LIVE REPORTING: 2022 Star Sydney Champs Opening Event Day 2

Jiapeng Yang leads Opening Event final 10; that’s a wrap!

From 148 to 10 in what felt like a flash – Day 2 of The Star Sydney Opening Event is now done and dusted!

There was certainly no shortage of action across the felt, but soon after the bubble burst on the Star Poker Sydney feature table, Jiapeng Yang went on an absolute heater, eliminating Jamal Kassir before the dinner break en route to finishing the day with 7.75 million, or roughly 30% of the chips in play.

Sean McKenzie held his own at the feature table to finish second overall with 4,075,000, with Nicholas Roth (2,550,000), Shu Lin (2,300,000) and Day 1C chip leader Rabie El Hage (2,750,000) rounding out the top five.

Also returning tomorrow are Nathan Sawyers, Jackson Hardy and Daniel Zhou, but the two big stories brewing right now are that of Nurlan Boobekov being on the verge of a second Star Sydney Champs Opening Event victory, along with Suzy Khouiss, who could well emulate the efforts of her best mate and WPTDeepStacks Sydney Champion Michelle Psarras by taking out the title.


Jiapeng Yang7,750,000
Sean McKenzie4,075,000
Shu Lin2,300,000
Rabie El Hage2,275,000
Nicholas Roth2,225,000
Suzy Khouiss1,825,000
Nurlan Boobekov1,625,000
Jackson Hardy1,325,000
Daniel Zhou1,325,000
Nathan Sawyers650,000

One thing’s for sure: we’re going to be in for a helluva finale, and PMA will be there all the way until the final river falls, so join us from 12:15pm AEST tomorrow as we bring you all the action from Day 3 of the Opening Event.

Until then, thanks again for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon. ‘Bye for now!

Easier for Hardy

With three hands to go, Nurlan Boobekov opened UTG to 160,000, and Jackson Hardy pushed the max button, shoving all in next to act.

Nathan Sawyers looked interested in Round 3, asking for a count before shoving in his own stack over the top, chasing out Sean McKenzie and Boobekov.

Hardy: AK
Sawyers: AJ

Sawyers needed help which would not eventuate on the 38Q flop. The 8 provided some chop outs, but the 7 handed a full double to Hardy. Round three, Hardy.

Jackson Hardy1,560,000
Nathan Sawyers650,000

Hardy takes another punch

Sean McKenzie opened from middle position to 160,000 and Jackson Hardy called from the button.

Both players checked through an entire board of K10K410 and McKenzie showed A2. Hardy mucked.

The tournament clock has been paused, with 3 more hands left of play for tonight.

Sean McKenzie3,680,000
Jackson Hardy620,000

Kaplan cut

Action folded to Jiapeng Yang, who didn’t hesitate to slam three T500K chips on top of his small blind, more than enough to put Fahri Kaplan to a decision for his tournament life in the big blind.

“Why you do this to me? If I call I’m all in!” said Kaplan, before promptly short-calling.

Kaplan: KJ
Yang: Q3

Kaplan was in front but not for long, needing help after the dealer spread a flop of 87Q. The 9 on the turn gave Kaplan additional outs to a gutshot, but the J paired the wrong card, eliminating Kaplan in 11th.

Jiapeng Yang8,280,000
Fahri KaplanBUSTED!
Fahri Kaplan

Falling on Hard-y times

Nurlan Boobekov shoved from the small blind for his last 835,000 and Jackson Hardy looked down at AJ in the big blind. Hardy made the call for more than half of his own stack and found himself up against the Q5 of Boobekov.

Boobekov would pair not once, but twice, as the board ran out 259Q3, turning Hardy dead to double through.

Nurlan Boobekov1,750,000
Jackson Hardy775,000
Nurlan Boobekov

Nice to wake up to

Jackson Hardy raised his button to 160,000 and saw an all in button shoved in his face, as Shu Lin pulled the trigger from the small blind.

Hardy called off with 99 and found himself up against the AA of Lin and needing help.

The 35Q78 board provided no help whatsoever, though, and Lin doubled up through Hardy with ease.

Shu Lin1,960,000
Jackson Hardy1,915,000

No Li way

Suzy Khouiss opened her button to 200,000 and Darren Li took a stand out of the blinds, shoving for 500,000. Khouiss made the call.

Li: AK
Khouiss: AJ

Khouiss took the lead on the JQ4 flop, and Li found himself the one chasing his kicker, plus some additional outs to Broadway. None would materialise on either the Q turn or 6 river however, and Li was eliminated.

Suzy Khouiss2,100,000
Darren LiBUSTED!
Darren Li

See ya Seymour

Michael Seymour shoved his 860,000 stack under-the-gun and found a caller in Nicholas Roth on his big blind.

Roth: AQ
Seymour: AJ

A rough spot indeed for Seymour, who couldn’t find his miracle on the 28K58 board and was eliminated in 13th place.

Nicholas Roth2,815,000
Michael SeymourBUSTED!
Michael Seymour

Final level

Tournament staff have confirmed Level 27 will be the final level of play; meaning we have less than 45 minutes left of play today.

There are currently 13 players remaining. Either we have 9 players left or we hit the end of the level, whichever comes first!

Level 27: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)

Kaplan small ball

Jiapeng Yang opened again, this time from the hijack to 130,000, and was called only by Fahri Kaplan in the cut-off.

Yang fired a repeat 130,000 on the 10Q9 flop, attracting a flat call from Kaplan, before firing another 250,000 on the K turn. Kaplan again flat called.

Yang slowed down to a check on the K river and Kaplan checked behind. Yang tabled QQ and Kaplan showed the losing AJ – good for a Broadway straight but not the pot, to shock from the table.

Tablemate Nicholas Roth couldn’t help but exclaim “How do you check that river!”

Jiapeng Yang6,670,000
Fahri Kaplan750,000

Trayner gets a lesson

As recounted to the PMA desk by unfortunate victim Malcolm Trayner, Jackson Hardy opened UTG to 120,000 and Trayner defended his big blind with A7.

Trayner was understandably happy to see the A7J flop and checked to see Hardy check back. The 2 on the turn put two flush draws on the board, so Trayner sized up, betting 325,000 into Hardy, who made the call.

On the 2 river, Trayner went for full value, jamming for 985,000, and was happy to see Hardy call … until Hardy tabled AJ for a better two pair.

Jackson Hardy3,125,000
Malcolm TraynerBUSTED!
Malcolm Trayner

Tupua brings out the ol’ stop-go

After losing an all-in to Daniel Zhou a couple of hands prior, Steve Tupua defended his big blind from a 120,000 Jiapeng Yang open.

The flop spread out 529 and Tupua shoved for 245,000. Yang thought it over, let out an “Aiyaaa…” and then called; finding out that his A4 was ahead of the 76 of Tupua.

Yang stayed ahead on the K, 4 run out to eliminate Tupua.

Jiapeng Yang6,010,000
Steve TupuaBUSTED!
Steve Tupua

Khouiss takes from Yang

Jiapeng Yang raised preflop to 180,000, with Suzy Khouiss defending her big blind on this occasion.

Khouiss check-called Yang’s continuation bet of 120,000 on the 5QK flop, then both players checked through the J, 10 run out.

Khouiss tabled K10 to a muck from Yang.

“That was a dirty river card!” exclaimed Khouiss, “You could have bet there and I’d have folded like a b****!”

Jiapeng Yang4,980,000
Suzy Khouiss1,500,000
Suzy Khouiss

Yang trends upwards

Steve Tupua raised to 175,000 out of the ‘lojack’, called by Jiapeng Yang in hijack before both blinds folded.

Both players checked the flop of 84Q, then Tupua checked again on the 10 turn only to see Yang chuck out enough chips to put him all in – not that many chips in fact, now that tournament staff have introduced the pink T500K chips into play.

Tupua snap folded.

Jiapeng Yang5,700,000
Steve Tupua905,000

McKenzie pressures Hardy

Jackson Hardy opened the action UTG+1, raising to 120,000. Folds all the way to Sean McKenzie in the small blind, who 3-bet to 370,000.

Hardy mulled his options over but made the call to see a flop of 672 then folded after McKenzie continued the pressure with a 385,000 continuation bet.

Sean McKenzie2,590,000
Jackson Hardy2,245,000
Sean McKenzie

One wheel drive

Steve Tupua shoved under-the-gun and action folded all the way around to Suzy Khouiss in the small blind.

Khouiss asked for a count, then called after a short delay. Darren Li relinquished his big blind.

Khouiss: 77
Tupua: A3

Tupua was in bad shape but not for long – the flop of 542 had him free-wheeling (literally) to a full double up as the board completed J, K.

“That was my one time!” said Tupua as he raked the pot.

Suzy Khouiss1,285,000
Steve Tupua1,140,000

Operator, please

Jiapeng Yang opened his button to 120,000 and found calls from Fahri Kaplan and Nicholas Roth in the blinds.

All three players checked the 8KJ flop, then Yang called the 150,000 bet from Roth on the 6 turn while Kaplan check-folded in front.

Roth and Yang then each checked the 3 river in turn. Roth tabled 64 but Yang had that beat, tabling the K9 for top pair.

“This kids got everyone’s number!” remarked Suzy Khouiss.

Jiapeng Yang5,160,000
Nicholas Roth916,000
Jiapeng Yang

Level 26: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)

Ace magnets

Jiapeng Yang opened to 105,000 under-the-gun, and Fahri Kaplan 3-bet to 400,000 from the next seat over. Everyone else got out of the way and Yang made the call.

Yang check-called Kaplan’s 800,000 continuation bet on the A510 flop before both players checked the Q turn.

Yang then slid out a healthy bet of 1,500,000 on the river, promptly Kaplan to fold the KK face up.

Jiapeng Yang4,175,000
Fahri Kaplan2,110,000

See, more chips

Michael Seymour opened the button to 105,000 and Darren Li defended his big blind.

Li check-called Seymour’s bet of 85,000 on the A36 flop and both checked the 4 turn card.

The J induced a bet of 125,000 from Li, quickly called by Seymour

Li had been caught bluffing, tabling the 87, and Seymour took down the pot with A10.

Michael Seymour1,845,000
Darren Li560,000
Darren Li

Chiu caught out

Fahri Kaplan opened to 110,000 from the button and Edwin Chiu defended from the big blind.

On a flop of 349, Chiu check-raised the 100,000 continuation bet from Kaplan to 275,000. Kaplan made the call, then both players checked the J turn.

The river 10 prompted an all in from Chiu … and a literal SNAP call from Kaplan.

“Good call.” said Chiu, rolling the 85 bluff. An easy call for Kaplan though, who had rivered the second nuts with KQ.

Fahri Kaplan3,250,000
Edwin ChiuBUSTED!
Edwin Chiu

Kaplan catches Yang

Fahri Kaplan opened the action, raising to 105,000 from under-the-gun. Hands were folded all the way around to big stack Jiapeng Yang in the big blind, who elected to defend.

Yang check-called a bet of 175,000 from Kaplan on the flop of 3AK, then both players checked the 2 turn.

Yang sensed weakness and fired a barrel of 375,000 on the river, but Kaplan made the call to see Yang table 96 for a stone bluff. Kaplan’s AQ had that soundly beat.

Jiapeng Yang3,160,000
Fahri Kaplan1,980,000
Fahri Kaplan

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

Break time

The remaining 18 players have departed on a 10-minute break at the conclusion of Level 24.

Feature Table

1Rabie El Hage1,365,000
2Malcolm Trayner965,000
3Jackson Hardy2,015,000
4Shu Lin820,000
5Ronnie Shabtay285,000
6James Maher715,000
7Nathan Sawyers1,740,000
8Sean McKenzie2,470,000
9Nurlan Boobekov1,735,000

Table 14

1Daniel Zhou885,000
2Michael Seymour1,530,000
3Suzy Khouiss1,705,000
4Darren Li705,000
5Steve Tupua735,000
6Jiapeng Yang3,945,000
7Fahri Kaplan1,375,000
8Nicholas Roth1,370,000
9Edwin Chiu1,355,000
Jiapeng Yang

Sawyers moving up

Nathan Sawyers opened to 80,000 and was called by Jackson Hardy on the button before both blinds folded.

“Round two, ding ding ding!” laughed Sawyers.

Sawyers then check-called a bet of 45,000 from Hardy on the QK6 flop to see the 6 drop on the turn.

Sawyers checked his option, Hardy sized up to 400,000, but was forced to fold after Sawyers check-raised all in. Round two, Sawyers.

Jackson Hardy2,200,000
Nathan Sawyers1,900,000
Jackson Hardy

Khouiss gets one through

Picking up the action on a flop of 57K, we saw Suzy Khouiss check-call a bet of 150,000 from Edwin Chiu.

Both players checked the Q turn before Khouiss led out for 150,000 on the J river. Chiu’s cards hit the muck.

“You should have called, I had nothing!” said Khouiss, showing the 86 for a missed straight draw. “I don’t care if you believe me or not, but that was the first bluff of the day!”

Suzy Khouiss1,540,000
Edwin Chiu1,250,000
Suzy Khouiss

Duck, duck, hold!

Jiapeng Yang and Nicholas Roth checked through a board of 108443.

Roth tabled AQ only to see Yang table 22 to claim the pot.

Tablemate Suzy Khouiss couldn’t help but chime in “Wow, the ducks held yo!”

Jiapeng Yang3,965,000
Nicholas Roth1,370,000
Jiapeng Yang

Sawyers shows

The dealer spread a flop of 59Q and we saw Nathan Sawyers check in early position, followed by a check behind from Jackson Hardy.

Sawyers checked again on the 7 turn, then check-raised to 400,000 after Hardy fired 140,000.

Hardy laid it down, and Sawyers flashed 88 as he scooped the pot. Round one, Sawyers.

Jackson Hardy3,750,000
Nathan Sawyers1,550,000
Jackson Hardy

Level 24: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)

Morvan marauded

Big stack Jiapeng Yang opened to 85,000 and action folded to Romain Morvan in the big blind.

Morvan elected to flat call, then checked as the flop spread 62Q.

Yang applied full pressure, asking the question of Morvan for his remaining stack; approximately 300k. Morvan snap-called and found himself way ahead.

Yang: K5
Morvan: Q10

“King?” said Yang hopefully. Not to be on the 7, but you could hear the sharp intake of breath from everyone on the table as the K hit the river.

Morvan took it well, though, and headed to the payout desk.

Jiapeng Yang3,740,000
Romain MorvanBUSTED!
Romain Morvan

Feltham felted

Cooper Feltham slid forward his last 220,000 over the line from the hijack.

Edwin Chiu asked how much the players in the blinds had, before flat calling. Daniel Zhou and Romain Morvan weren’t interested, however, getting quickly out of the way.

Chiu: AJ
Feltham: J10

No jackpot for Feltham as the board completely missed him, running out 764AK in favour of Chiu.

Edwin Chiu1,680,000
Cooper FelthamBUSTED!
Cooper Feltham

Wei behind

Wei Zhu open shoved UTG+2 and action folded all the way around to Nicholas Roth on the big blind.

Roth took his time, mulling through the possibilities, before tossing out a single T100K chip to signify a call.

Zhu tabled 88 only to find himself way behind the 99 of Roth.

Roth locked it up quickly; top set on the flop as the board ran out 953JJ, not even a glimmer of hope for Zhu.

Nicholas Roth1,340,000
Wei Zhu

Basle busto

Harry Basle has just been eliminated at the hands of Nathan Sawyers in 24th place as we head – co-incidentally – into the 24th level of the tournament.

Basle open-shoved his last 255,000 from under the gun before Sawyers iso-raised to 800,000 from the +2 position, forcing the rest of the table out of the way before the cards were tabled.

Basle: 44
Sawyers: AJ

Sawyers picked up another Ace on the flop of A57 and held for the KO after the turn and river bricked 10, 9.

Nathan Sawyers1,615,000
Harry BasleBUSTED!
Harry Basle

LoRusso lynched

Nick LoRusso shoved all in under-the-gun for his last 175,000 and was called in three spots; Jackson Hardy on the button, Andrew Harvey from the small blind, and Michael Seymour closing the action from the big blind.

On the flop of 342, Harvey shoved, and whilst Seymour got out of the way, Hardy called to put both at risk.

Harvey: 77
Hardy: 33
LoRusso: Q10

Hardy would improve to a full house on the run-out of 10, 10 to claim a double knock-out.

Jackson Hardy2,740,000
Michael Seymour1,075,000
Nick LoRussoBUSTED!
Andrew HarveyBUSTED!
Andrew Harvey

BREAKING NEWS: Attenborough alive!

The day’s play has concluded in Las Vegas and Australia’s Adrian Attenborough is very much alive, sitting on 149.8 million in chips!

The final hand of the day saw the elimination of the UK’s John Eames. Espen Jorstad raised UTG to 6 million with KK, and big blind Eames 3-bet shoved with AJ. Jorstad snap-called and the rest is history as the board ran 10J836.

Play will resume at 6:30 AEST tomorrow, and Attenborough is now guaranteed a pay day of US$4M!

WSOP Main Event: End of Day 9 chip counts

Espen JorstadNorway298,000,00099
Adrian AttenboroughAustralia149,800,00049
Michael DuekUnited States72,100,00024

REMAINING PAYOUTS (USD $10,000 buy-in, 8,663 entries, 1,300 players paid)

PlaceAmount (USD)Amount (AUD)*

Liddell liquidated

Marc Liddell and Suzy Khouiss clashed in another pockets versus over cards flip.

Khouiss: 1010
Liddell: AK

The flop disastrous for Liddell, however, leaving him chasing runner runner perfect to a wheel as it spread 5103. The board completed 7, J to end his day.

Suzy Khouiss1,670,000
Marc LiddellBUSTED!
Marc Liddell

Mansour soured

Elias Mansour shoved his last 215,000 under-the-gun and found a caller in Jiapeng Yang.

Mansour: KK
Yang: AQ

“Now that’s a sweat!” commented a tablemate as the flop rained hearts – 742.

Not a sweat for long; the 6 on the river turning Mansour dead before the 8 completed the board.

Jiapeng Yang2,310,000
Elias MansourBUSTED!
Elias Mansour

Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)

Aw, Awerbuch

Chad Awerbuch, who has been cruising for most of the day, ran into misfortune, when his QQ ran straight into the KK of Suzy Khouiss.

Neither player connected with the 769AJ board and Khouiss earned a full double, whilst Awerbuch was left with crumbs.

Two hands later, Awerbuch got it in with 43 and Jackson Hardy elected to keep him honest, calling with K10.

Both players hit on the 3910 flop, but the 9 on the turn practically killed Awerbuch, taking away four of his outs, before the K on the river served to rub salt in the wound.

Jackson Hardy1,740,000
Suzy Khouiss1,505,000
Chad AwerbuchBUSTED!
Chad Awerbuch

Zhang zilched

Steve Tupua opened the action UTG+1 with a raise to 80,000. Zhengmin Zhang responded with an all in out of the blinds for 335,000, and Tupua made the call to put him at risk.

Zhang: 99
Tupua: KQ

A safe flop of 662 for Zhang, but the K on the turn changed things completely and left Zhang with two outs for his tournament life.

The 5 completed the board and Zhang headed for the exits.

Steve Tupua920,000
Zhengmin ZhangBUSTED!
Steve Tupua

Blanusa out with a bang

Neb Blanusa got his entire stack in preflop with 99 but ran smack bang into the 1010 of Nathan Sawyers.

The complete board ran out A27Q7 and Blanusa has fallen.

Nathan Sawyers1,300,000
Neb BlanusaBUSTED!

Martino marches

Franky Martino 3-bet jammed for 350,000 over the 60,000 open from Chad Awerbuch. Awerbuch snap-called.

Awerbuch: AA
Martino: A-8

Martino needed a miracle but none was forthcoming as the board ran out QQ7J6, and was chopped down to 40,000.

Martino then found himself all in on the very next hand, both Malcolm Trayner and Daniel Zhou made the call and checked through the flop and turn of 97103 before Zhou bet 25,000 on the 10 river.

Trayner called and Zhou tabled A9, enough to beat Trayner and eliminate Martino, who had Q8.

Malcolm Trayner1,000,000
Daniel Zhou900,000
Chad Awerbuch830,000
Franky MartinoBUSTED!

Fung flung out

Hedley Fung open ripped from middle position, and found one caller in Jackson Hardy.

Hardy: QQ
Fung: AK

Nothing funky for Fung; just numbers, no letters, on the board of 473710 granted the elimination to Hardy.

Jackson Hardy1,575,000
Hedley FungBUSTED!

Boustani busto

Romain Morvan opened the action, raising to 50,000 UTG+1. Jiapeng Yang made the call, then Charbel Boustani 3-bet jammed for 405,000 out of the big blind.

Morvan got out of the way, but Yang made the call to put Boustani at risk.

Yang: 99
Boustani: AK

Boustani couldn’t find any assistance on the board of 2210710 and hit the rail.

Jiapeng Yang1,900,000
Charbel BoustaniBUSTED!

Still no right way to play ’em

Suzy Khouiss and Harry Basle both saw and checked a flop of 107K.

Khouiss again checked on the 9 turn, and Basle fired a bet of 50,000, which Khouiss called.

Both players then checked the 10 river, and Khouiss tabled JJ, well ahead of the 22 of Basle.

Suzy Khouiss750,000
Harry Basle67,000
Harry Basle

BREAKING NEWS: Attenborough down to final four

Chip leader for most of the day before yesterday, Matija Dobric has just been eliminated in fifth place (US$2,250,000) in the WSOP Main Event.

The result took him all the way to the top of Croatia’s All-Time Money List; but meanwhile, our own Adrian Attenborough is still fighting, second in chips at this time.

Norway’s Espen Jorstad currently holds the chip lead and play continues today for now.

Level 22: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)

Dinner time

Our remaining players have departed on a 30-minute dinner break.

42 players remain, and tournament staff have confirmed that we will be playing to 9 players, or the end of Level 27, whichever comes first.

Here are some assorted chip counts.

Jackson Hardy1,780,000
Jiapeng Yang1,450,000
Nicholas Roth1,185,000
Kenta Ido1,080,000
Jun Wang1,040,000
Edwin Chiu915,000
Romain Morvan710,000

Shurunov sent off

Yan Shurunov has been eliminated by Edwin Chiu. The two got all the chips in the middle preflop.

Chiu: K9
Shurunov: Q10

No love for Shurunov on the board of 5AJ69, and he took his leave before the break.

Yan Shurunov

Yang tank

On a flop of 42J, Jamal Kassir pulled the big trigger, jamming for 420,000.

Jiapeng Yang was in the tank for several minutes, leaning over and trying to get a read on Kassir. Eventually, Yang made the call.

Yang: AJ
Kassir: 54

Yang stretched further ahead on the A turn, and the Q river changed nothing as Kassir hit the rail.

Jiapeng Yang1,320,000
Jamal KassirBUSTED!

Ido on the comeback trail

Kenta Ido got it all in preflop once again, this time against Paul Smith.

Smith: 1010
Ido: AK

Ido didn’t have to ask too hard, smashing the flop and holding on the board of A45Q4 to eliminate Smith.

Kenta Ido535,000
Paul SmithBUSTED!

No right way to play ’em

Gregg Russell shoved under-the-gun for 200,000 and action folded around to Jackson Hardy in the small blind. Hardy isolated, shoving for approximately 1 million, and forcing the big blind out of the pot.

Russell: JJ
Hardy: AQ

Hardy hit one of his over cards on the 7Q9K7 board to eliminate Russell.

Jackson Hardy1,280,000
Gregg RussellBUSTED!
Jackson Hardy

Right river for Ido

Kenta Ido shoved his last 150,000 from the small blind against the big blind of Jackson Hardy.

Hardy peeked his cards and quickly called.

Hardy: 66
Ido: J8

Ido open ended after the flop came 2109 with 14 outs plus some runner runner possibilities.

The 2 on the turn left him with the same 14 outs once – and the 8 on the river was indeed one of those, as Ido scored a full double through Hardy.

Kenta Ido320,000

Howard howitzered

Dean Vigdor had Jane Howard all in and at risk preflop and the cards were tabled.

Vigdor: KK
Howard: Q9

Howard flopped top pair as it spread QJ8, but the turn 2 no help to anybody and the river 5 changing nothing.

“Flush draw, keep going!” said someone on the rail, but the day is done for Howard.

Dean Vigdor565,000
Jane HowardBUSTED!
Jane Howard

Ten out of ten

Chad Awerbuch shoved his short stack UTG and was called from a couple of seats to his left by Stanley Lu. Action folded all the way around and cards were tabled.

Awerbuch: 1010
Lu: 99

“Chop?” said tablemate Nicholas Roth after the board ran out J8KJA, but although it may have looked like it, Awerbuch’s superior two pair gave him the full double.

Chad Awerbuch450,000

BREAKING NEWS: Five left in Vegas

With the elimination of the USA’s Jeff Farnes, five players remain in the WSOP Main Event including Australia’s Adrian Attenborough, who has over 100 million!

This represents the deepest run for any Australian in the WSOP Main Event since Joe Hachem won it all in 2005 – some 17 years ago!

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!

REMAINING PAYOUTS (USD $10,000 buy-in, 8,663 entries, 1,300 players paid)

PlaceAmount (USD)Amount (AUD)*

Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)

Chen cast out

Yu Chen shoved from middle position for 240,000 and action folded around to Nicholas Roth.

Roth, in the small blind, asked for a quick count of Nick LoRusso’s stack in the big blind. “About 200” said LoRusso, and Roth flat-called. LoRusso quickly got out of the way.

Roth: 66
Chen: A5

A gutshot materialised on the 328 flop for Chen, but she missed on the 3, 7 run-out and was eliminated at the hands of Roth.

Nicholas Roth1,165,000

Lucky Lukkien

Trent Paul open shoved from the button with 99, and Eric Lukkien looked at his cards in the big blind before snap-calling and tabling AK.

Paul avoided the over cards on the J22 flop but spades very much live for Lukkien, and sure enough the 8 on the turn gave him the lead. Needing to hit, the 5 didn’t help Paul.

Eric Lukkien800,000
Trent PaulBUSTED!

Gilberg gone

Kenta Ito open shoved from the cut-off and Jonny Gilberg short-called from the small blind.

Gilberg: 99
Ito: AQ

Ito smashed the flop of AQ3 and held through the run out of 5, 2 to eliminate Gilberg.

Kenta Ito463,000
Jonny GilbergBUSTED!

Top pair too little for Toolooa

Ajay Toolooa has been eliminated by Paul Smith, getting it all in preflop with over cards against Smith’s pocket pair.

Smith: 88
Toolooa: AQ

Toolooa flopped top pair, but a set underneath it for Smith as the complete board ran out J8AQ7 to spell the end of Toolooa’s day.

Paul Smith438,000
Ajay ToolooaBUSTED!

Level 20: 10,000/15,000 (15,000)

No training needed

Charlie Yu jammed from the cut-off and found a caller in the shape of Malcolm Trayner out of the small blind.

Trayner: 1010
Yu: KJ

Traynor found himself ahead but flipping against Yu, but found a completely safe board of 636A3 to eliminate Yu. Nothing personal.

Malcolm Trayner748,000
Charlie YuBUSTED!

Tomorrow is another Hay

Andrew Hay’s day is done, getting it all in on the turn against Edwin Chiu, who has been on a tear this level.

The board was showing 31027, and Hay tabled 99 for a pair and flush draw, but found himself behind the A10 of Chiu.

Hay found no help on the 3 river.

Edwin Chiu1,540,000
Andrew HayBUSTED!

Broadway for Roth

“I need a miracle, one time!” were the words from Day 1C chipleader Alex Yazbeck as he found himself all in on the turn against Nicholas Roth on a board showing Q10K2.

Roth: AJ
Yazbeck: J8

Yazbeck could only find a consolation pair on the 8 river and surrendered his stack to Roth.

Nicholas Roth925,000
Alex YazbeckBUSTED!

Sun sets

Wenji Sun shoved preflop and Ronnie Shabtay re-shoved to isolate.

Shabtay: 99
Sun: AK

Needing to hit either over card, the sun would set on Sun’s Opening Event run as the board ran out Q4644.

Ronnie Shabtay426,000
Wenji SunBUSTED!

Chiu over a milly

Edwin Chiu opened preflop and Ben Dacunto defended out of the blinds. Dacunto fired a bet on the flop of 782, and Chiu made the call.

Dacunto then checked to Chiu, who bet 50,000 on the 8 turn. Dacunto check-raised to 150,000 and Chiu made the call.

Dacunto shoved for 317,000 on the river, and Chiu got a count before calling.

Dacunto: K8
Chiu: 109

Trips for Dacunto but the rivered straight good enough for the elimination, sending Chiu over a million!

Edwin Chiu1,160,000
Ben DacuntoBUSTED!

King Morvan

It was the ultimate cooler over on another table, with Romain Morvan all in and at risk against Yan Shurunov.

Shurunov: AA
Morvan: KK

The Frenchman escaped trouble though, hitting a set on the K7Q flop and holding through the 8, 8 run-out to double up.

Romain Morvan398,000
Yan Shurunov128,000

See ya, says Sawyers

Shem Goltz has been eliminated shortly afterwards by Nathan Sawyers, again with all the chips in preflop and Goltz with a pocket pair needing to fade overs.

Goltz: 99
Sawyers: AQ

Almost. So close. Safe for Goltz on the 246 flop, safe still on the 6 turn, but Sawyers spiked the A on the river to end his run today.

Nathan Sawyers800,000
Shem GoltzBUSTED!

End by Endersby

WA’s Travis Endersby and Queensland’s Shem Goltz got it all in preflop.

Goltz: 77
Endersby: A8

“Sevens again?” said Endersby incredulously before the board ran out 310492.

“Guess I’m playing the bounty!” continued Endersby as he headed over to the recently started Event 2 $660 Big Bounty.

Travis EndersbyBUSTED!

Sour taste for Darbani

All in preflop action between Elias Mansour and Hauman Darbani saw cards on their backs heading to a full board.

Mansour: AJ
Darbani: A2

The board ran out 648310 and Mansour claimed a scalp.

Eliminations are happening thick and fast here at The Star Sydney!

Elias Mansour364,000
Hauman DarbaniBUSTED!

Blind on blind

Ben Dacunto shoved his stack from the small blind against the big blind of Uno Uka.

Uka made the call with A5 only to find himself well behind the QQ of Dacunto, and waved goodbye to some chips after Dacunto hit a set in the window on the full board of 3AQK8, despite flopping top pair.

Uka was eliminated shortly afterwards at the hands of Chad Awerbuch.

Bye Bahi

Edwin Chiu shoved under-the-gun and Karam Bahi short called in middle position.

Chiu: 33
Bahi: AK

Top pair in the window for Bahi, but underneath it; a set for Chiu on the board of 310AJ5 as he claimed a knockout to soar among the chipleaders.

Edwin Chiu930,000
Karam BahiBUSTED!

Level 19: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)

Moore all ins

Peter Moore open jammed for approximately 8 big blinds under-the-gun and Shem Goltz, next to act, hit the tank. Eventually, Goltz flat-called, and action folded around to Dominic Tso in the big blind. Tso jammed over the top and Goltz once again called off.

Goltz: 77
Moore: A6
Tso: KQ

Goltz ahead to begin with in the multi-way flip, and stayed ahead, hitting a set in the window on the full board of KJ734 to almost triple up.

Shem Goltz435,000
Peter MooreBUSTED!
Dominic TsoBUSTED!

Hay look, an Ace

Andrew Hay opened to 25,000 under-the-gun and Vera Milinkovic 3-bet to 50,000 in middle position. Action folded all the way back around to Hay, who flat-called.

Hay check-called the bet of 70,000 from Milinkovic on the 63J flop, leaving himself 151,000 behind.

Both players then checked the 2 turn, before Hay led out for 70,000 on the A river. Milinkovic made the call only to despair as Hay tabled AJ, flashing her KK as Hay collected his new chips.

Andrew Hay416,000
Vera Milinkovic352,000
Andrew Hay

The wrath of Roth

Tom Luo and Nicholas Roth got all the chips in preflop and the cards were tabled; Luo with the best hand in hold’em had Roth in a world of hurt.

Luo: AA
Roth: 88

Luo looked safe on the flop of 6103, safer still on the J turn, but the entire table gave out a gasp as Roth spiked the 8 on the river.

Nicholas Roth612,000
Tom Luo

Yessir Kassir

Action folded around to Steven Huynh in the small blind, who shoved all in against the short stack of Jamal Kassir in the big.

Kassir looked down at an Ace and made the call.

Huynh: 44
Kassir: A7

Instant relief for Kassir on the A1010KK board and he doubled through.

Jamal Kassir214,000
Steven Huynh79,000
Jamal Kassir

Foster care

Over on Star Poker Sydney’s Feature Table, Daniel Franks jammed for his last 19,000 UTG+1. Roland Foster, Sean McKenzie, and Richard Wells all flat called to put him at risk.

Foster, McKenzie, and Wells, playing for a dead side pot, all checked all the way through the board of 7Q5JQ.

Franks: AK
Foster: AJ
Wells: J8
McKenzie: 53

Foster dragged the pot, having paired his kicker to eliminate the short-stacked Franks, and with that, the bubble has burst and our remaining 106 players are in the money!

Daniel FranksBUSTED!

Feeling the pinch

The remaining 107 players are now feeling the pressure, but both Uno Uka and Yu Chen have managed to pick up some chips on the outer tables during hand-for-hand play.

Earlier on Table 8, action folded around to Edwin Chu who raised to 25,000 from the cut-off; Uka flatted from the button to make it heads-up to a flop of 747.

Chu opened for 25,000, but was quick to muck after Uka returned fire with a raise worth 60,000.

Our reporter then picked up action over at Table 19 on a board of 7AJ5 into a heads-up pot between Yu Chen and Vera Milinkovic. Chen checked and Milinkovic opened for 33,000, then Chen check-raised to 125,000, with Milinkovic making the call.

Chen called, and then both players checked down the river 8; Chen showed down K3 for a busted flush draw, but Milinkovic definitely had the best of it as she tabled A5 for two pair.

But as all that action played out, the bubble burst on the Star Poker Sydney feature table! Our recap of that pivotal moment will be coming your way soon.

Level 18: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

El Hage in a world of hurt

After taking a big hit earlier, Day 1B chip leader Rabie El Hage now finds himself as one of the short stacks in the room as action continues hand-for-hand in The Star Sydney Champs Opening Event.

Our reporter picked up the action on the turn with a board that read K6K4, with the pot up to around 145,000; Andrew Harvey opened from early position for 55,000 and found a call from El Hage before the dealer peeled the river 9 from the shoe.

El Hage called, but Harvey’s A9 was best for two pair against El Hage’s AQ which had missed the nut flush draw.

And with that, Harvey now has the outright chip lead in this tournament, moving up past 900K!

Andrew Harvey953,000
Rabie El Hage113,000
Andrew Harvey

Traynor drops some to Boustani

The cry of “all in, call” went up from Table 7, where our reporter witnessed Malcolm Trayner tabling AQ, but needed to find some help against the KK of Charbel Boustani.

The board of JJ679 improved neither hand and Boustani doubled through.

Charbel Boustani204,000
Malcom Trayner505,000

Woodhams finds a double

Nick Woodhams has managed to find a small double through Zhengmin Zhang in one of the first all-ins after hand-for-hand play began.

All the money was in the middle pre-flop; Woodhams was at-risk with A4, but found himself in a fair fight against the QJ of Zhang.

Zhang paired up on the flop of 86J, however Woodhams turned the nut flush with the 10 before the river K completed the board.

Nick Woodhams42,000
Zhengmin Zhang142,000


The tournament clock has now been paused and we have moved to hand-for-hand play. Red decks at the ready, dealers!

Three threes for Todor

“All in and a call!” from Table 8 where Todor Kondevski and Chad Awerbuch had gone to showdown.

Kondevski: 33
Awerbuch: A3

Both players smashed the 32A flop, though Awerbuch found himself needing to hit another Ace to survive. The 4 added chop possibilities on the turn, but the 6 awarded Kondevski the full double.

With a knockout on another table, tournament staff have stopped the action as play is now hand-for-hand.

Todor Kondevski200,000
Chad Awerbuch110,000
Chad Awerbuch

Double KO for El Hage

Two pre-flop all ins from short stacks Win Tan and Michael Mayar were called off by Rabie El Hage on Table 9.

Mayar: A10
Tan: A9
El Hage: QJ

Top pair for El Hage on the J74 flop saw both Tan and Mayar needing help, which did not arrive on the K, 2 run-out and saw them both depart.

Rabie El Hage372,000
Michael MayarBUSTED!

Khouiss chops

Suzy Khouiss shoved from early position and action folded to Husnain Siddique on the button, who short-called.

Elias Mansour then hit the tank in the small blind before re-shoving with both players covered, before Robert Ovseev let his big blind go.

Siddique: 66
Khouiss: AQ
Mansour: AQ

Khouiss and Mansour both spiked one of the remaining Aces as the board ran out J2A210 to split Siddique’s chips between them.

“How do you call there with that action?” called out Khouiss to Mansour, “Should have won that all myself!”

Elias Mansour164,000
Suzy Khouiss108,000
Husnain SiddiqueBUSTED!

Bah humbug!

Farnaz Bahrehbar open shoved from middle position and action folded to Steven Huynh in the big blind.

Huynh made the call to put Bahrehbar at risk.

Huynh: KJ
Bahrehbar: J-8

Huynh paired up on the 710K flop and just needed to fade the gutshot, which did not materialise on the 5, 3 run-out.

Steven Huynh260,000
Farnaz BahrehbarBUSTED!

Chen train

Yu Chen recently won a three way all in, her Q-Q ahead of the A-K of David Ly and A-T of Naung Lee to claim a double knockout.

With that hand she has skyrocketed among the chip leaders.

Yu Chen678,000
Naung LeeBUSTED!
Yu Chen

BREAKING NEWS: Fresh out of Vegas

From the Final Table of the WSOP Main Event, Australia’s own Adrian Attenborough open-shoved for 32 million with 99 from middle position, and the USA’s Matthew Su shoved over the top with QQ, forcing everyone else out.

Attenborough was looking in bad shape; but all of that would change with the flop of 298. Su picked up additional outs to a straight on the 10 turn, but Attenborough faded them all as the river 4 dropped to take the 69 million pot! Nice!

Adrian Attenborough69,000,000

Level 17: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)

Daoud doneski

Tony Daoud opened to 13,000 preflop and found a caller in Michael Canturi.

On a flop of K98, Daoud applied all the pressure, shoving the remainder of his stack. Canturi made the call.

Canturi: A9
Daoud: KJ

Needing a diamond to eliminate Daoud, Canturi found it immediately, turning Daoud dead with the 4 before the 10 completed the board.

Michael Canturi202,000
Tony DaoudBUSTED!

A bold prediction

The cards were dealt out on Table 10 when Andrew Scarf made a statement.

“Bold prediction; whoever wins this hand, wins all the chips.” he said.

“You think?” responded Suzy Khouiss.

Action went four handed including Scarf to a flop of 984 and Robert Ovseev shoved his short stack. Only Scarf made the call.

Scarf: AJ
Ovseev: 107

Both players completely missed the Q, 2 run-out, and Scarf may well be on his way to realising his bold prediction.

Andrew Scarf356,000
Robert OvseevBUSTED!
Andrew Scarf

Boxell blindsided

A blind versus blind battle has led to the elimination of Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell.

David Sebesfi limped the small blind after a round of folds to him, and Boxell upped the ante, raising to 30,000. Sebesfi responded with a shove and Boxell snap-called.

Sebesfi: KK
Boxell: A10

A flopped set for Sebesfi on the board of 29K810 marked the end of the road for Boxell, while Sebesfi went soaring up the chip counts.

David Sebesfi628,000
Leo BoxellBUSTED!

Xie X’d

Joshua Baraba opened to 14,000 and was called by both Hong Xie and Yu Chen to see a flop of 652 three ways.

Baraba fired a continuation bet, only to see both Xie and then Chen shove all in. Baraba got out of the way.

Chen: 88
Xie: 55

Xie found himself in a fantastic spot with middle set against the overpair of Chen. The Q on the turn changed nothing, Chen still needing to hit a two outer to eliminate Xie.

That she did, when the 8 dropped on the river. Ouch!

Yu Chen450,000
Yu Chen

Ali up

Jie Cui opened in middle position leading into a 3-bet shove from Ali Khouiss in the cut-off.

Cui made the call to put Khouiss at risk and behind.

Cui: AK
Khouiss: A7

Needing help, Khouiss was all but out of here as the board ran 41029 before the 7 on the river saved his tournament life.

Ali Khouiss150,000
Jie Cui60,000
Ali Khouiss

Goltz pressure

Shem Goltz started today short but has made some moves early and built up a stack within the first quarter hour.

Our Live Reporter caught the action as Goltz 3-bet to 33,000 over the 13,000 open from Hedley Fung. Both blinds got out of the way and Fung made the call to see a flop of A33.

Fung check-folded to Goltz’s bet of 15,000.

Shem Goltz267,000
Hedley Fung99,000

Aw Jee-z

Trent Paul open shoved his remaining 87,000 from UTG+2 and action folded all the way around to Benjamin Jee in the big blind.

Jee made the call and found himself in a flip.

Paul: 55
Jee: A10

Jee added some outs to Broadway on a flop of 4K8, but lost a couple of outs when Paul picked up a flush draw on the J turn. Still needing to fade, Paul could breathe a sigh of relief when the 9 earned him the full double.

Trent Paul183,000


That’s the number of hands Lachlan Armstrong-Sue played today, coming in on the small blind first hand of the day and open-shoving into Romain Morvan when action folded around.

Morvan looked down at A-5 in the big blind and made the call. Armstrong-Sue tabled Q-3.

The board ran out 8-A-6-6-9 and Morvan claimed the first scalp!

Romain Morvan225,000
Lachlan Armstrong-SueBUSTED!
Romain Morvan

Lights, camera, action!

Star Poker Sydney’s Feature Table is once again in use, with “Table 17” being moved over onto it.

You can follow along with the action for yourself over at

1Owen Chong255,000
2Luca Borreggine69,000
4Shuang Han72,000
5Christina Pie47,000
6Peter Au174,000
7John Nguyen85,000
8Sean Mckenzie335,000
9Richard Wells114,000

Cards in the air

Play has commenced here at The Star Sydney, with tournament staff announcing “Shuffle up and deal!” right on time.

The remaining 146 players will be playing 45-minute levels today.

Level 16: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

It’s moving day!

Welcome back to PokerMedia Australia‘s live reporting coverage for Day 2 of the 2022 Sydney Champs Opening Event!

Let’s talk numbers. The Opening Event has attracted a total of 848 entries across two flights, creating a total prize pool of $572,400. Of those, just 146 remain going into Day 2 and 106 of those players will earn a pay day worth at least $1,128, with $101,161 up top.

Nurlan Boobekov will carry the overall chip lead going in after bagging up 646,500 on Day 1A. Rabie El Hage, who finished on top of the charts after Day 1B, sits in second with 500,000 on the nose, while David Sebesfi (469,000), Jackson Hardy, (462,000), and Vera Milinkovic (460,000) and Day 1C chip leader Alex Yazbeck (413,000) follow close behind.

We’ll also be keeping an eye on inaugural WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event Champion Yang Lei (371,000), who broke through for his first major Tier One title at The Star Gold Coast just last month to earn $216,763 in cash and prizes. 2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney PLO Champion Roland Foster (327,000), is also high up in the counts today.

Play will resume at 12:30pm AEST, with recommencing blinds at 3,000/6,000 (6,000). Feature table streaming will commence at 1pm AEST over at, and of course, we’ll have all our live updates here at PMA, so stay with us as we bring you all the action!

Day 2 seat draw

Please ensure that you have your photo ID and Star Club Card with you for verification purposes. Should you have any queries regarding your seat allocation, please inform one of the team at Star Poker Sydney. Best of luck to all players!

Table 1

1Dylan Desmarchelier85,000
2Hoyeon Kim69,000
3Rahim Hosseini-Nasab110,000
4Zhi Ma84,000
5Vladimir Stephanov122,000
6Benjamin Jee170,000
7Daniel Franks195,000
8Jane Howard81,000
9Trent Paul72,000

Table 2

1Zuxian Zhao108,000
2Jun Wang280,000
3Fahri Kaplan70,000
4Craig Scott159,000
5Franky Martino291,000
6Kiavash Arbabi70,000
7Alecsander Lawrence70,000
8Alan Janke326,000
9Korissa Naicker77,000

Table 3

1Leo Boxell130,000
2Haowen Sun76,000
3Glenn Marsom126,000
4Shu Lin220,000
5Bobby Yun133,000
6Vincent Choy69,000
7Kresimir Kardum137,000
8Jackson Hardy462,000
9David Sebesfi469,000

Table 4

1Ashleigh Tran98,000
2Hedley Fung120,000
3Tony Daoud148,000
4Shem Goltz57,000
5Neb Blanusa175,000
6Michael Canturi127,000
7Yang Lei371,000
8Andre Dowling63,000
9Gregg Russell249,000

Table 5

1Ashley Sharpe50,000
2Cooper Feltham267,000
3Aharon Shabtay166,000
4Johny Gilberg172,000
5Jalil Mekouane139,000
6Shannon Brown134,000
7Omer Silajdzija165,000
8Karam Bahi234,000
9Malcolm Trayner307,000

Table 6

1Adrian Chiu65,000
2Minh Cao84,000
3Farnaz Bahrehbar50,000
4Peter Vrljic150,000
5Kurtis Lazenby70,000
6Xiang Pu98,000
7Steven Huynh251,000
8Jamal Kassir105,000
9James Maher274,000

Table 7

1Yu Chen349,000
2Andrew Hay180,000
3David Ly106,000
4Joshua Baraba197,000
5Hong Xie114,000
6Jun Lin375,000
7Errolyn Strang294,000
8Naung Lee128,000
9Charbel Boustani91,000

Table 8

1Prem Nair179,000
2Edwin Chiu290,500
3Todor Kondevski94,000
4Khal Fayad164,000
5Fletcher Smith227,000
6Paul Smith151,000
7Ben Dacunto289,000
8Unensaikhan Bolovson140,000
9Chad Awerbuch165,000

Table 9

1Michael Mayar125,000
2Eric Lukkien219,000
3Rabie El-Hage500,000
4Steve Tupua383,000
5Guangyan Deng347,000
6Andrew Harvey326,000
7Jian Long233,000
8Win Tan72,000
9Ashor Shlemon253,000

Table 10

1Elias Mansour109,000
2Robert Ovseev110,000
3Hauman Darbani121,000
4Suzy Khouiss53,000
5Daniel Awad217,000
6Earlson Ecobiza78,000
7Andrew Scarf246,000
8Kenta Ito231,000
9Husnain Siddique212,000

Table 11

1Nicholas Lo Russo142,000
2Alex Yazbeck413,000
3Nurlan Boobekov646,500
4Tom Luo97,000
6Brent Goldingham213,000
7Ren Wang188,000
8Thomas Chong86,000
9Nicholas Roth183,000

Table 12

1Nicholas Woodhams71,000
2Zhengmin Zhang67,000
3Mark Leslie60,000
4Harry Basle130,000
5Yuanfeng Lin94,000
7Dominic Tso331,000
8Wenji Sun172,000
9Peter Moore129,000

Table 13

1Jie Cui124,000
3Michael Seymour200,000
4Ali Khouiss63,000
5Dean Vigdor149,000
6Marc Liddell166,000
7Gavin Ogilvy240,000
8Thomas Hulley110,000
9Ajay Toolooa181,000

Table 14

2Lachlan Armstrong-Sue52,000
3Romain Morvan169,000
4Stan Levitin210,000
5Yan Shurunov116,000
6Vahe Hovagimian101,000
7Alan Zheng257,000
8Matthias Vaquerin168,000
9Sandi Sandi191,000

Table 17

1Owen Chong255,000
2Luca Borreggine69,000
4Shuang Han72,000
5Christina Pie47,000
6Peter Au174,000
7John Nguyen85,000
8Sean Mckenzie335,000
9Richard Wells114,000

Table 18

1Nathan Sawyers135,000
2Roland Foster327,000
3Wei Zhu183,000
4Jiapeng Yang320,000
5Jian Qin120,000
6Andrew Michael176,000
8Sheldon Mayer250,000
9Travis Endersby68,000

Table 19

1De Li132,000
2Natalie Segon132,000
3Vera Milinkovic460,000
4Alexander Young179,000
6Cale Maclean212,000
7James Kinnane220,000
8Milad Elazzi81,000
9Yi Lu198,000

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