That’s a wrap
After 11 levels of play, Day 1 of the $5K Challenge has come to an end with just 115 players remaining and set to return to play down to a winner on Monday.
Leading the charge is Peter Au, who bagged and tagged a whopping 603,300. However, he has plenty of big names on his tail including the like of Rehman Kassam, Andrew Hinrichsen, Sam Higgs, Vincent Huang.
Play resumes at 12.30pm AEST on Monday as we play down to our winner, who will collect a hefty $276,178 first prize. Join us once again at PMA as we bring you all the live reporting action from the $5K Challenge!
2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney $5K Challenge payouts (258 entrants, 33 places paid)
Rehman Kassam has enjoyed a massive final level courtesy of a huge bad beat at the expense of Daniel Veljkovic.
The hand began with Sam Higgs opening to 10,000 before a player in middle position shoved. Kassam then shoved over the top, as did Veljkovic. Higgs got out of the way.
The cards were flipped and it was Veljkovic in prime position holding K♥K♦ against Kassam’s Q♦Q♠ and the other player’s A♦10♥. However, the Q♥ landed in the window to rocket Kassam into the lead and when the rest of the board bricked he found himself suddenly shot up the leaderboard to 570,000.
Veljkovic is down to just 80,000.
We are currently into our 11th and final level of today’s play, with the remaining players set to return tomorrow from 12.30pm to play down to a winner.
It’s going to be a big day too – with 258 entries into this event and a little under 200 still remaining, there is still a lot of action to come here in The Star Poker room.
Seymour and more
Mark Seymour has rocketed up to the top of the chip counts and has continued to pile on the aggression. We caught up with him as he called an open from Emmanuel Seal to see a 7♣3♣Q♦ flop. He then check-called Seal’s 15,500 c-bet before both players checked the K♥ turn.
On the 4♠ river, Seymour led out for 40,000 and Seal folded.
Next hand, Michael O’Grady opened to 15,000 and Seymour 3-bet from the button to 40,000. O’Grady folded as Seymour moves up to 650,000.
Level 11: 2,500/5,000 (5,000)
Stack it up
Level 10: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)
Ward waving his wand
Martin Ward opened to 7,000 and was called by both Suzy Khoueis on the button and Ratul Sayak in the big blind.
The flop fell 4♦K♥10♦ and Ward continued for 8,000 with only Khoueis making the call.
Both players checked the A♥ turn before Ward led for 45,000 when the J♥ landed on the river. Khoueis thought briefly before dolding, proclaiming she folded two pair.
We caught the action just in time to see Rehman Kassam getting up from his chair and walking slowly off into the distance, while Adam Kharman was stacking up new chips.
As Kharman explained, it was a blind v blind battle with Kharman having flopped the flush holding Q♣6♣ on a 10♣2♣9♣ board. Kassam had then check-called all three streets, including Kharman’s river shove, but mucked when he saw the bad news.
Kharman moves to 246,000.
Level 9: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)
Rich Davis opened to 5,000 and Paul Hoang 3-bet to 12,000. Amir Choudhary called on the button and they took a flop of K♠2♠3♥.
Hoang continued for 12,000 and Choudhary called.
On the J♥ turn, Hoang checked and Choudary bet 25,000. Hoang then announced he was all-in and Choudhary called, only to find his A♥K♣ drawing dead against Hoang’s J♦J♣.
The river was the meaningless 4♦ as Hoang soars into the chip lead.
Min moves past 300,000
Jinah Min has moved above the 300,000 chip mark, and with some ease as well.
We caught up with her table as Andre Dowling opened to 5,000 and received two callers before Min bumped it up to 19,000. All three players made the call but then mucked when Min fired another 25,000 on a K♣8♥2♦ flop.
Level 8: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)
O’Kane and able
We caught the action on a board reading Q♠10♦2♦6♠. Diarmuid O’Kane was all-in for his last 55,000 with both Robert Damelian and a third player making the call.
The river was the 3♥ and with no more action, O’Kane turned over Q♥10♥ for top two. His opponents showed missed Broadway and flush draws as O’Kane soars to 219,000.
Joe Hachem opened to 4,000 in early position and received three callers, including Mata Ye on the button and Rahul Rastosi on the blinds.
The flop fell 6♠7♣9♦ and it was checked around to Mata who bet 6,000. Both Rastosi and Hachem called.
When the turn fell 3♠, it was checked around to Mata again who bet 15,000 this time. Only Rastosi called.
When the Q♣ landed on the turn, Rastosi led for 7,000. Mata laughed and called but mucked when Rasotsi showed K♥9♣.
The big stacks
Level 7: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)
Players are now on their second 10-minute break of the evening.
The old 7-deuce
Andrew Michael opened to 3,200 in early position
and received two callers, including Hari Varma in the big blind.
The flop fell 2♥7♥2♠ and Michael continued with only Varma calling. On the A♠ turn, Michael bet for another 10,000 and Varma called.
The river was the K♥ and this time Michael shoved.
Varma quickly called with 7♣2♣ for the flopped boat, leaving Michael stunned after he had rivered the nut flush with A♥J♥.
Jim Pizanias was eager to tell us about a hand he just played to send an opponent to the rail. As he explained, he opened in late position with 10♥10♦ before his opponent 3-bet from the blinds to 7,000. Pizanias called and they took a 10♠J♣2♥ flop.
Pizanias called a c-bet of 7,000 before his opponent checked to him on the 2♣ turn. Pizanias bet 12,000 and his opponent called. When the river fell the 6♣, Pizanias announced he was all-in, and his opponent went in to the tank for a long five minutes before begrudgingly calling with K♥K♠ and finding out the bad news.
Pizanias is now up to 250,000 and among our chip leaders.
Level 6: 800/1,600 (1,600)
Jinah Min now sits atop the chip counts after a huge hand played against Slade Fisher.
The hand began with Min opening to 2,600 and Fisher 3-betting to 7,600. Min called and they took a flop of 10♠7♥2♠. Min then led out for 15,000 with Fisher making the call.
When the repeat 10♣ landed on the turn, Min checked and Slade bet 15,000. Min then check-raised to 75,000 and Slade shoved for just a little more.
Min called and tabled A♦10♦ – well ahead of Fisher’s Q♥Q♠. The river bricked as Slade hit the rail.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what they are all playing for (and a bit of cash to go with it) …
“I’m angry” said Chao Tang after losing a chunk of chips. And with that she opened the pot to 3,000. Rich Davis then 3-bet to 11,000 before Tang announced she was all in for a little under 80,000.
Davis called and it was off to the races with Davis holding Q♣Q♦ against the A♠K♥ of Tang.
The board ran out 3♦9♦9♠6♦9♣ to fill Davis up and send Tang to the rail. Davis now has around 160,000.
Level 5: 600/1,200 (1,200)
Young talent time
Siyoung Lee opened to 2,000 and Toby Giles called before Jin Li 3-bet to 6,500. Both Lee and Giles called to see a J♠2♣10♣ flop.
It was checked around before the 5♠ landed on the turn. With that, Lee led out for 14,000 and Giles made the call. Li folded as the dealer peeled the K♣ on the river.
Lee thought briefly before leading out for another 27,000, sending Giles into the tank. He eventually found a call but mucked when Lee showed 5♥5♣ for the turned set.
Level 4: 500/1,000 (1,000)
Players are on a 20-minute break
Yazbech finds the deck
A short-stacked Adam Yazbeck shoved for his last 12,900 from UTG and found a caller in Matthew Ginn. Robert Damelian then shoved over the top and Ginn folded.
When the cards were turned, Yazbeck’s cards were live with his 10♥9♥ up against the A♣K♦ of Damelian. That proved beneficial too as the board ran out [invalid notations] to give him a much-needed triple up.
Up and Adam
Trevor Saunders opened to 2,000 from early position and received five callers to a flop of 2♦3♥4♥. It was then checked around to Adam Kharman who bet 3,400, with Ken Demlakian and Saunders both calling.
On the 9♠ turn, Demlakian led for 16,000 and only Kharman called. Demlakian then check-called a bet of 39,000 on the 2♣ river but mucked when Kharman showed 5♥6♥.
Level 3: 400/800/800
Faces in the crowd
No fear for Hassib
As the PMA live reporting team walked past Table 22, we were summonsed over as a number of players relayed the details of a hand that had just gone down.
As it was explained, a player in early position had opened to 2,000 and received three callers to see a flop of 10♦7♥2♦. The UTG player continued for 2,000 and Hassib Younan called to see a 5♥
land on the turn. With this the UTG player bet 15,000, Younan announced he was all-in and the UTG quickly called, turning over 8♥8♣.
Younan showed 7♦9♦ for second pair and flush drawm which quickly turned into two pair when the 9♠ landed on the river.
Younan moves to 194,000 with that hand.
Level 2: 300/600/600
It didn’t take long for our first elimination of today’s $5K Challenge.
The hand in question began with 2018 Sydney Champs Main Event winner Neb Blanusa opening to 1,400 before Slade Fisher 3-bet to 6,800. Blanusa then came over the top for 17,000 but Fisher wasn’t done yet, 5-betting to 34,000.
With that Blanusa announced he was all-in and Fisher quickly called:
Neb Blanusa: A♠A♥
Slade Fisher: A♣K♣
The board ran out J♠10♦6♦6♣K♥ as Blanusa sends Fisher to the rail.
It is a veritable who’s who of the Aussie poker scene here in the $5K Challenge.
On our first sweep of the room we came across Gary Benson, Tom Rafferty, Andy Lee, Hari Varme, Shivan Abdine, Mike Maddocks, Ken Demlakian, Andrew Michael, Neb Blanusa, Martin Ward, Jim Pizanias, Dejan Boskovic and Gavin Best.
There are currently 105 entries.
Shuffle up and deal!
Play is underway!
Level 1: 200/400/400
While the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event is continuing on, we’ve also reached the final event on the schedule – the $5K Challenge.
Sure to bring out some of the finest players in the country – and certainly those who have already busted the Main Event – the tournament clock is showing 76 players already registered but we expect that number to grow significantly over the next few hours.
Players will start with 100,000 in tournament chips with each level lasting 40 minutes. We’ll be playing 12 levels tonight, which should take us through until about 1am.
Play gets underway from 4.30pm AEST so strap yourselves in for a long one as PokerMedia Australia brings you all the live action from the $5K Challenge!