this time seeing to the demise of Hari Harma.

Baghdadi limped in the small blind to Varma in the big blind who raised to 4,600 total. Baghdadi called and they saw a flop of 9108.

Baghdadi checked, Varma made it 3500 and was called.

Turn: Q. Both players elected to check

On a river of 3, Baghdadi checked once more. Varma lead for 15,000, leaving himself 8,000 behind.

Baghdadi quickly moved to put Varma all in and he obliged. Baghdadi showed K10 for the second nuts and Varma mucked his cards and vacated his seat.

Sammy Baghdadi227,000
Hari VarmaBUSTED!

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

Bluff-catching is on the Todor list

Todor Kondevski caught his opponent out trying to make a play with bottom pair.

On a flop of 782, a gentleman in the big blind decided to put the pressure on and move all in for 28,000. Kondevski quickly called with 98 to see his opponent’s 32.

“I’m in big trouble.” – The big blind as his all in was called.

The turn and river ensured there was no bad beat on 48 and Kodevski sent his opponent to the rail.

Todor Kondevski 63,500

Andy two cards

Andy Miller found himself the beneficiary of a three way all in, chips flew into the middle preflop and Miller had both of his opponents covered.

Miller: JJ
Button: K9
UTG: Q10

Board: 942103

Andy Miler58,000
Andy Miller

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

Varma wants the strife

Maciek Kusnier found himself in big trouble calling Hari Varma who moved all in on a flop of 8A7. With Maciek at risk, he still stood a chance with KK ahead of Varma’s J10. That was until a magical turn card of 9 gave Varma the straight flush.

The meaningless river card came 7, and Maciek was sent to the elimination station.

Hari Varma62,000
Maciek KusnierBUSTED!
Hari Vama

Feng ends Abdine’s event

Shivan abdine fell to the mercy of the classic Ace-King v Ace-Queen situation, moving all in and gaining a quick call from Feng Zhao.

Feng Zhoa: AK
Shivan Abdine: AQ

Board: 848109

Feng Zhoa48,000
Shivan AbdineBUSTED!

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

James claws a river knockout

James Khaw has gotten his chip count up to average stack, eliminating Hassib Younan in the process.

Getting their chips all in pre flop, Khaw had a number of outs leading into the river and eventually spiked one of them.

Khaw: A4
Younan: 1010

Board: K678A

James Khaw51,000
Hassib YounanBUSTED!
James Khaw

A very merry Jerry

A crazy hand over on Table 25 saw Jerry Wang get it in preflop versus Adam Cusenza.

With Cusenza flopping a boat on K55 with KK against Wang’s AA, a turn card of A saw Cusenza needing to make quads to have any chance.

A river of7 sealed a double up for Wang, and Cusenza rueing a chance to take a dominant chip stack into the latter half of the day’s play.

Jerry Wang131,000
Adam Cusenza60,000

Level 6: 400/800 (800)

Sportelli takes the lead

Adrian Sportelli raised to 2,200 from the hijack with KJ over the top of an UTG raise. To Sportelli’s surprise, the UTG player limp re-raised to 7,600. Sportelli called and saw a flop of 248.

The UTG player opened jammed 1010 straight into Sportelli’s flopped flush and a runout of 56 did nothing to change his fate.

Adrian Sportelli214,000
Adrian Sportelli

Rubie bogged down

Mitch Bognar found himself in a nice spot against Brendon Rubie who moved all in for 12,500 with 77. Bognar woke up with 1010 and got his chips in the middle pre-flop.

The board ran out K8A46 ensuring Bognar got a healthy chip up and sending Rubie to the re-entry queue.

Mitch Bognar66,000
Brendon RubieBUSTED!
Mitch Bognar

Level 5: 300/600 (600)

Sammy on his way to a big Baghdadi

Sammy Baghdadi appears to be our chip leader in the early stages of flight 1A of the Main Event.

His run good continuing against a player who opened to 1,100 preflop, Baghdadi made it 3,200 from the cut-off and his opponent flatted the bet from UTG. The flop came J34, UTG checked, Baghdadi made it 2,800 and the UTG player moved all in for 13,000 more.

Baghdadi decided to go with his two over cards of AK against UTG’s 99 and took a nice chip up on a turn and river of 6K.

Sammy Baghdadi 165,000
Sammy Baghdadi

Ricky Kroesen along nicely

On Table 30, UTG opened to 1,000, and middle position re-raised to 2,600. WPT Gold Coast Ambassador Ricky Kroesen flat called from the cut-off with AQ, The big blind came over the top with a bet of 6500 and, once folded around, Kroesen called.

On a flop of 46Q, the big blind made it 11,000 to which Kroesen called. On a turn of 3, the big blind moved all in with KQ, Kroesen called and the big blind couldn’t catch up on the river of 3.

Ricky Kroesen67,500
Ricky Kroesen

Level 4: 300/500 (500)

Gracious in Dief-eat

Hugo Dief found himself the victim of an action-packed cooler against Brenton Buttigieg over on table 36. With three players all in on a flop of 8K7, their hands were revealed.

Buttigieg: K2
Dief: 77
Opponent: 88

The board ran out 2J, giving Buttigieg a huge triple-up and leaving Dief with the crumbs of the side pot. Dief took the beat well, and set his sights on running it back up.

Brenton Buttigieg

Gergis gets a triple

Steve Gergis found himself the beneficiary of a three way all in, with action both pre and post-flop. Three players got all their chips on the turn.

Steve Gergis: A10
Jack Lee: KQ
Natalie Segon: A4

Board: J2QK7

Segon, the biggest of the three stacks, chipped up the other two in the hand, decimating her count.

Steve Gergis43,000
Jack Lee23,000
Natalie Segon5,900

Level 3: 200/400 (400)

“Oh I just run into quads, ok”

Those were the words of David Sebesfi, moments after he managed to stay alive in the Main Event.

On Table 22, Sebesfi opened from UTG to 1000, Natalie Segon called on the button, and Allan Tang three-bet from the small blind to 4500. Sebesfi made the call and Segon folded.

The flop came 9KK. Tang continued for 3000, Sebesfi called. Tang checked the turn card of 2, to which Sebesfi bet 11,000 and was called.

On a river of 2, Tang lead for 5,000. Sebesfi snap called and was shown KK for Tang’s flopped quads.

Allan Tang57,600
David Sebesfi7,500

Action on Table 23

It’s a number associated with greatness, and Table 23 here at The Star Sydney Poker Room has not dissappointed. Brendon Rubie, Afa Tuionuku, Martin Boersma and Toby Giles are all seated together and looking to get chips off of one another.

However, early on it was Ling Sun making big moves in a hand against Sailendra Sha.

Brendon Rubie opened the action to 600 from UTG, Sun three-bet to 1800 from the cut-off, and Sha four-bet to 5600 from the small blind. Rubie got out of the way and Sun elected to call and see a flop of AJA action checked through on the flop, and also on the turn of K. The river brought a double-paired board with the K.

Sha checked a third time, and Sun piled an overbet of 14,700 into the middle. Sha tanked for upwards of two minutes before letting of of his hand.

Ling Sun42,000
Sailendra Sha31,000

Level 2: 200/300 (300)

Sascha gets his man

Sascha Manns was responsible for the first elimination of the Main Event, and it happened live on stream.

Matthew Carden opened the action to 500 from middle position. Three-betting AA from the hijack, Manns was pleased to see Carden four-bet, and eventually six-bet jam for 24,500 effective.

Carden had KK and was left with a few chips after a board of 610739 served him no assistance.

Sascha Manns63,000
Matthew CardenBUSTED!

Cards in on the air

Presenting today’s starting nine on the Star Poker Sydney feature table which is broadcasting right now over at Tune in to the stream for a taste of the action here at The Star Sydney for the centrepiece of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Series.

Feature table starting line-up

1Sascha Manns
2Erden Ibrahim
3Peco Stojanovski
4Hugo Dief
5Ping Liu
6Samuel Higgs
7Steve Frangeskos
8Matthew Carden
9Chris Daoud

Day 1A is underway!

Cards are in the air as 357 runners have already taken their seats to commence the first of three flights, for what is anticipated to be the one of the largest events in the 20 years of WPT history.

Players are starting with 30,000 in their chip stacks and blinds will increase every 40 minutes.

The team at PokerMedia Australia would like to wish all of the players the very best of luck as they play for a piece of what is projected to be a healthy prize pool.

Starting stacks and player passes for Main Event Day 1A

Level 1: 100/200 (200)

The Main Event!

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

Today brings us the one we’ve all been waiting for – the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event! Having seen huge numbers across all of the side events this week, hopes are high that the trend will continue throughout the next few days.

Could we even see Sydney better the 1,108 starters who took part in the last WPTDeepStacks event held on Aussie shores – WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast – in May 2021?

As always, PokerMedia Australia will be on the floor to bring you all the live action from this flagship poker event.

Our coverage starts from 2.30pm local time.

Thumbs up and ready to go

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