LIVE REPORTING: 2022 Star Sydney Champs Main Event Day 1B

Nurlan Boobekov bags chip lead for second time in series; Main Event Day 1B in the books

Incredibly, for the second time in the 2022 Star Sydney Champs, the chip lead for a Day 1 flight has been claimed by Nurlan Boobekov. Boobekov also bagged the chip lead on the very first day; taking a massive stack into Day 2 of the Opening Event.

Speaking to PokerMedia Australia after the conclusion of play, Boobekov said that he felt very good towards the end of the day – “You just have to enjoy it. It doesn’t come around often so when it does, gotta take it as it comes.”

Nurlan Boobekov

Asked if he had any advice for anyone playing in tomorrow’s Day 1C flight, Boobekov had this gem: “Honestly, play with common sense. Don’t have to try to hero, don’t have to try to bluff. And don’t play too tight.”

He wasn’t done there though, continuing with “Good luck guys, I’ll be waiting for you all on Day 2!”

Other big stacks to bag up today included Stan Levitin (700,000), Jin Li (662,000), and Tony Tavella (612,000), with Brent Goldingham rounding out the top five with 497,000. Meanwhile it was a rough day for Phillip Nguyen, Hedley Fung, and Dean Blatt, whilst Van Tran might not regret his spectacular bust-out with 72.

We at PMA will be there on Day 2 as well to catch all the action, but first, Day 1C tomorrow kicking off at 12:30 AEST. We’ll be on deck to bring you all of the action from buy-in to bust-out!

Zhang takes a gamble

Zhengmin Zhang got his money in right at the end of the night after a lengthy tank facing an all in bet from Frank Mete on a flop of 482.

Eventually, Zhang made the call, rolling up 109. He found himself against the J7 of Mete.

Whilst Jack high was good, Mete paired up for good measure on the 7 turn, and the river bricked the 3 to eliminate Zhang.

Zhengmin ZhangBUSTED!
Zhengmin Zhang

Less money for Subramoney

Anban Subramoney and Mark Zhu clashed in one of the last hands of the night, getting it all in preflop with about 100K stacks apiece.

Subramoney: 1010
Zhu: AQ

The board ran out 644A5, Zhu spiking an Ace on the turn to cripple Subramoney.

Mark Zhu203,000
Anban Subramoney32,000
Anban Subramoney

Last three hands

Tournament staff have announced three more hands before play concludes tonight. There are 65 players remaining.

Boobekov basooka

Nurlan Boobekov raised in early position to 12,000. Action folded around to the big blind, who raised back to 27,000. Boobekov made the call.

The flop came 9QJ and the big blind led out for 40,000, receiving a call from Boobekov. The 6 hit the turn and the big blind shoved, sending Boobekov into the tank.

Making the call, Boobekov saw that he needed help with his KQ; a diamond or a King to eliminate his opponent holding AQ.

The river 8 was exactly what was needed, the flush sending Boobekov into the chip lead.

Nurlan Boobekov711,000

Nasab nuked

Seyed Nasab, who was chip leader going into the last break, was just involved in the biggest pot of the tournament so far.

Nathan Goodall jammed for approximately 210,000 from the cut-off and found callers from both the button and small blind.

On a flop of Q8K, Nasab checked and Jin Li jammed for his last handful of chips. Nasab made the call.

Goodall: JJ
Li: AK
Nasab: AQ

Top top on the flop good enough to drop Goodall after the 10, 7 run-out, and put a serious dent in the stack of Nasab. Meanwhile, Li vaulted up to the chip lead.

Jin Li813,000
Seyed Nasab276,000
Nathan GoodallBUSTED!
Seyed Nasab

Level 15: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

Endersby X’d

On a board showing 5107 with approximately 32,000 in the pot already, Xin Xin Liao checked her option, having defended her big blind.

Travis Endersby wasn’t going to let her see a turn for free, betting 26,000. Liao, though, had no intention of doing so – she woke up with a check-raise to 75,000.

Endersby shoved, and got snap called by Liao.

Endersby: A10
Liao: 53

Top pair versus bottom pair, but Endersby saw the end flash in front of him as the 3 hit the turn, and the J changed nothing on the river, eliminating Endersby just before the end of the day.

Xin Xin Liao535,000
Travis EndersbyBUSTED!

Speaking of…

Who remembers this exposed card drama from the Big One For One Drop in 2018?

2018 Big One For One Drop footage courtesy of PokerGo


A crowd gathered around Table 7, where play had been paused while a supervisor was called over to make a ruling.

A player in seat 8 had gone all in preflop, and had been called by the player in seat 9 – Elias Mansour – and AJ Antonios in seat 2 – but neither Mansour nor the dealer had noticed Antonios call behind. Acting on instruction from the dealer, Mansour had tabled his cards for a showdown with seat 8, only to quickly cover them back up once the error was realised.

After a flop of A25 hit the felt, Mansour checked, and Antonios immediately shoved – and it was only then that a supervisor was called over for a ruling.

Tournament Director Stephen Bonfield came over, and ruled that play on the hand would continue; in other words, that exposed cards would not affect the continuation of the hand – in essence, the same ruling that was made when Bhojani Bittar accidentally exposed his cards during the final stages of the 2022 WSOP Main Event.

Mansour folded angrily to the Antonios shove, indicating that he didn’t appreciate what he percieved as ‘taking advantage of the situation’. Antonios and the player in seat 8 went to showdown.

Antonios: 33
Opponent: K3

The board completed 2, 6, changing nothing and Antonios chipped up. Antonios did make it perfectly clear that he agreed Mansour was not at fault for any of the situation, even calling for floor to compensate Mansour in some way.

AJ Antonios410,000
Elias Mansour173,000
Antonios post-hand

Turner trumped

Joel Turner shoved his remaining 52,000 from the lojack and action folded to Clyde Lin in the cut-off.

After a moment, Lin announced all-in, isolating Turner and forcing both blinds out of the hand.

Lin: AQ
Turner: QJ

Turner would receive no help on the board, in fact losing to the nut flush of Lin as it ran out 731048 to put a ‘rap’ on his day.

Clyde Lin220,000
Joel TurnerBUSTED!

Level 14: 3,000/5,000 (5,000)

Boobekov finishes off Zhu

A player in middle position opened to 9,000 and Nurlan Boobekov 3-bet to 27,000 before action folded around to Ming Zhu in the big blind.

Zhu settled on a shove and the middle position player got smartly out of the way. Boobekov gave a little sigh and flicked in a single chip to call.

Zhu: 88
Boobekov: AK

Zhu would need another set after the flop spread out Q3A but the turn 3 and K river were no help to him.

Nurlan Boobekov551,000

Van Tran makes a move?

“Aaargh, he called me!” was heard from directly behind our Live Reporter; we spun to see Van Tran all in and at risk … with 72.

His opponent, Tony Tavella, had tabled QQ and could scarcely conceal a grin at the spot he was in.

“I’m all in with seven two!” called out Tran to a friend nearby as the flop spread 69K.

“I just wanted to make a move with seven two!” he continued, as the turn A dropped.

“Hey look, I have a pair of twos!” he laughed as the 2 hit the river and he hit the rail.

Tony Tavella416,000

Sound of silence

We picked up the action on a flop of J72, where Ming Zhu had check-called a bet of 16,000 from Nurlan Boobekov, who held the chip lead overnight in the Sydney Champs Opening Event last week.

Both players then checked the K on the turn before Zhu elected to lead out for 40,000 on the 3 river.

Boobekov stopped, running through the hand in his head, before piling some chips together and very deliberately sliding out a 3-bet to 127,000.

Action back on Zhu and he hit the tank, then spoke up, addressing Boobekov directly. “Set over set?” he queried.

Silence. A stoic Boobekov barely moved as Zhu continued to posture. Zhu eventually let his cards go and immediately Boobekov was animated.

“You can’t fold sets!” he exclaimed.

“What did you have?” responded Zhu.

“I didn’t have a set, that’s for sure!”

Nurlan Boobekov380,000
Ming Zhu168,000

Level 13: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)

Break time!

The players have departed on a 10-minute break – here are some assorted counts and big stacks from around the room.

Seyed Nasab495,000
Stan Levitin459,000
Roman Pripotski411,000
Jarryd Kirwan372,000
Rory Patrick330,000
Jon Portelli312,500
Romain Morvan281,500
Luke Edwards280,000
Brent Goldingham262,500
Van Tran261,500
Slav Rypinski260,500
Adrian Pacheco248,000
Patrick Yazbeck224,000
Xin Xin Liao216,000
Chris Zenenos211,000
Zhengmin Zhang206,000
David Sebesfi185,500
Ken Demlakian140,500
Grant Levy132,500
Travis Endersby131,500
Nathan Sawyers129,000
Josh McCully112,000
Mark Fester90,000
Seyed Nasab

Proper stack

Roman Pripotski opened to 6,500 and was called by Andre Dowling on the button before William Ma elected to shove his shortening stack from the big blind.

Pripotski folded and Dowling got a quick count – 36,500 the total wager from Ma – before making the call.

Ma: AQ
Dowling: K8

Dowling looking for a knockout but a complete airball as the board rained around him but missed him completely, the full board running out 69647.

Of note, though, is the monster stack of Roman Pripotski – the first stack we’ve seen over 400K!

Roman Pripotski410,500
William Ma82,500
Andre Dowling45,500
Roman Priplotski

Yu would have won it

Allen Yu raised to 6,000 under-the-gun and Hun Lee upped the ante, 3-betting to 16,000 from the cut-off.

Josh McCully thought about it in the small blind before eventually folding, and Yu 4-bet shoved to a snap-call from Lee.

Lee: KK
Yu: AK

The flop of J510 brought with it some more outs for Yu, now with a gutshot to Broadway. The turn, however, prompted Yu to slam the table – Bowen Yu, that is, claiming he folded Deuces as the 2 hit the turn.

The 3 on the river was no help to A. Yu either, and Yu can leave now.

Hun Lee201,000
Bowen Yu73,000

Fendy flying

Fendy Fendy shoved his remaining stack under-the-gun and found a caller in late position, before both blinds got out of the way.

Opponent: AJ
Fendy: A6

Needing a little help, Fendy found it on the turn on a complete board of 98A6Q.

Fendy Fendy91,500

Level 12: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)

Easy way or the hard way?

Luke Edwards and Jackson Hardy have tangled again, getting involved in a blind versus blind raising war resulting in a preflop all-in showdown.

Hardy started it in the small blind, popping it up to 6,000. Edwards was having none of that, three-betting back at Hardy to the amount of 24,500.

Hardy min-clicked back with a four-bet to 43,000, and saw Edwards shove it right back in his face with an all-in. Hardy made the call and found out the bad news.

Edwards: AK
Hardy: AJ

Hardy did have two flush draws going for him, but the 73K saw to that quickly, dead to running cards. The 2 solidified his elimination, the meaningless Q completing the board.

Luke Edwards300,000
Jackson HardyBUSTED!
Jackson Hardy and Luke Edwards

Not fun for Fung

Hedley Fung three-bet shoved for his 43,000 stack after 2022 Star Sydney Champs $1,100 NLH Champion Slav Rypinski opened under-the-gun to 5,500.

Rypinski took some time to think about it, but after about a minute he eventually called to put Fung at risk.

Fung: 88
Rypinski: A7

Fung immediately threw his arms up as the flop was spread 5A6 and got no help as the turn and river bricked out 2, 10 to end his run in today’s flight.

Slav Rypinski205,000
Hedley FungBUSTED!
Slav Rypinski

Frost frozen out

Mitchell Frost will have to wait until tomorrow for another shot after being felted at the hands of Luke Edwards.

As the blinds ticked over into Level 11, Jeremy Fineman open jammed under-the-gun and was called by Luke Edwards in the cut-off before Frost re-jammed for 23,500 – 2,000 more than Fineman – from the small blind. Edwards snap-called.

Edwards: QQ
Fineman: A9
Frost: KJ

Almost like having Queens versus Ace-King but against two players instead of one, Edwards basically just needed to dodge both overcards to scalp two.

The 648 flop was safe, the turn 4 also … but the A river paired Fineman, though Edwards did win the 4,000 sidepot and eliminate Frost.

Jeremy Fineman67,500
Luke Edwards101,000
Mitchell FrostBUSTED!

Level 11: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)

Hardy deals critical hit

Jackson Hardy opened to 4,000 from the cut-off only to be immediately three-bet to 12,000 by Luke Edwards on the button.

Romain Morvan relinquished his small blind, but Mitchell Frost stepped on the pedal, cold 4-betting all-in for 95,000 and Hardy short-called, which then saw Edwards hit the tank before eventually folding.

Hardy: JJ
Frost: J10

Frost paired his Ten on the 7410 flop but it was never enough as the board completed 6, K to cut him down to half the starting stack.

Mitchell Frost23,500
Luke Edwards124,500
Jackson Hardy158,000
Luke Edwards

Et tu, Yu?

Adrian Chiu has just sent Yu Li to the rail to increase his stack to almost 280,000 in chips.

The PMA team picked up the action heads-up between Chiu and Li on a board of 86328 into a pot worth about 105,000.

Chiu had checked to Li who had moved all-in for 80,000 effective after the river; Chiu called and turned over AA for the Dead Man’s Hand and ended Li’s tournament life.

Adrian Chiu278,500

Patrick puts Marsom to the sword

Rory Patrick has been sighted as our first player past the 300K chip mark in this tournament, taking down a sizeable post against Glenn Marsom.

Our reporter picked up the action on a board of 3985 into a pot worth 38,000; Patrick checked his option out of the big blind position, Marsom opened for 16,000 and Patrick check-called before the dealer finished the board with the 6.

Patrick then fired out a bet worth 60,000, sending Marsom into the tank for about five minutes before he made a crying call, only to muck after Patrick turned over A7 for the straight.

“I was mulling through all the different combos he could have possibly had,” Marsom explained.

We reckon there’s at least one Aussie player out there that can relate.

Rory Patrick317,000
Glenn Marsom108,600
Rory Patrick

Zammit takes a hit

Julius Tupua has just doubled through Shaun Zammit in one of the first hands after the dinner break here at The Star Sydney Champs Main Event.

After Tupua raised from under the gun to 4,600, Ricardo Faura called out of the +2 position and action then folded around to Zammit, who shoved from the button.

Tupua called short for his last 35,800 and Faura folded before the cards were tabled.

Zammit: QQ
Tupua: AK

Zammit kept his lead after the flop of 279 but the Ace on the turn was enough for Tupua to double up as the board completed A, K.

Ricardo Faura57,000
Julius Tupua78,200
Shaun Zammit176,000
Shaun Zammit

Level 10: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)

Dinner time!

Players have departed for a 30-minute dinner break.

Zhi Ma272,000
Ken Demlakian192,100
Xin Xin Liao184,400
Jin Lee183,200
David Bonadio182,000
Seyed Nasab177,500
Brent Goldingham173,300
Alex Falon173,200
Robert Kwan165,100
Romain Morvan150,000
Slav Rypinski145,200
Jon Portelli142,300
Nobeel Khan124,600
Grant Levy118,900
David Sebesfi104,600
Nathan Sawyers96,100
Stan Levitin88,200
Travis Endersby62,800
Ehsan Amiri34,500
Ken Demlakian

Cya Jia

William Jia shoved UTG+2 and found folds in the next few seats … until Xin Xin Liao in the small blind made the call.

Liao: A5
Jia: Q9

Two pair for Liao on the 95A flop leaving Jia drawing very thin, and the 4, 10 run out sealed the exit for him.

Xin Xin Liao241,400
William JiaBUSTED!

Blatt splattered

A player opened UTG to 3,500 and action folded around to Robert Kwan in the cut-off. Kwan made it 10,000 to go, and found a cold call from the big blind in the shape of Dean Blatt before the original raiser got out of dodge.

On a flop of QJ7, Blatt checked, Kwan down-bet 6,000 and Blatt made the call. The 6 on the turn was followed by another check from Blatt. Kwan continued the line, firing 17,000 for his second barrel, and again Blatt made the call after a short while.

The river 10 again prompted a Blatt check, and after a minute or so to consider, Kwan pulled the trigger, jamming to a snap call from Blatt.

Kwan tabled QQ and Blatt flashed 1010 as he departed in a set-over-set cooler. Unlucky!

Robert Kwan198,900
Dean BlattBUSTED!
Robert Kwan

Levy levied

Zhengyu Yao had to stop to think, having checked and then facing a 14,000 bet from Grant Levy on a board showing 3410A.

Yao eventually decided on a call, and checked again on the 2 river. The river gave Levy pause for thought, and after a minute or so he decided to check back.

Yao tabled JJ to a rap on the table by Levy, who mucked.

Zhengyu Yao159,000
Grant Levy69,500
Grant Levy

Level 9: 800/1,600 (1,600)

Zhu pipped

Min Zhu opened from the lojack to 3,000 and saw a shove from his immediate left; Nab Mahajan announcing all in from the hijack for a total of 26,700.

Action folded back around to Zhu, who hit the tank before making the call.

Mahajan: AJ
Zhu: KJ

Both players hit top pair immediately on the 8J6, but Zhu still needed to hit their live card to win, and was unable to do so on the 5, 5 run out.

Nab Mahajan53,400
Ming Zhu32,800

Riccardo races ahead

Riccardo Faura opened the action to 3,000 under-the-gun and action folded around the table. Pasha Rayan, in the cut-off, 3-bet to 7,000 and Faura made the call.

Faura checked the 2J9 flop, prompting Rayan to continue for 13,000. Faura shoved, and Rayan called once more.

Faura: QQ
Rayan: AJ

Top top no good for Rayan against the overpair of Faura, and the 7, 4 run out changed nothing.

Riccardo Faura59,200
Pasha Rayan17,700

Level 8: 600/1,200 (1,200)

Tran back to the start

Tam Tran raised to 2,000 from middle position and Jun Wang shoved from the button. Both blinds folded and Tran called to put Wang at risk.

Wang: A6
Tran: KJ

No help for Tran on the 610589 board and Wang found a full double. Tran, meanwhile, is back to the starting stack.

Tam Tran44,900
Jun Wang30,100

Nguyen life

Phillip Nguyen has had a rollercoaster of a day, including losing a massive four way all in to Ken Demlakian earlier in our reporting.

We tracked Nguyen over the course of a few hands in Level 7. First, Nguyen opened to 2,500 under-the-gun, and Stan Levitin 3-bet to 7,500 from the lojack.

Nguyen made the call and both checked the 774 flop. On the 6 turn Nguyen led out for 5,500, called by Levitin. Nguyen again led out on the 2 river, this time for 16,000, and again called by Levitin.

Nguyen tabled A3 for a bluff, beaten soundly by the AK of Levitin and crippled to just 6,500.

Shortly after, Nguyen found his way back to 22,500 courtesy of Ken Demlakian, shoving the turn on a 10J210 board to earn a fold from Demlakian.

Lastly, Spiro Maraulis open jammed for his last 9,200 from UTG+2 and Nguyen, in the cut-off, re-jammed for approximately 20,000.

Action folded to Stan Levitin on the big blind, who snap called to put both players at risk.

Nguyen: 66
Levitin: AK
Maraulis: A5

Maraulis needed plenty of help to win it, dominated by Levitin and miles behind the pocket pair of Nguyen. The flop of 3J3 certainly favoured Nguyen, but the A on the turn rocketed Levitin into the lead.

The unexpected 3 on the river, however, saved Maraulis; chopping the main pot with Levitin whilst Levitin claimed the side pot and knockout of Nguyen for himself.

Stan Levitin156,000
Spiro Maraulis14,700
Phillip NguyenBUSTED!
Stan Levitin

Who shot the Sherif?

Catching the action on a board showing 1093J, where Jon Portelli had bet 6,500 and been called by Jimmy Ghobrial, and action was pending on Sherif Derias.

Derias elected to jam, shoving his entire stack over the line. Portelli called, and Ghobrial got out of the way in short order.

Portelli: Q8
Derias: J10

The straight for Portelli would hold on the 8 river to deputize Derias to the rail.

Jon Portelli126,400
Jimmy Ghobrial35,200
Sherif DeriasBUSTED!
Jon Portelli


Eric Chi opened to 2,500 from the cut-off, then folded to a Najeem Ajez 3-bet to 7,000 from the small blind. On the very next hand, Chi opened again, this time to 2,700, from the hijack. The player in the cut-off made the call, then Ajez again 3-bet, this time from the button, to 11,700.

Chi responded by shoving for around 80k, and when the player in the cut-off made a forward motion, Ajez announced “call”.

Ajez: AA
Chi: AJ

Sha Chi for Chi as he found himself in a rough spot against the WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event runner-up, and though he nearly got dug out of a hole with spades as the board ran out 210Q4, the 4 on the river sealed the deal for Ajez.

Najeem Ajez235,900
Najeem Ajez

More for Morvan

Romain Morvan made the call from the small blind after Jimmy Tran opened to 2,000, and Qi Xu folded his big blind to let the pair go heads up to a flop.

Morvan check-called a bet of 3,500 from Tran on the 57K flop to see a 9 on the turn. Repeating the action, Morvan check-called again, this time for 10,000, and then again for third barrel from Tran, also for 10,000, on the 9 river.

Tran rolled up J10 for a busted double gutshot, beaten by the K8 of Morvan.

Romain Morvan161,300
Jimmy Tran97,800
Romain Morvan

Level 7: 500/1,000 (1,000)

Break time and assorted counts

The players have left on their second 10-minute break. The next break, in about two hours time, will be the 30-minute dinner break.

Alex Falon227,300
Frank Mete179,200
Roy Patrick158,000
Kenta Ito152,800
Mark Zhu144,600
Ehsan Amiri130,500
Nobeel Khan126,000
Peter Natoli121,300
Romain Morvan120,000
Suzy Khouiss96,100
Imad Mogret30,000

Boat over boat

Ling Liu defended her big blind against a button open of 2,000 to see a flop of 96A.

Liu check-called a 2,000 continuation bet, then checked again on the 9 turn. The player on the button fired a second barrel, this time for 3,000, and again Liu called.

On the A river Liu took the reins, firing a 9,500 bet straight into the aggressor. The button player hit the tank for a few minutes but called eventually, flashing the 9 for the low end of the cooler, after Liu tabled A10 to claim the pot.

Ling Liu81,700
Ling Liu

Nobeel prize

Nobeel Khan has eliminated a player, tabling 65 for two pair on the board of 10J625.

His opponent had AQ and hit the rail.

Nobeel Khan137,400
Nobeel Khan

Upside down

A Yazbeck somehow found themselves near the bottom of the chip counts, and after Mitch Bognar 3-bet a Travis Endersby 2,000 open to 6,500, Patrick Yazbeck short-called all-in out of the blinds.

Endersby made the call as well, and check-called a bet of 3,000 from Bognar on the 89Q flop before both checked the 3 turn.

Endersby checked for a third time on the 5 river, and folded when Bognar slid out a bet of 6,500.

Bognar tabled KQ for top pair, surely ahead of the quite literally blind range of Yazbeck? Nope. Yazbeck tabled AQ to claim the triple up while Bognar took the smaller side pot.

Mitch Bognar130,200
Patrick Yazbeck19,300
Patrick Yazbeck

Remoon removed

Over on Table 5, the board was displaying 522, Brent Goldingham and Remoon Karim had checked, and Mark Rebeira had fired 6,000. Goldingham made the call.

Karim had other ideas; mulling his options over for a minute or so, he settled on a jam; shoving for 28,000.

Rebeira tanked himself but let it go. Goldingham, however, flicked in a single chip to signify a call.

Goldingham: AJ
Karim: A2

Goldingham struck gold on the K turn and the 8 river changed nothing, eliminating Karim.

Brent Goldingham142,100
Mark Rebeira20,600
Remoon KarimBUSTED!
Brent Goldingham

Tales of woe

Dylan Wayne flagged down our Reporter on his way past – as we witnessed a player win a pot with a blind straddle on Wayne’s table – to regale what happened to his first entry.

According to Wayne, he had a stack of about 43,000 to start the hand when a player in middle position limped and Wayne looked down at K-K, making a raise to 3,200.

The player in the big blind then 3-bet to 15,000, the limper folded, and Wayne hit the jam button, sending the big blind into a brief tank.

The big blind then called, and to Wayne’s shock, tabled A-2.

Wayne would then be sent reeling and unable to recover as the flop spread 3-4-5.

Dylan Wayne40,000

Level 6: 400/800 (800)

Money for Mundy

David Sanil is in dire straits after losing a chunk of change to one Harry Mundy. Both called a preflop raise of 1,200 from a player UTG, Mundy from UTG+1 and Sanil defending from the big blind.

Sanil check-shoved the 472 flop after action checked through the initial raiser to Mundy, who bet 1,400. Whilst everyone else folded, Mundy made the call for his tournament life.

Mundy: JJ
Sanil: 97

Turns out there might be a right way to play jiggidies, as they held this time to propel Mundy back up over the starting stack.

Harry Mundy42,600
David Sanil5,800

Antonios annihilated

Mark Zhu, in the small blind, called the 1,300 open from under-the-gun AJ Antonios.

Zhu checked it over to Antonios on the 387 flop, and Antonios slid out a c-bet of 2,800. Zhu responded with a jam, and Antonios called off.

Zhu: 99
Antonios: AK

The turn 7 and river 2 were no help to Antonios, who hit the rail.

Mark Zhu119,600
AJ AntoniosBUSTED!

Positional play doesn’t always work

Adrian Pacheco opened from the button to 1,200 and was called by both players in the blinds.

On a flop of 1096, the player in the small blind led out for 1,000, forcing a fold from the big blind before Pacheco made the call.

The small blind then check-called a bet of 1,000 from Pacheco on the 9 turn, and repeated the action, check-calling a 1,000 bet again, on the 3 river.

The double barrel was unsuccessful for Pacheco, who briefly flashed 54, conceding to his opponents 107.

Adrian Pacheco80,500

Everybody Wang Chong Tonight

Dominic Wang, crippled in an earlier hand, shoved his last 4,200 from the button.

Thomas Chong made the call, setting up a Dance Hall Days showdown.

Wang: J8
Chong: 98

Dominating to begin with, but Chong flopped a straight and held through on the 710675 board to eliminate Wang. Cool, on, craze.

Thomas Chong65,300
Dominic WangBUSTED!
Thomas Chong

Level 5: 300/600 (600)

Vargas vanquished

Walking past Table 1 earlier in the day, our Live Reporter was stunned to see a line-up including Geoff Milner, David Sebesfi, Thomas Chong, Lucho Vargas, and Travis Endersby, all on the one table.

Since then, Lucho Vargas has met an unfortunate end at the hand of David Sebesfi.

Sebesfi defended his big blind against a Vargas open and a middle position caller to see a flop of 2K8. Sebesfi checked, Vargas continued for 1,500 and Sebesfi check-raised to 4,600 once the other player folded.

Vargas called, and Sebesfi fired again for 5,500 on the 8 turn. Vargas raised to 13,000 and Sebesfi flat-called.

The Q river was met with an all in from Sebesfi for 27,800. Vargas snap-short-called only to muck when Sebesfi tabled 83 (“I swear, I thought I had quads!” he said to our Live Reporter in jest).

David Sebesfi72,900
Lucho VargasBUSTED!
Lucho Vargas earlier in the day

Chop chop

Mark Zhu opened from the hijack, the button came along, and Alex Yugmeth chose to defend his big blind.

On a flop of 106K, Yugmeth check-called a continuation bet of 1,300 from Zhu.

Both players checked through the 10 turn and 8 river.

Both tabled only to find out that they both simply had bottom pair and ended up chopping the pot; Q6 for Yugmeth and J6 for Zhu.

Mark Zhu99,600
Alex Yugmeth41,200


That was the cry from Phillip Nguyen, who found himself all in and covering three other players on the flop of 4510

Nguyen had the best of it with QQ. An unknown player had 87, Alan Zheng tabled 76, but it was Ken Demlakian who had the true meme – the 32 the lowest of the suited connectors trying to crack the Queens of Nguyen.

The J turn changed nothing, Nguyen still pleading for paint to his assembled mini-rail of friends as he attempted the triple KO.

It was Demlakian who would punch the air in victory, though, as the A rolled off to give him a wheel, knocking out Zheng and the unknown player whilst reducing Nguyen’s stack.

Ken Demlakian135,300
Phillip Nguyen12,500
Alan ZhengBUSTED!

Level 4: 300/500 (500)

Break time!

The field has paused for a 10-minute break.

Alex Falon149,700
Mitch Bognar127,400
Yu Li127,300
Steve Pappas125,200
Steven Green109,600
Romain Morvan103,800
Qi Xu100,300
Mark Zhu98,000
Suzy Khouiss76,100
Roman Pripotski70,600

Ecobiza claims the bounty no one could

Seyed Nasab had a fantastic day yesterday, winning the Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty event and claiming over $100,000 in earnings from both prize pool and bounties, including the Grand Bounty of $40,000.

Today, Nasab opened to 1,500 from the hijack. Yor Ecobiza, who finished 7th in the WPT Prime Gold Coast $5K Challenge, made the call from the cut-off to see a flop heads-up with Nasab.

The dealer spread a flop of Q510. Nasab check-called a bet of 1,400 from Ecobiza to see the J hit the turn. Nasab again checked, and Ecobiza continued the line, betting 3,400 to a call from Nasab.

The river 5 was met with a lead from Nasab – he fired 15,200 leaving himself a single T5K chip behind. Ecobiza jammed, and Nasab flicked in the chip – only to quickly muck and depart when Ecobiza tabled 1010 for the flopped middle set.

Yor Ecobiza70,300
Seyed NasabBUSTED!
Yor Ecobiza

Down by the river

Suzy Khouiss opened from the lojack to 1,000 and found a 3-bet from the cut-off, Shaun Zammit, to the tune of 3,000. Action folded back around to Khouiss, who made the call.

The flop spread 229 and Khouiss check-called a bet of 2,500 from Zammit. Both players checked the 7 turn and A river.

Khouiss tabled AJ to a muck from Zammit and claimed the pot.

Suzy Khouiss83,200
Shaun Zammit57,800
Suzy Khouiss

Friendly faces

Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell needs no introduction; he’s been here since the start of the tournament hiding quietly over towards the edge of the room!

The debonair Sydney pro Ehsan Amiri has hit the felt joining Slav Rypinski, Gold Coast grinder Carlos Youssef is in the hunt for another marquee final table, whilst France’s Romain Morvan (as mentioned previously) has found an early double with Aces.


Back to Table 20 immediately, where Ted Hatzakortzian shoved blind the very next hand in the cut-off. This time, Frenchman Romain Morvan snap-called from the button before both blinds exited the pot.

Morvan: AA
Hatzakortzian: 95

Aces do make for nice easy decisions, and the snap call led to a full double for Morvan on the complete board of 292J10; not without the flush draw on the turn though! Always a sweat.

Ted Hatzakortzian113,900
Romain Morvan78,400
Ted Hatzakortzian


Ted Hatzakortzian is having fun down on Table 20, recently announcing he was going to “shove blind” from the button.

Sure enough, when action folded around to him, he shoved without looking.

Qi Xu made the call from the big blind, tabling 55.

For Hatzakortzian? Only KQ. He’d take the lead quickly though, flopping top pair on the board of 6Q8.

Xu wasn’t down and out yet, turning an open ender with the 7, before the 9 completed a double up that looked rather unlikely after the flop!

Ted Hatzakortzian144,800
Qi Xu61,400
Qi Xu

Level 3: 200/400 (400)

Silver for Goldingham

Brent Goldingham raised under-the-gun to 900 and found callers in three spots, including Frank Mete from the small blind.

Goldingham continued for 700 on the 1082 flop, scaring absolutely no one, as all three called to go four ways to the turn as well. The 8 paired the board, and everybody checked.

The 10 put two pair on board. Mete led out for 1,500 which was met with a raise to 4,000 from Goldingham. Mete flat called after both other players folded, to find his K8 was best against the 99 of Goldingham.

Frank Mete109,700
Brent Goldingham22,100

Faces to watch

As the tournament moves closer to the first break of the day, we’re seeing more and more recognisable players taking their seats.

WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event Champion Yang Lei took his seat earlier on, and Suzy Khouiss, fresh off the back of a final table finish in the Star Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty event, has taken her seat on Day 1B.

Zhengmin Zhang, final tablist in the Sydney Champs $1,100 NLH event earlier this week, is in the house, along with Poker Palace grinder Rehman Kassam. Ian Logan and Shaun Zammit have also been spotted plying their trade.

Top pair no good

Our Live Reporter picked up the action on the flop on a loaded table occupied by Sydney Champs $1,100 Champion Slav Rypinski and Ehsan Amiri, who finished 59th in the 2021 WSOP.

Jensen Sodicta bet 4,000 into a pot of approximately 13,400 with a flop showing 1026. Spiro Maraulis, seated directly opposite Sodicta, responded with maximum pressure, shoving against the shorter stack of Sodicta to put him at risk. Sodicta called off for a total of 19,300, and they went to showdown.

Sodicta: QQ
Maraulis: 107

The board completed K, 8, and Sodicta doubled through.

Jensen Sodicta52,000
Spiro Maraulis18,700
Jensen Sodicta

Wrapped up

Andrew Scarf defended his big blind from a Ali Almohamed open to see a flop of 9J2 hit the felt.

A check from Scarf was met by a 1,200 continuation bet from Almohamed. Scarf mulled it over before calling, and then check-calling again, this time for 3,500, on the 6 turn.

Q completed the board, and Scarf led out, firing 7,000. Almohamed snap-called, tossing in a single yellow 5K chip, before putting out the other chips when Scarf tabled A4 for the nut flush.

“Why were you pretending to fold?” queried Almohamed, referring to the flop action.

“I apologise.” responded Scarf as he stacked his new chips.

Andrew Scarf53,800
Ali Almohamed25,700
Andrew Scarf

Level 2: 200/300 (300)

Maait pressure

Richard Maait raised UTG to 600 and found callers in the button and Carmello Auditore’s small blind.

Auditore checked the 382 flop, prompting a 700 continuation bet from Maait. The button folded, and Auditore check-raised to 1,800. That wasn’t enough for Maait, who 3-bet to 4,000.

Auditore called, then checked again on the 3 turn. Maait turned up the heat, firing 8,000 into the middle. Auditore heard the warning and released his cards.

Richard Maait47,000
Carmello Auditore34,500

Aces first, please

Anthony Marenko, seated with WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event Champion Yang Lei, opened the action under-the-gun to 500. Action folded around to the blinds, and both Daniel Gan and John Portelli defended their small and big blinds respectively.

Both checked to Marenko on the 27J flop and Marenko fired a continuation bet for 700, called only by Gan.

Gan then check-called bets from Marenko on the 5 turn and 5 river of 2,500 and 5,000 respectively.

Marenko didn’t hesitate to table AA when Gan called his river bet to a quick muck from Gan. Nice start!

Anthony Marenko48,600
John Portelli39,700
Daniel Gan17,300
Anthony Marenko

Notables in the house

Spotto! Milling around the room we’ve spied several well known players in the Australian poker circuits.

The Bognar father-son duo, Attila and Mitch, have taken their seats, and we’ve spied a couple of Los Parceros grinders Jeison Berdugo, who won the QPC Alpha3 event in May for $37,300, and QPC Main Event Champion Lucho Vargas, who has a string of high profile results culminating in a career best cash of $78,819 with a 2nd place finish in the inaugural WPT Prime Gold Coast $5K Challenge.

The ever-colourful Geoff Milner is all sunshine yellow today, looking for another result on his 2022 sun-run; the Sydneysider notched an incredible 27 recorded cashes on The Hendon Mob between January and May.

Sydney Champs $1,100 Champion Slav Rypinski has returned for the Main Event as promised to PMA in his post-victory interview.

David Sebesfi has returned for Day 1B after Day 1A did not go to plan; he’s had a night in to relax and will be all guns blazing today. Also on the felt, Craig Blight and WA’s Travis Endersby.

Level 1: 100/200 (200)

Back to battle

The second of three Main Event flights will be kicking off shortly. Players will be playing 40-minute levels with breaks after every third level, including a 30-minute dinner break at approximately 18:50 AEST.

The end of the flight should be around the 23:30 AEST mark tonight. There will be a third flight tomorrow, also kicking off at 12:30 AEST, before the survivors from all three flights will combine on Sunday at 11:00 AEST for Day 2, playing down to a final table.

We’ve already seen a smattering of notables filling the room and the tension is mounting. T-minus five minutes.

LevelSmall BlindBig BlindBB Ante

Round two!

Good morning and welcome back to PokerMedia Australia for our continued coverage of The Star Sydney Champs Main Event!

Last night saw a total of 43 survivors bag up for Sunday’s Day 2, out of the 312 entries taken in. Leading at the conclusion of play was Daniel Louis-Awad, who bagged up 664,000 in chips, followed by James Broom and Wubin Fan, who tied for second after both players advanced with 635,000 each.

Mark Yazbeck (512,000), who soared to as high as 900,000 in the late stages of yesterday’s flight, also finished inside the top five, just behind Yita Choong (518,000), fresh from his epic run in this year’s WSOP Millionaire Maker, where he finished fourth.

Yita Choong’s Millionaire Maker appearance courtesy of PokerGo

With over $500,000 in the prize pool already, we’re expecting another huge turnout here in Pyrmont today, so stay with us right here at PMA as we bring you live updates from 12:30pm AEST. See you soon!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.