Final table set, Smiljanic leads
After 7 hours of play on Day 2, the field has been whittled from 71 players to just 9 remaining.
Overnight chip leader Michael Clair is still in the hunt, despite taking a massive hit late in the day. Local grinder Carlos Youssef is in the mix, but it’s Dan Smiljanic who leads the pack.
Smiljanic, who hails from Melbourne but now lives in Brisbane, went on a sun run earlier in the day, eliminating players left, right, and centre since eliminating Hamid Saeedfar on the bubble himself. Every time we saw him since then, he seemed to be taking someone else out.
We asked Smiljanic if it felt like he could “do no wrong” and he laughed, responding that “Oh, I could actually – I did probably make a couple of errors, could have applied a lot more aggression in certain spots.”
He continued that it “felt good to have broken the ‘Day 2 hoodoo’; I’ve never made it through Day 2 before and it’s nice to be on a big final table as a result of this. Tomorrow will be a challenge, got to try to avoid calling too many jams against short stacks. Will try to pick my spots, pick my moments, but I’m not locking up. I’m here to play, hopefully apply some pressure. Don’t want to reveal too much!”
We had to ask, of course, about THAT full house, which resulted in the elimination of Matthew Vowles.
“He played his set perfectly, 100%. A raise preflop would have scared me away. The small bet on the flop cried for a call. On the turn, when I hit two pair, I thought I was good, and tried to apply some pressure. When he jammed, my first thought was ‘Oh what kind of trouble have you got yourself into this time Dan..’ but there was no folding. When I saw his cards, just had to appreciate how perfectly he had played me; but thankfully, I hit that miracle card. I’ve had that happen to me before so no denying it feels pretty good to be on this end of it!”
WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event Final Table Seat Draw
Smiljanic, and all of our final tablists, will no doubt also be thankful for the relatively early finish tonight, and looking forward to a full nights rest ahead of the final table tomorrow, which kicks off at 11:30 AEST.
We’ll be there to bring you all the action, eliminations, and backdoor full houses, as always!
George Kabourakis eliminated in 10th place ($4,673)
George Kabourakis shoved from UTG+1 and action folded around to Dean Stevenson in the big blind. Dean took one look at his cards, and announced call.
With Tanera dealing, Stevenson needed to simply avoid any Ace or Jack to eliminate Kabourakis and the final table of 9 would be set.
The flop came 10♣3♥K♠, giving Kabourakis additional outs to Broadway. The turn, an innocuous 2♠, changing nothing. Needing to hit on the river, Kabourakis watched as the dealer peeled the 6♥, ending his run in 10th place.
And with that, our final table is set! We’ll have full chip counts shortly, although we can already confirm that Dan Smiljanic is the chip leader going into tomorrow.
Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)
Matt Vowles eliminated in 11th place ($4,673)
Matt Vowles completed the small blind and Dan Smiljanic checked his option, before Vowles led out for 50,000 on the 5♦9♦2♠ flop.
Smiljanic called and Vowles led out again, this time for 100,000, on the 3♠ turn.
Smiljanic raised to 225,000, Vowles shoved after a short while, and Smiljanic thought about it for a minute or so before making the call to put Vowles at risk.
A true blind versus blind hand, with neither player having any card higher than a three – and they wouldn’t need one, as the river came an absolutely brutal 3♦ to end Vowles’ day to collective shock from the entire table. Disgusting!
Snowmen for Youssef
Carlos Youssef open shoved for his remaining 395,000 and overnight chip leader Michael Clair, who is now on the feature table, made the call to put Youssef at risk.
Youssef looked to be all done and out of here as Clair hit top top on the J♠7♥K♦ flop, but the 8♦ sent shockwaves through Clair as Youssef turned him dead, the meaningless 10♦ completing the board.
Yitian Fan eliminated in 12th place ($4,673)
Dan Smiljanic completed from the small blind and Day 1B chip leader Yitian Fan took the bait, shoving all in – and being snap-called by Smiljanic.
Fan knew he’d been had and was on his feet packing his bags as the board ran out A♣6♥6♣J♠3♦ to seal his elimination, and send Smiljanic over the 2 million mark!
Peter Apostolou eliminated in 13th place ($3,932)
With a board showing A♣4♠2♣, Matt Vowles was first to act and checked his option. Dan Smiljanic then elected to fire a bet of 75,000.
Peter Apostolou, who has been grinding a short stack for a while now, then shoved his remaining 315,000 over the line. Vowles announced a call and Smiljanic quickly folded.
No luck for Apostolou on the 9♦, 8♠ run out and he hit the rail in 13th.
Paddy Furlong eliminated in 14th place ($3,932)
Paddy Furlong opened to 65,000 under-the-gun and action folded all the way around to Chin Wang in the big blind.
Wang elected to flat-call, and the pair saw a flop of 7♣2♦10♠.
Wang checked, Furlong jammed, and the rest is history as Wang snap-called, tabling 10♣10♥ for the flopped top set.
Furlong cast his hands up at the sky, tabling K♥J♠ and watching as the board completed 6♦, J♣, the Jack on the end nothing but a consolation prize for the affable Irishman.
Level 22: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)
Mitchell Frost eliminated in 15th place ($3,932)
Jerry Wang opened under-the-gun and action folded around to small blind Nathan Telgado, who flat-called.
Mitchell Frost elected to jam from the big blind, and while Wang folded, Telgado called immediately.
Telgado hit top pair on the flop of A♣J♣6♦ and improved to a full house on the run out of 6♣, 6♥.
Calling the action
The Star Gold Coast has a wide variety of dealers, and one of them, as it turns out, leads a double life as a professional sports commentator.
Tanera, who hosts “The T-Time Show” podcast and can be found on Instagram at @taneranathan, has been doing a stellar job announcing every all-in, level-up, and anything else that’s interesting throughout the course of yesterday and today.
Tanera also has a personal passion for poker and is certainly getting involved, enjoying every second as he watches the stellar play unfold in front of him as this tournament approaches the business end.
Having a resident sports commentator certainly does a lot to boost the atmosphere in the room!
Chin Wang clashed hard with Dean Stevenson, getting it in preflop after a raising war.
Stevenson picked up an open ended straight draw on the turn on a board of Q♠4♠9♦J♥ but was unable to hit any of his outs with the 4♣ river and shipped across half a milly to Wang.
Mehrdad Mousapour eliminated in 16th place ($3,218)
Mitchell Frost opened from early position and Mehrdad Mousapour shoved all in for his remaining 163,000.
Overnight chip leader Michael Clair then announced all in from further round the table. Action folded back around to Frost, who folded.
Mousapour’s pockets were in trouble, and could find no help on the 10♣3♦6♣4♥3♥ runout.
Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)
Matt Vowles flat-called the 30,000 open from Chin Wang, only to see Dan Smiljanic 3-bet from late position to 90,000.
Vowles 4-bet jammed for 256,000 total and Smiljanic called to put him at risk.
Vowles needed to pair either overcard, and with the board running 6♠6♦3♣Q♣6♣, hit his Queen to double through.
Frost barrels his way there
Mitchell Frost and Mehrdad Mousapour saw a flop of J♠Q♥9♣, with Frost betting and Mousapour calling.
On the 7♦ turn, Frost led out again, this time for 40,000, and earned a call from Mousapour.
Frost slowed down and checked on the A♥ river. Moments later, Mousapour checked back, only to sigh in frustration when Frost tabled A♦K♣.
Adrian Sportelli eliminated in 17th place ($3,218)
With a flop showing K♦10♥9♥, Adrian Sportelli jammed all-in and was called by Dan Smiljanic.
Sportelli saw the worst possible news as Smiljanic had flopped top pair and a flush draw to boot.
The board completed 7♦, 5♥ to give Smiljanic the flush and the knock-out for a huge pot.
Fen Zhang eliminated in 18th place ($3,218)
Fen Zhang jammed from the big blind against the under-the-gun 30,000 open from Dean Stevenson when action folded around to him. Stevenson immediately snap-called.
Zhang found himself well behind and needing help, but no luck for Zhang as the board completed 5♣3♣2♥6♥3♥ board as he hit the rail.
Level 20: 10,000/15,000 (20,000)
Tallarico terminated; two tables left
Riccardo Tallarico jammed his short stack from middle position and Lawrence Stephenson flat-called from the small blind. Nathan Telgado let go of his big blind.
Stephenson flopped effectively the nuts on the A♣9♠A♠8♠7♥ board to eliminate Tallarico and reduce the field down to 18.
The remaining 18 players have been broken down to two tables, and are guaranteed $3,218.
Romain Morvan has clashed twice with Adrian Sportelli in recent hands, with Sportelli coming off best.
In the most recent hand, Peter Apostolou opened the action to 25,000 under-the-gun before Morvan jammed from late position. Sportelli then re-jammed from the big blind to force a fold from Apostolou.
Sportelli had every chance to win as he flopped a Broadway draw on the board of 7♠J♥Q♠9♥ but it was the river A♥ which paired him up to eliminate Morvan.
Tom Maguire 3-bet jammed over the 25,000 button open from Mehrdad Mousapour.
The player in the big blind folded, and Mousapour hit the tank, thinking about it for several minutes, including a pump-fake, which garnered no reaction from Maguire, before eventually calling.
Mousapour rapped the table as the flop fell the 6♣5♠5♦, but the Q♦ turn was gin and the 4♥ river changed nothing to cripple Maguire to just 29,000.
“I’m gonna take a little time with each hand now, try to get the pay jump, if that’s okay with you guys” said Maguire to tablemates.
Maguire has now been eliminated – without the payjump.
Level 19: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)
Smiljanic gets another
Dan Smiljanic opened to 22,000 from early position and Armon van Wijk 3-bet to 55,000. Smiljanic decided that wasn’t enough, 4-betting to 142,000.
Continuing the aggression, van Wijk 5-bet jammed and was called by Smiljanic.
van Wijk: A♦Q♥
Once again, no paint on the board as it completed 8♠9♥3♥2♥7♣ to eliminate van Wijk.
|Armon van Wijk||BUSTED!|
Nathan Telgado opened to 22,000 from late position before Mike Ivin 3-bet to 100,000 from the button.
Adam Thaggard wasted no time in jamming out of the small blind before John Parker in the big blind re-jammed behind him. Not to be out-done, Telgado re-jammed, and then Ivin called to create a four-way all-in.
Telgado had everyone covered, both in terms of chips and cards, and would further increase his advantageous position when the flop came 9♦9♣K♣, flopping everyone else nearly dead.
With over 99% equity going into the turn, no one expected the K♦ to drop – quads for Telgado, along with a rarely-seen triple knock-out, to send him over a million!
Editors note: Yitian Fan was the first player over a million.
Troy Mclean jammed for his remaining 190,000 in early position and was called by Mitchell Frost on the button before both blinds folded.
Instant bink for Frost, as the board ran out A♣3♦5♥2♣Q♦ to secure the elimination of Mclean.
Andrew Samoa shoved his short stack and was looked up by Chin Wang.
Samoa turned a flush draw to an “Ooh” from the assembled rail but it wasn’t to be, as the complete board ran out K♥2♥3♠2♠10♦ to pad Wang’s stack.
Michael Mariakis opened from the button to 25,000 and Day 1B chipleader Yitian Fan wasted no time 3-betting from the small blind to 60,000.
Day 1A and overnight chipleader Michael Clair then folded the big blind before Mariakis pulled the big trigger, shoving for 280,000 and sending Fan into the tank.
Fan would eventually call to find out that he was in a standard race versus Mariakis.
Not an ounce of paint on the board of 8♦3♣7♦10♠9♠, with Fan actually hitting a backdoor straight to send Mariakis out the door.
Level 18: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)
Break and counts
The remaining 36 players have left on a 20-minute break. Here are some assorted counts.
|Armon van Wijk||402,000|
Will Wong, recently eliminated, stopped past our Live Reporter with Michael Henderson in tow to explain what happened.
Wong, who had come back from just 11,000 after taking a beat to Andrew Samoa, got it in preflop against the supremely bearded Lawrence Stephenson (what you get when you order Dan Bilzerian from Wish).
According to Wong, Stephenson opened late position and Wong jammed from the big blind, with Stephenson snap calling.
Stephenson would turn the nuts on Wong on a 10♥2♥K♣A♥7♣ run out.
“Three way all in!” came the cry from Table 9, where the cards were already tabled in a clash between Jimmy Ghobrial, Sal Fazzino, and Paddy Furlong.
“Jack one time!” called Ghobrial, only to be immediately disappointed as the flop spread K♥6♥7♣; not only no Jack, but top set for Furlong leaving Ghobrial needing running cards.
“Heart?” Ghobrial pleaded after the turn fell 2♥, but the 5♣ river ended matters, Furlong taking the huge pot and the double knock-out.
Wong gets relief
Lawrence Stephenson opened to 16,000 and Will Wong put in his remaining 11,000. Michael Mariakis then called from the small blind before Yitian Fan folded the big blind.
On a flop of 4♣8♣6♠, Mariakis check-folded to a bet of 16,000 from Stephenson and cards were tabled.
Needing a club to eliminate Wong, Stephenson watched as the board ran out Q♥, 5♦ to ship Wong the pot.
Patient Wayne eliminated
Dylan Wayne, who has been tanking “every hand” since the start of the days play, spoke to PMA about his recent bust-out.
“I’ve never been so scared to have Queens” said Dylan Wayne after getting two callers in the shape of Dean Stevenson and David Rozario when he 3-bet all in from the small blind for 93,000
David Rozario under-called from the big blind, and original raiser Dean Stevenson also made the call.
The flop of 2♥J♠10♣ gave Rozario hope as he flopped two pair; but the turn 7♣ and river 4♦ bricked to give Rozario the full triple, Stevenson the not-insignificant side pot, and bust Wayne.
Michael Henderson and Hayden Doughty clashed again, this time all-in preflop with Henderson at risk.
Henderson found himself actually wanting a Jack after the flop came K♦6♠Q♣, but the 8♠, 2♥ was no help, sending Doughty up the counts.
Wong left short
Andrew Samoa shoved and Will Wong re-jammed from the next seat over. Everyone else folded, and cards were tabled.
Samoa struck gold on the A♥K♥6♠J♦6♣ board to leave Wong crippled with just over one big blind.
Wayde Rickhuss stopped by the PMA desk to share his tale of woe; according to him, Dan Smiljanic open-jammed, and Wayde Rickhuss under-called to put himself at risk.
With the action being announced on the mic by The Star’s resident commentary superstar, the board ran down J-J-7-A… and then a dagger to Rickhuss’ heart, the Q on the river giving Smiljanic a superior two pair.
Level 17: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)
Hamid Saeedfar eliminated 51st
The bubble has burst here at the WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event, and the unfortunate bubble boy is Hamid Saeedfar.
On a board showing 5♦4♣6♣, Michael Henderson check-raised to 28,000 only to see Saeedfar shove for his remaining 52,000. Dan Smiljanic then entered the tank before re-shoving over the top and Henderson got out of the way.
Saeedfar was ahead but Smiljanic was very much live, drawing to any 3, 4, 7, or 8. The turn 2♣ was no help, but the river 8♥ gave Smiljanic a straight, the knockout, and puts all of the remaining players in the money without a single hand played in hand-for-hand!
Attila Bognar got the remainder of his short stack in and was looked up by Paul Whiteman.
Bognar hit a set on the turn on the 9♦6♠Q♣10♥ board but Whiteman was still alive, drawing to an open-ended straight – and promptly hit Broadway on the K♣ river to eliminate Bognar.
We are now hand-for-hand.
A “Harrington Squeeze”, made famous by Dan Harrington on the 2004 WSOP Main Event final table, where he 3-bet over an open and a call with 6♥2♦ to earn a fold from both, involves applying ICM pressure with a marginal holding.
The “Furlong Squeeze” is a little easier – after Dan Smiljanic opened to 12,000 UTG and had no less than 5 callers before action got to Paddy Furlong in the big blind, Furlong shoved for 121,000, looking exactly like a squeeze. Smiljanic called and the remaining players folded.
“It’s easy to squeeze with Aces!” said tablemate Michael Henderson to our Live Reporter as the board ran out 2♠3♥3♠7♦J♦
Full bubble doubles
George Kabourakis and Dustin Jung have both doubled up on the bubble.
Jung got his very short stack in against Lawrence Stephenson preflop.
The full board of 8♠9♣3♥10♣4♦ missed both players and Jung doubled up.
Kabourakis, in the small blind, called the 14,000 open from Sal Fazzino. Michael Henderson also came along, defending his big blind.
On the flop of Q♥9♥2♥, Kabourakis and Henderson checked, and Fazzino continued for 16,000. Kabourakis called, and Henderson got out of the way.
On the 4♠ turn, Kabourakis again check-called after a short tank, this time a 32,000 bet from Fazzino.
Kabourakis again checked on the 4♣ river, and Fazzino jammed, putting the ultimate pressure on Kabourakis – who wasn’t fazed, flicking a single 5K to signify a call, and tabling A♥J♥ for the flopped nut flush.
Nick Williams 3-bet shoved over the 13,000 open from Armon van Wijk, and action folded back around to van Wijk, who snap-called.
van Wijk: 10♠10♦
The flop hit both players hard, the J♠J♣10♣ momentarily bringing Williams joy in the window before he saw the Ten underneath. The board completed 9♠, 6♦.
|Armon van Wijk||465,000|
John Parker and Mirko Stojkov both limped, prompting Armon van Wijk to raise it up to 25,000.
Parker folded, then Stojkov jammed his remaining 58,000 stack to a quick call from van Wijk.
van Wijk: A♥3♥
The board of A♣8♠8♦10♠4♣ was absolutely no help to Stojkov, who is eliminated just prior to the money.
56 players remain.
|Armon van Wijk||329,000|
Level 16: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)
Adrian Sportelli, reigning champion of the Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event, opened the action to 12,000 and was immediately 3-bet to 36,000 by Karsten Kobbing.
Faraz Ayyaz hit the tank in the small blind, before eventually electing to flat call the 3-bet, and Sportelli, “priced in” as he put it, called as well to see a flop three ways.
The flop came down K♦A♣3♠ and both Ayyaz and Sportelli checked. Kobbing continued the aggression, shoving the remainder of his chips.
Ayyaz folded, but Sportelli made the call after a moment or so.
A clearly disappointed Kobbing pounded the table as he leapt to his feet, with Sportelli looking almost surprised to be ahead.
“You’re so tight!” said Sportelli, “I was genuinely thinking you might have had a huge hand there!”
The turn paired the K♠, leading Kobbing to call for an Ace to score the unlikely double up, but the river 5♦ had other ideas.
Henderson pays off Doughty
Picking up the action on a board showing 3♦K♦Q♣J♠, Michael Henderson called the 26,000 bet from Hayden Doughty.
The river peeled the 7♥ and Doughty bet again, this time for 55,000, sending Henderson into the tank.
After a few minutes, Henderson made the call, ostensibly placing his chips in the direction of Doughty. Doughty obligingly tabled A♠10♣ for the nut straight.
“Pfft!” from Henderson immediately, “I was blocking the straight…” he continued.
Zeberjad doubles, Portelli busts
Action aplenty on Table 8, with two “All-in and a call!” cries from the dealer in consecutive hands.
On the first, Ali Zeberjad called preflop and Ashneel Sharma raised to 16,000. Zeberjad called to see the 10♦6♠J♣ flop, then checked to Sharma.
Sharma continued for 24,000 and Zeberjad pulled the trigger, jamming his remaining chips. Sharma called.
Zeberjad was ahead with his preflop pair and actually blocking some of Sharma’s outs, none of which would appear on the 4♣, 8♣ run out to give Zeberjad the full double.
On the next hand, Carlos Youssef opened the action and was met with an all-in from Jonathan Portelli out of the blinds, which he snap called.
It was a straight up race which looked to be won by Portelli all the way up until Youssef spiked the river on the 3♥2♥K♣K♠10♣ board.
Mirko Stojkov limped from middle position and Alex Lee raised to 17,000 from the next seat over, before Armon van Wijk put the pressure on, 3-betting to 36,000 from the cut-off.
After Jimmy Ghobrial and Mike Ivin relinquished their blinds, Stojkov then placed out 12,000 to call Lee’s raise, having apparently not seen van Wijk’s 3-bet.
The dealer confirmed the chips would stay in and Stojkov could either call the bet or fold, to which Stojkov placed over the additional chips to call van Wijk’s 3-bet.
Lee didn’t hesitate to take advantage, jamming with both players covered. van Wijk and Stojkov both reluctantly folded.
|Armon van Wijk||62,000|
Shuffle up and deal!
Tournament Director Tony Cannon had the honours, announcing “Shuffle up and deal!” after a small delay for a malfunctioning microphone.
Cards are in the air and chips are flying – the action is sure to be thick and fast as we approach the bubble today.
Level 15: 3,000/5,000 (5,000)
Bubble to burst today
Day 2 of the WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event is ready to go! There are 71 players remaining after two frenetic Day 1 flights with 399 entries, led by Michael Clair with 325,000 in chips, the only player over the 300k mark.
The prize pool sits at $269,325, and of today’s 71 starters, 50 will make the money. A min-cash is worth $1,244, whilst the eventual winner will score $55,589.
Play commences at 11:30 AEST, and players will be playing 45-minute levels today, starting at 3,000/5,000 (5,000). We’ll be playing down to our final table of 9 players today. As always, PokerMedia Australia will be here to bring you all the action.
The full seat draw is available below.
WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event Day 2 seat draw
|1||Armon van Wijk||106,000|
|1||Moon Gab Chung||46,500|