LIVE REPORTING: WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event Day 2

Austria’s Benedikt Eberle leads, final 3 tables set

The WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event is down to just the final three tables, from a record setting field of 2,023 entrants.

Overnight chip leader Ross Coveney is still in the hunt, but the new chip leader is Austrian resident, German-born, Benedikt Eberle. Eberle, who won the 2018 Aussie Millions Opening Event, has travelled to Australia specifically to play the 20th Anniversary WPTDeepStacks series – and what a decision that’s turned out to be. He, along with the other 22 returning tomorrow, will be guaranteed a $14,099 pay day, going up to $413,006 for the coveted title.

Benedikt Eberle

In terms of big names, though, it doesn’t get bigger than Leo Boxell. An Aussie Millions Main Event Champion in 2000 – back when it was known as the Australasian Poker Championships – with final tables in the same event in 1998 and 2003, Boxell’s biggest victory came in the 2011 APPT Melbourne Main Event. Boxell currently sits 35th on Australia’s All Time Money List, and was inducted into Australia’s Poker Hall of Fame in 2012. Boxell will definitely be one to watch over the course of the last three tables, having taken out an opponent in one of the last hands of the night to secure a decent bag.

France’s Anthony Cierco, who has over $150k in earnings this year thus far alone, has also bagged, along with high stakes PLO specialist Najeem Ajez, who has over $600k in career earnings and finished 17th in the 2018 Aussie Millions Main Event – the same year that Eberle won the Opening Event. The photogenic pair have been seated next to each other for most of the evening, and were only too happy to pose.

When speaking to PokerMedia Australia, Eberle, who’s recently finished studying Business, said he was “very, very tired … after a very long day, especially playing on the TV table.”

When asked how it felt to bag the chip lead he was ecstatic; “Obviously amazing, I ran really well on the TV table, had a couple of Aces and Kings” and speaking about the tournament in general he said “the management is great, it’s well run, they know what they’re doing.”

This is Eberle’s sixth trip to Australia, and although he did say he comes mainly to play poker, he also has a significant other who resides in Melbourne.

When asked if he had any particular strategy for the final day, he said that he just wanted to “play it like anything else. [I’ll] try to play mostly the same tomorrow, whatever happens, happens. I’ll take whatever comes, I don’t have a certain money goal.”

We’re sure every player would say that to anyone who asks, but one can be certain that everyone’s eyes will be on the trophy tomorrow, along with the $413,006 that comes with it!

Day 2 Seat Draw

Table 30

1Luke McCredie3,225,000
2Luke Martinelli2,280,000
3Spencer Davies1,620,000
4Ross Coveney1,260,000
5Todd Bailey1,800,000
6Yang Li1,480,000
7Martin Sagradian2,025,000
8Chuck Caris3,015,000

Table 31

1Lirui Zhang1,170,000
2Nicholas Wright3,380,000
3David Nirens2,690,000
4Najeem Ajez1,725,000
5Dean Boskovic2,460,000
6Leo Boxell3,550,000
7Darius Bucinska5,560,000
8Steven Cappelluto2,500,000

Table 32 (Feature Table)

2Mark Fester2,808,000
3Marco Perri3,270,000
4Anthony Cierco3,855,000
5Lei Yang1,555,000
6Mina Elias835,000
7Benedikt Eberle6,190,000
8Nathan Hill2,060,000

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

WPT 20th Anniversary celebrations

For now, from all of at PMA, have a good night, get lots of much-needed rest, and we’ll be here to bring you all the action from the last three tables tomorrow from 11:30 AEST!

Day 2 in the books!

That’s a wrap. We are crunching some numbers and we’ll be back as soon as possible with chip counts, seat draws, and anything else we can think of.

For now, if you’re in our final 23, rejoice. You’ve officially outlasted 2,000 other entries after more than 24 hours of play over two days! That’s enough to give Psyduck a headache…

Psyduck courtesy of Luke McCredie

Qilong Lin eliminated in 24th place ($14,099)

On an outer table, and during the last three hands, Qilong Li has been eliminated.

Recounted to us by tournament staff, Li flopped a set of sevens and got all the chips in with Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell (who is sporting a new WPT cap!), who was holding pocket Queens.

Boxell spiked a Queen on the turn, however, to send Li packing!

Qilong LiBUSTED!

Big tank for Foo

Ricky Foo 3-bet over the 115,000 open of Najeem Ajez to 420,000, leaving himself 100,000 behind.

Ajez shoved, putting Foo to the decision for his tournament life, and sent Foo deep into the tank.

Four minutes later, Foo gave a shrug, and then called off.

Foo: 55
Ajez: KQ

Foo needed to win the flip to stay in the tournament. It was quick, though not necessarily painless, as the flop came down KA7, Ajez hitting his overcards immediately. Foo missed the 8, 2 runout and is eliminated in 25th place, securing $11,731 as consolation.

Najeem Ajez2,165,000
Ricky FooBUSTED!
Ricky Foo in the tank

The Wright stuff

Nick Wright check-called two bets from chip leader Darius Bucinskas for 125,000 and 300,000 on the 9KQ flop and 10 turn respectively before both players checked the 5 river.

Wright tabled K2 to take it down.

The very next hand, Nick Lo Russo open jammed for his last 915,000 from the hijack, and Wright asked for a count before quickly re-jamming over the top. Luke Martinelli gave up his big blind in lightning speed.

Wright: KK
Lo Russo: JJ

The board rained Broadway cards as it ran out AQA108, no change to either holding awarding the pot and the elimination to Wright. Nick Lo Russo finished in 26th place for $11,731.

Darius Bucinskas5,425,000
Nick Wright3,205,000
Nick Lo RussoBUSTED!
Nick Wright

Level 25: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)

Break time and counts

It’s the last 10-minute break of the day, with players set to play just one more 60-minute level before play concludes for Day 2.

Darius Bucinskas5,675,000
Mark Fester4,080,000
Martin Sagradian4,015,000
Marco Perri3,690,000
Todd Bailey3,260,000
Luke McCredie3,215,000
Benedikt Eberle3,020,000
Chuck Caris2,930,000
Anthony Cierco2,910,000
Ross Coveney2,325,000
Najeem Ajez2,195,000
Leo Boxell1,965,000
Luke Martinelli1,935,000
Lei Yang1,810,000
Steven Cappelluto1,600,000
Mina Elias1,190,000
Nick Lo Russo1,030,000
Qilong Li910,000

Tran trounced

On the last hand before the last break, Najeem Ajez opened to 100,000 before Anthony Cierco 3-bet to 280,000.

Michael Tran, in the blinds, decided now was the time, pulling the trigger for 675,000.

Ajez folded, but Cierco couldn’t fold for that price and made the call.

Tran: QQ
Cierco: 55

According to tournament staff, the board ran 9-X-JJ before the 5 spiked the river, a two outer to take out Tran.

Anthony Cierco 2,910,000
Michael TranBUSTED!
Michael Tran

I pity the Foo

Action folded to Anthony Cierco in the small blind, who took no prisoners and applied the pressure to short stack Ricky Foo in the big blind, jamming all-in, having him well covered.

Foo was no fool, making the right decision, calling off with K10, ahead of Cierco’s Q9.

The board ran out 87754, with Cierco picking up a couple of extra outs on the turn but ultimately, King high was good for Foo, who doubled up.

Anthony Cierco2,310,000
Ricky Foo1,095,000
Anthony Cierco

Coveney concedes

Overnight chip leader Ross Coveney opened to 100,000 from the cutoff and Darius Bucinskas was having none of it, 3-betting to 350,000 from the small blind. Martin Sagradian got out of the way and Coveney made the call.

Sagradian continued for 450,000 on the flop of 269 and forced a fold from Coveney.

Darius Bucinskas5,545,000
Martin Sagradian4,365,000
Ross Coveney2,200,000
Ross Coveney

Cierco takes one

Action has definitely slowed down in Level 24. There have been 29 players remaining for the majority of the level, with every player guaranteed a 5-figure pay day now, a min cash worth $11,731.

Marco Perri recently opened to 110,000 with Anthony Cierco coming along from the big blind.

Cierco check-called a bet of minimum bet of 50,000 from Perri on the K28 flop, and then checked again when the 3 hit the turn.

Perri fired again, this time for 250,000, and Cierco took his time before calling.

On the 10 river, Cierco considered options before firing a blocker bet of 210,000, which resulted in a fold from Perri.

Marco Perri3,820,000
Anthony Cierco2,840,000
Marco Perri

Level 24: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)

Pedler pummelled

A player in the middle position opened to 90,000 and Martin Sagradian 3-bet to 300,000. Simon Pedler, next to act, jammed for 1,195,000.

The initial raiser folded, before Sagradian called.

Sagradian: JJ
Pedler: AQ

You’ve got to win flips to win Main Events, and Pedler found himself unable to spike any way to win on the board of K7478. It’s another deep run for Pedler though, congratulations sir!

Martin Sagradian4,805,000
Simon PedlerBUSTED!
Simon Pedler

C what I did there?

Chuck Caris completed the chore for Chris Chen, as the two collided. Caris opened against Chen’s big blind the very next hand.

Chen 3-bet jammed, and Caris snap-called.

Caris: AA
Chen: AK

Consecutive coolers for Chen, who complete missed on the 85833 runout.

Charles Caris2,845,000
Chris ChenBUSTED!
Chuck Caris

Une, deux, dix for Cierco!

Action aplenty at Table 31 where Chris Chen, Anthony Cierco, and John Yacoub were all all-in and ready to see a flop.

It was taking a little time, as side pots were worked out and it was Yacoub who was ultimately at risk, with Chen having both covered.

Chen: KK
Cierco: 1010
Yacoub: 99

“One time!” exclaimed Cierco to the heavens.

On the count of three, the dealer spread the flop of A107 to a clap from Cierco as the Frenchman spun away from the table in joy before returning, cautious of celebrating too early.

Yacoub called for an eight for a runner runner possibility, and kept runner runner dreams alive – just – with the 9 on the turn before the 6 took care of matters.

Anthony Cierco2,250,000
Chris Chen450,000
John YacoubBUSTED!
Anthony Cierco

Level 23: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)

Break time!

The players have gone for a break, but we haven’t. Presenting; a round of counts, and your new chip leader, Darius Bucinskas!

Darius Bucinskas4,140,000
Mark Fester4,120,000
Najeem Ajez3,625,000
Martin Sagradian3,260,000
Qing Ye3,050,000
Ross Coveney2,895,000
Todd Bailey2,860,000
Luke Martinelli2,205,000
Lei Yang1,975,000
Marco Perri1,935,000
Chuck Caris1,765,000
Simon Pedler1,705,000
Jason Pritchard1,660,000
Mina Elias1,395,000
Leo Boxell1,340,000
Qilong Li1,195,000
Anthony Cierco970,000
Nathan Hill830,000
Carmen Ling560,000
Omer Silajdzija420,000
Martin Finger420,000
Darius Bucinskas

Dream boat

Carmen Ling got all of her chips in against Qing Ye, with A8 against the QQ of Ye.

Gold for Ling on the 988 flop, though Ye turned a lot more outs with the 10. Not to be, as Ling appealed to the poker gods – the 9 giving Ling a full house!

Marco! Polo! Caught

David Nirens opened to 60,000 UTG and Grael Won flatted in the cutoff. Marco Perri then squeezed to 250,000, with only Nirens calling.

On a flop of Q68, Perri jammed – and Nirens snap called to put his tournament life at risk.

Nirens: QJ
Perri: J7

Nirens had Perri in a perfect position and kept hold throughout the runout of 2, 5 to double through.

Marco Perri1,800,000
David Nirens1,230,000
David Nirens


Errolyn Strang, on the feature table for the last stanza of play, regaled her tale of woe to PMA as she collected her payout ticket.

Strang had defended her small blind with 109 from a middle position open, and the big blind had come along for the ride as well.

With the flop coming down 9-8-3 with two hearts, Strang and the big blind checked before the preflop aggressor continued for 70,000. Strang jammed for 250,000 and the big blind folded.

“I can beat a flush draw … and a three.” said Strang’s opponent, before calling.

Strang found herself in front of the A-8 of her opponent.. but was Greenstein’d when an Ace dropped on the river!

Errolyn StrangBUSTED!
Errolyn Strang


Chip leader at the first break, and in her first poker tournament, cash game specialist Yerin Kim jammed for 420,000 when action folded around to her in the small blind. Nathan Hill, also chip leader at one point today, called in the big blind.

Hill: AQ
Kim: K4

Bad timing for Kim, who was drawing dead on the turn on the full board of J8A7J.

Nathan Hill1,150,000
Yerin KimBUSTED!
Yerin Kim

More Kings

Arsn Youndaem jammed his remaining 290,000 from middle position, only to see Todd Bailey call from the cutoff. Button and blinds got out of the way, and the two went to showdown.

Younadem: KK
Bailey: AJ

Bailey was on the receiving end of the Kings this time, and missed completely on the board of 756Q4 to ship a chunk across to Younadem.

Todd Bailey1,890,000
Arsn Younadem655,000
Todd Bailey

Business end

We’re getting into the tail end of things now. Just 55 players remain on 7 tables, with a bust-out now worth $7,130.

One big blind at this stage in proceedings is the same as what every player started with 22 levels ago, and the average stack has pushed past the million mark.

Level 22: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)

Kings all round

Marc Seymour hit the max button, jamming all-in. Todd Bailey then re-jammed from the next seat. Carmen Ling folded the small blind and Po Hu then called from the big blind to create a huge three way pot.

Bailey: KK
Hu: AK
Seymour: KQ

The board of 6J426 missed everyone, Bailey’s Kings holding to put him up among the chip leaders.

Todd Bailey1,950,000
Marc SeymourBUSTED!
Todd Bailey

Howearth grounded

Jason Pritchard opened the action to 50,000. Errolyn Strang then called from late position before Matthew Howearth elected to put it all in, 450,000 in total.

Pritchard asked for a count, ensuring that he knew exactly how much it was, before making the call. Strang then folded.

Pritchard: AA
Howearth: 66

Howearth couldn’t catch up on the board of K1091010 and the Day 1C chip leader has been brought back down to earth with a bump.

Jason Pritchard1,875,000
Errolyn Strang590,000
Matthew HowearthBUSTED!
Jason Pritchard

Duce destroyed

Anthony Cierco opened to 50,000 and Zac Duce looked down at QQ in the small blind then jammed his remaining 580,000.

Chuck Caris hesitated then re-jammed from the big blind, forcing Cierco out of the pot. Caris tabled AQ

The flop of 956 was safe for Duce, but the A garned an “urgh” from tablemate Najeem Ajez before the 10 sealed Duce’s fate.

In other news, Alex Lynskey has just been moved onto the Star Sydney feature table; viewable cards-up on on a 30-minute delay.

Chuck Caris1,760,000
Anthony Cierco1,555,000
Anthony Cierco, folding, ever so nicely

Pearler for Eberle

We caught up on the action with a board showing 674 where Daneil Hinh had shoved, and Benedikt Eberle had short-called for 300,000 neat.

The other player in the pot got out of the way and Hinh tabled JJ only to find he was well behind the AA of Eberle, and got very quickly much further behind when the [invalid notations] completed the board and Eberle doubled through.

Benedikt Eberle780,000
Daneil Hinh650,000
Benedikt Eberle

Caris Mehtagame

All in and a call! from Table 31, where Pratik Mehta had shoved his remaining chips on the flop of 564.

Chuck Caris had quickly called, and the cards were tabled.

Caris: KK
Mehta: 77

Caris leant back in his chair, hands on his head, praying that Mehta didn’t spike either the straight or one of the two spare sevens – but he needn’t have worried too much as the board completed A, 2, unceremoniously ‘chuck’ing Mehta out of the tournament in 75th place.

Chuck Caris1,555,000
Pratik MehtaBUSTED!
Chuck Caris

Level 21: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)


Our players may still be munching on chips from dinner, but we counted a lot of chips ourselves!

Marco Perri now leads the field. Funny story about Mr Perri; we actually interviewed him first for Day 1C chip lead before discovering Matthew Howearth had him covered – JUST! That’s certainly not the case now.

Marco Perri2,125,000
Martin Sagradian1,930,000
Anthony Cierco1,905,000
Nick Lo Russo1,855,000
Sam Higgs1,765,000
Nathan Hill1,660,000
Qilong Li1,500,000
Lei Yang1,480,000
Spencer Davies1,450,000
Graeme Cowan1,400,000
Tam Truong1,275,000
Najeem Ajez1,080,000
Martin Finger1,070,000
Chuck Caris900,000
Omer Silajdzija785,000
Michael Tran760,000
Ross Coveney625,000
Carmen Ling615,000
Darius Bucinskas565,000
Yerin Kim555,000
Alex Lynskey495,000
Matthew Howearth455,000
Errolyn Strang385,000
Zac Duce240,000
Marco Perri

Dinner time!

The remaining 76 players have left for a 30-minute dinner break. We’ll have a full round of counts for you shortly.


Now that we have 80 players left in the field, the tournament has been split down into 8-handed tables. We will continue 8-handed for the remainder of the tournament.

No respect for Lynskey

Sam Higgs led out for 220,000 onto a board showing 1053J, with only 2018 November Niner Alex Lynskey left to act behind him.

Lynskey counted, and slid out, the chips to call, leaving himself 295,000 behind. The river came A, and after a few beats, Higgs pulled the trigger, announcing all-in.

Lynskey shot Higgs a look. And another. Leaning back in his chair in obvious discomfort, the November Niner tanked for several minutes before finally releasing his cards.

Higgs had a few friends on the rail, and they immediately said “Show the bluff!” Higgs obliged, tabling 94 to cheers. Lynskey rapped the table in appreciation before leaning forwards to tell Higgs he had been considering calling with K9. Nine high like a boss!

“That would have been a sick call!” said Higgs, grinning from ear-to-ear at having got one through.

The very next hand, Lynskey opened to 40,000 UTG and action folded around Darren Thompson on the button, who jammed for 320,000. Lynskey called off immediately once the blinds folded.

Thompson: JJ
Lynskey: AQ

Lynskey didn’t have to wait long, hitting top pair on the A5657 board to double through, leaving Thompson with just 25,000 (which would get swallowed into Higgs’ stack shortly later).

Sam Higgs1,630,000
Alex Lynskey570,000
Darren ThompsonBUSTED!

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

Bucinskas gets busy

Catching up with the action on a board already showing 10665, where Martin Sagradian had bet 100,000 after the check from first-to-act Dariuys Bucinskas.

Sagradian was called by both Alex Yazbeck in late position, and Bucinskas.

On the 2 river, both Bucinskas and Sagradian checked to Yazbeck. Yazbeck chucked out a bet of 150,000, and Bucinskas paused.

A minute later, Bucinskas shoved for 761,000. Sagradian quickly folded, but Yazbeck went deeeeeep into the tank, appearing to be in pain as he agonised over the decision.

A full five minutes later, Yazbeck sighed “If it’s a bluff, it’s a good one, show it.” He proceeded to fold KJ face up in the middle of the table.

Bucinskas refused to show, sliding his cards face down to the dealer, not letting go of them until the dealer took them.

“You’re lucky it’s him and not me, I’d have snapped you off!” remarked Opening Event Champion Michelle Psarras from Yazbeck’s rail.

Darius Bucinskas1,496,000
Martin Sagradian767,000
Alex Yazbeck629,000
Darius Bucinskas

Tuione terminated

Sione Tuione and Michael Tran clashed in an all time classic – AK versus QQ.

Tran held the Queens, and despite turning every draw in the world, Tuione was unable to catch up on the 210J47 board and has been eliminated.

We can also confirm that Brendon Rubie has recently been eliminated, getting it in with K-Q and losing out to A-T.

Time down

After a middle position open to 30,000, Zac Duce called as did the player in the small blind before Shing Au bumped it up to 120,000.

Only Duce called as they took a flop of K98. Au continued for 75,000 and Duce called. On the 9 turn, Au bet another 100,000 and Duce called again.

When the J landed on the river, Au announced he was all-in for his remaining 320,000. This sent Duce deep into the tank and eventually time was called.

The floor staff told Duce he had 40 seconds to make a decision and he used every bit of it, letting the clock tick to zero as his hand was mucked.

Murray straight out the door

Liam Murray stopped by to share the details of his grisly bust-out prior to the break.

According to Murray, he’d opened to 24,000 with 77 and had been called by Tam Truong, as well as the big blind.

All three checked the 1086 flop before Murray fired a delayed continuation bet on the 4 turn card with his double-gutshot (and pair). Only Truong called.

Murray then hit his gutshot on the 9river and checked to trap, attracting a bet of 80,000 from Truong – but when Murray shoved, he got some nasty news as Truong snap-called with QJ.

Liam MurrayBUSTED!
Tam Truong

King of the Hill

Nathan Hill has bagged the chiplead going into the second break, while tournament staff have started slowly introducing the new dark blue T100,000 chip across the room.

Here are some assorted counts; 113 players remain in the quest for the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event title.

Nathan Hill1,802,000
Tam Truong1,688,000
Lei Yang1,514,000
Sam Higgs1,311,000
Zac Duce1,199,000
Luke Martinelli1,117,000
Leo Boxell1,087,000
Joe Dalli1,082,000
Nick Lo Russo1,063,000
Martin Finger1,005,000
Yerin Kim921,000
Gautam Dhingra880,000
Matthew Howearth820,000
Anthony Cierco806,000
Ross Coveney761,000
Simon Pedler698,000
Qing Ye645,000
Omer Silajdzija510,000
Qilong Li497,000
Najeem Ajez459,000
Janet Wyvil442,000
Jarrod Thatcher439,000
Carmen Ling424,000
Dylan Wayne418,000
Graeme Cowan417,000
Brendon Rubie385,000
Grael Won308,000
Thomas Pongrass280,000
Chris Moussa240,000
Alex Lynskey221,000
Lloyd Locsin165,000
Nathan Hill

Level 19: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)

Break it up

Players are now on a 10-minute break.

Fogarty frozen out

After an UTG open to 28,000, Zac Duc called on the button before Russell Fogarty announced he was all-in from the small blind. The UTG player folded while Duce eventually made the call, rolling over 66 to find himself in a race against Fogarty’s AQ.

Fogarty needed some help but it didn’t come, with Duce instead straightening out on the J8457 board.

Zac Duce1,090,000
Russell FogartyBUSTED

No Liwei given

Liwei Chi and Simon Thwaites just clashed pre-flop in a big hand on the feature table, with Thwaites turning over KK to find himself out in front of Chi’s AQ.

Chi needed help to stay alive and he found it on the A4726 board to double through.

Liwei Chi550,000
Simon Thwaites55,000
Liwei Chi

Action aplenty

Marcus Unwin opened to 25,000 UTG and received two callers before Jarrod Thatcher announced he was all-in for around 300,000. Unwin made the call while the other two players in the hand folded.

The cards were turned and it was Unwin with QQ racing against the AK of Thatcher.

The flop fell 995 and Unwin stood up expecting to hit the rail, but the turn 9 and river 6 bricked as Unwin scored the double.

Just a few hands later, Thatcher got the last of his chips in with 1010 and was racing again against the AQ of Attila Bognar.

The board ran out K6275 as Thatcher survives.

Jarrod Thatcher422,000
Marcus Unwin344,000
Attila Bognar 70,000

Duce knocks out deux

In one of the biggest hands we’ve seen played out today, Jason Pritchard opened to 25,000 UTG and Zac Duce made the call. Mike Ivin also called before the player in the hijack shoved for his last 130,000. It was folded back to Pritchard who tank-folded.

Duce called again while Ivin then ripped it in for his remaining 300,000. Duce quickly called and the cards were turned over with Duce in great shape holding AA against the 66 of Ivin and the QQ of the hijack.

The board ran out 5884J as Duce sends two to the rail.

“Make sure you report that I folded AQ there,” Pritchard told our live reporting team.

Zac Duce823,000
Mike IvinBUSTED!
Zac Duce

Level 18: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)

Strangers on a Table

We’re going to run out of Hitchcock movies at some point, but we’ll keep the trend going for now.

Action folded around to Nick Williams in the small blind, who jammed his remaining 94,000 against his sole opponent, Simon Hitchcock, in the big blind.

Hitchcock peeled his cards and called quickly.

Hitchcock: KJ
Williams: 62

Bad timing for Williams, and Hitchcock paired up on the board showing 10QJ10, the river 6 a consolation prize for Williams (along with 169th place).

On the same table, one Nathan Hill has had a great level – now possibly our chip leader with nearly 1.5m!

Nathan Hill1,417,000
Simon Hitchcock643,000
Nick WilliamsBUSTED!
Nathan Hill

Top top Yazbeck

Patrick Yazbeck shoved under the gun, with action folding around to Stephen Grant in the small blind, who made the call before the big blind got out of the way.

There was a minor dispute as to whether the big blind had called as well – apparently, once Grant called, the big blind said “Call?” directly to Grant, querying whether Grant had called. Friendly reminder folks, don’t use an action word – call, raise, bet, all in, check, fold – even if it’s a question, while it’s your turn to act!

Grant: QQ
Yazbeck: AK

Board: 3A925

Top top good enough for Yazbeck, who received a grant of 201,000 from Grant. Yazbeck has his work cut out for him, with German pro Martin Finger (14th on German’s rather impressive all-time money list) seated directly to his left.

Martin Finger720,000
Patrick Yazbeck422,000
Stephen Grant413,000
Martin Finger

Fendy fends

Fendy Fendy jammed for 94,000 over the 22,000 open of Tom Hulley.

Hulley asked for a count when the action came back around to him, considering it before making the call for about 16% of his stack.

Fendy: 77
Hulley: KQ

Hulley started readying chips to pay off Fendy as the board ran 398A, then passed them across as Fendy not only fended him off, but hit a set on the 7 river.

Tom Hulley518,000
Fendy Fendy213,000
Tom Hulley

She’s a millionaire!

Our first player over the magic million mark during the latest round of counts is Yerin Kim! The 28-year-old, hailing from South Korea, just raked in another pot with Kings straight after the break too, so she’s got a fair bit more now!

Yerin Kim1,005,000
Gautum Dhingra870,000
Anthony Cierco828,000
James Yang759,000
Dylan Wayne738,000
Sam Higgs718,000
Qilong Li690,000
Matthew Howearth563,000
Attila Bognar545,000
Ross Coveney461,000
Chuck Caris444,000
Carmen Ling414,000
Will Wong414,000
Chad Awerbuch407,000
Martin Finger367,000
Roy Agresta294,000
Lloyd Locsin288,000
Alex Lynskey212,000
Bailey McKenny196,000
Chris Moussa178,000
Najeem Ajez142,000
Janet Wyvil125,000
Russell Fogarty105,000
Yerin Kim

Level 17: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

Break time

The remaining 180 players have departed for the first break of the day.

Ajez in the cold

Action was opened to 14,000 before Paul Hoang 3-bet to 45,000 in the cutoff. 

That wasn’t enough for Najeem Ajez, who cold 4-bet all-in, having Hoang covered. 

Hoang tanked but called off reluctantly as the other tables around them started standing up and readying for the first break, just about to start. 

Hoang: QQ
Ajez: AK

Cold 4-bet, cold deck, for Ajez, who had the overcards in the classic flip. The dealer spread a flop of 810J, prompting Ajez to call for a Queen. 

Not to be, with the turn 9 dropping. “Not that one!” cried Ajez, now actually needing one of the two remaining Queens to win the flip. The river repeated the 9 and Hoang stacked up some of Ajez’s chips before the break.

Paul Hoang372,000
Najeem Ajez142,000
Najeem Ajez (L) – Photo courtesy of WPT

Davies dusted

Simon Thwaites opened to 16,000 on the button and Will Davies called out of the blinds. On the 3J10 flop, Davies check-called a 21,000 bet from before both players checked the Q turn. 

On the 6 river, Davies bet 30,000 and Thwaites put him all-in. Davies made the call with K9 for the turned straight but Thwaites held the nuts with A4.

Simon Thwaites570,000
Will DaviesBUSTED

O’Grady soars

Michael O’Grady opened to 25,000 and Andy Lee called on the button. The flop fell 24Q and O’Grady bet 80,000. Lee called to see the 6 land on the turn. 

With that, O’Grady announed he was all-in for a little under 300,000 and Lee quickly called.

It was Lee in front holding AQ to O’Grady’s AK but the 8 river gave O’Grady the nuts as he soars to around 800,000.

Lee drops back to just 60,000.

Williams whamboozled

Takamoune William open jammed for 143,000, action folded to Yang Lei, who final tabled the Star GC Champs Main Event in the Gold Coast last month. Lei flat called, and both blinds got out of the way.

Lei: AK
William: A9

Board: 105Q56

The board completely missed both players, and Lei’s King kicker was good enough to eliminate William.

Yang Lei 596,000
Takamoune WilliamBUSTED!
Yang Lei

Vassiliades vanquished

Arbi Jaya raised to 21,000 from late position, and short stack Francois Vassiliades jammed for 48,000 total. Both blinds folded, and Jaya called.

Vassiliades: KQ
Jaya: J9

Jaya was interrupted by Java, as his coffee order arrived while the dealer spread the flop of 2107. Not instant coffee, but instant bink on the 8 turn, the nut straight rendering Vassiliades straight to the payout desk while the meaningless A hit the deck on the river.

Arbi Jaya308,000
Francois VassiliadesBUSTED!
Arbi Jaya

Jump into the Fog-arty

Russel Fogarty has scored a big double at the expense of Alex Lynskey. As relayed to us by Fogarty, Lynskey fired all three streets holding QJ on a board that saw an Ace land on the flop and another the river.

Fogarty held AQ and called Lynskey’s river shove to move back above 200,000.

Y tank?

Johnny Yammin jammed his remaining 169,000 on the news the bubble had burst – only for staff to then pause the clock again for a recount!

Action folded to Arsn Younadem who waited patiently for confirmation one way or the other while his friend on the rail was going nuts, pacing back and forth under more pressure than Younadem himself! “He’s got Kings, I don’t know why he’s tanking!” he whispered to our Live Reporter.

Confirmation came several minutes later, a confirmation that 253 players remain, everyones in the money, and play is to restart. The clock was unpaused and Younadem snap-called. 

Younadem: KK
Yammin: AK

Younadem held through the board of 481076 and Yammin was eliminated just into the money. 

We expect action thick and fast throughout the current level as everyone is now guaranteed a pay day, short stacks will be looking to make moves and either run up a stack or save themselves some time!

Arsn Younadem

The bubble has burst

The bubble has burst here at WPTDeepStacks Sydney, but exactly who was bubble boy (or girl) remains a mystery.

It all happened in a flash here in the Star poker room, with the floor staff calling for action to go hand-for-hand and then just moments later correcting themselves to say that the bubble had in fact already burst. Staff have now stopped the clock to conduct a full headcount but as it stands we believe we are already in the money.

So close!

Tournament staff have just announced the tournament will be going hand-for-hand at 255 players, with 253 making the money.

With so many players in the room, it makes sense to go hand-for-hand a player early, even if just to eliminate any chance of error.

257 players currently remain!

Level 16: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)

No Lee-way for Struthers

James Struthers open jammed his last 60,000 under the gun. Andy Lee flat-called from the next seat, and everyone else got out of the way.

Struthers: 77
Lee: AK

Lee flopped gold and rivered platinum on the 2QA9K board to eliminate Struthers within touching distance of the money.

Andy Lee477,000
James StruthersBUSTED!
Andy Lee

To Catch a Jack

Simon Hitchcock opened the action to 12,000 from the hijack, only to see Mata Ye 3-bet to 30,000 from the next seat over. The blinds folded, and Hitchcock hit the pressure approaching the money bubble, jamming for 194,000 effective. 

Ye went into the tank. Deep into the tank. Counted his chips multiple times, checked and re-checked his cards. A big sigh. Finally, with a glance towards the clock and the players remaining, he swallowed and slammed a pile of chips over the line. 

Ye: QQ
Hitchcock: JJ

Ye was in a perfect position to double through, having even the suits of Hitchcock covered – but that would all change when the dealer spread a flop of 5J7, causing Ye to throw his hands up in frustration. Tablemate David Wonson was quick to point out “There’s still time!”

Time is up for Ye, though, with the board completing 9, 7 – the cruelest of bad beats close to the bubble eliminating Ye and sending Hitchcock up the counts.

Wonson remarked “Gotta win flips!”
“That’s not a flip!” exclaimed seat neighbour Doug Barclay.
“Depends which way you look at it … he was in front and then he wasn’t!” Wonson continued.
“Not your way, that’s for sure!” laughed Barclay.

Simon Hitchcock621,000
Doug Barclay189,000
David Wonson122,000

Up and down for Lynskey

Our Day 1A chip leader, Gautam Dhingra, recently took a chunk more chips form the stack of Alex Lynskey, although the latter’s woes didn’t last too long.

In the first of a series of hands, Dhingra opened to 12,000 and Lynskey called to take a flop of Q42.

Dhingra then continued for 13,000 and Lynskey called. Both players checked the 4 turn before Dhingra bet 52,000 on the 6 river. Lynskey snapped him off and showed Q10 but Dhingra had the goods with QJ.

That left Lynskey with around 120,000 remaining but very next hand he got it all in with KK against the 77 of Nicholas Wright and held to double back through.

Gautam Dhingra834,000
Alex Lynskey271,000
Nicholas Wright159,000
Gautam Dhingra

On the clock

There has been some confusion over exactly how many players are remaining, with the tournament clock at one stage showing 276 remaining, only to be quickly adjusted back up to 306 before being changed again to 297.

The clock currently shows 288 remaining which we are assured is correct.

Howearth expanded

Matthew Howearth in action early on, leading out for 55,000 onto a board showing JK284, with a pot of over 100,000 in the middle already.

His opponent, Sun Ling, took his time to mull his options over, but ended up placing in calling chips – only to muck when Howearth tabled 98 for the flush.

Matthew Howearth758,000
Sun Ling310,000
Matthew Howearth

Runner runner

After the UTG player opened to 12,000, Jordan Bromley shoved for his remaining 120,000 and it was folded around to the UTG player who made the call.

The cards were flipped and Bromley found himself in a race holding 1010 against his opponent’s AK. Bromley looked to be heading for the rail when the flop fell 984 to give his opponent the nut flush, but the turn 10 and river 10 gave Bromley quads as he scored a full double.

Jordan Bromley255,000
Jordan Bromley

Feature Table lineup

The Star Sydney feature table is once again in action today. It’s one of a kind, the only permanently fixed RFID table in operation in any casino in Australia, allowing for action to be broadcast – on a 30-minute delay – around the world.

The table draw for today is headlined by Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson. With over $2million in live earnings, Benson earned a WSOP bracelet in 1996, winning the 7-Card Stud event to become the first Australian-born WSOP bracelet winner ever.

David Sebesfi, who final tabled the $440 PLO event at the GC Champs last month, also features.

1Simon Thwaites345,000
2Benoit Yick168,500
3David Sebesfi53,000
4Gary Benson53,500
5Luke McCredie286,000
6Andre De Melo59,000
7Hugo Dief94,000
8Peter Dykes115,000
9Neil Corman180,000

You can follow all of the action at on a delay, cards up!

Gary Benson

And we’re away!

Shuffle up and deal! came the call, and the dealers have loaded the shoes – then started firing the cards out at a rate of knots.

Let’s goooo!

Level 15: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

No draw

Due to technical issues with the Star Poker computer system, we are unable to bring you the Day 2 seating draw. Players are advised to check the printed seating draw as they arrive at the room.

The final countdown

After three massive days here at The Star Sydney that saw a record 2,023 entrants take to the Star Poker Room felt – smashing the all-time global DeepStacks record – we return today with all eyes on the business end of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event.

Of those 2,023 entries, just 316 are still in the hunt and eying the money with 253 players set to earn themselves at least the minimum score of $2,637.

However, no doubt they will all be dreaming much bigger – specifically the whopping $413,006 that sits up top awaiting the WPT DeepStacks Sydney champion.

Leading the way after the three Day 1 flights is Ross Coveney with a very healthy stack of 714,000, followed by Day 1C chip leader Matthew Howearth with 685,000 and Day 1A chip leader Gautam Dhingra with 648,500. Also well placed is Marko Perri (622,000), Chris Moussa (555,000), Trung Tran (480,000), Jiapeng Yang (468,500), James Yang (443,000), Mark Ryan (436,000), Eli Chehade (410,000), Pat Barba (397,000), Josh Norvock (368,000), Jaxon Byrne (349,000) and Ken Foo (348,500).

PMA’s full live coverage for Day 2 of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event starts from 11.30am AEST and you can also follow the feature table on a 30-minute delay at

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


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