LIVE REPORTING: 2022 Star Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty Day 1A

Leo Boxell leads after Day 1A of Mystery Bounty; that’s a wrap!

Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell has bagged 529,000 in chips, the most of the 35 remaining runners from a total of 231 entries for Day 1A of the Mystery Bounty here at The Star Sydney Champs.

‘The Mechanic’ initially struggled with the more aggressive nature of play early on; at one point, he was heard uttering, “I’m so out of my depth here,” but Boxell remained patient and picked his spots carefully.

“I had a couple of bad beats, but you’ve gotta roll with the punches,” he reflected. “After I moved tables, I won a couple of very big pots, and all of a sudden I was on 250,000 and then took a monster pot off the chip leader!”

Going into Day 2, Boxell emphasised he wasn’t going to change his usual game plan, despite the variations involved in the Mystery Bounty structure: “I’m just gonna play my cards, I’m not gonna try and make myself famous.”

Having played tournament poker since 1989, however, Boxell’s achievements on the felt speak for themselves. Put simply, he need not try to make himself famous anymore, he’s done that already.

This concludes our coverage for the day. We’ll return for Day 1B tomorrow (Wednesday), where PMA‘s live reporting will commence from 2:30pm AEST. Thanks so much for joining us – we appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Tambouras taken down

Steve Tambouras has just been eliminated by Charles Tsai in the closing stages of Day 1A of the Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty.

Action folded to Craig Blight who raised to 15,000 from middle position; Tambouras re-raised to 40,000 from the lojack before Tsai shoved from the hijack, forcing Blight out of the way before Tambouras called short.

Tambouras: AA
Tsai: KK

Despite being on the wrong end of the über-cooler, Tsai freerolled to the second nut flush on the board of 559QJ to send Tambouras packing.

Charles Tsai375,000
Steve TambourasBUSTED!

And with Josh Filipovic taking out one more player on an adjacent table, we’re officially down to 35 players and play has stopped for the night, and it’s none other than Leo Boxell who has now emerged as chip leader!

Our wrap-up of today’s proceedings will be coming your way soon.

Two more to the rail

Joel Turner and Rob Madafferi have each claimed another knockout as we approach the closing stages of today’s flight.

Earlier, action folded to Turner who raised to 15,000 from the lojack pre-flop; he found calls from the button and both blinds to go four-handed to a flop of 8J10.

Both blinds and Turner checked to the button who open-shoved for 66,000. The blinds got out of the way and after about 30 seconds of deliberation, Turner called, showing down A9, which turned the straight against the button’s QJ as the turn and river came down 7, A.

A short time later, Nick Velcic and Madafferi got all their money into the middle after the flop of 2104, with Velcic’sQ10 having hit top pair against Madafferi’s A7.

Madafferi did turn the nut flush, however, as the board completed 8, 3 to eliminate Velcic.

Joel Turner330,000
Rob Madafferi297,000
Nick VelcicBUSTED!

Blight’s alright

Action folded around to Craig Blight who fired out a cut-off raise of 12,000 and got a call out of the big blind to see a flop of KJ9.

The big blind check-called Blight’s c-bet of 9,000, then check-raised all-in for 72,000 after Blight opened for 16,000 on the turn of the 8.

Blight called him off, showing J8 for two pair, but needed to find some help against the big blind’s Q10.

Help arrived for Blight, alright, with the J sailing down the river to give him the boat and send his opponent packing.

Craig Blight193,000

Chad chips up

Chad Awerbuch has found himself a timely double-up through Leo Kamiya as we head into Level 16.

After a pre-flop raise to 14,000 from a player in middle position, Leo Kamiya three-bet it to 50,000 from the cut-off before Awerbuch shoved for 63,000.

The MP folded and Kamiya called him down, only to find that his A9 was trailing Awerbuch’s JJ, which turned the boat on the board of 8JQ82.

Chad Awerbuch148,000
Leo Kamiya116,000

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

Sun rises

Henry Sun is feeling a bit brighter after scoring a double-up through Toby Giles.

Action folded around to Giles who min-raised from the cut-off; the player on the button folded, but Sun then shoved for his last 48,000 from the small blind, forcing the big blind out of the way before Giles called him off.

Sun: AK
Giles: K5

Both players hit two pair, kings up on the board of J35JK, however Sun had him outkicked with the Ace to take down the pot.

Henry Sun104,000
Toby Giles125,000

Filipovic finds a double

From UTG+1, Leo Boxell min-clicked and the action folded all the way around to Josh Filipovic, who shoved for his last 65,000 from the big blind.

Boxell called, rolling up AJ and found himself in good shape against Filipovic’s A7, but Filipovic managed to hit a runner-runner straight on the board of 886109.

Josh Filipovic136,000
Leo Boxell183,000

Trayner trounced

Malcolm Trayner has been confirmed as one of our latest casualties, eliminated at the hands of Star Sydney Champs $1,100 NLH runner-up Nick Velcic.

Just before we headed into the 15th level of the night, Velcic raised to 9,000 from UTG+1 and action folded around to Trayner who ripped in his remaining 52,500 from the button. The blinds got out of the way and Velcic insta-called.

Velcic: AA
Trayner: AJ

Velcic kept his lead after the flop of 29K, but although there was a bit of a sweat with the Q on the turn, the 6 bricked out on the river to end Trayner’s day.

Nick Velcic168,000
Malcolm TraynerBUSTED!

Level 15: 3,000/5,000 (5,000)

Rolfe on a roll

Matt Rolfe has rocketed up the charts after taking out Geoff Milner over on Table 10.

Rolfe and Milner were two out of three players into a raised pot on a flop of 725; the small blind player checked to Rolfe who opened for 7,000 before Milner moved all-in for 130,000 effective.

The small blind quickly folded and Rolfe called, turning up AA, only to find himself behind Milner who had spiked two pair with his 75.

Milner was counterfeited, however, as the turn and river came running 9, 9 to give Rolfe the scoop.

Matt Rolfe361,000
Geoff MilnerBUSTED!

The Desmarchelier domination

Another huge pot has gone the way of Dylan Desmarchelier after he took out another player on Table 13.

Action folded around to the player on the button who moved the last of their chips into the middle from the button holding J7; the small blind folded and Desmarchelier quickly called before rolling up AA.

The button player was drawing dead by the turn on the board of 65K6Q, and thus we lost one more.

Dylan Desmarchelier260,000

A huge Turner event

After busting earlier in the day , Joel Turner is now up towards the top of the counts after eliminating Andrew Scarf.

A huge pot brewed between Turner, Scarf and Nurlan Boobekov, with all the chips going into the middle after the river on the board of JJ7A2 and we got there just as the cards were being tabled.

Boobekov: 77
Turner: AJ
Scarf: J10

Turner effectively tripled up, taking out Scarf along with a huge chunk of change out of Boobekov to move up to more than 250K.

Joel Turner255,000
Nurlan Boobekov110,000
Andrew ScarfBUSTED!

Level 14: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)

Khouiss survives

Soon after Fletcher Smith found his double, Suzy Khouiss found herself all-in pre-flop for her last 28,500 with AQ, and found herself ahead of her opponent who called off with KJ.

Despite her adversary picking up an open-ended straight draw after the flop of 9810, the turn and river ran out 3, A to give Khouiss a much-needed double-up.

Suzy Khouiss57,000

Smith gets a double

Fletcher Smith has been grinding for most of the day, but just managed to score another double-up as action continues in Day 1A of The Star Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty.

On a flop of Q4J, Smith opened for 4,000, however his opponent raised to 12,000 from late position. Smith shoved for his last 55,500 and the villain called, turning over Q5 for top pair against Smith’s K10.

Smith then completed his open-ender, turning Broadway with the A before the river 5 completed the board.

Fletcher Smith115,500

Pacheco picked off

Our reporter picked up action into a raised pot on a flop of K107 between Dylan Desmarchelier and Adrian Pacheco, who checked over to Andrew Scarf who opened for 9,000.

Desmarschelier and Pacheco called, then Desmarchelier checked again after the dealer peeled the 4 from the shoe, which prompted Pacheco to push his last 38,000 into the middle.

Scarf folded and Desmarchelier snap-called.

Pacheco: A3
Desmarchelier: 96

Pacheco was already headed to the exits by the time the river Q completed the board.

Dylan Desmarchelier197,000
Andrew Scarf103,000
Adrian PachecoBUSTED!

Assorted chip counts

Andrew White240,000
Toby Giles223,000
Michael Tran217,500
Nurlan Boobekov175,000
Tony Kambouroglou167,500
Steve Tambouras161,000
Geoff Milner154,000
Joel Turner152,500
Leo Boxell145,000
Craigh Blight135,000
Brett Marshall121,000
Andrew Scarf118,000
Dylan Desmarchelier109,000
Travis Endersby106,000
Steve Tupua81,000
Lawrence Stephenson69,000
Jonathan Levy66,000
Yang Lei63,000
Adrian Pacheco59,000
Malcolm Trayner57,000
Dylan Wayne53,500
Jiapeng Yang51,500
Chad Awerbuch51,000
Mitch Bognar44,000
Shem Goltz44,000
David Sebesfi39,000
Suzy Khouiss38,000
Romain Morvan35,000

Level 13: 1,500/3,500 (3,000)

Break it down

Our remaining 73 players are now on another 10 minute break. Back shortly!

Yang sets up

An all-in from a player on Table 11 saw Jiapeng Yang call with 55 to find out he was flipping against AK.

Flops don’t get much safer than the 8510 Yang was granted, and the board continued to run out in his favour as the final two cards came the J,7.

Jiapeng Yang113,500

The adventures of Basle and Psarras: the final chapter

We caught the action from the turn as Harry Basle once again found himself in a pot with Michelle Psarras.

On a board of 89AQ, Psarras got it all-in good with the nuts at the time.

Holding J10, she wasn’t out of the clear just yet, as Basle showed two pair with Q8.

The river? 8. Ouch.

So far it’s been Harry’s night, but the same can’t be said for Psarras as she departs The Star Poker Room.

Harry Basle255,000
Michelle PsarrasBUSTED!
Harry Basle

Beguiling Giles

Toby Giles has dealt a cruel blow to one of his opponents on Table 5. Limping with 44 UTG, Giles was allowed to see a cheap flop after the Big Blind checked their option.

On 4AK, the big blind checked it to Giles who lead for 6,000. A call was made and the turn of J saw it checked to Giles once more, who pulled the trigger and moved all in.

When the big blind turned over their 65, Giles needed the board to pair.

It did.

River: 4

Just quads.

Toby Giles230,000

Onay’s on his way

Andrew White got all of his chips in pre-flop against Hasan Onay, and with Onay at risk and behind with A5 against White’s AQ, help was needed to stay in the tournament.

The spread of 710AQ10 granted no favours to Onay, as White helped himself to a handy chip-up

Andrew White200,000
Hasan OnayBUSTED!

Level 12: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)

HAArry BAAsle

For the second time tonight, we report a hand involving Harry Basle doubling-up through another player’s Ace-King. This time Charles Tsai was the victim.

Basle opened the action with a raise from the cutoff to 5,000. Tsai elected to three-bet from the big-blind to 17,000 when Basle four-bet to 50,000. Tsai five-bet jammed and was called.

Basle: AA
Tsai: AK

Board: JJ452

Harry Basle201,000
Charles Tsai54,500

Evaldas Evolving

Evaldas Stanevicius has seen to the elimination of Rehman Kassam as the field begins to narrow to half the number of entries here on Day 1A.

Kassam raised UTG to 4,000, Stanevicius then re-raised to 11,000, which was met with a subsequent all-in from Kassam and Stanevicius called.

Kassam: QQ
Stanevicius: AQ

Board: 928A9

Stanevicius paired his singular over card to double through, as well as ending Kassam’s Day 1A.

Elvaldas Stanevicius110,000
Rehman KassamBUSTED!
Evaldas Stanevicius

Level 11: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)

Doughty’s very Luo

Hayden ‘Doug’ Doughty has been crippled to below the amount of the starting stack by Wangyang Luo.

From under the gun, Luo limped in and action folded around to Hayden Doughty, who completed the small blind before the big blind checked his option to make it three-handed to a flop of QA6.

Doughty and the big blind checked, Luo c-bet for 2,000 and Doughty called as the big blind got out of the way to make it heads-up to the turn of the K.

Doughty check-called Luo’s second shell of 4,500, and then opened for 9,000 after the dealer produced the river J, only to then see Luo raise it to 19,000.

After a minute or so of deliberation, Doughty leant over in Luo’s direction.

“I reckon you should just muck your cards so I can so show you my nuts,” Doughty said.

No response.

“Maybe I flopped it? I’m telling you, it’s no bluff.”


Doughty eventually called, but it was Luo that had the best of it with his J9!

Wangyang Luo171,000
Hayden Doughty27,000

Stand-up equity!

Shane Khouiss has managed to double up through Hasan Onay as we head towards the 11th level of the night.

Action folded to the player in the hijack who min-clicked to 3,200; Khouiss called from the button, but Onay three-bet from the button, making it 10,000 to go.

The hijack folded and Khouiss called, then check-jammed after Onay’s opening bet on the flop of Q33.

Onay: KK
Khouiss: KQ

“Honestly, if I’m gonna lose, I’m happy to be losing to you!” Khouiss said to Onay as he stood up and prepared to leave.

No loss this time though, as the turn and river ran out 6, Q to give Khouiss trips!

Shane Khouiss101,300
Hasan Onay61,500
Shane Khouiss (L) and Hasan Onay (R)

The Nurlan effect

Over on Table 13, Adrian came out with a raise of 3,200 from early position and the action folded to Seve Jarvin who three-bet it to 11,100 before Nurlan Boobekov four-bet to 23,000 from the button.

The blinds and Pacheco quickly got out of the way, Jarvin shoved and Boobekov beat him into the pot.

Boobekov: AA
Jarvin: AK

Jarvin found himself with a chance on fourth street with the Broadway draw on the board of 9106Q, but the river 10 gave Boobekov two pair and the KO.

“Nurlan, Nurlan, Nurlan! How do you do it, man?” asked one of the players.

“Easy, with Aces!” replied Dylan Desmarchelier.

“I swear to God, he hasn’t lost a hand all day!” the opponent remarked.

Nurlan Boobekov195,500
Seve JarvinBUSTED!
Nurlan Boobekov

Level 10: 800/1,600 (1,600)

Zhou low

Rehman Kassam has just scored another double-up on Table 10, this time through Xuan Zhou.

All the money was in the middle before the flop; Kassam was at risk with 1010, but found himself flipping for his tournament life against the AK of Zhou.

Zhou took the lead after hitting top-top on the flop of 7A5, but Kassam came back after spiking the 10 on the turn for the set, which held when the K sailed down the river.

Rehman Kassam56,400
Xuan Zhou17,400
Rehman Kassam

Yazbeck busto

Mark Yazbeck has been felted at the hands of Michelle Psarras as play continues in The Star Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty.

From under the gun, Andrew White raised to 2,700 and action folded around to Psarras who called from the button before Yazbeck shoved for his last 8,300 from the big blind.

White and Psarras both called, then both players checked all the way down the board of J4748, only to then see White muck after Psarras showed Q8 for two pair.

Yazbeck flashed K-10o, threw his hand in and then stepped out.

Michelle Psarras59,700
Andrew White47,200
Mark YazbeckBUSTED!

Chips ahoy!

Day 1A of The Star Sydney Champs has now been locked out at 231 entries, with Star Poker Sydney staff confirming that we’ll be bagging up once we get down to 35 players.

Dean Blatt243,500
Geoff Milner146,200
Vera Milinkovic126,300
Hasan Onay100,600
Jonathan Levy98,000
Charbel Boustani96,100
Travis Endersby87,000
Charles Tsai83,200
Steve Tambouras80,900
Mitch Bognar77,500
Mohammed Elkassir65,000
Andy Feng61,300
Lawrence Stephenson52,400
Nicholas Roth51,600
Brett Marshall51,500
Malcolm Trayner49,500
Michelle Psarras49,000
Joel Turner48,600
Brendon Rubie42,500
Rehman Kassam40,400
Hayden Doughty37,800
Dylan Desmarchelier26,900
Steven Boek25,000
Dean Blatt

Level 9: 600/1,200 (1,200)

Let’s eat!

Our players are now on a 30-minute dinner break. Back with our latest serve of chips for you all soon!

Basle’s feeling flushed

As the clock ticked over into the next break of the evening, our reporter caught action three-handed on Table 6 on a board of 7A810.

Harry Basle checked his option to another player in middle position, who moved all-in; another player on the button called along with Basle, so it was heads-up to the river, which was the 5.

Basle quickly pushed his remaining 12,300 into the middle.

“I’m all-in,” said Basle.

The player on the button threw his hands up in the air in frustration.

“Of course you are! I’ve just been flushed to death!” he cried, before throwing his hand into the muck.

“You’re right – unlucky bro,” Basle stated as he turned over 63. “It’s a [Mystery] Bounty, I had to call that turn after you did. I was gambling, but I got there!”

The all-in player rolled up AJ, which resulted in their elimination as Basle moved up to almost 100,000 in chips.

Harry Basle97,300

Trayner takes a hit

Over on Table 11, Malcolm Trayner raised to 2,200 from UTG+1 and action folded to Jane Howard who called from the big blind to see a flop of 62A.

Howard check-called after Trayner opened for 2,000 and then both players checked down both the turn of the 10 and the river 7.

“You got anything?” Howard asked?

“You’re the one that has to show first,” Trayner replied.

Howard tabled 65 for a small pair, but that was enough as Trayner sent his hand into the muck.

Jane Howard24,900
Malcolm Trayner44,600
Malcolm Trayner

Boxell marches on

On a flop of 4A8, Leo Boxell lead out for 4,100. Yor Ecobiza – the pre-flop aggressor – obliged and made the call to see the Q on the turn. Once again Boxell bet, this time to 6,000. Ecobiza called again and the river fell the 7.

This time Boxell checked, Ecobiza made it 12,000 and Boxell called.

Boxell: A8
Ecobiza: AK

Leo Boxell105,000
Yor Ecobiza10,900


It may not be quite a million in chips exactly, but Geoff Milner was stoked after pulling through with his AA against two other players in a four-bet all-in pot.

Up against KK and AK, the odds were already well in Milner’s favour before a flopped set sealed the deal.

Board: A3106J

Geoff Milner168,500

Level 8: 500/1,000 (1,000)

Yu impressed?

Table 13 played host to three streets of check-calling from Romain Morvan, with Michael Yu leading out for bets on the flop, turn, and river on a board of QK1023.

After calling off the river, Yu showed KQ and Morvan mucked.

Tablemate Nurlan Boobekov chimed in, “Impressed?”

“It’s not what I wanted,” replied Morvan

“Not impressed, then?” confirmed Boobekov.

Michael Yu46,300
Romain Morvan57,100
Romain Morvan

Basle adds spice

Harry Basle has double-up thanks to a flop that was friendly enough to keep Michelle Psarras interested.

After an UTG limp, Psarras raised to 3,800 and found one caller in Basle.

The first three cards spread 869, when Psarras continued for 5,500. Harry Basle all in for 1,900 more and was snap-called.

Basle: AA
Psarras: AK

The board ran out Q,K, with Basle exclaiming to Psarras, “Unlucky flop for you!”

Harry Basle24,700
Michelle Psarras32,200

H-Andy win

Andy Feng was the beneficiary of a monstrous cooler in a three-bet pot.

Our reporter caught the action from the flop, where three players, including Dylan Desmarchelier and Andy Feng, each had a strong hand on a board of JK10.

Feng: AQ
Desmarchelier: KJ
Opponent: QQ

The board bricked out 8,7 to give Feng the double knockout

Andy Feng115,000
Dylan DesmarchelierBUSTED!

Level 7: 400/800 (800)

Kassam Climbing

Plenty of action is happening at Table 10, with two notable hands resulting in chip-ups and knock-outs.

The UTG player raised with A10, only to be re-raised all-in by Rehman Kassam. UTG short-called to see he was in trouble against Rehman’s AA.

Board: 22946

Rehman picked up a scalp, and the chips to go along with it.

Moments later, two other patrons on the same table found themselves all-in before the flop.

Brendon Rubie was all-in on the button, covering David Sebesfi in the small blind who made the call.

Rubie: 66
Sebesfi: AJ

Board: 3K1069

Brendon Rubie100,000
Rehman Kassam54,000
David SebesfiBUSTED!
Brendon Rubie (L) and David Sebesfi (R)

Charbel ringing in the wins

Charbel Boustani took a handy pot away from Mark Yazbeck and Steve Tambouras.

Tambouras opened the action UTG with a raise to 1,400. Yazbeck called in the cutoff and Boustani elected to defend his big blind.

The action checked straight through to a turn, and on a board of 8442 Boustani lead out for 2,000. Tambouras called before Yazbeck raised to 6,000 to get Boustani alone heads-up to a river.

The third street came a A, to which Boustani check-called a bet of 4,000. Yazbeck queried, “You have the flush?” followed by “You win!”

Boustani showed his 105 to claim the pot.

Charbel Boustani61,500
Steve Tambouras46,200
Mark Yazbeck28,600

Levy-l up

Jonathan Levy has found a timely triple-up over on Table 10. A three way all in saw a large pot brewing, with the tournament lives of both Levy and Tony Kambouroglou at risk, both covered by Brendon Rubie’s stack.

Levy: AA
Kambouroglou: Q10
Rubie: AK

Board: K964Q

Levy’s stack increased threefold, Kambouroglou was sent to the rail, and Rubie added “You guys really are gamblers!”

Jonathan Levy28,000
Brendon Rubie55,700
Tony KambouroglouBUSTED!

Tables turning for Joel

Joel Turner’s second bullet in the Mystery Bounty Day 1A is proving to be more fruitful than the first so far.

With an all-in and a call pre-flop, Turner found himself ahead, holding AK with his opponent at risk with A3.

With a board of 661057, the nut flush was more than good enough to get Turner nicely above average stack, sending his opponent to the rail.

Joel Turner47,500

Level 6: 300/600 (600)

High times for Tsai

A huge hand for Charles Tsai has seen him rocket up the counts in the early part of this new leve.

Action folded to the player in the lojack who limped in before the hijack player raised to 2,500; the cut-off called, but then Tsai came out with a three-bet of 10,000 from the small blind.

The big blind folded and lojack folded, but the hijack came back with a four-bet-jam, forcing the cut-off out of the way before the cards were tabled.

Tsai: QQ
Hijack: AK

Tsai hit top set after the flop came down 610Q, but the hijack took back the lead with the J on the turn … only to then see the case Q fall on the river to give Tsai quads!

And with that, we lost one more as Tsai moved up to almost 90K in chips.

Charles Tsai87,800
Charles Tsai

Assorted chip counts

Dean Blatt117,000
Romain Morvan68,500
Brendon Rubie67,200
Dylan Wayne66,500
Suzy Khouiss64,000
Steve Tambouras59,700
Toby Giles59,000
Hasan Onay50,400
Leo Boxell41,100
Geoff Milner39,000
Michelle Psarras32,000
Rehman Kassam31,000
Roland Foster25,000

Level 5: 300/500 (500)

Break time!

Our Mystery Bounty players are now on their first 10-minute break of the day. See you soon!

Marshall gets one through

Over on Table 2, action folded around to the player in the hijack position who min-clicked, only to then see Brett Marshall three-bet it from the button, making it 2,700 to go.

The hijack called, then check-called Marshall’s bet of 2,500 after the flop of 710Q before both players checked down the turn of the 5 and the river 4.

Marshall turned over JJ, which was enough for the hijack to muck.

Brett Marshall53,300
Brett Marshall

Hoek sunk

Steven Hoek has just been busted in the space of two hands just as the blinds ticked over into the fourth level of play.

We caught action between Hoek and Mitch Bognar heads-up on a board of 7488; Hoek had moved all-in on the turn with his AJ, but got his hand caught in the cookie jar as Bognar snapped him off with A10 for the stone cold nuts.

The river 9 was merely a formality and Bognar secured the double-up.

“I’ll get some action for you next hand,” Hoek said to our reporter.

It was two hands later, however, when Hoek shoved blind from the hijack for his last 13,000, but was called off by Scott Carmichael, who rolled over A10 and found himself ahead of Hoek who showed down J10.

Carmichael then wheeled his way to victory after the dealer spread the board of 2345K and Hoek headed back to the re-entry desk.

Scott Carmichael43,000
Mitch Bognar39,400
Steven HoekBUSTED!
Scott Carmichael

Level 4: 200/400 (400)

Turner trumped

Joel Turner has hit the rail at the hands of Mohamed Insehazdan as action continues in the early stages of this Mystery Bounty flight.

Action folded around to Insehazdan who limped in in the small blind, only to then call Turner’s raise of 1,200 from the big blind to make it heads-up to a flop of 6A9.

Insehazdan checked and Turner bet 1,800, and then called Insehazdan’s check-raise of 4,300 before moving all-in for 15,000 after Insehazdan led out for 5,500 on the turn of the 2. Insehazdan snap-called.

Insehazdan: 66
Turner: AK

Despite the river K completing the board, Turner’s two pair was crushed by Insehazdan’s set and he was sent to the rail.

Mohamed Insehazdan59,000
Joel TurnerBUSTED!
Mohamed Insehazdan

Issa good to double

After a middle position raise of 800, action folded to Dean Blatt who came out with a three-bet of 2,500 from the cut-off; the button and small blind mucked, but Moussa four-bet-shoved for 11,300 from the big blind, forcing the MP to fold before Blatt made the call.

Issa: 55
Blatt: AK

Issa then flopped two pair and held, despite Blatt turning the Broadway draw on the JJ6Q7 board.

Moussa Issa23,900
Dean Blatt36,900
Moussa Issa

Level 3: 200/300 (300)

Yor needs more

“I’m short already!” Yor Ecobiza lamented as our reporter stopped by Table 9, only to then see him rip it in with KK. Action then folded around to Kurt Simpson, who snapped him off with 66.

No change to either hand, however, as the board was spread JA229 to give Ecobiza the bigger two pair and the double.

Yor Ecobiza28,600
Kurt Simpson22,000
Yor Ecobiza

Logan busto

Ian Logan has been confirmed as one of the early eliminations from Day 1A of the Mystery Bounty, despite picking up a triple on Table 10.

Action folded around to Tony Kambouroglou who raised to 800 pre-flop from the button; Xuan Zhou three-bet it to 2,200 from the small blind, and an exasperated Logan jammed his remaining 2,900 into the middle from the big blind.

Both Kambouroglou and Zhou called, so it was heads-up to a sidepot on a flop of 910J. Zhou check-called after Kambourloglou’s bet of 2,600 after the flop, and the action repeated following Kambouroglou’s bet of 4,900 on the turn of the 3 before both players checked down the river Q.

Zhou tabled AJ to take down the sidepot, but Logan’s A9 had turned the nut flush, which tripled him up to 9,000, but when we returned a short time later, his seat had already been vacated.

Xuan Zhou40,000
Tony Kambouroglou15,400
Ian LoganBUSTED!

Sebesfi battles Boxell

Saliendrah ‘Sunny’ Shah and Brendon Rubie have been amongst those to have recently arrived for today’s Mystery Bounty flight, with Rubie taking his seat over on Table 16, where we witnessed action between Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell and David Sebesfi.

Our reporter picked up the action four-handed to a flop of 8K10; the big blind player and Boxell checked to Sebesfi who opened for 300, which forced a fold from Geoff Milner on the button.

The big blind also folded, but Boxell flat-called, then checked again after the turn of the J, but then led out for 3,300. This time, Sebesfi led out for 1,300, but Boxell check-raised, making it 3,300 to go.

Sebesfi called, and then Boxell bet 7,000 on the river Q, only to snap-fold after Sebesfi fired out a raise worth 20,000.

David Sebesfi42,000
Leo Boxell17,200
David Sebesfi

Level 2: 100/200 (200)

“Is this the fun table?”

That was the direct quote from Hayden ‘Doug’ Doughty as he took his seat at Table 3.

It certainly was, as there was some insane action building between Mohammed Elkassir and Van Tran early; to start, Tran jammed his short stack in pre-flop holding Q10, and action folded around to Elkassir who called him down with 44.

“Let’s go, I’m flipping!” Tran shouted excitedly.

The dealer then spread the board of 810K36 and Tran secured the double.

“There we go, that’s how we do it!” Tran exclaimed as he raked in his chips.

It didn’t take long for them go back into Elkassir’s stack though, as in the very next hand, Elkassir shoved from under the gun blind with 62 before Tran iso-shoved with Q4, forcing the others out of the way before the board ran out 99627.

“Three pair!” cried Elkassir, setting off a ripple of laughs around the table.

Doughty grinned as he sat down between them, and this time Tran shoved again with 96; Doughty woke up with 44 and held down all streets on the 2KQJA to send Tran back to the rego desk.

“Ah well, at least I’m not the first one out!” Tran said as he pointed to the tournament clock, which was already showing two re-entries.

Hayden Doughty47,000
Mohammed Elkassir36,900

Back for more

Our reporters have done the rounds to pick up on the notables across the felt, and we’ve already spotted a few new faces today, including Lawrence Stephenson and Mitch Bognar, along with WPT Prime Gold Coast Mystery Bounty Champion, Steven Hoek.

It appears that his dream run has carried through into the start of today’s event already, as he already picked up quad aces in the very first hand!

Plenty of other big names back in action as well: Suzy Khouiss, Leo Boxell, Michelle Psarras, Harry Basle, Graham Cowan, Geoff Milner and Michael Tran are just some of the others we’ve spotted seated amongst the 102 runners seated so far.

Shuffle up and deal!

Cards are now in the air for Day 1A of The Star Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty!

Our players will start with 30,000 in tournament chips, and we’ll be playing through until we reach 15% of the starting field remaining (approximately 16 half-hour levels of play, depending on overall numbers).

All players Late registration and unlimited re-entries will be available until the start of Level 9.

LevelSmall BlindBig BlindBB Ante

Level 1: 100/100 (100)

Let’s go bounty huntin’!

From wherever you’re watching in Australia, New Zealand or around the world, hello there and welcome back to PokerMedia Australia for our continued Live Reporting coverage of the 2022 Star Sydney Champs!

Today’s a very special day for The Star Sydney, as this will be the first time that the property has ever hosted a Mystery Bounty tournament. The format has already proved vastly popular since it was first held out at the Poker Palace in Sydney’s west, before making its casino debut at last month’s WPT Prime Gold Coast series.

Yor Ecobiza celebrates after winning the Grand Bounty at WPT Prime Gold Coast

That tournament was indeed a swashbuckling affair, and judging by what’s unfolded at The Star Sydney Champs so far, there’s going to be an abundance of action and excitement over the next three days, especially when our players start drawing from the barrel and plunder the riches within.

But to get there, the players will need to survive the carnage of one of the two Day 1 flights, and PMA will be there to bring you the action as it happens from the moment the cards are in the air, so join us from 12:30pm AEST for our live updates, alongside the Star Poker Sydney feature table stream on Twitch. See you soon!

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