Congratulations Joe Darcy ($12,000), Hijack Poker Festival Main Event Champion!
After starting the final table as the short stack, Joe Darcy has completed the ultimate comeback to defeat Jon Choong heads-up to win the Hijack Poker Festival Main Event!
The 71-year-old businessman is no stranger to success on the felt here in WA, having registered deep runs in both the 2012 and 2013 ANZPT Perth Main Events, but his largest career score was in 2019, when he won $20,000 in the Shark Poker Summer Series Main Event, which was before the current Community Poker Policy guidelines were introduced.
It’s a fact that certainly wasn’t lost on Darcy, who told PokerMedia Australia that the current government regulations were proving counterproductive to the future of the state’s poker industry.
“The way I feel about it, is that these [games] are run, they’re run as a business,” Darcy said. “And the restrictions they have on [the leagues] are curtailing that. I can’t think of many businesses in WA – or even Australia – that are held back so much.”
“The casinos don’t run proper tournaments like this, but these guys do, and I’m very happy to support them.”
Darcy was also quick to praise the efforts of the Hijack Poker team over the last two weeks, as well as his heads-up opponent Jon Choong, who fell agonisingly short of going coast-to-coast after he started the final day as the overall chip leader.
And on the subject of going coast-to-coast, Darcy is definitely on board with the prospects of one day bringing a major tournament series from over East and to showcase all of what WA has to offer.
“It’s not just about coming over to play poker – the weather is fantastic, there’s so much to see and do, you can have a great holiday while you’re here. Everyone I know that’s come over has loved it, and it’s a great place to play. Hopefully it can all help grow poker to where it should be.”
HIJACK POKER FESTIVAL MAIN EVENT – FINAL RESULTS ($200 buy-in, 357 entries, 36 players paid)*
And so, our time here in WA is coming to a end, but before we officially wrap things up, we’d like to thank Steve Burgess and the entire Hijack Poker team for their support, and the entire local poker community for their warmth and hospitality.
Given what we have learned and shared in the last few days, it has been made abundantly clear that there is a strong market for poker in Australia’s largest state, and a stronger case is building in support for changes to benefit the industry.
As anyone who’s been around poker long enough will tell you, there is so much more to the game than the game itself, including the many commercial and tourism opportunities that come with all major poker festivals, both domestic and international.
From what we have seen over East – and indeed, the entire world – in the last three years since the COVID pandemic, prize pool and participation records are constantly being rewritten, so it stands to reason that all of us should be able to reap the benefits, but in doing so, ensuring that there are appropriate checks and balances in place to uphold game security and integrity.
And while there’s still a long way to go, one thing is certain: if you build it, they will come.
Rest assured, PMA remains committed to covering major events across the country, and hopefully, this visit to Western Australia will the first of many, and we look forward to seeing you again on the felt, no matter where you may be.
Until then, thank you so much for your support, and from all of us in Perth, it’s ‘bye for now!
Jon Choong eliminated in 2nd place ($8,000)
In the final hand of the tournament, Jon Choong raised to 500,000 from the button and Joe Darcy defended his big blind before checking his option after the dealer spread a flop of 4♥2♥3♥.
Choong open-shoved for his last 3.7 million and Darcy snap-called.
Darcy’s trap worked to perfection, as Choong was left for dead on the turn after the board completed 2♠, 6♦, and just like that, we have ourselves a champion!
PokerMedia Australia will be back shortly to wrap things up – stick around and we’ll be right back!
C.C. Wang eliminated in 3rd place ($5,200)
We are now heads-up for the inaugural Hijack Poker Festival Main Event title after C.C. Wang was taken out by Jon Choong in third place!
After Darcy chipped away in a few pots to take the chip lead away from Choong, he got out of the way on the button before Choong raised to 400,000; Wang three-bet to 1 million neat and Choong called before he open-shoved with his Q♣10♣ after the flop of 4♦9♦K♠.
Wang insta-called and turned over A♥A♣, but Choong hit his gut-shot with the J♦ on the turn, with the river Q♥ completing the board.
Level 30: 60,000/120,000 (120,000) > Level 31: 80,000/160,000 (160,000)
Richard Larkin eliminated in 4th place ($3,800)
We are now down to our final three after Richard Larkin was felted in fourth place by Jon Choong.
In one of the last hands before the break, Larkin moved all in for his last 615,000 from the cut-off pre-flop and found a call from Choong from the small blind.
Larkin picked up a flush draw to move further ahead after the flop of 3♥J♦4♦, but although the 7♣ on the turn changed nothing, Larkin winced after the dealer peeled off the Q♥ on the river to end his Main Event run.
Our players are now on a 10-minute break, which gave us a chance to get a full round of counts for those of you keeping score at home.
Mehdi Amiri eliminated in 5th place ($2,700)
A massive pot between Mehdi Amiri and C.C. Wang has resulted in another elimination, with action moving very quickly as we head to the next break.
Action folded to Amiri who moved all-in from the button for around 1.4 million with A♠4♥, but Wang iso-shoved with A♥A♣ to force Richard Larkin out of the way.
Wang held firm after the dealer spread the board of 8♣4♣6♦J♣5♠, and after the chips were cut down, Wang had Amiri covered by about 60,000, confirming him as our fifth place finisher.
Ashley Hunt eliminated in 6th place ($1,900)
Now down to five in the Hijack Poker Festival Main Event, with Jon Choong now moving up to more than 3.2 million after taking out Ashley Hunt.
Once again, all the money was in the middle before the flop and we were there to capture the action from the moment the cards were tabled.
Hut was in great ship, but Choong ran him down and filled up on the board of 8♠K♣K♥7♦7♠.
Level 29: 50,000/100,000 (100,000)
Blair Hampton eliminated in 7th place ($1,400)
After Blair Hampton copped a hit against Joe Darcy, Blair Hampton did manage to secure a small double through Jon Choong before Ashley Hunt found himself a much-need lifeline against Mehdi Amiri, winning a crucial flip with K♦8♦ against Amiri’s 2♠2♥ after turning a King on the board of Q♥5♣A♠K♠9♥
Hampton then got the last of his chips in good pre-flop with K♥K♣ against Darcy, who called down with A♠7♠, but Hampton reeled after the flop came down 3♥A♣8♥, with the turn and river repeating J♣, J♥ to give Darcy the better two pair.
Eren Mahsun eliminated in 8th place ($1,100)
Down to seven in the Main Event now, with Eren Mahsun taken out in eighth place by Jon Choong who is now close to three million in chips.
Mahsun moved all-in before the flop holding 9♦9♣, but Choong woke up with 10♠10♣, with no change to either hand on a Queen-high board.
Level 27: 30,000/60,000 (60,000) > Level 28: 40,000/80,000 (80,000)
Scott Roderick eliminated in 9th place ($850)
Scott Roderick has been confirmed as our first elimination from the final table, felted by C.C. Wang in ninth place.
Roderick put the last of his chips on the line with pocket fours, however lost the flip for his tournament life against C.C. Wang’s A-Q, which flopped a Queen for top-top before improving to trips on the river.
Hijack Poker Festival Main Event final table
Ladies and gentlemen, here they are: your final nine of the Hijack Poker Festival Main Event!
Play is about to get back underway very shortly, so without further ado, here’s your official line-up:
Head on over to the Rungood Live Facebook page now to watch all the action!
Note: PMA‘s Live Reporting coverage will now be updated in line with the feature table broadcast (cards-up, 30-minute delay) to ensure game integrity.
Jacky Chan eliminated in 10th place ($700)
The Hijack Poker Festival Main Event final table has now been set after HJPF Festival PLO Champion Jacky Chan met his demise at the hands of Jon Choong.
Play folded around to Chan who ripped in his last 1.2 million effective from the button holding A♦3♣, but Choong snapped out of the small blind with Q♠Q♥.
No change after the runout of 6♦7♠9♠J♦9♣, and just like that ladies and gents, we’re down to nine!
Joon Hyun eliminated in 11th place ($700)
Known for being notoriously camera-shy, Joon Hyun was the first to depart the Main Event, collecting $700 for his 11th place finish.
Action folded to Hyun who open-shoved for his last 310,000 from the cut-off before C.C. Wang snap-called out of the big blind.
Shuffle up and deal!
Cards are now back in the air for the Hijack Poker Festival Main Event!
The clock has been wound back to the start of Level 25 and we’ll be playing through 25-minute levels until we have a winner tonight – and the best part is that tonight’s final table will be live streamed, cards-up with a 30-minute delay, thanks to the team at Rungood Live.
Level 25: 20,000/40,000 (40,000) > Level 26: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)
Bring the action!
From wherever you’re watching in Australia, New Zealand or around the world, good evening and welcome back to PokerMedia Australia as we prepare to bring you the final day of the Hijack Poker Festival Main Event!
Tonight, we find ourselves ringside at the Swan River Hotel, where our 11 remaining players from a starting field of 357. Jon Choong leads the way with 1.665 million, while Richard Larkin and Mehdi Amiri are also north of one million in chips.
We’re also potentially on the verge of crowning our first two-time HJPF Champion for the series, with Blair Hampton and Jacky Chan both making their return, but with an average stack of just 20 bigs, things will be moving very quickly, so keep your browsers locked on us from 6pm AWST and right up until the final river falls as we find out who will be the inaugural HJPF Main Event Champion!
Day 3 seat draw
Play will recommence a,t 6pm tonight at the Swan River Hotel, with the clock wound back to the start of Level 25 (20,000/40,000/40,000).
Please ensure you bring your photo ID for verification purposes, and if you have any questions regarding your seat allocation, simply speak to the friendly Hijack Poker team upon arrival. Best of luck, everyone!