Dylan Wayne eliminated in 2nd ($194,295)
After Matt Pongrass and Dylan Wayne did a heads-up deal, Wayne raised all-in except for a single 5,000 chip, then folded to Pongrass’ shove.
Two hands later he was all-in with 8♣3♣ against the A♦10♣ of Pongrass.
The board ran out 5♦10♠7♦10♦8♥ and with that, we have our winner!
Heads up chip counts
Ken Demlakian eliminated in 3rd ($124,292)
A short-stacked Ken Demlakian shoved for his remaining 1.1 million with 8♣6♠ and was called by Matt Pongrass with Q♣2♣.
The board missed everything and after almost 4 hours three-handed we have reached heads-up play!
Dylan Wayne opened to 800,000 on the button before Matt Pongrass announced he was all-in. Ken Demlakian made the call while Wayne folded, saying he let go of AK.
The cards were turned over and it was Pongrass holding Q♣Q♥ in great position to double against Demlakian’s Q♠A♣.
The board bricked and Pongrass soars into the chip lead with over 17 million.
And it’s no deal! Play is back underway.
It’s been an epic 3-way battle here in the $5K Challenge and now more than three hours in and with chip stacks relatively even, Dylan Wayne has proposed doing an ICM deal. Both Matt Pongrass and Ken Demlakian have agreed to take a look at the numbers and make a decision.
Level 30: 200,000/400,000 (400,000)
Wayne of wonder
Matt Pongrass has been getting aggressive lately and he shoved his big stack from the button again, however this time he found a caller in Dylan Wayne.
It was Wayne’s J♠J♣ way out in front of Pongrass’s 3♣4♣ and he held on the 2♦2♠4♦6♦6♣ board to double through.
Ken Demlakian limped from the small blind and a short-stacked Dylan Wayne shoves for around 2.4 million from the big. Ken Demlakian called and it was off to the races with Wayne’s A♠5♠ against the K♦J♥ of Demlakian.
The board bricked and Wayne scores a much needed double.
Level 29: 150,000/300,000 (300,000)
The Pongrass is greener
On a 7♠K♣4♥ flop, Matt Pongrass checked to Ken Demlakian who bet 600,000. Pongrass then re-raised to 1.6 million, prompting a 3-bet from Demlakian to 4.6 million.
With that, Pongrass announced he was all-in for 7.4 million total. Demlakian went deep into the tank but eventually folded.
“Good fold,” said Pongrass as he showed 4♣7♣ for bottom two. He is now our new chip leader.
Pongrass piles on the pressure
Ken Demlakian opened to 550,000 on the button and Matt Pongrass called from the blinds. Both players checked the 8♠9♠Q♠ flop before Pongrass fired 900,000 on the 5♥ turn. Demlakian called.
When the river landed the K♣, Pongrass bet 2.2 million and Demlakian quickly folded. Pongrass is chipping up and moves to around 8.5 million after that hand.
Three-handed chip counts
Level 28: 125,000/250,000 (250,000)
Joseph Antar eliminated in 4th ($75,606)
Joe Antar was all-in for his last 280,000 and received calls from all three opponents. The action was checked to the river on a 3♣5♦4♠3♥6♣ board before Dylan Wayne fired 500,000. Matt Pongrass called but folded when Wayne showed 6♦6♠.
Antar showed A♥Q♥ as his day came to an unceremonious end.
Rough run for Antar
Joseph Antar was a big chip leader not long ago but he has just lost two huge pots to become our short stack.
The first saw him get it all-in on the river against Ken Demlakian holding 8♠9♥ for the straight on a 6♥A♣7♣5♣2♠ board, only to find Demlakian lurking with J♣9♣ for the turned flush.
Then he had Dylan Wayne racing for his tournament life, Antar holding pocket 2s against Wayne’s A♠Q♣.
The 3♦J♥4♠J♦3♥ board counterfeited Antar’s pair as he slips to just 350,000.
Paul Huong eliminated in 5th ($58,287)
Joe Antar shoved over the blinds of Dylan Wayne and Paul Hoang but Hoang woke up with A♦K♣ and quickly called.
Antar sheepishly showed the 3♠4♠ but the board hit him hard as it ran out 3♣4♣5♠4♦6♠ as he fills up to send Hoang packing.
We are now down to four.
Siyoung Lee eliminated in 6th ($48,383)
Siyoung Lee and Ken Demlakian got it in with Lee holding 8♠8♣ against the A♦K♠ of Demlakian. Lee needed to fade plenty of outs to surive but a king on the flop ended his day as he heads home in sixth.
Level 27: 100,000/200,000 (200,000)
Pongrass rolling in cash
Matt Pongrass has just doubled up Paul Hoang – running his Kings into Hoang’s quad 4s on the river, but he doesn’t seem too fazed and is currently sipping on a glass of champagne. Why? Because he happened to have 25% of Mark Fester, who just a few minutes ago won the main event here for more than $400,000.
Not a bad day’s work for Pongrass who is also eyeing the $276,178 first prize in the $5K Challenge.
Antar keeps rising
Ken Demlakian limped for the small blind for 150,000 before Joseph Antar bumped it up to 425,000 from the big blind. Demlakian called, then check-called a c-bet of 350,000 on the A♦K♦5♠ flop.
Both players checked the Q♣ turn to see the 10♥ land on the river. Demlakian checked again and Antar fired 900,000. Demlakian folded.
Level 26: 75,000/150,000 (150,000)
Joseph Antar sends two packing in huge pre-flop clash
In a truly epic cooler, Joseph Antar opened to 250,000 UTG and Rod Meneses 3-bet to 750,000 UTG +1. Sam Higgs then shoved for 1.36 million.
It was folded back to Antar who announced he was all-in and Meneses snap-called.
Joseph Antar: A♦A♣
Rod Meneses: K♣K♠
Sam Higgs: Q♠Q♣
The board ran out 8♣5♦4♠9♠10♥ to leave us with six. By stack sizes pre-flop, Higgs is officially eliminated in 8th and collects $33,953 while Meneses takes 7th for $40,622.
Our short stack Siyoung Lee has just doubled through to move back to 1.3 million. It was a simple case of Rod Meneses opening for 240,000 on the button and Lee shoving for 585,000 from the small blind. Meneses called with A♣3♣ but was trailing Lee’s A♦J♦.
The board K♠7♣10♦4♣J♠ brought a brief sweat but eventually ran out safely for Lee.
Level 25: 60,000/120,000 (120,000)
Chris Tran eliminated in 9th ($27,623)
Chris Tran open-shoved for his remaining 875,000 before Rod Meneses shoved over the top. Everyone else folded and Tran found himself in trouble with A♦6♦ against the A♣Q♣ of Meneses.
The board ran out 8♠J♥2♣A♠2♦ to leave us with 8 players remaining.
Meneses chips up to 3.6 million with that hand.
Final table seat draw
Nauvneel Kashyap eliminated in 10th ($23,343)
A short-stacked Nauvneel Kashyap shoves for his last 520,000 and was called in the big blind by Matthew Pongrass.
Kashyap’s 9♠4♠ was live against the A♠5♥ of Pongrass, but when the board ran out 7♥J♦7♦2♦6♦ we were down to our final nine.
Players will now redraw for their final table seats.
Meneses triples up
After Sam Higgs opened to 250,000, Rod Meneses announced he was all-in for 670,000 total. Ken Demlakian then called in the big blind and Higgs also made the call.
Demlakian and Higgs checked it all the way down on a 2♦7♦10♦8♠A♣ board. Demlakian showed 6♠6♥ and Higgs 9♥9♦ but Meneses got there on the river with A♥J♦ to move to 2.2 million.
Level 24: 50,000/100,000 (100,000)
The remaining 10 players are on a 10-minute break
Patrick Yazbeck eliminated in 11th ($23,343)
Ken Demlakian opened to 160,000 and Sam Higgs called. Patrick Yazbeck then announced he was all-in for 830,000. Demlakian folded but Higgs snap-called with J♥J♦, well ahead of Yazdeck’s 8♥8♣.
The window card was the J♣ and there was to be no miracle to save Yazdeck’s day as he becomes our latest casualty.
Daneil Hinh eliminated in 12th ($23,343)
Ken Demlakian opened to 160,000 and Daneil Hinh 3-bet to 450,000. Demlakian called and they took a flop of 4♠2♠8♥.
Demlakian checked to Hinh who bet 410,000. Demlakian called.
When the turn came the 7♥, Demlakian announced he was all-in, sending Hinh deep into the tank. He eventually called and tabled 8♦9♦ but was behind the J♠J♣ of Demlakian.
The river was the A♣ and Hinh hits the rail.
Edwin Chiu shoved on the button for his last 400,000 and Matthew Pongrass thought briefly before re-raising over the top. Siyoung Lee folded in the big blind and the cards were turned over.
Edwin Chiu: 10♣9♥
Matthew Pongrass: K♦5♥
The board ran out K♠10♠5♠Q♣3♠ as Chiu hits the rail.
We are now down to out final 12 players with each guaranteed at least $23,343.
Level 23: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)
Pongrass felts Sibilla
After the 9♦J♠8♥ flop was checked back, Valentino Sibilla bet 250,000 on the 2♦ turn, then shoved for his remaining 1 million and change on the 6♥ river after Matthew Pongrass made the call.
Pongrass looked at the board and asked for a count although he said, “I’m probably not folding.”
He eventually called, showing A♣J♦ and prompting Sibilla to state “Good call” as he showed 10♣8♣.
Sibilla busts while Pongrass now has 3.3 million.
Jiang joins the rail
Shortly after copping a bad beat to find himself short-stacked, Honglin Jiang got his remaining 400,000 into the middle with 3s but ran straight into the K♣K♠ of Joe Antar. The board didn’t provide any help for Jiang as he busts in 17th.
Antar is now on 1.9 million.
Higgs at the double
We still have 17 players remaining in the $5K Challenge, with Sam Higgs the latest to survive an all-in.
Higgs held Q♦Q♥ against the A♠K♥ of Ping Liu and when the board ran out 8-high he moved back to 2.25 million. Liu has 1.1 million after that hand.
Siyoung Lee shoved for his last 530,000 from UTG and it was folded around to Honglin Jiang in the big blind. Jiang asked for a count then made the call to find himself well out in front with A♦J♦ to Lee’s K♣J♣.
However, the board ran out 8♠A♥Q♠10♣7♥ to give lee Broadway and the double.
Level 22: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)
Demlakian chipping up
Dylan Wayne opened to 100,000 in early position and Ken Demlakian called in position. Everyone else got out of the way as they took a flop of 10♥2♥8♥. Wayne continued for 80,000 and Demlakian called.
Both players checked the 7♠ turn before Wayne check-called a 260,000 bet from Demlakian on the 5♦ river.
“I’ve got an 8,” Demlakain said as he showed 8♦6♦, forcing Wayne to muck.
Demlakian currently has 2.35 million.
Yazbeck, Jiang score big doubles
Patrick Yazbeck was on the right side of a cooler, getting it in with Aces against the pocket Kings of Jot Choong to double through.
Moments later, Honglin Jiang and Siyoung Lee clashes pre-flop with Jiang at risk with 10♥10♠ against the A♣K♥ of Lee.
The board ran out Q♠7♣Q♥10♦3♠ as Jiang filled up.
The final 18
Players are back from the break with 18 remaining. All are guaranteed a minimum payday of $16,855.
Level 21: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)
Players are currently on a 30-minute dinner break.
Martin Ward is our latest casualty, falling at the hands of Dylan Wayne. It was another all-in pre-flop clash with Wayne shoving and Ward making the call in the blinds.
Wayne had K♦J♣ to be racing against the 8♦8♣ of Ward.
The board fell [invalid notations] as Wayne makes two pair to send Ward packing. Wayne moves to 2.6 million with that hand.
After a raise from the button, Robert Spano shoved from the small blind with A♣Q♦. Valentino Sibilla in the big blind snap-called with A♥A♦.
“Is that all I’m up against!” Spano quipped,
The board fell 5♠Q♠8♦10♥4♦ as Spano hit the rail.
Level 20: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)
Palace of pain
After a button open, Rehman Kassam shoved his short stack from the small blind and Rod Meneses – best known as owner of Sydney’s Poker Palace – made the call from the big blind. The button folded and it was off to the races with Kassam holding J♣J♥ to Meneses’ A♠Q♣.
Both players flopped massive on the K♣J♠10♦ board but when the turn and river bricked it was Meneses with the best of it to send his good friend to the rail.
Meneses now has just a touch over 700,000.
Daneil Hinh opened to 60,000 from the hijack and Jinah Min shoved for 410,000 from the small blind. Hinh thought for a while before making the call with K♦Q♠.
Min showed A♦9♥ and managed to fade all the outs as the board ran out 7♦8♠10♣10♦J♣.
The million men
Weng Wong finishes as bubble boy
The bubble has burst here in the $5K Challenge with Adelaide’s Weng Wong the unlucky bubble boy.
The hand began with Wong shoving UTG+1 for 235,000. Maguire asked for a count then called with J♠J♣ to find himself racing the A♣Q♣ of Wong.
There wasn’t much time for a sweat though, the J♥6♣6♠ flop filling Maguire up and the turn J♦ giving him quads.
With that our remaining 33 players are all in the money!
On the bubble
We’ve lost a couple of short stacks in quick succession and the tournament staff have stopped the clock while we prepare for hand-for-hand play. We are now officially on the money bubble with 34 remaining.
Level 19: 20,000/30,000 (30,000)
Siyoung Lee opened to 50,000 in early position and Chris Tran flat-called, before Raman Shaqiri ripped it all-in. Lee got out of the way but Tran quickly called.
Shaqiri was well-placed for the double with A♥A♠ against Tran’s Q♣Q♠, and he looked even stronger on the A♣K♠5♦ flop, but the 10♦ turn and J♥ river gave Tran Broadway as he sent Shaqiri to the rail just shy of the money.
Shaqiri was filthy and threw his chips across the table, sparking a war of words as Tran berated him for doing so.
The floor staff quickly intervened as Tran chips up to 1.55 million.
Stack it up
Level 18: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)
Players are now on a 10-minute break.
When the river runs dry
Josh McCully opened to 40,000 UTG and Aamir Choudry called from the big blind. The flop fell K♥Q♣5♦ and McCully continued for 25,000, with Choudry making the call.
The turn was the repeat 5♠ and Choudry checked to McCully who bet 55,000. Choudry then shoved over the top and McCully quickly called, tabling K♣Q♦ for top two.
Choudry showed 9♠10♦ and needed a Jack to scoop the pot, which duly landed on the river to send the pot his way.
He moves to 845,000 while McCully heads off to the rail with a bad beat story for the ages.
After the hijack opened to 40,000, Chi Truong jammed for 355,000 on the button but didn’t like what he saw as Sherif Derias announced he was all-in over the top from the blinds.
The cards were turned and Derias was in a dominant position holding A♥K♠ against Truong’s A♣8♣.
However, that quickly changed as the 6♣8♠9♣ flop hit Trung hard, and he held to score a big double up.
Level 17: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)
Level 16: 8,000/16,000 (16,000)
Dylan Wayne opened from the hijack and received a call on the button from Marc Seymour. The flop fell 10♠6♥2♦ and Wayne checked to Seymour who fired 125,000. Wayne quickly announced that he was all-in, with Seymour looking visibly pained as he pondered the situation.
He eventually mucked and Wayne obliged by showing 8♣9♣.
After an UTG open to 25,000, Weihao Ma called before Ehsan Amiri 3-bet from the small blind to 120,000. The UTG folded while Ma called.
The flop fell 6♦3♥2♦ and Amiri put Ma all in, who snap-called.
Ehsan Amiri: A♥Q♥
Weihao Ma: 5♦5♣.
The turn brought the A♦ to put Amiri into the lead and he held when the river landed the 8♠.
The big stacks
On a flop reading 8♠Q♣3♣, Chris Tran announced he was all-in, sending Billy Argyros into the tank. He eventually shoved his shoulders and said, “If you’ve got me, you’ve got me” before rolling over Q♠10♠.
Tran showed Q♦9♥ as Argyros said, “He hasn’t got me!” The turn and river bricked to give Argyros a much-needed double up.
Level 15: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)
The remaining 70 players are now on a 20-minute break.
Valentino Sibilla and Andre Dowling have just clashed pre-flop, with all the money going in and Sibilla finding himself a strong favourite holding K♥K♣ against Dowling’s A♠K♦.
The board ran out Q♥Q♣6♦J♥J♣ as Sibilla scores a big double.
After an early position open to 20,000, Evaldas Stanevicius called on the button before Edward Hatzakortzian bumped it up to 85,000 from the blinds. Stanevicius called to see a flop of A♣Q♦K♣.
Hatzakortzian checked to Stanevicius who bet 35,000 before Hatzakortzian announced that he was all-in.
Stanevicius quickly folded with Hatzakortzian showing Q♣Q♠ as he raked in the pot. He moves to 850,000.
Level 14: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)
Faces in the crowd
Ward of the state
Martin Ward has rocketed towards the top of the leaderboard courtesy of the massive three-way pre-flop all-in and a dramatic run-out that saw two players hit the rail.
It all began with Ward opening to 16,000 and Ali Zebarjad making the call. Mitch Bognar then announced he was all-in for 259,000. Ward called and Zebarjad, with only 100,000 behind, asked for a count before making the call.
Martin Ward: A♣K♦
Ali Zebarjad: A♥K♠
Mitch Bognar: 6♥6♠
Bognar flopped a set on the 4♣6♣10♥ flop, but then turn J♣ brought a huge sweat and in the end it was Ward making the nut flush when the river fell 2♣.
Duce, Davis dusted
Moments after we spotted Zac Duce heading to the rail on Table 42, we heard Gautam Dhingra announce he was all-in from the small blind, putting Rich Davis to the test for his tournament life.
Davis thought for around 15 seconds before making the call – his K♦3♦ slightly ahead of Dhingra’s J♥10♦.
However, the 4♣4♥10♠A♥8♣ board sent the pot Dhingra’s way as we lose one more player.
Dhingra now has 380,000.
Level 13: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)
Levy legging it
Grant Levy has been a busy man this morning, essentially multi-tabling due to him still being in contention on Day 2 of both the $660 PLO and the $5K Challenge.
As Levy explained to us, he registered for the $5K last night while short on chips in the PLO, but then proceeded to run his PLO stack right up heading into today’s Day 2.
Luckily the two events are being run side by side and Levy only has a short three-metre walk between his PLO seat and his $5K seat.
We caught the action with Robert Damelian in great shape to double through holding A♥Q♦ against the A♦J♥ of Jin Li, but a Jack on the turn was enough to end his tournament life as Damelian hits the rail.
Duce is wild
Zac Duce got his short-stack in with K♦J♦ and found a caller in overnight chip leader Peter Au.
Duce needed help and it duly arrived as the board ran out Q♥Q♦J♣8♥7♠. Duce moves to 180,000 while Au slips slightly to 510,000.
Hanji Ge was all-in for his last 35,000 and found two callers in Mitch Bognar and Sam Higgs.
Both players checked the J♣6♣8♣ flop before Higgs led out for 75,000 on the 9♠ turn. Both players checked again on the 4♣ river but Bognar mucked when Higgs showed K♣10♣ for the flopped flush.
Ge also mucked his cards and headed to the rail.
Cards are in the air
Play is underway here in the $5K Challenge!
Level 12: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)
Back in black
Welcome back to The Star Sydney and PMA’s coverage of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney $5K Challenge.
Today sees 115 of the 258 entries returning looking to bring home the trophy and a handy $276,178 top prize.
There are plenty of big names in the field, including Grant Levy, Martin Finger, Shivan Abdine, Anthony Hachem, Sam Higgs, Ash Gupta, Vincent Huang, Manny Stavropolous, Brendon Rubie and Andy Lee among others. But leading the way is Peter Au, who takes 603,300 into Day 2, just ahead of Rehman Kassam with 567,000.
We’re playing down to our winner today, so stay tuned here at pokermedia.com.au for all the live reporting action from 12.30pm AEST!
|De Kun Li||42||3||125,400|
|Hun Wei Lee||48||4||163,000|
|Yee Weng Wong||50||7||233,000|