LIVE REPORTING: Stacked Social DeepStacks Adelaide Main Event Day 1A

Benji Fono, Thomas Hubber amongst chip leaders following Stacked Social DeepStacks Main Event Day 1A; that’s a wrap!

With 21 runners proceeding through to Day 2, Day 1A was a roaring success with 86 total entries registered throughout play.

Official chip counts place Benji Fono atop the rankings, but before bags were processed, Thomas Hubber stood out as the one to catch.

With 335,000 in chips, after eight hours of play, Hubber says he feels good, but tired.

“I put myself in an amateur category, I work full-time,” he said.

Hubber, 34, works in the mines and sees poker as a great hobby, but has few bigger tournaments on his resume.

He hopes his run continues into Day 2 on Sunday, but was gracious enough to share some words of advice for those playing Day 1B and 1C:

“Be patient, that’s probably the number one thing.”

With limited play at Stacked, except for some cash games in the past few days, Hubber has loved the tournament and the venue so far, and looks forward to hopefully running deep across the remainder of the tournament.

Thomas Hubber
Benji Fono346,500
Thomas Hubber335,000
Billy The Croc331,000
Scott Calcagno314,000
Jacob Lock286,500
Chris Tika242,500
Emmanuel Seal220,000
Joe Hachem208,500
Jarred Graham206,000
Colin Carpenter201,000
Pip Chea199,500
Alex M182,000
Andrew Michael141,500
Gavin Best138,000
Nick Williams124,000
William Bolton109,500
Tony Xu97,500
Roman Priplotski96,000
Shane Baxter96,000
Ben Tieu94,500

Falling Be-Hynes

Pierce Hynes moved all-in on the turn with 98 with the board showing J8A10, with plenty of outs if he was behind against a caller.

Jacob Lock made the call with A10 and with the river coming the 3, Hynes copped a big hit and enabled Lock to double-up.

Hynes hit the rail shortly after, and Lock soon found himself sacrificing some of his new found chips to Joel Williams in an all-in pre.

Williams: QQ
Lock: AQ

Board: 9210Q5

Roman Priplotski succeeded in a last ditch effort to double his stack before the close of play, moving all-in pre and finding Gavin Best as a caller. Priplotski’s K10 outdrew Best’s A6 on 9892K.

Jacob Lock145,000
Roman Priplotski84,500
Joel Williams125,000
Gavin Best122,000
Pierce HynesBUSTED!

Doubles and Busts

“All-in, call.” A phrase heard frequently in the closing stages of Day 1A. With plenty of players finding themselves all-in and at risk.

Sandy Sinclair found the rail when his QQ was outdrawn by AC’s 55.

The board granted Sinclair’s opponent a set on 34593.

Alex M’s pocket fives also proved successful, winning a flip to eliminate his opponent, despite having to dodge a score of outs on the river.

His 55 held on 103Q210 against the draw heavy AK.

Alex M181,500
Sandy SinclairBUSTED!
Alex M

Gab vs Gav

Into the final level of play, Gavin best was looking to make moves. Moving all-in for his remaining 39,000 over the top of a Gabriel Xiourouppa raise and a call. Xiourouppa was the only caller as the two went heads up, with Best’s tournament life at risk.

Best: A5
Xiourouppa: KQ

Board: 9535J

Best managed to avoid any further diamonds after the flop, and gains an important double-up

Gavin Best100,000
Gabriel Xiourouppa41,000
Gavin Best

Level 12: 2,000/4,000 (4,000)

Benji jumping

Benji Fono has found a double-up thanks to Pierce Hynes. A UTG raise was called by three players before Hynes attempted to squeeze with a raise of 32,000. Fono piled all of his chips over the top, for a total of 93,500.

Hynes made the call, forcing the others out of the hand.

Fono: QQ
Hynes: 1010

Board: 75K52

Benji Fono211,000
Pierce Hynes88,000
Benji Fono

No Gary-ntee

Gary Lim found himself all-in pre-flop against Ben Tieu in a classic race to determine his tournament life.

Lim’s 1010 held a slight advantage against Tieu’s AQ. The flop of 765 only extended Lim’s favouritism.

The turn card Q would drill a pair for Tieu leaving him needing one of two outs to hit on the river… and so it came. The river card was the 10, getting Lim the double, and leaving Tieu with the crumbs.

Gary Lim132,500
Ben Tieu44,500

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

Croc attack

Billy “The Croc” Argyros has skyrocketed up the chip counts after becoming the beneficiary of a colossal three-way all-in.

Joe Sandaev and Armon Van Wijk both failed to get their chips in good, impossible to do so when Argyros turned over his AA.

Both Sandaev’s AQ and Van Wijk’s 1010 failed to improve on the 5AJ7Q runout, resulting in a double-elimination and a near tournament chip lead for Argyros.

Billy Argyros276,000
Joe SandaevBUSTED!
Armon Van WijkBUSTED!
Billy Argyros


A three-way all in spelt trouble for both Joe Sandaev and Mini Chea, as they shared the same hand. Jin Li was live to either one of his cards and spiked a pair on the flop.

The rest of the runout proved disastrous for the two at risk players.

Sandaev: AQ
Chea: AQ
Li: J9

Board: 9K732

Joe Sandaev118,000
Mini CheaBUSTED!

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

Hachem and stash ’em

Kicker issues have left a dent in Pierce Hynes’ stack. Hynes’ had built his chip count to over 200,000 prior to an intense hand against Joe Hachem on Table 2.

Board: 56A7J

We caught the action from the turn where Hynes checked from UTG to Hachem, who was seated adjacent to his left. Hachem bet 20,000 and Hynes deliberated for over half a minute before making the call.

The river saw both players check and turn over their hands.

Hachem: AQ
Hynes: A4

Joe Hachem131,500
Pierce Hynes178,500
Pierce Hynes

Big blind, bigger blind, and even bigger blind

The dawn of level 9 saw an interesting play over on Table 4, with a freshly re-entered Jin Li blind-betting 5,000 UTG, and Zhifan Ye following suit, blind-betting 10,000 from UTG+1.

With everyone else at the table hoping to peel Aces, the wish came true for Doug Keim, moving all-in and getting both straddlers to call.

Keim: AA
Ye: 82
Li: 63

Board: 103A4J

It’s a double-KO for Keim as Christmas appears to have come early for him!

Doug Keim132,000
Zhifan YeBUSTED!
Jin Li (L) and Zhifan Ye (R)

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

Aoukar-nt believe your luck

A move gone wrong has… well… gone wrong for Jin Li. Trying to steal the pot after a raise from Pierre Aoukar, Li picked the wrong time to move all-in.

Interestingly, the hand played out unconventionally, with Li moving all-in after Aoukar had only announced raise, yet to have specified an amount.

With Li’s all-in declaration, Aoukar snap-called… with action still pending on the other side of the table. Thankfully, little was impacted as Aoukar turned over his AA, and Li showed his J6.

Aoukar was prepared for the worst, and when the flop gave Li an open ended draw, he felt his aces may have been about to get cracked. The turn eased his fears as it was Aoukar hitting a flush to send Li to the rail when the board completed as 9108KJ.

Pierre Aoukar150,000
Pierre Aoukar


Action is picking up as the blinds rise, leaving the shorter stacks with one option if they wish to get involved in a hand.

Following an open from Pierce Hynes, Thomas Hubber awoke to a monster and moved all-in for his remaining 35,400. Hynes called and the two battled it out.

Hubber: KK
Hynes: AQ

Board: 56829

Thomas Hubber73,800
Pierce Hynes70,000
Thomas Hubber

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

Agression and suppression

Different playing styles are clearly on display here, with some players applying the pressure looking to win pots without showdown, whilst others are treading carefully with strong hands trying to get to showdown.

Sandy Sinclair demonstrated the former method of play, opening the action on Table 3 to 3,300 from under-the-gun. The player on the button elected to flat, when Anton Williams again looked to get involved, three-betting to 11,000 from the small blind.

After approximately 90 seconds in the tank, Sinclair responded with a four-bet of 45,000 which sent Williams into the tank.

Eventually Williams folded, albeit reluctantly, and remarked aloud to Sinclair:

“Nice hand… or not.”

Meanwhile, river action on Table 1 saw Will Bolton lead for 9,000 into a pot of over 30,000. With the board showing 5594Q, Emanuel Seal simply flatted the bet and turned over his Q10. Seal’s flush bested Bolton’s JJ, though “Curly” was happy to play it safe on the paired board.

Regardless of style, both players are reaping the rewards, both sitting comfortably into the latter stages of Day 1A.

Sandy Sinclair145,000
Emanuel Seal131,000
Sandy Sinclair

Baxter where we started

After a strong beginning to his Main Event, Shane Baxter found himself dwindled down to 14,000 remaining in his stack.

He found an opportunity to try for a double-up when he looked down at A6 and moved all-in over an initial raise from Anton Williams. Ensuing action found Williams, and another player, also all-in.

Williams: AK
Steve P: AK
Baxter: A6

Prior to the spread of the board, Baxter was summoning cards from the deck:

“Six! Six! Hearts! Six! Hearts!”

On J6Q4A, he got a little bit of both, enough to grant him a triple up to just about starting stack.

Shane Baxter46,500
Steve P62,000
Anton Williams50,300
Shane Baxter

A-counts in order!

Presenting your top stacks as we return from our second break of Day 1A. This time, it’s Gabriel Xiourouppa leading the way up top, followed closely behind by Roman Priplotski.

Gabriel Xiourouppa125,600
Roman Priplotski118,500
Jarred Graham111,000
Pierce Hynes108,500
Sandy Sinclair108,300
Emanuel Seal108,000
Ben Tieu91,200

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

Stretch your legs!

Time for another rest period for our Main Event combatants. We’ll bring you another round of counts in just a moment.

However, just as break time was announced, the man to beat was almost beaten in a hand against Higor Seibel.

We caught action from the flop on a board that displayed 7QK, where Joe Sandaev bet 3,000, and was raised by Seibel to 10,000. Sandaev hit back with a re-pop to 26,000 and was called to see a turn.

With the J, Seibel lead small for 11,000 and was quickly jammed on by Sandaev. Seibel called, having his opponent well covered and at risk.

Seibel: Q7
Sandaev: J9

The river came the 4, handing Sandaev the double-up.

Joe Sandaev74,900
Higor Seibel100,000
Higor Seibel bets into Joe Sandaev

Joe knows

Despite not having the stack count to back it up, Joe Hachem’s skills have been on display here in the Stacked Social Poker Room.

A huge roar from his table drew interest from nearby, and the hand was retold.

Sammy Adibi opened from UTG and Hachem was the only caller, defending his big blind. The flop followed 834. Hachem checked to Adibi, who continued for 2,500 and was called.

Turn: K

Hachem check-called again, this time a bet of 4,000 from Adibi.

The board completed with the 8, and Hachem checked a third time. Adibi bet 5,500, and Hachem raised to 15,500. Hachem described the jam that followed from Adibi as having met the felt prior to Hachem’s raise itself, and so he felt comfortable to open fold his 63.

The whole table erupted, and even more so when Adibi showed his KK, validating Hachem’s play.

When questioned by Adibi how he managed to fold, Hachem responded comically:

“Your chips hit the f***ing table before mine did!”

Sammy Adibi57,000
Joe Hachem17,500
Joe Hachem

Tieu birds with one stone

“All-in, call!”

That was the cry from across the room as our reporter came bounding over to catch a three way all-in.

All the action took place pre-flop, beginning with a UTG+1 raise from Frank Sergi to 2,800. Ben Tieu three-bet from the button to a total of 6,500, which Obie Blanusa called from the small blind. With action back on Sergi, he announced he was all-in for a total of 20,300.

Tieu flatted before Blanusa re-jammed for 37,100 total, to which Tieu also called. The three all went to showdown ahead of the community cards that followed.

Tieu: AA
Sergi: QQ
Blanusa: 1010

Board: 99242

Tieu scooped the lot, to take a double knockout and restore his stack to a healthy position after a series of prior losses.

Ben Tieu104,900
Obie BlanusaBUSTED!
Frank SergiBUSTED!
Ben Tieu

Level 6: 400/800 (800)

S-Lim pickings

Benji Fono called the attention of our reporter shortly after winning a hand. Despite raking in chips of his own at the time, he pointed out it was an earlier hand not involving himself that warranted a write-up.

Once again it was Gary Lim and Andy Ngo at battle. Ngo recited the hand, explaining that action folded around to Lim in the small blind who raised into Ngo, who defended his big blind and ante with Q9.

On a flop reading AJ2, both players checked.

Turn: 10

Lim lead for 1,500 and was met with a raise from Ngo. Lim called the additional 3,000 and saw the 8 on the river, completing Ngo’s straight draw.

Lim checked to Ngo who moved all-in for 22,000, into a pot of merely 12,000. Lim tanked before eventually calling to see the bad news, mucking his own hand in the process.

Andy Ngo69,300
Gary Lim15,000
Andy Ngo

Pip-ped at the post

Emanuel “Curly” Seal spiked the right card at the right time to take a small pot from Pip Chea.

We caught the action from the flop as the board showed 106J. Seal lead for 2,000 and found a quick call from Chea.

The turn Q saw both players check to the J when Seal bet 3,000.

“Take it Curly!”

Chea uttered words of defeat as he paid Seal’s asking price and the two showed down their hands.

Seal: AJ
Chea: KQ

Seal spiked one of two outs on the river to claim the win, tipping his stack over the 100,000 mark in the process.

Emanuel Seal104,000
Pip Chea67,000
Emanuel “Curly” Seal

Level 5: 300/600 (600)

Triple barrel, Tieu streets of value

Ben Tieu put Will Bolton into a tough spot with a river shove in an aggressive hand between the two.

After an UTG+1 limp, action folded to Bolton in the cutoff, who raised to 2,000. Emanuel Seal called from the button before Tieu re-raised from the big blind to 6,800, getting only one caller, Bolton.

Flop: J7A

Flop action saw Tieu continue for 7,500, a moment passed before Bolton calmly called to see the 8 on the turn.

A larger bet of 18,000 from Tieu induced a longer period of thinking time from Bolton, who picked out calling chips and slid them forward.

River: 9

Tieu pulled the trigger and moved all-in, covering Bolton, who slid his hand into the muck, allowing Tieu to win the pot without showdown.

Ben Tieu108,300
Will Bolton29,800
Will Bolton

Doug digs himself a hole

Doug Keim remains above start stack despite losing a chuck of his chips to Stacked Social Managing Director, Andrew Michael.

A raise from the tournament big-stack failed to bother much of the table, as Pierce Hynes’ UTG raise to 1,200 saw four callers take to a flop.

The Q29 on display saw all players check to the 9 on the turn.

Keim had a stab, leading for 3,000 to yield calls from Hynes and Michael.

The river was the 9, Keim bet 6,000 and Michael was the only caller.

Michael: Q7
Keim: 42

Andrew Michael78,000
Doug Kiem57,000
Andrew Michael

Stacked DeepStacks stack stats

We hope you enjoyed that alliterative tongue-twister, in the mean time there are some players twisting the screws to grow their chip counts, and it’s Pierce Hynes leading the way with almost double the start stack amount after the first three levels of play!

Pierce Hynes96,600
Mini Chea80,300
Gabriel Xiourouppa79,600
Benji Fono73,000
Roman Priplotski69,500
Shane Baxter67,500
David Abram66,900
Pierce Hynes

Level 4: 300/500 (500)

Break time!

After three levels totalling two hours of play, our players are taking a ten-minute breather.

We’ll update you with some of the top stack counts in the room as players continue to register, tipping the total number of entries above 40 now!

Ngo blow

Since re-entering, Andy Ngo has seen chips fly back and forth from his stack. In one hand we saw special guest, Joe Hachem open to 1,000. The raise proved ineffective, as the table went five ways to a flop of 4K10.

Check, check, check, check, check.

Turn: 5

All five players checked it through once more to the 7 river and no betting took place on fifth street either.

Ngo announced, “Five.”

Much to his surprise, his 85 was best.

A few hands later, the last prior to the break. A three-bet pot saw Ngo up against Gary Lim. We caught the action from the turn with the board showing 510510. Ngo bet 3,700 and Lim made the call.

The river was the 6. Ngo checked to Lim who over-bet 15,000 into a pot of 12,800. Ngo tanked before calling to see Lim’s 108. Ngo mucked his hand before verbally declaring he had pocket Aces.

Lim defended his play in conversation with Ngo, “You three-bet me every hand! I thought you three-bet me very very light!”

Ngo responded, “Ten-Eight off-suit, I’ll add that to my notes on you!”

Gary Lim62,900
Andy Ngo23,000
Gary Lim

Benji marshals his chips

Benji Fono has won a pot against Gary Lim after defending his big blind.

Lim opened to 1,000 from the cut-off and found a call from the small blind and from Fono.

Action checked to Lim on a flop of 4AJ, where he continued for 1,000. The small blind folded and Fono fired a check-raise to 3,500 and Lim called.

Fono down-bet to 2,500 on the K turn and Lim called once again. The river 6 saw Fono lead for 10,000 and Lim tanked before matching the wager.

Fono turned over his 44 to see it was the winner as Lim mucked his hand.

Benji Fono73,100
Gary Lim40,000
Benji Fono

Level 3: 200/400

Ngo KO

Andy Ngo is the first the be knocked out in the Main Event.

Nursing a below-average stack, Ngo opened the action on Table 2 with a raise of 1,000. Gabriel Xiourouppa bumped it up to 3,000 and Ngo called.

On a flop of 284, Ngo placed his remaining chips in to the middle and was quickly called.

Xiourouppa: QQ
Ngo: 43

The runout followed 6,2 to confirm the first elimination of the tournament.

Gabriel Xiourouppa83,000
Gabriel Xiourappa

Tieu pair

Chris Tika and Ben Tieu got involved in a hand together. Tika opened from UTG to 1,500 and found calls from Sandy Sinclair from UTG+1, Ben Tieu on the button, and Kit Manoel who defended his big blind.

On 9JK, Tika continued for 1,500 and got two callers, with only Manoel letting go of his hand. The turn: A prompted Tika to slow down and check, Sinclair checked also, leaving Tieu to pull the trigger and fire 6,000 into the middle. Tika called, and Sinclair folded.

The river fell the 5, to which both players checked and went to showdown.

Tieu: J9
Tika: KQ

Ben Tieu47,000
Chris Tika42,000
Ben Tieu

Well played, Gabe

Gabriel Xiourouppa made sure he wasn’t going anywhere after Roman Priplotski lead with aggression in successive hands.

After barrelling two streets to win the previous hand: 2,500 on the flop and then 15,000 on the turn, Priplotski was making his presence felt. Xiourouppa decided to get involved in the action for the next hand, calling Priplotski’s raise of 800, and exclaiming “Did you raise it!?”

On the flop of J8Q, both players checked. The turn was the 10, when Xiourouppa lead for 400. Priplotski called and the river came the 2.

Xiourouppa bet once more, and found no callers, showing the table 97 and saying to Priplotski, “I did warn you!”

Gabriel Xiourouppa64,000
Roman Priplotski56,000
Gabriel Xiourouppa

Level 2: 200/300

“You weren’t worried about the royal?”

You’d usually hope that holding quads is enough to feel confident in winning the pot, however Nick Williams questioned this of Shane Baxter as he raked in the pot.

Baxter simply flatted from the button with 1010 after Williams opened to 600 from the cut-off. Ben Tieu defended his big blind to see the flop spread 10K3. Action checked to Baxter who bet 1,000 and found Tieu as his only caller.

The turn action went check-check as the board ran out A,10, to which Tieu lead for 1,700 on the river. Baxter raised to 7,000, baiting a call from Tieu, who then mucked his hand once shown the second nuts!

Shane Baxter67,000
Ben Tieu42,000

Early exchanges

The first hand of the day on Table 3 saw a flopped straight for Doug Keim after opening his 76 and landing the nuts on 598 to steal some chips from Nick Williams.

This prompted Williams to three-bet Keim’s open the very next hand, upping the initial raise of 600 up to 2,000. Keim called as little action saw an Ace-King high board develop where action checked through on the river as the two showed down their hands.

Williams: A2
Keim: K5

It was pair-over-pair to help Williams get one back on Keim.

Nick Williams54,000
Doug Keim47,500


Let’s get it on! Play is well and truly underway for the centrepiece event of the series schedule.

A few notables have found their way to their seats including Emanuel “Curly” Seal, who is fresh off the back of multiple cashes in the WPT Australia series on the Gold Coast. Zhifan Ye has stationed himself on Table 1, fresh off the back of a $49,392 cash for seventh place in the same WPT Australia High Roller event Adelaide-native Joe Sandaev holds the title for.

After a short delay, cards are in the air with two tables in play to begin the Stacked Social DeepStacks Main Event!

Level 1: 100/200

Good afternoon and welcome to PokerMedia Australia’s live coverage of the 2022 Stacked Social DeepStacks Adelaide Main Event.

DeepStacks Adelaide is Stacked’s second major tournament series of the year following the hugely successful Stacked Poker Championship in February, which attracted a record Main Event field of 181 entries. The winner of that event was none other than Joe Sandaev – undoubtedly Australia’s man of the moment right now on the back of his heroics at the recent WPT Australia on the Gold Coast.

An Adelaide local, Sandaev won two events at WPT Australia – the $2,500 8-max and the $10k High Roller – and reached another two side events to dominate the festival leaderboard, earning himself a $5k WPT Main Tour passport in the process.

No doubt Sandaev will be among the players to beat in this week’s Main Event.

PMA will be bringing you all the live action as it happens over the next four days while we soak in the chic surrounds of the Stacked poker room, located in the heart of North Adelaide.

Play kicks off at 2pm local time so be sure to stay tuned to as we go in search of our inaugural DeepStacks Adelaide Main Event champion.

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