Congratulations Chris Tran ($79,744) WPT Australia Opening Event Mystery Bounty Champion!
Chris Tran is the first to hold a trophy aloft in the WPT Australia Series, winning the first event of the 2022 schedule.
This victory marks the second time in the space of a few months where a Mystery Bounty event at The Star has seen the recipient of the Grand Bounty go all the way to win the entire tournament.
Tran follows in the footsteps of The Star Sydney Champs Mystery Bounty Champion, Seyed Nasab, by doing just that! Except this time, Tran has the bragging rights of having done it amongst a bigger field, the largest ever for an Australian-held event of this format.
“I feel ecstatic, the whole day feels surreal!” Tran told PokerMediaAustralia in his post-win chat.
Having played mystery bounty tournaments in the past, despite limited success, Tran knew what he had to do to go deep, recommencing on Day 2 with a healthy 472,000 in chips.
“You have to go for it, you have to hunt the bounties.”
That hunt paid dividends the very moment Tran peeled the $54,000 Grand Bounty, which he described as unexpected, and “really nice”.
The 29-year-old Sydneysider has been a professional poker player since 2017, but describes this result as his best to date, and plans to celebrate the victory with the rail that supported him throughout the final table.
Thanks for joining us over the previous three days for a phenomenal beginning to a series that will only get bigger. PMA’s coverage of WPT Australia will continue with Sunday’s $2,500 8-Max Day 2, with reporting getting underway from 11:30am AEST. Thanks for your viewership, see you real soon!
WPT Australia Opening Event Mystery Bounty ($1,350 buy-in, 513 entries, 65 players paid)
Jin Li eliminated in 2nd place ($55,896)
After an extended period of time spanning across the course of top three and heads-up action, we finally have had our final hand of the tournament play out.
Both players were happy to move all-in preflop and see they were flipping for the tournament.
Peter Peeters eliminated in 3rd place ($35,951)
A remarkable run has come to a close for the man who finished Day 1A as the chip leader. Despite the chip advantage coming into Day 2, it’s never easy to sustain such a stack, especially to nurse it all the way to the final three.
Chris Tran spiked a lucky river to out-two pair Peter Peeters.
With all the chips in preflop, Tran’s A♥2♦ hit the right card at the right time to better the 10♣9♠ holding in Peeters’ hand on a board that resulted in 2♠Q♠10♦9♥A♦.
Michael Claire eliminated in 4th place ($25,075)
Jin Li has taken the chip lead with the knockout of Michael Claire.
Not for the first time on this final table, the all-in and call came before any community cards were laid to felt.
Ken Stewart eliminated in 5th place ($19,248)
Chris Tran has once again picked up another nockout, knocking out Ken Stewart as we reach the final quartet of the Mystery Bounty.
A short-stacked Stewart pulled the trigger, getting his remaining chips in the middle with J♦9♠ and Tran woke up at an opportune time to have another dip in the treasure chest.
Tran turned over K♠Q♠ and held true on 5♥10♦4♥7♥3♣.
Matthew Radcliffe eliminated in 6th place ($16,008)
Matthew Radcliffe has walked away from the final table with a five-figure payday to add to his collection of bounties, which includes the $15,000 bounty.
Chris Tran was the one who did the damage, once again.
An open, an all-in, and a call preflop saw the two open their hands.
Mishel Anunu eliminated in 7th place ($13,338)
Jin Li has picked up another knockout in emphatic style, ending Mishel Anunu’s tournament with an insane hand.
Jin Li opened the action from the cutoff, Anunu moved all-in and Li promptly called.
The board ran out Q♥8♣3♥3♠K♦.
Anunu had K♥K♣ for the full house, however it wasn’t good enough to beat Li’s 3♦3♣.
Ali Zebarjad eliminated in 8th place ($10,629)
Chris Tran is continuing to build his chip lead on the final table, ending the tournament life of Ali Zebarjad.
Zebarjad moved all-in with A♠10♦ and having to only risk a small portion of his stack, Tran made an easy call with K♠Q♥.
The board of 10♣7♠5♣3♦Q♦ gave Tran the better pair, handing him a bounty, and sending Zebarjad to the payout desk.
Jerome Tan eliminated in 9th place ($7,962)
Jerome Tan has come away with a successful beginning to his WPT Australia campaign, on top of a couple of bounties to his name, he’ll also come away with almost $8,000 more for his appearance in the top nine.
It was Ken Stewart doing the damage, initially opening to 125,000 before Tan moved all-in from the small blind.
WPT Australia 2022 Opening Event Mystery Bounty final table
Following the culmination of three days of poker, we have reached the first final table of the WPT Australia.
Chris Tran leads the way with the chip advantage, with Jin Li, Michael Clair, and Peter Peeters breathing closely behind.
Action has almost come to halt, with the odd flop being seen, most players have tightened up as the last major bounty remaining tops out at $6,800.
Dan Smiljanic has been eliminated in 10th place, sending the remaining players to the final table. Peter Peeters did the job, with his 10♠8♦ holding firm against Smiljanic’s A♥7♦ on a board that the dealer put out 9♦K♦10♥10♦A♠.
Ah Dan, you’ve done it again
Shortly after his bad beat, Jeff Lisandro has been eliminated in 11th place. Dan Smiljanic has sent the Mystery Bounty tournament to the bubble of its final table.
A correct call gone wrong has seen Peter Peeters spike a lucky river card after a bluff almost went horribly wrong.
We caught the action from the turn where Peeters sent Lisandro into the tank with all-in bet on a board showing 6♦3♠2♥3♥.
Lisandro made the call to see Peeters’ bottom pair with J♦2♦ and turned over his own cards to show 8♠8♣.
However the river fell the J♣, denying Lisandro the bounty chip and decimating his stack.
Level 25: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)
Aaron Wellington is out, busted thanks to Michael Clair. With the all-in and call coming pre-flop, the players turned over their hands. Wellington’s A♦7♦ was dominated by Clair’s A♠10♥, and the spread of 6♦7♠10♦2♣Q♥.
Meanwhile, we’ve also lost Robert Damelian who went to the rail after losing to Jin Li.
Mitch Bognar’s run has come to a close in 14th Place. Mishel Anunu adds another knockout to his list of casualties and sends the field one step closer to the final table.
Tran on track for glory
Finally going up to cash in his bounty chip following the elimination of Adrian Salter, Chris Tran went up to the bounty chest following a day filled with the continually selection of the $400 minimum bounties.
GRAND BOUNTY: $54,000
After many players peeled the bounties slowly to build suspense, only to win the amounts at the lower end of the scale, Tran ripped his off like a bandaid. Letting out a huge roar, the realisation sunk in that the largest ever Australian Grand Bounty total had been won!
Congratulations Chris Tran!
Level 24: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)
Ali Zebarjad has eliminated the overall chip leader from the commencement of Day 2.
Alan Zheng and Zebarjad found themselves in an inevitable all-in when both players awoke to monsters.
Zheng heads to the payout desk in 14th place.
Salter grinded out
Adrian Salter has been eliminated in 16th place, with Chris Tran picking up his bounty in the process.
Blinded by the Blight
Craig Blight was sent to the payout desk in 18th place, going down at the hands of Ken Stewart.
Level 23: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)
With 19 players left, and the big bounty still in play, the chances were growing for a knockout to lead to the claiming of the $54,000 Grand Bounty.
A strong run for Emmanuel Seal came to an end as Mitch Bognar added another bounty chip to his possession.
Bognar also collected yet another $400 for his troubles at the bounty chest!
Damelian ends Wyvil’s run
After beginning Day 2 with few chips to her stack, a quadruple-up for Janet Wyvil set her on a deep path in the Mystery Bounty event. The good run has come to end due to a runner-runner flush for Robert Damelian.
The action all took place preflop and fate was left in the hands of a flip as Wyvil attempted to give herself stand-up equity.
Duy Ho has hit the rails as we reach the final three tables. In a battle between two short stacks, it was Yang Lei who emerged unscathed.
Level 22: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)
Can we get Nabil please?
Jin Li took the aggressive route, moving all-in on a board of Q♣8♣K♦8♠3♦. This amount was enough to cover Nabil Edgtton, and left him with a decision to make on the river that would determine the outcome of his tournament life.
Edgtton made the call, and the two flipped their cards.
Big stacks collide
Mishel Anunu and Robert Damelian both share almost three million in chips between them, and a hand took place where neither wanted to risk losing too much.
Preflop, Anunu limped the small blind before Damelian raised the big, adding another 25,000 on top for the price to call. Anunu obliged to see a board spread 5♥A♠10♠.
Anunu check-called Damelian’s bet of 50,000 to a turn of the 8♦. Another Anunu check-call took place, this time to the amount of 85,000. The 3♠ river came, and this time Anunu piled 130,000 in front of him, sending Damelian into the tank before eventually folding.
On the Tran home
Dan Smiljanic is continuing the trend of the big stacks reigning supreme.
Two shorter stacks found themselves at risk against Smiljanic, with Danny Tran’s A♠5♣ and Yiteng Ge’s K♣Q♣ were both behind against A♦J♣.
Smiljanic held on as the board spread K♥7♠6♣J♥A♥ to hand him two bounty chips.
Level 21: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)
The Edgtton of glory
Nabil Edgtton has picked up a double-knockout. Both Will Kennedy and Edgtton limped to begin the hand, when Meer Hussaini moved all-in. Kennedy called before Edgtton re-jammed and was called by Kennedy also.
Not to be for Toby
Peter Peeters continues to wreak havoc across the tournament.
Toby Giles exits the tournament thanks to Peeters, however Giles has consolation in the fact that he claimed the $12,000 bounty.
Up to date updates
Players are back, having just enjoyed a ten-minute rest and with 35 entrants remaining, some big stacks are forming.
Day 1A chip leader Peter Peeters leads the way, continuing his good form throughout the entire run.
Level 20: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)
No gamble, no future… no future
Toby Giles shared a humurous exchange with fellow tablemate Duy Ho.
Ho moved all-in, and whilst Giles contemplated a decision, he uttered, “I’ve got a really bad hand here.”
Ho responded “Then I want you to call!”
Chris Tran shared his input with a word of advice, “No gamble, no future!”
Giles made the call with 5♣2♥ to see he was up against Ho’s A♠Q♣.
The flop 9♥J♣J♦ didn’t help Giles’ cause, and when the turn came the Q♦, Giles quipped, “Yep, no future.”
The river 6♦ was meaningless and Ho doubled.
Peter Peeters has picked up a knockout for himself. The Day 1A chip leader has eliminated Luke Fong in a hand where Peeters raised preflop and was called by Fong. A bet and a call on the turn, followed by a check-call from Peeters when Fong jammed the river, saw Peters surpass the seven-figure mark for his stack.
Roman Priplotski’s chip counts has soared to the one million mark after a series of back-to-back busts.
Moments after effecting the knockout of Michael Homstein the hand prior, Priplotski picked up the scalp of Qi Xu. With an all-in and call on the flop both players turned over their cards to see Priplotski had drilled middle set against Xu’s overpair.
The very next hand, Priplotski’s K♠7♠ managed to hit two pair against Kiko Puyat’s K♥J♠ on a board of 3♥Q♠7♦K♣9♦.
Level 19: 10,000/15,000 (15,000)
Dylan Rowe fell victim to Yitian Fan’s four of a kind when his 10♦10♣ were flopped dead on a board of K♠K♦K♥2♣7♦. Fan’s A♥K♣ enabled him to double-up to stay in the game.
Simultaneously, Emmanuel Seal is soaring, collecting plenty of bounties. Much to the delight of the remainder of the field, Seal is continually winning the $400 bounties.
Seal’s A♣10♣ managed to win against Andres Vasquez’s A♠K♠ as the board spread Q♣10♠7♠A♦3♦.
There’s plenty going on here at The Star Gold Coast Poker Room, now that the players have secured a payout. Vlad Barbu has doubled up through Yang Lei. Whilst Josh Hutchins had to hand his stack over to Zhifan Ye.
Later on, Toby Giles doubled Nabil Edgtton’s stack over on Table 27.
Edgtton piled his 215,000 into the middle with K♥Q♣ and Giles had A♥10♦.
The board ran out 3♠3♥6♣4♠Q♠ to deny Giles a bounty chip.
Place bubble popped!
Hasian Hyde has had to walk the plank as the final elimination before place payouts commence.
We caught the action on the turn with a major hand brewing, tensions were high as play slowed on the verge of the pay jump from $0 to $1,190.
We caught action from the turn on Table 15, where a board showed 9♠9♦A♣3♣.
Hyde checked to Seal who placed 75,000 into the middle. After over a minute in the tank, Hyde moved all-in and was swiftly called by Seal, who needed little more to match the bet.
Hyde retreated in his seat in a moment of reflection as the rest of the field cheered as they all locked up at least a 4-figure payout
Level 18: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)
Follet adds to the wallet
Connie Graham was nursing a short stack before finding a spot to get the chips in the middle.
Follet made the call preflop and spiked top pair to pick up Graham’s bounty token, and send the field to the bubble!
Rodden rides his luck
Johnny Rodden has escaped the purge of bounty hunters, and managed to double his stack count though Will Kennedy despite being dominated preflop.
Dan Smiljanic has enjoyed a successful morning, forming as one of the big stacks as we head towards the money. Yang Lei has managed to scrape some chips from Smiljanic to pinch a double-up.
Slav Rypinksi moved all-in from the cutoff to commence the action on Table 17. Varma moved all-in over the top for isolation on the button and the two went heads-up with Rypinksi’s tournament life, and a bounty token up for grabs.
Varma is deciding to hang on to his bounty tokens, waiting before he takes his chance to redeem them at the chest.
“That’s two I’m holding now!”
Level 17: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)
No boost for Durust
Taner Durust was hoping for a push to increase his short stack at the beginning of Day 2, instead Jeff Lisandro has sent him to the rail, picking up Durust’s bounty in the process.
Lisandro made his way to the chest, and exclaimed a cheer of “YES!” to decieve the rest of the field as he peeled a $400 prize.
In other bounty news, Dylan Rowe has picked up the $6,600 bounty, taking another one of the bigger prizes away from contention!
Janet Wyvil has won a four way all-in, multiplying her short-stack four-fold to sit comfortable at average stack at the start of Day 2.
Wyvil’s A♥K♦ found itself up against A♦Q♥,10♦10♣ and Q♣4♣.
The hand resulted in a singular knockout, with Luke Martinelli hitting the rail after Hari Varma collected the side pot. Meanwhile Matthew Radcliffe has collected the third largest bounty up for grabs after eliminating Rod Batoz!
Going up to the treasure chest after the hand to claim:
“I could be getting the first bounty here!”
Mitch Bognar has claimed the first knockout of the day, and in doing so has redeemed bounty number one.
Up against a short-stacked Jian Long, Bognar’s 9♦7♠ in the big blind spiked a pair on the river to best Long’s A♣2♣.
Bognar waited a few minutes before heading to the treasure chest to select his choice of bounty.
One of the minimum bounties out of the way means there’s a higher chance of the big ones, so the whole room erupted with cheers as Bognar laughed.
Level 16: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)
Big time rush
Good morning and welcome back to The Star Gold Coast for Day 2 of the WPT Australia Opening Event Mystery Bounty!
After two action-packed Day 1 flights, the prize pool for the first event of the series has been set. Players will no doubt be eager to hit the felt to chase the first trophy on offer, as well as a slice of the $415,200 prize pool. 65 players will be paid out a minimum of $1,181, with a massive $79,000 for our winner up top.
But that won’t be the only prize to chase, with $207,600 in the bounty pool, including a Grand Bounty worth $54,000 – the largest prize of its kind in Australian history.
Our remaining 78 competitors will have a tough choice to make: redeem their bounty chips as they go, or keep them safe and cash them all in at once … but ultimately, the choice is theirs to make.
Who will come away with the win and earn their place in history? Find out as we bring you all the action here at pokermedia.com.au from 11:30am AEST and right up until the final river falls!
Day 2 seat draw
Play will resume at 11:30am AEST, with recommencing blinds at 4,000/8,000 (8,000). Please ensure you have your photo ID with you for verification purposes, and should you have any queries regarding your seat allocation, feel free to approach one of the Star Poker Gold Coast team. Best of luck, everyone!
|1605||5||Win Meng Tan||640,000|