LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event Day 1B

Coveney has everyone covered; bags overall chip lead for WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event Day 1B

Ross Coveney has come from seemingly nowhere to take the chip lead for Day 1B of the WPTDeepStacks Main Event.

A massive hand which saw him eliminate both Sam Higgs and 2022 Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event champion Adrian Sportelli sent Ross rocketing up the count straight to pole position for Sunday’s Day 2.

Ross Coveney

Coveney is no stranger to a long day’s play of poker, and when speaking to PokerMedia Australia after bagging his chips he still felt “good”, despite playing for almost 11 hours. With 714,000 bagged for Day 2, Coveney is in a commanding position, over 65,000 chips wealthier than Gautam Dhingra (Day 1A chip leader).

The Irishman, living in Sydney, was attracted to the WPTDeepStacks Main Event due to a recent lack of poker and for for WPT’s “big brand”. He maintained that he plays every game the same, regardless of the size of the buy-in. 

Coveney’s biggest piece of advice to himself was to simply; “Try not to bluff off chips.” He followed that advice all day, and presented himself a huge opportunity to potentially win a hefty piece of the ever-increasing prize pool.

When asked what he’d do if he were to win the tournament, Coveney responded, “Take my son to the Champions League Final.” Hopefully to see his beloved Liverpool FC. 

For now his plans for if he were to be eliminated are to join the rest of his family on a trip to WA.

“Hopefully I’ll be flying first class,” he chuckled.

Coveney will recommence his Main Event for Day 2 on Sunday at 11:30am. He’ll be alongside other notably-sized stacks including Trung Tran (480,000), James Yang (443,000), Eli Chehade (410,000), and Pat Barba (397,000).

Other players to bag a stack today included Ken Tieu, Lloyd Locsin, and Opening Event Champion Michelle Psarras, whilst it was a disappointing day for GC Champs Main Event Champion Jen Cassell, Robert Damelian, Joe Hachem, Ling Liu, Brett Marshall and Matt Pongrass.

PMA will be here again tomorrow to cover all the action for Day 1C of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event, as we look to break the record for the largest Main Event in Australian history, with coverage beginning from 12:30pm AEST. For now, that’s all from us, thank you for tuning in.

Sportelli censored, Higgs depart-icled.

Adrian Sportelli open jammed for 96,000 and Sam Higgs re-jammed over the top for about 230,000, before Ross Coveney called, having both covered.

Sportelli: 1010
Higgs: 99
Coveney: AK

Sportelli was his usual dynamic self, yelling to anyone who would listen “HOOOOLD baby! I just need to hold!” before the dealer went to spread the flop, immediately hesitating as the A appeared in the window to a curse word from Sportelli.

The full board spread 24A47. Sportelli repeated the same curse word, and when advised that PMA couldn’t quote him on that, laughed with us and said “You want a quote?” before repeating the same curse word a few more times. Unlucky, but he’s a good Sportelli.

This hand sent Coveney flying up to the top of the counts, where bar any surprises, we suspect he will stay. Jordan Bromley is also seated on the same table, and has lost a bit since we last counted.

Ross Coveney675,000
Jordan Bromley105,000
Sam HiggsBUSTED!
Adrian SportelliBUSTED!
Ross Coveney

Chuck luck

Chuck Norris, sorry, Caris, checked the action across to his opponent on a flop of 48J.

His opponent fired 30,000 and Caris barely hesitated, moving all in for 104,000. He got a shock when his opponent snap-called, tabling AA.

“Uh oh,” said Caris, “I’m gonna need some luck here,” as he tabled J9 then spied our Live Reporter, “Oh no, no press!” he laughed.

He got the luck, though, as the board ran out J, 6 and Caris doubled up.

What hand beats a Royal Flush? Chuck Norris’ right hand.

Chuck Caris241,000
Chuck Caris

Not a Lock(sin)

James Yang limped UTG and Lloyd Locsin made it 15,000 from middle position.

Both blinds folded and Yang executed the limp raise, upping it to 75,000. Locsin took his time before shoving all in, having Yang well covered.

Yang called, and the cards were tabled.

Locsin: AA
Yang: 1010

Amazingly, both players flopped a set as the board spread A10Q9, but when just when Locsin thought he had locked in the chiplead again, the 10 on the river struck him down, sending Yang flying up the counts with quads.

James Yang476,000
Lloyd Locsin272,000
Lloyd Locsin

Bink Lee

Siyoung Lee found himself to be the perpetrator in a rivered cooler versus a nameless opponent.

Lee opened the action to 9,000 from middle position and then the gentleman in the big blind upped the price to 29,000. Lee flatted to see a flop of AA5.

The big blind grabbed 40,000 of his 71,000 chips and put them in the middle. Lee called to see a turn.

When the 3 came out, the big blind moved all in for his remaining 31,000.

Lee, holding J10, truly believed he was well behind but insisted he could not fold for the price he was getting to try and hit a flush on the river. He made the call and was correct when his opponent revealed AQ.

However, Lee was rewarded for his play, spiking the 6 on the river to eliminate his opponent.

Siyoung Lee168,000

Broom swept

James “Jabba” Broom has been eliminated in two successive hands, getting it in first against the short stacked Hun Lee.

Lee: JJ
Broom: AQ

The board ran 49107, (Cue “Always a sweat!” from tablemates” K and Broom found himself a short stack.

Broom then got it in the very next hand and was called by Trung Tran on the big blind.

Broom: A9
Tran: K9

The flop was all diamonds, 582, giving Tran a flush draw. Always a sweat. The turn 2 changed nothing, but the 6 realised the flush, and Broom was cleaned up.

We can also confirm Brett Marshall has recently been eliminated. Marshall, who final tabled the Opening Event at the GC Champs last month, had A-K suited in the big blind and called an open shove to find his opponent had A-J, only for his opponent to hit Broadway on the runout. Unlucky Brett!

Trung Tran365,000
Hun Lee95,000
James “Jabba” BroomBUSTED!
Brett MarshallBUSTED!
Trung Tran

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

Last break!

With only two levels left of play today, our remaining players have headed off for a 10-minute break, giving us a chance to get some chip counts for you all.

David Luong383,000
Dylan Wayne359,000
Dinesh Singham324,500
Lloyd Locsin321,500
Attila Bognar310,000
Adam Ratten287,500
Omer Silajdzija274,500
Mina Elias272,500
Michelle Psarras269,000
Ken Tieu226,500
Anthony Cierco224,500
Ali Zebarjad211,000
Mike Maddocks195,000
Chuck Caris190,500
Thomas Pongrass188,000
Adrian Sportelli185,000
Anthony Hachem178,000
Patrick Yazbeck171,500
Roy Agresta112,000
Harry Basle97,000
Suzy Khoueis89,000
Brett Marshall88,000
Corey Kempson86,000
Josh McSwiney76,500
Alex Lynskey72,000
Jordan Bromley66,500
Andrej Senic59,000
Hari Varma51,500
David Luong

One two for Ratten, please

On a flop of 349, Ken Tieu and an opponent in middle position both checked. Adam Ratten fired a bet from the cutoff of 11,000, and only Tieu called.

The turn 10 was checked by both players, and Tieu led out with a blocker bet of 7,000 on the 2 river.

Turns out, the deuce certainly helped Ratten, even if it was a heart, as he made the call, tabling 22 after seeing Tieu’s 34.

Ken Tieu287,500
Adam Ratten226,500
Adam Ratten

Caris set for a bag

On a table with the 2019 WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast Champion Hari Varma, Chuck Caris and Ryan Hong recently tangled.

On a flop of 26K, Hong led out for 8,500 and Chuck Caris called. Hong then checked the 8 turn and Caris fired 9,000, which Hong called.

The river was the 5 and Hong again checked it over to Caris, who fired out a ‘rainbow bet’ (one of each chip denomination) of 31,500.

Hong went into the tank, and eventually called, only to quickly muck when Caris tabled 22.

Chuck Caris205,000
Ryan Hong131,000
Hari Varma81,000

Simons sent packing

Dan Simons has been eliminated, getting the rest of his 8,000 chips in from small blind after Eli “X” (last name withheld) and Jhonny Yammin both limped in late position.

“Half of those chips are mine!” said the player on the button, who must have doubled Simons up on the previous hand.

Reza Vakili called from the big blind, “X” called, but Yammin had other ideas, shoving for approximately 80,000 to force both Vakili and “X” out.

Yammin: A8
Simons: 63

Yammin flopped best on the 95A, but Simons did pick up some equity on the 4 turn. It wasn’t to be, however, as the dealer peeled the 9 on the river to finish the job.

Reza Vakili242,000
Eli “X”186,000
Jhonny Yammin117,000
Dan SimonsBUSTED!

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

Pongrass family act

The Pongrass family is in action again today – or one half, at least.

Matt Pongrass has recently busted, but came running back over to his father Thomas, who came 3rd in the $660 Big Bounty yesterday (and is still in the Main Event, Matt), to share some big news.

As our PMA Live Reporter was nearby, we got the full story as well – Pongrass Jr had gone to play some Texas Bonus whilst waiting for his father to inevitably bag for the night and had flopped a straight flush, resulting in a 10% jackpot payout; meaning he received $58,270.

Pongrass Jr excitedly looked in awe at the shiny yellow $5k chips in the palm of his hand, whilst Pongrass Sr laughed and said “You’d better be getting out of here, go home before you spend it!”

Thomas Pongrass192,000
Thomas Pongrass

Kill Hill: Volume I

Needing a quick double up, Kurt Hill found the perfect opportunity to do so, waking up with AK on the button.

With action folding around to him, he pulled the trigger and got all 28,000 of his chips into the middle. Marcus Unwin made the call from the big blind with A7 and they saw a flop of 938.

Hill went from being a 3 to 1 favourite, to essentially flipping for his tournament life. The turn of 10 gave Unwin an open-ended straight draw to accompany his flush draw and Hill had a feeling it was all over.

The J on the river sealed Hill’s fate, ending his Main Event… at least for today.

Marcus Unwin170,000
Kurt HillBUSTED!

“Thanks for making me suffer!”

Suzy Khoueis hadn’t exactly had the best run so far on Day 1B here at the WPT DeepStacks Main Event.

Having her Pocket Queens beaten by a set of Tens and Sixes, and losing with Ace-King to Ace-Queen courtesy of a rivered Queen, Suzy was almost hoping to be eliminated and have it all over and done with.

Forced all-in on the big blind for 1500, she found protection from Eli who raised UTG. Khal Fayad came in with a three-bet which folded back around to Eli who elected to see a flop of 2K6.

Eli lead the flop, all the while Khoueis was getting ready to leave, “I don’t want to be here”. 

Fayad called and took a turn of 9.

Khoueis again, sitting alone with her main pot of 8,500, let everyone know “I don’t even know what I’ve got!”

Eli lead for a larger bet into what was a hefty side pot, Fayad showed his QQ as he tossed them into the muck. 

Eli took home the side pot and showed his 77, Khoueis showed Q9 for what ended up being the winning hand after the river card came in the form of a 5.

Suzy Khoueis8,500
Khal Fayad70,000

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

Broom sweeps

Hun Lee opened the action from the button, applying pressure to the blinds, and called off when James “Jabba” Broom shoved back from the big blind for his last remaining chips.

Broom: AK
Lee: K4

The board was a clean sweep for Broom, running out 6610A6, a full house on the river just rubbing it in after Lee was drawing dead on the turn.

On the same table, Anthony Cierco has been quietly motoring along and building up a stack. The Frenchman, who took out the Alpha3 event at the Febuary QPC in the Tweed Coast, and the Jackstar Super High Roller at the APLPT in January on the Gold Coast, has been having an amazing 2022 so far. He’s not exactly camera shy either – what a pose!

Hun Lee106,000
Anthony Cierco70,500
James Broom40,000

Taken for Granted

Stephen Grant opened the action to 4,500 and Yerim Kim 3-bet to 11,500. Grant made the call when it got back around to him, and the pair saw a flop of 773, which they both checked.

Grant led out for 13,000 on the 8 turn, and Kim took her time, before putting out calling chips.

On the 8 river, Grant slowed down and checked. After a few moments, Kim rapped the table to check behind, and Grant immediately tabled 1010.

Kim mucked, giving Grant a decent size pot.

On the same table is APT Ambassador Mike Maddocks, who’s managed to stay out of the media spotlight so far. The Canadian-born expatriate finished runner-up in the 2021 WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast Main Event for $177,166, and will no doubt be looking to repeat the performance.

Stephen Grant170,000
Yerim Kim109,500
Mike Maddocks75,000

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

Dinner break!

Players have left for a 30-minute dinner break, and the room is smelling fantastic with an assortment of food from the variety of eating outlets here at The Star.

Meanwhile, here are some assorted counts.

Ken Tieu295,700
Darius Bucinskas270,000
Charlie Hawes253,800
Luke McCredie230,000
Reza Vakili217,000
Jordan Bromley194,000
Dylan Wayne192,000
Dinesh Singham190,000
Bert Perry179,300
Roy Agresta176,400
Brenton Buttigieg147,800
Omer Silajdzija144,600
Adrian Sportelli134,000
Michelle Psarras132,200
Patrick Yazbeck120,000
Liam Murray111,500
Josh McSwiney101,900
Liam Jehu95,900
Chuck Caris88,400
Jen Cassell76,200
Lloyd Locsin70,500
Harry Basle67,100
Mina Gerges43,300
Noman Mirza39,400
Alba Qi35,300
Ken Tieu

Straight to camera

As all the other players departed on their dinner break, two players remained seated, where there was a clear dispute.

On a board showing 8J576, first-to-act George Mitri had moved his chips towards the middle of the table in a sliding motion, but importantly, had kept hold of the chips, not released them.

Before he could or would have released them, the dealer had looked to the other player in the hand, Nicholas “Beardo” Sutr, who had snap-called, interpreting his motion as all-in.

Mitri then pulled his chips back, maintaining that he had not actually released the chips, and as such, was not held to the bet. The floor was called, and seeing as the rest of the players were on break, went to camera for the decision.

Whilst waiting, “Beardo” asked Mitri “You really want to play that way?”.
Mitri responded “Can you beat the bottom straight?” to which Sutr immediately responded “Yes.”

The floor came back with the ruling; because Mitri had not released his chips, his action was not binding. He was, however, subject to a penalty after the conclusion of the hand.

“Play the hand” said the floor staff. Mitri checked, and Sutr immediately shoved. Mitri laughed, checked his cards once more, then spun them into the muck.

Sutr quietly tabled 88.

Mitri has been given a one-orbit penalty, to be served after the dinner break, meaning he will miss 9 hands of play.

Nicholas Sutr90,500
George Mitri28,600
Nicholas “Beardo” Sutr

Taking the Senic route

Andrej Senic sat back, relaxed, and let Nick Yilmaz do all of the betting in a hand over on Table 7.

The player in the UTG+1 position opened the action to 3,600, Senic called from the lojack before Yilmaz made it 11,000 from the button.

UTG+1 got out of the way and Senic made the call to see a flop of 994. Senic checked his option and Yilmaz bet 10,000, which Senic subsequently called.

Then, on the turn of 5, Senic check-called as Yilmaz continued his aggression to the tune of 18,000. 

The river came a 4, Senic checked for a third time and Yilmaz fired out a bet of 32,000. 

Senic went into the tank and eventually made the call with JJ, Yilmaz showed KQ and Senic’s triple-barrel bluff-catch was successful.

Andrej Senic210,000
Nick Yilmaz63,000

Like a knife through Butters

Brenton Buttigieg was once again involved in a three way pot today – PMA readers may remember he flushed away two flopped sets early in the action yesterday – but this time he had the best hand to begin with.

Our Live Reporter caught the action between Buttigieg, Kiko Puyat, and Sam Ioannou after all the money was already in the middle and the hands were tabled.

Buttigieg: 1010
Puyat: 99
Ioannou: 88

Puyat had the shortest stack, with Buttigieg having both players covered. The board completed J8A43 – bottom set on the flop good to triple up Ioannou, whilst Puyat has been eliminated by Buttigieg.

Brenton Buttigieg118,000
Sam Ioannou53,000
Kiko PuyatBUSTED!
Sam Ioannou

Oh, Danny boy

Danny Huynh moved all in under the gun, and may have been a little surprised when Bec Kildea then re-jammed from UTG+1.

Everyone else on the table spun their cards into the muck, and the pair tabled their hands.

Huynh: 1010
Kildea: AK

Huynh’s overpair was looking even better on the flop of 736, with nothing there to speak of for Kildea.

The 8 turn did give Kildea the nut flush draw, but the J river saw a chunk of her stack slide over to Huynh.

Danny Huynh50,000
Bec Kildea22,000
Bec Kildea

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

Not exactly sterling

“It sucks when you make the right call” were the words of Mark Stelling as he headed for the exit. He was kind enough to take the time to explain what happened for PMA.

According to Stelling, he had opened from the small blind to 2,600, and the player in the big blind, one Liam Jehu, had jammed on him.

He had correctly surmised his small Ace was in front, and made the call with A3, seeing Jehu tabling J10.

Unfortunately for Stelling, the board ran out 510927, top pair for Jehu and the end of Stelling’s day.

Liam Jehu118,600
Mark StellingBUSTED!
Liam Jehu

Haw-t stuff

Kiwi Charlie Hawes has been building a stack on Table 31, but just lost a small one to Ian Logan.

Hawes opened to 2,800 and Logan insta-jammed from the next seat over. Action folded back around to Hawes who snap-called.

Hawes: JJ
Logan: K9

Logan spiked top two pair on the 595K3 board to double through, then promptly jammed his new found stack in the next hand as well to steal some additional blinds and the ante.

Charlie Hawes203,600
Ian Logan20,200
Charlie Hawes (L) and Ian Logan

Stokovic stoked

Over on table 24, a short-stacked Milan Stokovic was awaiting to receive his hand in the big blind and exclaimed to our reporter “This is the one!” as the cards were slid out of the shoe.

The hijack opened the action to 3,000 and the cutoff called, only for Patrick Yazbeck to bump it up to 11,000.

Stojkovic stayed true to his words and moved all in for 14,800.

It folded through back to Yazbeck who made the call for 3,800 more.

Yazbeck: JJ
Stokovic: AK

The board ran out AK5610 and Stokovic got to stack his newfound chippies.

Patrick Yazbeck112,000
Milan Stokovic35,000
Milan Stokovic

Bromley bonanza

Jordan Bromley was nice enough to send through a recent hand of his via Facebook Messenger.

If you’re in the tournament, don’t hesitate to upload your own hand to our dedicated Discord server, Facebook Messenger, or any of our social’s. You can also approach our version of the “boys in blue” at any time – just have as much info as possible on hand.

According to Bromley, he opened from middle position to 2,400 and received a call from the player on the button, before the small blind pumped it up to 9,500. Bromley made the call, with the button folding behind.

With 22,000 now in the pot, the flop came down J109. The small blind checked, and Bromley fired 11,000, only to see the small blind jam for 65,000.

No sweat to Bromley, who snap called.

Opponent: KK
Bromley: JJ

Bromley held through the A, 6 to build an impressive stack.

Jordan Bromley185,600
Jordan Bromley

Rubie time

Luke McCredie opened the action 2,500 UTG and Brendon Rubie moved all in for his last 15,300.

McCredie made the call when action folded back around to him.

McCredie: 77
Rubie: AQ

No time to waste for two-time Aussie Millions ring winner Rubie, who flopped top pair on the complete board of A10JJ6, doubling through to essentially get back to the starting gates.

No sweat off McCredie’s back though, he’s still got more than double the average stack at this point.

Luke McCredie120,000
Brendon Rubie33,000
Luke McCredie

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

Training the Trayner

Malcolm Trayner open shoved from the cutoff for his last 11,900, and was held to account by Patrick Yazbeck in the big blind, snap-calling after the button and small blind folded.

Yazbeck: 1010
Trayner: AJ

It was Yazbeck teaching the lessons as the board ran out K-K-2-6-7, completely missing Trayner.

Patrick Yazbeck140,000
Malcolm TraynerBUSTED!
Patrick Yazbeck

Younan doubles

Hassib Younan minclicked to 2,000 UTG+1 and when it folded around to Joseph Vinecombe, he upped it, 3-betting to 8,000.

Both blinds dispersed and Younan shoved for 14,000 total, quickly called by Vinecombe.

Younan: AA
Vinecombe: AQ

Top pair wasn’t enough for Vinecombe as the board ran out 673QJ. That’s not a pair. THIS is a pair!

Hassib Younan33,000
Joseph Vinecombe31,000
Hassib Younan

Killing it!

Bec Kildea raised from the lojack, with Lior Serge making the call from the hijack. Both blinds got out of the way, and the pair saw, and checked through, a flop of 8JJ.

On the 4 turn, Kildea checked and Serge stabbed at it, firing a bet. Kildea opted to check-raise, and Serge came along for the ride to see a 3 river.

Kildea led out on the river and Serge moved all-in, quickly called by Kildea.

Kildea: 88
Segre: AJ

Bec Kildea75,000
Lior Serge17,000
Lior Serge

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

Break time!

The players have left – and returned from – a 10-minute break which also marks the end of late registration.

We can officially confirm that there are 659 entries today; when added to the 554 from yesterday makes a total of 1,213 entries in this Main Event so far. That equates to a current prize pool of $1,613,290 – and doesn’t even take into account the 193 entries already confirmed for tomorrow!

Perry skyrockets

Bert Perry had a rough first session but has re-entered, and spun up his starting stack of 30,000 to the moon.

We caught the action as big blind Perry called a 1,200 open from Ehsan Amiri in middle position, which had also been called by Ben Heptinstall in the cutoff.

First to act, Perry checked on the flop of JJ8. Amiri continued for 3,000 and was called by both Heptinstall and Perry. All three players then checked the 10 turn.

Perry took the initiative on the river, leading out for 8,000. Amiri considered it but eventually called, whereas Heptinstall snap-folded.

Amiri then mucked when Perry tabled J9 to take it down. Perry appears to have won a few more pots though, considering he now has a big stack.

Bert Perry92,100
Ben Heptinstall54,000
Ehsan Amiri20,400
Bert Perry

Some more late entries

There’s always late entrants where alternates are involved, with tournament staff having seated over 300 alternates so far – there are only twenty alternates left, according to WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh.

Some faces taking their seats in the last stanza included the previously mentioned Anthony Cierco, Cyprus Poker Club’s Will Wong, Aroha Ngata, Ling Liu, Matt Pongrass, and we can also confirm that the partnership of GC Champs Main Event Champion Jen Cassell and Bert Perry have re-started their own quest, alongside Ricky Kroesen and Joe Hachem.

Hachem, incidentally, has now been seated on the same table as November Niner Alex Lynskey.

Joe Hachem stares down Alex Lynskey

Level 6: 400/800 (800)

Chen triple checks

Josh Chen opened to 1,200 from the cutoff, and Harry Basle 3-bet to 3,000 from his immediate right.

Both blinds – including 2018 November Niner Alex Lynskey – got out of the way, and Chen made the call.

The flop of JA7 saw Chen check-call a bet of 3,000 again from Basle, before repeating the action, check-calling 10,200 on the 4 turn. On the 2 river, Chen checked a third time, and Basle fired 12,200 this time, leaving himself just 6,000 behind.

Chen tanked for a while before letting it go.

Lynskey appears to be on a heater, with plenty of chips in front of him. He also has a new T25,000 chip at the bottom of his stack – another indicator of just how ridiculously busy it is today, as we have now smashed past a massive 600 entries, with $831,250 added to the prize pool today with a little over 30-minutes left of late registration.

Alex Lynskey83,300
Harry Basle52,100
Josh Chen23,300
Harry Basle

Grael lost

Ben Heptinstall opened preflop and was 3-bet by Dominic Thomson.

Grael Won then cold 4-bet jammed – only to see Heptinstall and then Thomson jam behind to create a three-way all in.

Heptinstall: AA
Thomson: AK
Won: A3

The board actually gave Won a wheel draw, but ultimately everyone whiffed the 24K6J board, with Heptinstall’s overpair in front the whole way.

Both Thomson and Won still have chips remaining, however, so the Quest continues.

Ben Heptinstall60,000
Dominic Thomson6,000
Grael Won5,500
Grael Won

Level 5: 300/600 (600)

Ito catches it

Kenta Ito jammed his last 7,000 chips in UTG+1, and was looked up by Giovanna Nocera.

Nocera: JJ
Ito: AJ

Ito turned a Broadway draw on the 2Q610 board but spiked the A on the river to stay alive.

“River rat!” laughed Nocera – it’s no damage to her, as she still has a large pile of chips remaining.

Giovanna Nocera49,000
Kenta Ito15,000
Giovanna Nocera

Marshalling his arsenal

Brett Marshall opened the action under the gun to 1,100, and after Jordan Shafer jammed his last 6,500 in from middle position, action folded around to Marshall who made the call quickly.

Shafer: KQ
Marshall: J10

Marshall flopped an open ended straight draw on the board of 985, added a flush draw on the A, but didn’t need either one, smashing a J river to eliminate Shafer.

Brett Marshall46,000
Jordan ShaferBUSTED!
Brett Marshall


WPTDeepStacks Sydney $330 NLH Freezeout winner George Lewkowski is off to an early lead, one of a small handful of players over the 100K mark as we come off the first break.

Here are some assorted counts!

George Lewkowski116,000
Ali Ghezelbash100,100
Liam Murray90,200
Alex Lynskey80,500
Lucho Vargas77,000
Rehman Kassam70,900
John Caridad55,400
Ehsan Amiri52,900
David Luong50,800
Noman Mirza50,000
Shurane Vijayaram49,700
Hari Varma47,800
Gavin Best47,000
Roland Foster46,700
Brett Marshall46,000
Jordan Bromley43,600
Robert Damelian42,100
Dylan Wayne42,000
Jen Cassell41,900
Mitch Caton40,700
Mina Gerges38,400
Corey Kempson38,300
Angel Guillen35,100
Lloyd Locsin34,200
Paddy Furlong34,000
Anya Azimai32,500
Adrian Sportelli31,900
Chuck Caris25,300
Mark Abrahim24,600
Martin Ward22,000
Carlos Youssef14,200
Ricky Kroesen13,100
Dennis Huntley9,900

Level 4: 300/500 (500)

A warm welcome!

Players were treated to a welcome message from WPT Anchor Lynn Gilmartin, World Poker Tour President and CEO Adam Pliska, and WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonaugh, as well as General Manager of Table Games for Star Entertainment Group Sandy Thefs, before shuffle up and deal was announced to the players for Level 4!

Break time!

Our players have left on a 20-minute break. We spied Frenchman and Queensland resident Anthony Cierco, who’s had a seriously impressive 2022 so far – with over $153k in earnings in 11 cashes – sitting on the sidelines; turns out he’s alternate number 224, which gives you an idea of just how massive the field is today!

We’ve also spied some late entries, with Angel Guillen, Attila Bognar, and overnight chipleader from the GC Summer Series Main Event Lloyd Locsin having taken their seats in this illustrious event.

But how?

With a board showing 68K8K, John Caridad led out for 1,500 and Suzy Khoueis raised to 5,000.

Caridad reached for calling chips and moved to put them out, pausing to say “I should raise you here, really” before placing the single yellow 5k chip down.

“Do it then!” yelled Khoueis, tabling 88. Caridad snuffed a laugh, flashing the K before mucking the other card.

His tablemates were stunned “Did… did you put her on quads?” asked the player in seat nine, as the table stood up for the break.

John Caridad31,000
Suzy Khoueis25,100
Suzy Khoueis

Fisher dead in the water

Slade Fisher opened from the hijack to 1100 and Rehman Kassam flatted from the cut-off.

On a flop of 3103 Fisher fired a bet of 1500, with Kassam calling behind.

The turn landed the 10 and Fisher promptly bet 2700, with Kassam again simply calling behind.

Both players then saw a river 2 and Fisher unloaded the clip, firing a third barrel for 6500, only to see Kassam put him all in. Fisher quickly called, sliding his chips in, looked at Kassam’s tabled K10 and, still smiling, slid his cards in as well.

Rehman Kassam62,000
Slade FisherBUSTED!
Slade Fisher

Level 3: 200/400 (400)

Tieu takes some

Ken Tieu limped UTG and action folded to Alba Qi, who some may remember from the Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event, where she was chip leader for most of the second flight.

Qi raised to 1,000 from the lojack, only to see Anthony Auvale shove for 5,500 from the very next seat over. Both blinds folded, Tieu made the call, and Qi made the call.

On a flop of 8102, Tieu led out for 800, which only prompted Qi to raise to 4,500. Tieu made the call and both checked the K turn.

Tieu led out again on the 9 river, this time for 7,000. Qi thought about it, but called, then mucked when Tieu tabled K10, top two pair good for the side pot.

Auvale, not to be forgotten, tabled JJ, the four card flush good to save his tournament life and take the main pot down.

Ken Tieu58,000
Anthony Auvale17,300
Alba Qi16,500
Ken Tieu

Shuffle, cards, action!

The Star Sydney Feature Table has been utilised for Day 1B. The table is the only one of it’s kind in a casino in Australia, featuring RFID technology allowing for streaming of action on a 30-minute delay.

1Nichole Roberts
2William Takamoune
3Michael Eley
4Simon Thwaites
5Mark Lasarow
6Hung Yi Soh
7Roland Foster
8Lucho Vargas
9Dean Blunt

The table is headlined by reigning QPC Main Event Champion Lucho Vargas, hailing from Colombia, who has been making waves in the Australian poker scene over the last 12 months, with a final table appearance at the GC Champs Opening Event, preceded by a breakthrough final table at the GC Summer Series Main Event less than 3 months before.

Also on the Feature Table is Roland Foster, fresh from victory in the WPTDeepStacks Sydney PLO event the other day.

You can follow all of the action which is broadcasting right now over at

Level 2: 200/300 (300)

Notables upon notables

PokerMedia Australia is a little shellshocked – walking around the room, we spotted that many notables, it’s impossible to know who to put first!

As previously mentioned, reigning 2022 GC Champs Main Event Champion Jen Cassell is in the house, joined by some members of her Brisbane grinding squad including her partner Bert Perry, Mina Gerges, Dylan Wayne, and Brenton Buttigieg. 2022 Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event Champion Adrian Sportelli is also seated.

2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem has been spotted, as has 2018 November Niner Alex Lynskey. Last years 59th place finisher Ehsan Amiri is also seated and raring to go. The 2005 Champion’s son Daniel Hachem is seated as well.

The Psarras family is here, with WPTDeepStacks Sydney Opening Event Champion Michelle rocking another example of her infamous shoe collection, with husband and WPTDeepStacks Big Bounty final tablist George seated on another table.

Queensland Ricky Kroesen has drawn a seat opposite 2017 Aussie Millions Main Event Champion Shurane Vijayaram. Tweed Coast WPTL Head of Event Management Mitch Caton is also in attendance.

2019 WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast Main Event Champion Hari Varma is around, as is yesterday’s WPTDeepStacks Sydney Big Bounty final tablist David Luong.

Other notables spotted included Toby Giles, John Caridad, Jeison Berdugo, Ian Logan, Martin Boersma, Chad Awerbuch, Andrej Senic, Bassam Habib, Noman Mirza, Charles “Chuck” Caris, Robert Damelian, Harry Basle, Alba Qi, Patrick Yazbeck, Emmanuel gayfilo Derechio, and Robert Spano.

The Star Feature Table has it’s own notables, we’ll get a full table draw in a moment.

Won won one

Ratul Sayak has been eliminated in brutal fashion on one of the first hands of play.

Grael Won opened the action to 500, and with two callers before him, Sayak upped the ante, 3-betting to 4,000.

That wasn’t enough for Won, who 4-bet to 12,000 and with action folding around to Sayak, he mulled his options and eventually flat called.

The flop dropped 10QA and both players checked to see the J on the turn.

At this point, Sayak shoved for 18,000 and Won snap called.

Won: AK
Sayak: KJ

Sayak had flopped the Broadway straight, but Won had caught up on the turn and was free-rolling with a diamond draw … and when the 9 river hit the deck, Sayak was straight flushed out of the door.

Grael Won61,500
Ratul SayakBUSTED!
Grael Won

Aaaand go!

Shuffle up and deal! has been announced, and the Star Sydney dealers have immediately started firing cards out of the shoe at lightning speed.

We can already see some familiar faces in the room, including reigning 2022 GC Champs Main Event Champion Jen Cassell, who has flown down this morning fresh from final tabling the $600 Deep Freeze at the APLPT Queensland yesterday.

We’ll get a full round of notables for you shortly.

Level 1: 100/200 (200)

Countdown to kick-off!

The tournament clock has been briefly paused to seat additional players at the start.

Play will commence very shortly, with 40-minute levels commencing at 100/200 (200). We’ll be playing 14 levels today.


Welcome to the second PokerMedia Australia‘s coverage of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event live from The Star Sydney!

Yesterday’s first flight saw a massive 554 entries, blasting predictive numbers out of the water to create a $736,820 prize pool from JUST the first flight! In response, Star Sydney have added extra tables for today to accommodate as many people as possible at once.

Of those entries, 85 survived the 14 levels of play, with Gautam Dhingra bagging the most with a massive 648,500, well clear of his nearest competitor Hamish Crawshaw (505,500). Or, as Brisbane grinder Zac Duce put it later in the night, “That’s like 22 starting stacks!”.

Gautam Dhingra

With those kind of numbers, it’s looking very likely that WPTDeepStacks Sydney will eclipse the 1,108 starters who took part in the last WPTDeepStacks event held on Aussie shores – WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast – in May 2021.

PMA will be on the floor to bring you all the live action from buy-in to bust-out from 14:30 AEST.

The team from WPT and Star, and 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem (image courtesy of Peter Hernandez)

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