LIVE REPORTING: 2022 WSOP Circuit Gold Coast Opening Event Day 2

Michael Clair takes chip lead into Day 3 for WSOP Circuit Gold Coast Opening Event Final Table; that’s a wrap!

Three days of play have culminated in our Final Table for the first event of the series. Midway through Level 27, Aaron Purdue’s departure started the process for the remaining nine players to bag and tag their chips for tomorrow.

With action generally fast paced throughout the day, from an uneventful bubble period, to regular breaking of tables, it wasn’t until the final two levels where action began to slow.

It’s an all-star cast, with plenty of experience, headlining our final nine. WPT Australia Mystery Bounty Champion, Chris Tran, as well as Australian poker veteran, Billy Argyros, are joined alongside chip leader, Michael Clair, in battling it out for a WSOP ring on Day 3.

Up top, as well as the coveted ring, is $73,202 in cash for our winner, paying down to $6,386 for our first elimination tomorrow. Sunday will also see Day 2 of our Event 3 $1,500 Action Clock take place, with Day 1 currently playing out with a field of exactly 200 entries. Top 30 will be in the money there with $66,581 up top for the winner.

Play will recommence at 11:30am AEST Sunday on our Feature Table, and PokerMedia Australia will have all the bust-outs and double-ups for your readership tomorrow. Thank you for joining us today, and we’ll see you all again very soon!

Image courtesy of The Star Gold Coast


1Mikael Larsson2,105,000
2Chris Zenonos1,070,000
3Anthony Harach2,370,000
4Billy Argyros1,125,000
5Anthony Cierco1,325,000
6Andrej Senic1,970,000
7Chin Wang660,000
8Michael Clair2,495,000
9Chris Tran2,175,000



Aaron Purdue eliminated in 10th place ($5,142)

There we have it ladies and gentlemen, the final elimination of the day will take us through to Day 3 tomorrow. The victim was Aaron Purdue in a hand against Mikael Larsson.

Larsson opened from the button to 160,000, only for Purdue to rip all of his chips in for a total of 645,000, which was quickly snapped by player Larsson.

Larsson: A3
Purdue: Q10

The board ran dry for Purdue, with Ace-high being good on 785J2.

Mikael Larsson2,105,000
Aaron PurdueBUSTED!
Aaron Purdue

Level 27: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)

Martin Ward eliminated in 11th place ($5,142)

We are now on the bubble for Final Table, with Martin Ward’s departure following a flip between he and Chris Zenonos.

Once again, the action took place prior to the flop when Ward made the move all-in for 645,000, with Zenonos promptly making the call.

Ward: 33
Zenonos: A10

The board sided with Zenonos when the window card provided a pair on the 9102 flop.

The runout couldn’t hand Ward the two outer on 4,5.

One more elimination and we’ll be at Final Table!

Chris Zenonos1,350,000
Martin WardBUSTED!
Martin Ward

Purdue for a double

Play is quickly moving on Table 8, which is five-handed. As we inch closer to the bubble we are seeing short stacked players looking for a quick double-up to keep in the game.

Aaron Purdue jammed pre-flop from under-the-gun for 555,000, finding a call from Anthony Cierco on the button.

Cierco: A9
Purdue: 109

Purdue found top pair on the flop 3810, then the turn came the 4 and completed with the 8 for a sweet double despite being dominated pre-flop.

Aaron Purdue1,250,000
Anthony Cierco2,540,000
Aaron Purdue

Level 26: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)

Robert Damelian eliminated in 12th place ($5,142)

Robert Damelian shoved all-in for his remaining 700,000 from UTG+1. Anthony Cierco called him from the button to go heads-up with Damelian at risk.

Cierco: 1010
Damelian: AJ

Damelian failed to connect on the board of KKQ58, shaking Cierco’s hand after he was eliminated.

Anthony Cierco2,845,000
Robert DamelianBUSTED!

Liam Murray eliminated in 13th place ($4,210)

After losing 125,000 by folding to a three-bet of 375,000 from Michael Clair, Liam Murray got the remainder of his chips in the middle a short time later.

Billy Argyros matched Murray’s all-in wager of 620,000 to see they were flipping.

Argyros: 88
Murray: AJ

Board: 785Q9

Argyros scooped the healthy pot to confirm Murray’s departure from the tournament.

Billy Argyros1,480,000
Liam MurrayBUSTED!
Liam Murray

Harach attack

Anthony Harach has continued his spree of eliminating players, this time finding Jozef Ricciardello as his next victim.

All of Ricciardello’s 140,000 found its way to the middle and Harach elected to call.

Harach: A10
Ricciardello: A6

Any hope Ricciardello had was dashed on the 9J7Q5 spread, ending his run in 14th place.

Anthony Harach1,650,000
Jozef RicciardelloBUSTED!
Jozef Ricciardello

Level 25: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)

Scenes from the last two tables

There’s plenty of banter about as the action slows, nearing the Final Table of the first event of the series. Spirits are high as plenty of laughs are being shared, especially by some of the veterans on the Feature Table, namely Martin Ward and Billy Argyros.

Time to Lei-ve

Yang Lei has been eliminated in 15th place, falling shortly after losing a majority of his stack in a hand against Chin Wang

Yang opened to 80,000 from UTG to begin the hand, when all folded except for Wang on the button.

The flop A56 prompted Lei to continue for 50,000 and again Wang called.

Turn: 5

Lei then bet 135,000 and Wang called to see the 7 on the river.

Yang fired 260,000 on the river before Wang moved all-in for over 400,000 total and Yang quickly folded.

A short time later, Lei hit the rail, bringing to an end his deep run.

Michael Clair’s 99 held against Lei’s 77 on 1062J8 to finish the job.

Chin Wang1,200,000
Yang Lei


John Iskra has been felled in 16th place.

Aaron Purdue made the call when Iskra moved in for a total of 155,000 and the two went to showdown.

Purdue: JJ
Iskra: 55

Board: A3276

Aaron Purdue1,500,000
John IskraBUSTED!
John Iskra

Level 24: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)

Faded Fayad

Kahl Fayad has fallen in 19th place after losing big hands in quick succession.

The killer blow landed when he got his short stack of 115,000 in against Chin Wang’s A10 which held on 2K29K.

Chin Wang740,000
Khal FayadBUSTED!

Back-to-back doubles

Chris Zenonos has gone from having 130,000 in chips at the break to over 700,000.

One hand saw him bink a straight with Q-J to get above 300,000, and the very next had him flop a full-house with 33 on 366JQ against Liam Murray.

Chris Zenonos710,000
Liam Murray330,000

20 to 1: A gallery

Back from dinner

Our players have enjoyed a 30-minute dinner break and are back to play down to our final table.

20 runners remain across the final three tables, so let’s do some stocktake and see how everybody is sitting. Average stack currently stands at 764,000 and our chip leader is Anthony Harach with 1,555,000.

Table 1

1Liam Murray680,000
2Jozef Ricciardello770,000
3Chris Tran665,000
4Chin Wang195,000
5Billy Argyros1,320,000
6Khal Fayad925,000
9Chris Zenonos135,000

Table 7

1Anthony Harach1,555,000
2John Iskra455,000
5Martin Ward965,000
6Michael Clair1,265,000
7Robert Damelian335,000
8Yang Lei1,315,000
9Aaron Purdue535,000

Table 8

1Andrej Senic1,485,000
2Anthony Cierco130,000
3Kiko Puyat505,000
5Mikael Larsson1,230,000
6Lucas Cullen375,000
8Charbel Boustani455,000

Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)

Taking the Senic route

Andrej Senic has climbed into a mountainous stack count, knocking out Ryan Stevenson in another case of all-in pre.

Senic opened from under-the-gun, raising to 51,000. Stevenson then pushed all-in for 422,000 and Senic called..

Stevenson: 77
Senic: AK

Board: 699A6

The board supported Senic in attempted to connect either of his over cards to eliminate Stevenson in 21st position.

Andrej Senic1,540,000
Ryan StevensonBUSTED!

Ren runs colder

Yizhen Ren has now been eliminated in 23rd place.

Moments after his beat against Liam Murray, a reported saltwater crocodile attack occurred on the same table.

Billy “The Croc” Argyros snapped up the remaining 183,000 chips from Ren’s stack.

No slow-rolling or high-rolling, only death-rolling.

Argyros: 88
Ren: 44

Board: J7AAK

Billy Argyros1,280,000
Yizhen RenBUSTED!

Ren runs cold

Yizhen Ren has had a turn of fortunes in the wrong direction.

The hijack opened to 55,000 and was met with an all-in from Ren for 330,000 and Liam Murray made the short-call. The hijack cleared the road for the two to go to showdown with Murray at risk

Murray: 99
Ren: AQ

Board: 710898

Murray turning a set and rivering a boat was good enough to keep him in the game, relegating Ren to well below average stack.

Liam Murray520,000
Yizhen Ren183,000
Liam Murray

Level 22: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)

Ward are you thinking?

*Expletive redacted*

That was the term expressed by Martin Ward when he thought he was eliminated after he got all the chips in the middle pre-flop with his KK against Mina Elias’ QJ.

The flop came 9610 handing Ward the flush draw, but also giving Elias an open-ended straight draw, albeit with fewer outs once discounting the spades, as well as the two Kings in Ward’s hand.

Needing a non-spade Eight or King, the 4 turn was neither, and nor was the river 7. Though something made Ward think that the river did complete Elias’ straight draw, leaving the rest of the table, and our reporters, to question themselves upon hearing Ward’s obscene cry of anguish.

Despite the confusion, Ward got the double-up.

Martin Ward545,000
Mina Elias425,000
Martin Ward

Follet fallen

Antoine Follet has been knocked out in 24th place, eliminated by Yizhen Ren.

Follet moved in for his last 125,000 during the pre-flop action, then Ren moved all-in over the top, garnering folds from the rest of the table as they went heads-up to showdown.

Ren: KQ
Follet: K2

Board: 44J510

Yizhen Ren470,000
Antoine FolletBUSTED!
Yizhen Ren

Goltz to go

Shem Goltz’ Opening Event run has come to a close, becoming the latest victim of Yang Lei’s rampage.

Lei limped from the button and the blinds checked, including Goltz in the big.

Flop: 48Q

Action checked to Lei who bet 35,000, the small blind folded and Goltz moved all-in for a total of 112,000.

Lei called with 104 and Goltz turned over Q7. In a rough runout for Goltz, the following cards came 2,9 to hand Lei the backdoor flush

Goltz was eliminated in 28th place, collecting $2,003 for his efforts.

Yang Lei1,840,000
Shem GoltzBUSTED!
Shem Goltz

Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)


Yang Lei has eliminated Troy McLean in a brutal cooler.

McLean moved all-in for his last 240,000 from UTG+1 and Lei snap called from the big blind.

Lei: KK
McLean: QQ

Board: A9574

Nothing on the board managed to save McLean as he was felled in 33rd position.

Yang Lei1,728,000
Troy McLeanBUSTED!

Duncan dunked

Duncan McKinnon has been eliminated in 34th position, going down to Kiko Puyat.

The all-in and call was pre-flop and the two showed their cards.

Puyat: AA
McKinnon: 104

Board: JQ34A

Kiki Puyat438,000
Duncan McKinnonBUSTED!
Kiko Puyat

Flush over flush

Preflop action on Table 6 saw Troy McLean open from the hijack for 30,000. Jozef Ricciardello made the call from the button and Aaron Purdue came along from the small blind.

Flop: Q103

Purdue checked and McLean lead for 60,000 and got calls from both other players.

Turn: J

Purdue checked once more, McLean bet 210,000, Ricciardello moved all-in and McLean made the call.

Ricciardello: K9
McLean: Q7

River: 5

Jozef Ricciardello1,125,000
Troy McLean240,000
Jozef Ricciardello

Khal Climbing

Khal Fayad is firming as one of the heavy chip leaders after knocking out Sheng Ye.

Fayad opened to 26,000 from the cutoff and then called when Ye ripped the rest of his 68,000 chips from the big blind.

Ye: 44
Fayad: Q6

Board: 2658J

Khal Fayad833,000
Khal Fayad

Level 20: 10,000/15,000 (15,000)

Croc bites

Billy “The Croc” Argyros is in the building, seeing to the elimination of Gary Benson.

Settling in from a broken table onto the Feature Table, Benson saw Argyros’ array of crocodile paraphernalia and jokingly asked to “kick the football around.”

Benson then moved all-in for 196,000 and Argyros remarked, “Is this a set up or what?” and snap-called from the big blind and turned over AK.

Benson needed some luck with his QJ, but the 8K399 failed to do so, seeing Benson eliminated in 36th place.

Billy “The Croc” Argyros428,000
Gary BensonBUSTED!

Making the correct Khal

Shuai Chang moved all-in on the river with a complete board showing KK72Q.

With about 180,000 in the pot, Chang placed his remaining 120,000 in the middle and Fayad made the call.

Fayad: JJ
Chang: 99

When Chang asked why Fayad called, he was met with the response, “I knew you don’t have the King, the flush or the Queen!”

Khal Fayad625,000
Shuai ChangBUSTED!

Lei-n pickings

Ashley Brown has found a double-up after moving all-in pre-flop for 77,000 over the top of a 22,000 open from Yang Lei.

The two went to showdown with Brown at risk.

Lei: K4
Brown: J9

Board: 338J10

Yang Lei

Level 19: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)

Ren flying

Chris Zenonos has lost a chunk of his stack to Yizhen Ren after a slow hand on the Feature Table.

After an open from Antoine Follet to 20,000, both Ren and Zenonos called to see a board run out 74K97 as all players checked both the flop and turn.

The river saw Zenonos bet 50,000 and find Ren as the only caller.

Ren: A7
Zenonos: Q9

Yizhen Ren320,000
Chris Zenonos195,000


“I trapped him!”

This was the declaration from Liam Murray after taking a pot against Mitch Bognar.

We caught action from the turn with a board showing AAA8.

Murray checked from the big blind to Bognar who lead for 30,000. Murray fired a check-raise for 100,000 and Bognar let his hand go. Murray them emphatically slammed his A7 onto the table.

Liam Murray

No culling of Cullen

Lucas Cullen survived a flip after moving all in pre-flop for his remaining 54,000 with AQ.

Sheng Ye made the call with 99 and looked good after a desirable flop of 347.

The turn A gave Cullen a pair for his over cards and held on the 2 river to double-up.

Lucas Cullen117,000
Sheng Ye142,000
Lucas Cullen

Level 18: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

Dylan waned

Action on Table 7 began with an open from Ryan Stevenson and a three-bet from Dylan Wayne. Stevenson four-bet and Wayne called to see a flop.

On 43J Stevenson lead for 100,000 and Wayne moved all-in for his remaining 230,000 to which Stevenson snap-called.

Stevenson: AA
Wayne: KK

The runout followed 5,6 to send Wayne home as one of the first in the money.

Ryan Stevenson762,000
Dylan WayneBUSTED!
Ryan Stevenson

Quick bubble

The fact that we were on the money bubble went largely under the radar. An anti-climactic celebration took place as we lost Alan Dang in 59th place.

Chris Tran raised to 16,000 and Dang responded with an all-in for 38,000. Tran called and the two went to showdown with Dang at risk.

Dang: 77
Tran: A7

The board ran out 3AQ6J to send the rest of the field into at least a $1,509 payday!

Chris Tran705,000
Alan DangBUSTED!

Early Victor-ies

Day 1A chip leader, Victor Jaucian, found himself on the good side of a cooler against Ziyue Zheng.

All the chips got in the middle pre-flop as the two went to showdown.

Jaucian: AA
Zheng: KK

Board: J8477

Zheng’s 166,000 went to Jaucian as we have our first elimination of the day.

Victor Jaucian692,000
Ziyue ZhengBUSTED!
Victor Jaucian

Let’s roll.

Good morning all, as we welcome you back to the WSOP Circuit Gold Coast here at The Star! This series is building in waves, with Day 1B of the Opening Event gathering more than twice the numbers as Day 1A, and it’s only going to get bigger. 

Day 2 is expected to begin with a splash as 65 players return with their first goal being to make the money. The top 58 will be getting paid today so it won’t be long before we’re there. Min cash will be $1,509 and grows all the way to a handsome $73,202 up top.

Let’s get sizzling and dive right in!



Level 17: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)

Day 2 seat draw

Play will resume at 11:30am AEST, with recommencing blinds at 4,000/8,000 (8,000). Please make sure you have your photo ID and Star Club Card for verification purposes, and if you have any questions regarding your seat allocation, please approach the Star Poker Gold Coast team. Best of luck to all players and may the flop be with you!

To assist our WPT Live Reporting Team, please ensure your PMA ID cards are kept close to your stack, face-up and visible at all times.

Players are also asked to move their PMA IDs with them when broken or balanced to another table, and they must be left on the table to be collected after an elimination and at the end of day’s play.

Table 1 (Feature Table)

PMA IDSeatNameChips
01011Gary Benson210,000
01022Dylan Desmarchelier71,000
01033Chris Tran349,000
01044Chin Wang404,000
01055Hussein Hassan130,000
01066Alan Dang27,000
01077Dexter McMillian75,000
01088Dan Smiljanic139,000
01099Chris Zenonos125,000

Table 6

PMA IDSeatNameChips
06011Nikki Turner119,000
06022Mina Elias189,000
06044James Kabourakis200,000
06055Debri Kutrolli132,000
06066Aaron Purdue215,000
06077Paul Eden185,000
06088Tu Le62,000
06099Ashley Brown131,000

Table 7

PMA IDSeatNameChips
07011Todor Kondevski212,000
07033Shem Goltz315,000
07044Ryan Stevenson159,000
07055Martin Ward383,000
07066Dylan Wayne302,000
07077Robert Damelian231,000
07088Mogens Hansen321,000
07099Nick Wright247,000

Table 8

PMA IDSeatNameChips
08011Andrej Senic227,000
08022Azim Popatia168,000
08033Sheng Ye233,000
08044Mina Gerges146,000
08055Shuai Chang222,000
08077Chad Awerbuch167,000
08088Steven Hoek91,000
08099Anthony Hachem116,000

Table 9

PMA IDSeatNameChips
09011Jaisan Patel673,000
09022Ziyue Zheng166,000
09033Kai Hung100,000
09044Victor Jaucian524,000
09055Anthony Harach367,000
09077Connie Graham427,000
09088Troy McLean211,000
09099Matthew Evans96,000

Table 14

PMA IDSeatNameChips
14011Billy Argyros227,000
14022Lucas Cullen129,000
14033Yang Lei603,000
14044Vlad Barbu102,000
14066Yizhen Ren114,000
14077Neb Blanusa213,000
14088Hongbin Guo73,000
14099Michael Clair557,000

Table 15

PMA IDSeatNameChips
15011Mikael Larsson176,000
15022Liam Murray150,000
15033Charbel Boustani189,000
15055Anthony Cierco195,000
15066Kiko Puyat337,000
15077Errolyn Strang286,000
15088Mitchell Bognar457,000
15099Wenjie Sun164,000

Table 16

PMA IDSeatNameChips
16011Luke Jackson246,000
16022Zhifan Ye462,000
16033Jozef Rilliardello409,000
16044Bruno da Silva125,000
16055Antoine Follet299,000
16066Duncan McKinnon230,000
16088Khal Fayad456,000
16099John Iskra150,000

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