LIVE REPORTING: WPT League Championship Sydney Main Event Day 1A

Fadi Tabet bags chip lead after WPT League Championship Day 1A; that’s a wrap!

Fadi Tabet has walked away from eight hours of play with the top stack heading to Day 2 of the Main Event. Spurring 12 levels, Tabet has amassed 564,000 in chips, over 11x starting amount.

In his chat with PokerMedia Australia, Tabet described the feeling as “Amazing!”

A regular at The Pavilion Poker Room, Sydneysider Tabet has found recent success at the venue, having been crowned a victor of the Teams Event this series. After playing a an aggressive style, Tabet plans to take the same strategy into Sunday’s Day 2.

Next best on the leaderboard was Peter Brikha with 491,000, and Birdal Ilbay and Adrian Pacheco, both tied for third with 477,000.

We’ll be back on deck from 5:30 AEDT on Thursday to continue our Main Event Coverage with all the play from Day 1B. Bye for now!

Tabet-s are paid

Fadi Tabet has scooped a huge pot late in the day. Three all-ins saw Tabet’s AQ drawing to a flush on a flop of K28 against two opponents. One player held KQ and the other with K8.

The turn brought no change to any player, with the 9 leaving Tabet with one more chance to hit. The river came the 7, allowing Tabet to claim two scalps and rake in a huge pot to soar him into the chip lead!

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

Terrible for Ivan

Adrian Pacheco has collected a monster pot in a crazy boat-over-boat hand.

Preflop saw Ivan Alloshe defend from the small blind after Pacheco raised from under the gun to 6,000.

Flop: 34A

Alloshe checked-called Pacheco’s flop bet of 3,000.

Turn: 3

River: 9

Both players checked the turn, but action picked up on the river with Alloshe leading for 20,000. Pacheco then min-clicked to 40,000. Alloshe moved all-in and was quickly called.

Pacheco: 44
Alloshe: A3

Adrian Pacheco495,000
Ivan AllosheBUSTED!

Post Marrone

Steve Marrone has delivered a double-up to Mark Green.

An all-in and call preflop between the two lead to a dream flop arriving for the at-risk Green, with his last 41,000 sent to the middle.

Green: 33
Marone: A8

Board: 99327

Mark Green88,000
Steve Marrone24,000

Level 11: 1,500/3,000 (3,000)

No tails for Birdal

“If it lands on tails, I’ll call.”

That was Birdal Ilbay’s intended strategy when faced with a four-bet jam.


Ilbay still called.

Ilbay’s pocket Jacks looked in good shape against the player with pocket nines, who had shoved for 137,500 on top of Ilbays three-bet to 12,5000.

The Jacks held to hand Illbay a scalp as well as a huge pay day.

Birdal Ilbay325,000

The final count, down

Fadi Tabet290,500
Adrian Pacheco280,000
George Alam266,000
Daniel Trivuncevic249,500
Elie Boustany223,000
Glenn Marsom221,000

Level 10: 1,500/2,500 (2,500)

“I don’t believe you!”

Those were the words from Emmanuel Derecho following Gregory Tzanakes’ remark, “You got me on the river.”

With a board that ended up resulting in Q8K5Q, both flop and river action checked through. The only post flop betting took place on the turn, with Tzanakes betting 8,000 and gaining a call from Tzanakes.

With Derecho showing his rivered trips with QJ, he refused to believe Tzanakes’ implication that he was behind until the last cards, sparking some friendly banter between the two.!

Zalac Rams his chips into the wrong guy

Our reporter walked past Table 5 to see Jayden Zalac with a bet of 30,000 in front of him, with around 30,000 already in the pot. Ram Lakshamasamy tanked before making the call.

Board: 3JK106

Lakshamasamy: QJ
Zalac: 97

Ram Lakshamasamy178,000
Jayden Zalac85,000
Ram Lakshamasamy

Level 9: 1,000/2,000 (2,000)

Greenbay packing

Johnny Greenbay was left to pack his things after being knocked out by Henry Tran.

We caught the action from the flop where the board showed 94J with 20,000 in the middle. Greenbay moved all-in into the preflop agressor, Tran, who promptly called the 21,000 bet.

Tran: JJ
Greenbay: KJ

Turn: 10
River: 2

Henry Tran148,000
Johnny GreenbayBUSTED!
Henry Tran

Back and forth

Gregory Tzanakes and Ling Liu have exchanged blows over on Table 1. One hand saw Ling open fold KK after a river raise from Tzanakes on a board of 8QJ59. Tzanakes showed the 10to show he had the goods.

Shortly after, Liu got some revenge, Tzanakes raised preflop and was called by Liu on the button and the big blind.

With action going check check to Liu on a flop of K77, she fired 4,000 into the middle. Tzanakes was the only caller to a turn of 2. Tzanakes then lead for 10,000 and Liu called.

The river A brought about another bet from Tzanakes, this time to the tune of 18,000.

Liu called to see Tzanakes had 98, Liu’s hero call with 44 was correct.

Ling Liu83,000
Gregory Tzanakes65,000
Ling Liu

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


A crazy hand has seen Luke Camilleri eliminated, with his chips going the direction of Jayden Zalac.

Action opened with Camilleri raising from under the gun to 5,000. Zalac re-popped with a bet of 13,000, to which Camilleri jammed, with Zalac snap-calling and the two turning up their hands.

Zalac: AA
Camilleri: QQ

With Camilleri needing some help, he got it in the form of a Q67 flop, and the turn 5 made no difference. Incredibly, the dealer peeled off the A on the river to send Camilleri to the rail.

Jayden Zalac140,500
Luke CamilleriBUSTED!
Jayden Zalac

Level 7: 600/1,200 (1,200)

Bas drops the hammer

Bas Hegge has effected a double knockout, sending two opponents to the rail following a crazy hand where everyone had a piece of the board.

Hegge opened to 2,500 with AQ. One player then jammed for 7,500 with Q10 and another moved in for 15,000 with AJ.

Board: J6310K

The backdoor straight handed Hegge the absolute nuts and a nice chip up as two more players headed to the rail.

Bas Hegge96,400
Bas hegge

Basle’s back

After a fruitless beginning to his Main Event, Harry Basle’s second bullet is proving far more enjoyable, almost tripling his starting stack in a short period of time. An opponent’s large open sizing was simply flatted by Basle with his AQ.

On the A55 flop, Basle called the all-in bet of 30,000 to see he was good against his opponent’s 1010 when the final two cards completed the board with 6,9. Basle collected the nice pot, knocking out a player in the process.

Harry Basle138,000
Harry Basle

Level 6: 500/1,000 (1,000)

Hey, muck Arena

Ling Liu wishes she was able to muck her hand against Claudio Arena, but after a standard defend in the big blind, it was impossible to get away after flopping a monster.

Barely nestled into her chair after registering late, Liu was faced with a limp from Arena under-the-gun, followed by a raise from Gregory Tzanakes from the button to 2,000. When the small blind made the call, Liu was priced in to call with K2, and Arena also called.

The flop came 227, two which both blinds and Arena checked to Tzanakes who lead for 3,000. The small blind folded before Ling check-raised to 8,500. Arena then piled over 70,000 into the middle forcing Tzanakes to fold before Liu called.

Arena turned over 77 leaving Liu in bad shape. The runout followed 9,J to ensure Liu’s first bullet lasted no longer than a singular hand.

Claudio Arena126,000
Claudio Arena

Pacheco rising

Adrian Pacheco has jumped into the action, and has a monster stack in front of him. Our reporter caught a hand involving Pacheco and two other players. Michael Jalc was all-in for his last 700 in chips and Pacheco was involved in a side pot with Elias Mansour.

Mansour lead the turn with the board displaying 6845. Pacheco raised the 8,000 bet up to 20,000 and Mansour moved all in for a total of 49,200. Pacheco made the call to see that they’d be at least chopping the side pot.

Pacheco: A8
Mansour: A8
Jalc: AK

The river was neither heart nor a King, instead the 5 sent Jalc to the re-entry desk.

Adrian Pacheco212,800
Elias Mansour54,500
Michael JalcBUSTED!
Adrian Pacheco

Level 5: 400/800 (800)

Basle Busted

We caught a hand where a short-stacked Harry Basle three-bet jammed over an open and a call on Table 1.

Joseph Wu raised the action to 1,500 from under-the-gun and found a caller from Gregory Tzarekes in middle position. Basle moved all-in for 11,000 from the hijack and Wu re-jammed.

Tzanakes moved out of the way, open folding 88 and the two still remaining in the hand went to showdown preflop.

Wu: 1010
Basle: AK

Board: 37Q102

The runout gave no help to Basle, only improving Wu’s hand from a pair to a set. The set gave Basle the chance of a running broadway straight, but blanked out on the river to find the rail.

Joseph Wu75,300
Harry BasleBUSTED!
Joseph Wu

Don’t be Alam-ed, but there’s a huge chip leader

George Alam has managed to more than triple his starting stack to sit well atop the rankings so far. After only three levels, he sits just shy of 170,000, well clear of next best Daniel Trivuncevic.

Unofficial Top 5 Chip Counts

George Alam168,400
Daniel Trivuncevic114,700
Ali Ayoubi99,000
Birdal Ilbay97,000
Dony Gurgees93,600
George Alam

Level 4: 300/600 (600)

Break it up

After two hours, and three levels of play. Our 95 players are headed to a ten minute break. We’ll go around and get some counts!

Ali-n, Ali-n!

Another cooler played out on Table 5, resulting in the elimination of Ali Aria.

We caught action on the flop with the board showing 3K3, Aria fired a continuation bet of 7,500 after having raised preflop. Ali Ayoubi fired a raise to 20,000 to which Aria moved all-in and was called.

Ayoubi: 53
Aria: KJ

The turn and river gave no help to the at-risk Aria, with the finals cards coming the Q,8.

Ali Ayoubi88,600
Ali Ayoubi

More at stake

On top of the prize money, trophy, and ring up for grabs, points for the Player of the Series are there for the taking, with a few players on our top ten leaderboard in the Pavilion Poker Room here so far for Day 1A.

Tim De Pater, Grael Won, and Dony Gurgees are all seated in the Main Event, whilst Tony Schlemon is fighting for $7,500 top prize in Event #14’s PLO Final Table.

The winner will receive a $10,000 WPT Prime Championship Las Vegas Package, including flights and accommodation, as well as entry into the $1,100 entry event with $2,000,000 in prize money guaranteed.

WPT League Championship – Player of the Series – Current Standings

1Tim De Pater1560
2Steven Huynh1400
3Andriy Chernys1260
4Jim Doumit1150
5Tony Shlemon1070
6Grael Won1050
7George Paravinja870
8Alex E870
9Dony Gurgees830
10Michelle Psarras780
Tony Schlemon

Level 3: 200/400 (400)

Arsn burned

Joe Caristo put the remainder of his short stack into the pot preflop, and found a call from Arsn Younadem.

Younadem: A5
Caristo: J7

Upon the arrival of the 2A9 flop, Caristo stood up from his seat, preparing to leave. The turn and river that followed with 7,J was met with a huge roar from the table as Caristo stood back down and collected his double-up.

The Mock don’t muck

Gregory “The Mock” Tzanakes has found a huge double-up, being granted the good side of a cooler against Joe Caristo.

With the board showing Q1087, Caristo moved all-in on the turn with Q10 against Tzanakes’ AQ, who made the call. A case of top-two versus top-top.

“The Mock” managed to spike the miracle A on the river to form a better two pair, decimating Caristo’s stack in the process.

Gregory Tzanakes68,200
Joe Caristo4,200

Level 2: 200/300

Chopping board

An all-in from Phil Assaf on on Table 3 found a fold from a player claiming to have had a straight-flush draw on a board showing 5368A.

Sione Tuiono made the call to see that he would be chopping the pot, with both players holding the nuts.

Assaf: 97
Tuiono: 97

Both players sit below starting stack, wishing they could have managed the double-up.

Phil Assaf40,500
Sione Tuiono42,300


Play has begun with little action to report early on in Level 1. Players are settling into their seats, as the number of entries continues to rise into the forties and beyond. Some are folding away, waiting for a hand to begin their rise, others are tucking into a healthy fruit salad for an afternoon snack.

Let’s have a look at some of the runners around the field.

Level 1: 100/200

From wherever you’re watching in Australia, New Zealand or around the world, hello and welcome back to PokerMedia Australia!

Our coverage of the Stacked Adelaide Poker Festival Main Event final will commence at 3pm ACST. While you wait, relive the highlights from Day 1A and the Day 1B & Day 1C double-header, check out our latest news articles and other Live Reporting blogs, and give us a like and follow across all our socials to get access to our bonus content.


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