LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event Day 1C

How on Earth did he get all those? Matthew Howearth bags chip lead for Day 1C

137 runners who progressed from Day 1C to Day 2, but it was Matthew Howearth atop the chip counts with 685,000. They will all join with the 179 survivors from Day 1A/B combined for a total of 316 going through to Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event.

It was also a good day for Marko Perri (622,000), Chris Moussa (555,000), Mark Ryan (436,000) and Jaxon Byrne (349,000).

Matthew Howearth

Feeling “really good” after 14 levels of grinding, Howearth maintained his goals for the Main Event were to “start with cashing and then go from there!”.

Howearth came into the series primarily to play the Main Event, but if things didn’t go his way he would have looked at getting amongst some of the other events like the $660 PLO or the $5k Challenge.

The North Queensland local made his way down to Sydney on Friday, arriving in the state’s capital for the first time since pre-Covid after not having played much poker at all during that time. His advice to himself coming into Day 1C were to “try and be tight, try and be patient, try and get lucky!”

Howearth generally likes to play the bigger events as “they’ve usually got a better blind structure,” allowing him to be patient for longer. After hovering around average stack for most of the day, Howearth moved tables toward the later blind levels and got lucky soon after, “and then just ran pretty good,” in his words.

When asked what he would do if he were to come home with the top prize of over $400,000. Howearth told our Live Reporter he’d “Do some investing for sure, buy some shares, pay off some debts.”

His plan for Day 2 is simple; “Tighten up a fair bit, see what the table’s like.”

In closing, Matthew was at pains to point out that despite standing at 6’6”, he does not play basketball.

Chris Moussa bagged big also

And now for the bits you really want to know. PMA is pleased to confirm that the numbers have been crunched, and the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event officially stands at 2,023 entries, combining to create a total prize pool of $2,690,590!

As mentioned, Day 2 will start with 316 runners. Of those, the magic number is 253; that’s how many places will be paid, with a min cash starting at $2,637. 32nd will guarantee you a five-figure score of $11,731, but it’s the final table where the money seriously starts.

Not one, not two, but FIVE players will be leaving WTPDeepStacks Sydney Main Event with a six-figure payday, with 5th place paying $115,507 up to a massive $413,006 for the title.

2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event payouts (2,023 entrants, 253 places paid)


Also tonight was the WPTDeepStacks Players Party, which lit up the Marquee Sydney at The Star this evening.

Players Party photo courtesy of WPT

From all of us at PMA, goodnight, get some rest, and we’ll see bright and early for Day 2 of the Main Event, kicking off from 11:30am AEST!

Byrne and turn

Jaxon Byrne, who has to spell both his names every day, opened the action to 10,000, before Dennis Huntly jammed his last 60,000 in.

Robert Blackwell then re-jammed from the big blind, and Byrne made the call to put both at risk.

Byrne: JJ
Huntly: 1010
Blackwell: AQ

The board ran out 229K2, resulting in a near-triple-up for Byrne and the double elimination of Blackwell and Huntly.

Jaxon Byrne277,000
Robert BlackwellBUSTED!
Dennis HuntlyBUSTED!
Jaxon Byrne

Moussa binks

Dave Haas opened to 10,000 and Chris Moussa looked down at QQ before making it 38,000 to go.

Action folded back around to Haas, who jammed all-in for 175,000 approx. Moussa snap-called and cards were tabled.

Moussa: QQ
Haas: AK

Haas had Moussa clear on the ropes, flopping top pair and turning two on the board of A97K but the river Q gifted Moussa the two outer – and the stack that comes with it.

Chris Moussa572,000
Chris Moussa

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

When life gives you Shlemons…

The Australian Poker Tour’s first female Main Event Champion, Ling Liu, was recently eliminated, taken out by Ashor Shlemon.

Liu has been grinding a short stack all afternoon and, when Shlemon open jammed for 84,000 from the hijack, looked down at 55 and called off.

Shlemon tabled 77 (pocket shlemons?) and Liu found herself in a dominated position.

The board ran out 3A96Q to a “Nice hand” from Liu, as she rapped the table, and walked away.

Ashor Shlemon134,000
Ling Liu

Chips for dayyyys!

Matthew Howearth376,500
Qilong Lin331,000
George “Carwash” Cot315,500
Ricky Foo285,000
Ratul Sayak214,000
Ehsan Amiri211,500
Chris Moussa208,000
Daryl Sivies196,500
Martin Ward196,000
Michael Jalc175,000
Nicholas Sutr167,000
Natalia Rozova153,500
Slade Fisher135,500
John Lombardo134,500
Mina Gerges123,500
Liam Murray119,000
Qais Shanasa113,000
Alba Qi112,500
Andrej Senic100,000
Brendon Rubie97,000
Brendan Pettit85,000
Bassam Habib72,000
Will Wong65,500
Jamie King51,000
Robert Damelian48,500
Matthew Howearth

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

Last break!

The players have headed off for a 10-minute break. This will be the last break, with players returning to play 2 more 40-minute levels before the End of Day 1.

Ratul Sayak wins a hand, celebrates

Our Live Reporter was immediately attracted to Table 9, where Ratul Sayak was quite literally on his feet and halfway across the room, practically dancing in celebration.

“Do you even KNOW how many times I’ve been sucked out on this week?” Sayak yelled, “I deserve this!”

We established that Sayak had cold 4-bet jammed from the big blind, over the 3-bet jam from the small blind, and everyone else had folded.

Sayak: QQ
Opponent: 77

Sayak was nearly sick to his stomach, as the 7 appeared in the window.

The flop completed 1057, then a turn of 4. Then, and only then, could Sayak truly celebrate, as the Q arrived on the river to save his skin.

Sayak, in fairness, has had a really rough week, featuring several times in PMA’s Live Reporting with some brutal bust-outs. We let him pose for the photo.

Ratul Sayak214,500
Ratul Sayak


Joe Dalli opened under the gun to 6,500 and the entire table folded. Except, that is, for David Hirst in the big blind, who came along for the ride.

On a flop of 922, Hirst check-called a bet of 7,000 from Dalli.

On a turn of 7, Hirst check-called a bet of 11,000 from Dalli.

Hirst checked again on the 8 river, and Dalli immediately checked behind, only to mutter “Disgusting…” as Hirst tabled A9, before spinning his A10 on top of Hirst’s hand to show he’d been unlucky.

David Hirst209,000
Joe Dalli86,000
Joe Dalli

White fury

Steven Huynh opened the action to 6,000 and Andrew White raised to 25,000 from the next seat over.

Action folded all the way around to the big blind, Ivan Zlomislic, who shoved for 54,000. Hunyh folded, and White short-called for 28,000 total.

Zlomislic: QQ
White: 44

Zlomislic held all the way through on the 109756 board to eliminate White, who left the room in a hurry.

Ivan Zlomislic95,500
Steven Hunyh88,000
Andrew WhiteBUSTED!
Ivan Zlomislic

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

George wins survival

Huge action over on an outer table, where Tim Xu opened the action to 6,000 initially, before Ria Renfrey flat called.

Another opponent 3-bet to 21,800 from the small blind, and George Mladenov – who finished runner up on the sixth season of Survivor Australia – short-called all-in for 8,000 total. Both Xu and Renfrey then called the 21,800.

On a flop of 769, the small blind player checked before Xu led out for 25,000. Renfrey then shoved for 58,000. The small blind folded, and Xu snap-called.

Xu: 1010
Renfrey: 99
Mladenov: Q8

Renfrey was well in front, having flopped top set, but as the runout came 5, K, Mladenov hit his open ended straight draw to survive – this time.

Tim Xu160,400
Ria Renfrey150,000
George Mladenov33,500
George Mladenov

Au revoir Azimai

Anya Azimai, who final tabled the 2022 Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event earlier this year, has been confirmed as a recent elimination, having grinded with a short stack for most of the afternoon.

Azimai was kind enough to recount to the PMA desk exactly what happened – she jammed her last chips in from the hijack with A3 and the big blind player woke up with A-Q.

Both players missed on the K-K-7-8-9 board, and the Queen knocked out the Queen, as it were.

Azimai, along with railbirds Anthony Cierco and Romain Morvan, were last seen trying to find out where the Players Party will be tonight. If you were also wondering, it is located in Marquee Sydney, upstairs in The Star.

Amit Shorey68,800
Anya AzimaiBUSTED!
Anya Azimai

Here’s a little teaser

Whilst exact numbers are yet to be confirmed, PokerMedia Australia can exclusively confirm that the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event has attracted over 2000 entries, which will result in just over 250 players finishing in the money, with first place sitting at over $410,000.

Exact confirmation of the payouts and prizepool will most likely be available overnight – Star Sydney, understandably, are going through with a fine tooth comb to make sure it’s all correct, given the unprecedented volume of entries!

Which reminds us; Congratulations to you all, you are part of history. WPTDeepStacks Sydney is officially the largest WPTDeepStacks Main Event ever, around the world.

All of youAWESOME!

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

Lin making waves

Qilong Lin has been owning the headlines on Carlos Youssef’s table, recently winning a massive pot to catapult himself into the chiplead.

First, he was involved in a hand with none other than Youssef. Youssef opened to 5,000 and Lin flatted from the big blind … before open jamming for over 200k on the 566 flop.

Youssef tanked before eventually folding. Lin flashed a 5 and Youssef was quick to say “I just want to make a bet with you, you will not bag tonight!”

Shortly after, Lin limped under the gun before an unnamed opponent raised to 5,000 UTG+1. Action folded around to Van Tran in the blinds, who jammed. Lin then re-jammed over the top, and the opponent snap called.

Lin: 77
Opponent: AK
Tran: QJ

The board ran out 821048 and Lin clapped in celebration as he swallowed both opponents stacks whole. Youssef probably doesn’t want to make that bet anymore!

Meanwhile, Slade Fisher has joined the table and has found some chips from somewhere – he now has 218,500.

Qilong Lin354,400
Slade Fisher218,500
Qilong Lin

Gurung climbs rungs

Milan Gurung open jammed for his remaining 19,000 and was called by Tom Karadimos in late position before both blinds got out of the way.

Gurung: AJ
Karadimos: KQ

Gurung stayed ahead the whole way on the 3339A board, doubling through Karadimos.

Tom Karadimos49,500
Milan Gurung43,000
Milan Gurung

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


The players have now left for a 30-minute dinner break.

George Cot241,000
Michael Yu225,000
Qilong Lin208,800
Chris Moussa179,800
Norbert Koh175,000
Spencer Davies170,000
Brian Gu151,000
Martin Ward147,500
George Lewkowski141,500
Graeme Cowan141,300
Bailey McKenny127,000
John Caridad121,000
Vlad Horvat111,500
Nick Lo Russo111,300
Brendon Rubie109,000
Chris Chen99,300
Alba Qi96,500
Charles Muller80,800
Josh Yeomans80,800
Slade Fisher75,000
Robert Damelian72,400
Brendan Pettit58,800
Nick Oiberman57,400
Yi Han54,000
Ian Logan50,400
Adrian Sportelli43,800
Omer Sirianni37,200
Hari Varma35,800
Patrick Laoyont21,300
Anya Azimai15,200
At his request; “Carwash”

Double K-Oh!

Norbert Koh has been the beneficiary of a double knock-out, eliminating two opponents in a preflop betting bonanza which saw all the chips go in.

Koh: AA
Opponent 1: 55
Opponent 2: AJ

The board ran clean for Koh, 98Q26, meaning he basically triples up, now up to 175,000

Norbert Koh175,000
Norbert Koh

Laoyont floats back up

Vlad Horvat opened the action to 3,200, called by Nick Oiberman on his immediate left.

Patrick Laoyont jammed his remaining 5,900 and action folded back around to Horvat, who opted to flat call.

Oiberman realised that the betting was still open, as the jam was more than a valid raise, and raised himself to 28,200, forcing Horvat out of the way.

Laoyont: QQ
Oiberman: AQ

Nothing for either player on the 3224 board, and Oiberman briefly thought he’d caught a miracle on the A river before the assembled rail pointed out the flush for Laoyont.

Vlad Horvat111,500
Nick Oiberman57,400
Patrick Laoyont21,300
Patrick Laoyont


Chris Chen led out for 6,500 on a flop of 925, only to see Charles Muller jam for 28,700.

Chen eventually called, to see Muller table 94, well ahead of his 66.

The board completed 9, A, and Muller doubled through.

Chris Chen99,300
Charles Muller80,800

Gone like a flash

Mitch Bognar had just sat down after re-entering today when he found a hand, 3-bet jamming his 30,000 stack over the 3,200 open from Jerry Zhang.

Zhang made the call, and cards were tabled.

Zhang: 77
Bognar: A4

Bognar was unable to catch up on the KJ4J3 runout, and heads for the rails.

Jerry Zhang104,000
Mitch BognarBUSTED!
Mitch Bognar

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

A Qi hand

Okay, not exactly a key hand, but Alba Qi just raised under the gun to 2,600, and then reacted in shock when Yi Han 3-bet to 6,600 (after everybody else had folded).

“That’s the first time you’ve raised me all day!” exclaimed Qi, before promptly calling.

Both ladies checked through the board of 45KQ before Qi led out on for 5,000 on the 5 river.

Han considered it, but made the call only to muck when Qi tabled AK and take the moderately sized pot.

Alba Qi85,100
Yi Han45,800
Alba Qi

Wong flop for Tens

Bailey McKenny led out for 5,600 on the flop of A43, only to be raised immediately by Mark Wong, who’s only just taken his seat at the start of Level 8.

McKenny called, then checked the K only to see Wong jam for 23,200.

McKenny laughed, flashing the 1010 to Wong and the table before aerially spinning them into the muck.

Wong’s been getting busy, already up to double start stack and then some.

Bailey McKenny102,600
Mark Wong71,100
Bailey McKenny

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

Danger, Hazchem

Arsnyou Nadem has claimed a massive scalp in Level 7, eliminating 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem.

As recounted to our roving reporter, Nadem opened to 2,200 preflop and Hachem flatted in the big blind, for the pair to see a flop of 429.

Hachem check-raised to 4,500 over Nadem’s 1,600 continuation bet, only to see Nadem jam all in. Hachem called to put his tournament life at risk.

Nadem: 22
Hachem: K4

Hachem gained some outs on the 4 turn, but the 3 river was not enough to save the Champ, as he exits stage left.

No reprieve from the pros for the table though, as they’ve recently been joined by 2021 WSOP Main Event’s 59th place finisher, Ehsan Amiri.

Arsnyou Nadem97,000
Joe HachemBUSTED!

Spin it up!

On the first hand back from break, Cameron Chen opened to 2,100, and Ethan Teng made the call from late position. Kurt Grossmith then elected to jam his remaining 6,900 from the small blind, and Chen re-jammed for 30,500 effective.

Teng tanked, but eventually let his hand go. Chen and Grossmith tabled their hands.

Grossmith: JJ
Chen: 33

It was all clean for Grossmith, running out 5A7AQ, though Teng said he had folded the winner as Grossmith raked in the chips.

Tablemate Scott Pavitt looked at Grossmith and laughed, “What did you spin it up from, two and a half [thousand]?”
“Yep” smiled Grossmith.

Ethan Teng29,700
Cameron Chen23,600
Kurt Grossmith18,400
Kurt Grossmith

A round of counts

Spencer Davies162,200
George Mitri135,800
Michael Yu131,100
Bailey McKenny130,200
Alan Casas119,700
Graeme Cowan111,300
John Lombardo104,800
George Cot103,000
Martin Boersma93,600
Connie Graham91,600
Brendan Pettit87,600
Leo Kamiya84,000
Chris Myers75,900
Jin Li75,300
Mike Maddocks72,000
Slade Fisher71,400
Hari Varma68,700
Omer Sirianni66,100
Rehman Kassam64,400
Josh Yeomans61,000
Suzy Khoueis59,900
Alba Qi59,700
Roy Hills57,100
Yita Choong52,300
Brendon Rubie50,400
Mina Gerges46,000
Jimmy Ghobrial45,600
Martin Ward45,300
Robert Damelian44,000
Bassam Habib32,600
John Caridad30,000
Carlos Youssef25,800
Roland Foster24,600
Anya Azimai20,800
Joe Hachem19,800
Spencer Davies

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

Break time!

Players have departed for a 10-minute break. The end of this break also signifies the end of late registration, and tournament staff have seated more than 300 alternates already today with several more still in the wings!


A large crowd had gathered around a table in the middle of the Star Sydney poker room and our Live Reporter sprinted to catch the action, witnessing a massive three way pot with the best hand changing on almost every street.

As recounted to our Live Reporter by John Lombardo, the action had been opened by Sam Higgs UTG to 2,200, and both Alex Yazbeck and Lombardo called, before both blinds got out of the way.

The flop was 1028, and Higgs continued for 4,600, called by Yazbeck before Lombardo raised to 14,500. Higgs jammed, with Yazbeck calling and Lombardo short-calling.

Higgs: QQ
Yazbeck: 108
Lombardo: 107

Higgs had the lead with the overpair preflop but Yazbeck had flopped top two. Lombardo was in trouble, needing running cards.

The crowd made a little noise on the 9 turn, one of Lombardo’s possible running cards, but it was still technically a ‘gutshot’ to win, as the Jack would give Higgs a better straight.

Cue shock as the 6 hit the river, securing Lombardo a massive triple up, whilst Yazbeck took the small side pot.

Yazbeck may have been a little unconsciously upset about the result; we’re not quite sure how, but Yazbeck opened his clenched hand a few seconds later revealing two broken T100 chips! They were quickly replaced by tournament staff.

John Lombardo109,400
Alex Yazbeck5,600
Sam HiggsBUSTED!
Alex Yazbeck (L) and John Lombardo (C)

Abdine abdicated

Shivan Abdine jammed his remaining 8,200 from under the gun and action folded all the way round to Arsnyou Nadem in the big blind, who slowly peeled his cards baccarat-style before quickly calling.

Nadem: AK
Abdine: AJ

Board: 7K43Q

Top top was just tops for Nadem, who claims a scalp and adds to his building stack.

Seated on the same table is Australia’s own 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem, who has been enjoying a massage from Shiatsu Best Hands Massage, Australia’s premier poker massage company.

Arsnyou Nadem70,500
Joe Hachem37,600
Shiran AbdineBUSTED!
Joe Hachem

Level 6: 400/800 (800)


Stelios Yenofkian was the centre of attention in a multi-way pot, including an all-in, where he didn’t even make it to showdown.

Yenofkian opened the action from UTG+1 to 1,500 and was called in two spots; Leo Kamiya from the hijack and Josh Yeomans from the cut-off.

Mark Lasarow decided to bump it up to 4,500 from the button, and the aforementioned three gentlemen called to see a flop of 9310. Yenofkian checked, Kamiya made it 5,500, Yeomans called and then Lasarow moved all in for 11,300.

This sent Yenofkian into the tank. Deep into the tank. So much so, a supervisor was ushered over and clock was called. A crowd started to build around Table 20 as players on surrounding tables caught on to what was a truly intense hand.

As the ten second countdown began, Yenofkian made the call … only for Kamiya to move all in over the top for a total of 43,300. Yeomans folded, and for the second time on the same street, Yenofkian took his time to make a decision and eventually found a fold.

Kamiya and the at-risk Lasarow tabled their cards.

Kamiya: A10
Lasarow: JJ

The board ran out 9, 7. Lasarow secured a huge chip-up, and Yenofkian was left to rue his decision, saying he folded the winner.

Mark Lasarow60,000
Leo Kamiya32,000
Leo Kamiya

Cop that!

Daniel Miconi opened the action to 2,500, with Ardian Iseni calling from his immediate left before Alfred Coppini moved all in for 3,500 from Iseni’s immediate left.

Both blinds folded, followed by Miconi and Iseni both calling.

“I’ll give chips to you, but not to him!” laughed Miconi in the direction of Coppini, indicating Iseni.

Both Miconi and Iseni checked through a board of 43735 board and all three tabled their cards at the same time.

Star Sydney dealers are lightning quick and we only actually saw Coppini’s victorious AQ as the losing hands were mucked away, but we heard Iseni had KQ.

Daniel Miconi55,400
Ardian Iseni51,700
Alfred Coppini12,000
Alfred Coppini

Magic million!

We’ve reached 759 entries so far today on Day 1C, which means the prize pool for today alone has now reached $1,009,470!

Combined with the 1,213 entries from Day 1A and 1B, this puts the total prize pool to $2,622,760 – and there is still another hour plus of late registration to go.

We are also sitting at 1,972 entries in total for this event, which has smashed the previous WPTDeepStacks Main Event record for entries – globally!

Level 5: 300/600 (600)

A round of appLause

Jason Lau was facing off against Tang Trung on a board showing 1024.

With 14,500 already in the pot, Trung led out for 9,000 and Lau hit the red button, shoving all in for a total of 16,200.

Trung tanked for a while, counting out calling chips, before bowing in the face of pressure.

Jason Lau39,700
Tang Trung25,200


With a packed house, a round of counts takes a little longer than usual!

Brendan Pettit105,400
Bailey McKenny100,000
Chris Myers94,800
Connie Graham90,700
Steve Riddell83,600
Rehman Kassam75,000
Jin Li73,600
Liam Murray69,800
Martin Boersma66,500
Cam Adams65,700
Slade Fisher65,500
Romain Morvan65,400
Jimmy Ghobrial62,400
Roy Hills53,900
Mike Maddocks52,200
Dwayne Bocking50,900
Ling Liu49,500
Alba Qi48,200
Robert Damelian47,000
Matthew Howearth47,000
Nilanka Kularanthe46,500
Martin Ward43,000
Omer Sirianni40,000
Yita Choong37,500
Paddy Furlong37,200
Jen Cassell33,700
Todd Sekli32,700
Brendon Rubie32,500
Emmanuel Derechio25,800
Shurane Vijayaram24,900
Mitch Caton24,000
Geoff Milner21,700
George Psarras20,100
Rauran Toye15,400
Daniel Hachem12,500
Matt Pongrass8,900
Gavin Best8,700
Ken Demlakian5,600
Brendan Pettit


Jimmy Ghobrial opened the action to 1,100 in middle position and received calls from three opponents, including Nemo Knezevic.

On the K98 flop he continued for 2,500 and received two calls, Knezevic among them. Jimmy G then check-called a flop of 5,500 on the K turn before leading out for 10,000 on the 8 river.

Knezevic went deep into the tank and time was eventually called before he finally threw his cards into the muck.

Jimmy Ghobrial85,000
Nemo Knezevic25,000
Jimmy Ghobrial

Level 4: 300/500 (500)

Break time

Players have left for their first 20-minute break of the day.

King me

On a board reading 10K8, Ehsan Amiri checked to Nicholas Wright who bet 2,000. Amiri then raised to 5,500 which prompted Wright to quickly announce he was all-in for around 25,000.

Amiri thought at length before eventually making the call and wishing his opponent luck as he turned over 108 for bottom two. It was enough to have Wright’s AA beat, but not for long as the repeat K landed on the turn. The river was the 9, sending the pot Wright’s way and sending Amiri back to the registration desk.

Ehsan AmiriBUSTED!

Li-ding by example

Jin Li is rocketing up the counts so far, which is a little impressive considering the company he keeps. He’s joined over on Table 39 by 2022 GC Champs Main Event Champion Jen Cassell, as well as 2019 WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast Main Event runner-up George Psarras.

Carlos Trindede opened to 1,000 UTG+1, and Jin Li 3-bet to 3,500 from the hijack. Action folded back around to Trindede, who made the call.

Trindede then check-called a bet of 3,500 from Li on the 6J8 flop and both players checked the 6 turn.

Trindede checked for a third time on the 6 river, prompting Li to fire 5,000. Trindede mulled it over then chucked in a single yellow betting disc to call, only to muck when Li tabled QQ.

Jin Li78,400
Jen Cassell37,500
Carlos Trindede28,600
George Psarras6,200
Jin Li

Bocking blocking

Dwayne Bocking was in action recently in a hand against Bryan Gu, calling Gu’s 2,500 turn bet on the board of 4452.

The river was the 2 and Gu fired again, this time for 3,500, with Bocking single-chip-snap-calling to see Gu table A8.

Bocking tabled 64 to take the pot and add to his ever-increasing stack.

Dwayne Bocking55,900
Bryan Gu25,500

Banana skin

Today’s Day 1C field is so big that The Star has run out of yellow 5,000 chips! To solve the issue, some players are now sitting with 5,000s from a different chip set, which is proving somewhat disconcerting to some.

But it’s a good problem to have. At last check today’s field was creeping up towards 700 entries, meaning the combined main event field across all three Day 1 flights is set to move past 1,900!

Level 3: 200/400 (400)

Kularathne in the presence of greatness

Nilanka Kularathne has been getting busy, picking up two small pots from Kayne Hill in quick succession.

On the first hand, Hill and Kularathne saw a six-handed flop of Q8Q, with all six players checking to the 10 turn. Both blinds checked and Hill led out for 1,200, with only Kularathne calling, before check-folding to Kularathne’s 2,200 bet on the A river.

On the second, Kularathne opened to 700 and Hill defended his big blind, before check-calling a bet of 1,400 on the 526 flop. The turn was the 5 and Hill again check-folded to a 2,200 bet from Kularathne.

Kularathne may have a tough day though; he’s sandwiched between Romain Morvan – who bagged the overnight chiplead in the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Opening Event last week in an awesome story, after being eliminated on the first hand of play and having to rebuy – and Martin Ward, who PMA readers may remember from his amazing one-chip-story in the Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event earlier this year (though he has a few more today).

Martin Ward49,400
Nilanka Kularathne31,600
Kayne Hill25,700
Romain Morvan21,200

Hills-ide view

Picking up action preflop on Table 14, where Mina Gerges had opened to 700, called by Andrea Persichini to his immediate left, before Roy Hills raised to 1,200. Both Gerges and Persichini called.

All three players checked the 3107 flop to see the 8 drop on the turn. Gerges checked, Persichini led out for 1,000 and both Hills and Gerges called.

Gerges and Persichini checked the Q river and Hills fired 2,000. Gerges called, Persichini got out of the way, and Hills tabled KQ to a muck from Gerges.

It may seem like a small hand, but Hills has had a quick start already, up among the chip leaders.

Roy Hills84,600
Andrea Persichini31,900
Mina Gerges30,400
Roy Hills

Blanusa blasts off

Neb Blanusa has fond memories of this venue, having won the 2018 Sydney Champs main event, and he’s off to strong start here on Day 1C of the WPTDeepStacks too.

We caught the action on a board reading 4K6J with an opponent leading out for 3,000 and Blanusa popping it up to 10,000. 

His opponent made the call as the 6 rolled off on the rover. Blanusa’s opponent checked and Blanusa shoved for his remaining 13,100. His opponent thought briefly before making the call but mucked when Blanusa showed AA.

Blanusa has 51,000 after that hand.

O’Grady O’Goneski

Michael O’Grady and Bruce Hall got into a pre-flop raising war that eventually saw Hall announced he was all-in and O’Grady make the call.

O’Grady turned over QQ but was in trouble against the KK of Hall.

The board bricked as Hall stacked up to 60,000. O’Grady busted next hand when his QJ failed to improve against another opponent’s 77.

Level 2: 200/300 (300)

Spano in action

On a board showing 75J9, Mele Poulivaati led out for 5,500 and Robert Spano promptly upped the ante, raising to 13,000.

After a pause, Poulivaati slammed down calling chips into the middle, and both players saw the J on the river.

Poulivaati opted to lead out, firing a blocker bet of 7,600. Spano took a beat, before saying “Must call.” and matching her bet.

Poulivaati tabled 97, her three pair no good against the 108 turned straight of Spano.

“Oh why did you turn me two pair?” said Poulivaati dejectedly, to an “I didn’t do it!” from Spano.
“I considered shoving the turn,” she continued “But an alarm in my head went ting-ting-ting-ting!”
“Wow” was all Spano had to say, in very Owen Wilson-esque fashion.

Poulevaati said “Tilt call!” as she called a 600 UTG open in the small blind on the next hand, with the big blind coming along for the ride as well.

All three checked through the 4AAJQ before Poulivaati announced “I think I’m good,” firing a bet of 2,500 on the river to two folds before tabling 35 for the backdoor flush. “I told you!”

Robert Spano61,300
Mele Poulivaati12,700
Robert Spano

Familiar faces

Gotta play it

Brenton Buttigieg shoved over the 2,100 bet of his opponent on the board showing 967J, saying “I might be about to re-enter here!”

His opponent opted to fold, however, causing Buttigieg to joyously spin the 69 face up into the middle of the table with a “Sixty-nine, baby!” causing ripples of laughter on nearby tables.

Turning to our PMA Live Reporter, he remarked “They’re all out to get me, you watch. It’s ’cause I bluffed off like 20k in the first three hands!”

Brenton Buttigieg18,200

Faces in the crowd

There are plenty of familiar faces here trying to carry a stack into Day 2 tomorrow.

Our first sweep of the room has seen us spot Jarred and Connie Graham, Gavin Best, Sam Capra, Mike Maddocks, Lucho Vargas, Mitch Caton, Ken Demlakian, Andrew White, Henry Sum, Rob Spano, Omar Sirianni and Steve Pappas, among others.

We also spotted Adam Cusenza, who recently finished third in Adelaide’s Stacked Poker Championship, seated at a table with Michael O’Grady and Bruce Hall.

We’re underway!

669 total entries at the start of play, with late registration open until the start of Level 9.

Shuffle up and deal!

Star Sydney’s Feature Table is in action, headlined by the 59th place finisher in the 2021 WSOP Main Event, Australia’s own Ehsan Amiri. You can follow the action at Star Sydney’s Twitch page, on a 30-minute delay.

Level 1: 100/200 (200)

Welcome to the madness!

Those were the words of Star Poker’s Head of Poker Operations Martin Coughlan to PokerMedia Australia as we entered the building, to an amazing sight. Over 600 entries already, far exceeding seating capacity for a third day in a row, and play hadn’t even started.

This event is truly shaping up to be massive, with the prize pool now in excess of $2.4m. We’ve seen plenty of familiar faces around the room and we’ll do our best to get you a veritable who’s who of the field in a moment.

Players will again be playing fourteen 40-minute levels today, with blinds commencing at 100/200 (200). Dealers have loaded their shoes, and we’ll be here to bring you all of the action from buy-in to bust-out!

The final chance

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia and our live coverage of the 2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event!

We always knew this week would be big, but did we ever pick it to be this big? Yesterday’s second of three Day 1 flights attracted a massive 659 entries, which combined with the 554 starters from Day 1A takes the current field to 1,213. This means that, with Day 1C to come today, we are certain to smash the all-time global WPTDeepStacks record of 1,684.

The real question now is: can we get to 2,000?

Either way, PMA will be live on the floor of The Star Sydney to bring you all the action as the WPTDeepStacks brand is farewelled in style.

Leading the way after the first two flights is Ross Coveney with a very healthy stack of 714,000, followed by Day 1A chip leader Gautam Dhingra with 648,500. Also set to enjoy a day off today with decent stacks already bagged and tagged are Trung Tran (480,000), Jiapeng Yang (468,500), James Yang (443,000), Eli Chehade (410,000), Pat Barba (397,000), Josh Norvock (368,000) and Ken Foo (348,500).

Play gets underway for Flight Day 1C at 12:30pm AEST, so tune into for all the live reporting action.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.