LIVE REPORTING: 2023 WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event Day 2

Zheming Zhu leads final nine; that’s a wrap!

After just eight hours of play today, our original field of 77 players coming into Day 2 has now been shortlisted to nine.

There were a lot of swings in the late levels of the day’s play as the chip lead was wrestled between several players, and the overall chip leader, Michael Falcon, was eliminated in the lead-up to forming the final table.

Ultimately the pole position has now been claimed by Zheming Zhu, whose elimination of Shane Thompson was a real turning point, with the final knock out of Patrick Barba setting him up for tomorrow.

Back L-R: David Luong, Brandon Bailey, Lawrence Stephenson, Zheming Zhu, Adrian Pacheco. Front L-R: Nil Esteve, Andrew Batey, Andrew Cierco, Tu Le

WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event final table

1Zheming ZhuAustralia3,950,00079
2David LuongAustralia3,540,00071
3Nil EsteveAustralia2,400,00048
4Andrew BateyAustralia2,625,00053
5Anthony CiercoFrance2,225,00045
6Tu LeAustralia1,645,00033
7Lawrence StephensonAustralia545,00011
8Adrian PachecoAustralia590,00012
9Brandon BaileyAustralia730,00015

No doubt that all of our final tablists will also be thankful for the relatively early finish tonight, and looking forward to a full night’s rest ahead of Day 3, which kicks off at 11:30 AEST.

PokerMedia Australia will be back again to bring you all the action, but until then, thank you all for joining us today, and from all of us here at The Star Gold Coast, it’s ‘bye for now!

Patrick Barba eliminated in 10th Place ($6,699)

Zheming Zhu completed from the small blind as Patrick Barba checked on the big blind. Both players eyed off the 345 flop, with Barba calling Zhu’s 100,000 bet.

On the J turn, Zhu bet 125,000, then called as Barba ripped all in.

Zhu turned up 76 for the flopped straight, against Barba’s 53 two pair, which found no further help on the 10 river, sending him to the rail.

And with that, we now have our final table locked up!

Zheming Zhu3,995,000
Patrick BarbaBUSTED!
Patrick Barba

Mata Ye eliminated in 11th Place ($6,699)

Action is moving quickly as we had another elimination succeeding Jack Drake’s exit. Mata Ye got it all in from the cutoff, with Tu Le calling from the big blind.

As the dealer spread 627J2, Ye couldn’t get a lift with A3, dragging behind Le’s A10 which held the upper hand all the way.

Tu Le1,595,000
Mata Ye

Jack Drake eliminated in 12th Place ($6,699)

Almost immediately after Michael Falcon’s elimination, Jack Drake shoved all in pre for the last of his stack and was called by David Luong.

Drake’s pockets 22 were defending against Luong’s [/pcn]Td7s[/pcn], and barely holding on the flop Q9J before the dam burst on the K turn and 8 river.

Luong cried, “I hit the mega straight!”

David Luong3,440,000
Jack DrakeBUSTED!

Michael Falcon eliminated in 13th Place ($5,324)

It’s been a massive run for Michael Falcon in this event, with the Day 2 starting chipleader falling agonisingly short of the final table after a quick series of hands against Andrew Batey.

Batey went all in on the turn over a spread 5439, and was snapped up by Falcon. Falcon’s A9 was riding the top pair on the board, but was shot overhead by Batey’s JJ for the overpair.

Batey scored the massive double up, leaving Falcon down with 50,000 (1BB). Falcon then subequently went all in on the next hand, with Batey raising to 3 times on the button to force folds from round the table.

Falcon was hoping to find a way to recover with K10, but was left behind Batey’s KQ as it ran through 95333.

Andrew Batey2,710,000
Michael FalconBUSTED!
Andrew Falcon

Michael Kalin eliminated in 14th Place ($5,324)

A no-look jam from the small blind by Lawrence Stephenson’s A4 was called short by Michael Kalin in the big blind with J7.

Stephenson tripped up on the flop with A10A, improving to a full house with the Q turn and Q river.

Lawrence Stephenson545,000
Michael KalinBUSTED!
Michael Kalin

Wayne Clinch eliminated in 15th Place ($5,324)

Wayne Clinch raised preflop and was met with a 3-bet from Anthony Cierco in cutoff, putting out a 4-bet before calling Cierco’s jam all in. Clinch’s stack was behind Cierco’s as they met heads up:

Board: K544J

Cierco: QQ
Clinch: A5

Anthony Cierco2,150,000
Wayne ClinchBUSTED!
Wayne Clinch

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

Pacheco chasing that cheque

Adrian Pacheco is still keeping the dream alive, after going all in heads up with Brandon Bailey who called.

Pacheco’s QJ was behind Bailey’s pockets 99, and as the flop was peeled JK10, it presented both a blessing and a potential curse for Pacheco with his second top pair defending against a straight draw.

Luckily for Pacheco, Bailey bricked out the 5 turn and 6 river, giving him another double up.

Brandon Bailey885,000
Adrian Pacheco845,000
Adrian Pacheco

Kenny Wang eliminated in 18th Place ($4,505)

Kenny Wang raised preflop UTG to 100,000 and David Luong defended from the big blind.

Wang got the last of his chips in on the flop 7108, and was called by David Luong.

Wang’s A9 was chasing a straight against Luong’s A10 which already made top pair on the flop, and he bricked out on the 5 turn and 4 river. So Luong, Panda!

David Luong1,925,000
Kenny WangBUSTED!
Kenny Wang

Falcon back in the skies

Adrian Pacheco went all in preflop, snapped up by Michael Falcon, who woke up with QQ for the ride.

Pacheco’s AQ hit dead air on the board 76310J, with Falcon holding out overpair.

Falcon, whose stack growth seemed to have stalled after a few levels, has now found his way back up.

Michael Falcon1,855,000
Adrian Pacheco515,000

Not too late for Tu Le

We are getting close to the final table, and we are still seeing some stacks falling short being pushed into the middle for double ups to keep alive.

Tu Le ripped all in from the small blind and Lawrence Stephenson called from the big blind. Stephenson was ahead with pockets QQ, facing off Le’s 77 pockets.

Le hit a set on the turn and held through 4A37K, giving him a full double.

Tu Le720,000
Lawrence Stephenson555,000
Tu Le

Barba v. Bailey

Brandon Bailey opened to 80,000 from middle position, then tanked as Patrick Barba went all in for 625,000 from the cutoff.

Bailey: “I feel like we’re flipping.”

After some time in the tank, Bailey decided to make the call and watched as Barba’s cards turned up JJ.

“We’re not flipping,” Bailey admitted as he turned up AJ, and watched as the dealer spread 64334 for Barba’s pockets to hold higher two-pair.

In the next hand, the dealer completed the next round of card dealing, but mucked Barba’s cards in error. Barba appeared on tilt as he mentioned having Aces.

Patrick Barba1,350,000
Brandon Bailey925,000

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

Shane Thompson eliminated in 17th Place ($4,505)

In a stunning turn of events, after see-sawing through the early levels with short stack double ups to run it up as the overall chip leader at dinner break, Shane Thompson has been sent packing in 17th place.

Zheming Zhu opened to 60,000 UTG, called by Thompson from middle position. On the flop of 3Q4, Zhu C-bet, before calling Thompson’s raise to 150,000. On the 6 turn, Zhu check-raised all in to Thompson’s bet of 250,000.

With a mass of chips committed to the pot, Thompson made the call and turned over Q10 for the flopped top pair, but was met with a nasty shock as Zhu revealed he’d spiked a set on the flop with 44, and couldn’t find a two outter Queen to recover as the river peeled A.

Zheming Zhu now moves to the front of the pack as the overall chipleader in our field.

Zheming Zhu2,696,000
Shane ThompsonBUSTED!
Shane Thompson

Adam Thaggard eliminated in 18th Place ($4,505)

Not long after clashing with Patrick Barba, Adam Thaggard ripped all in from the Hijack with 200,000, called by Michael Falcon on the button, who then folded after Adrian Pacheco shoved on top.

Pacheco: AK
Thaggard: A8

Board: A7389

Pacheco’s King kicker held to eliminate Thaggard.

Adrian Pacheco1,390,000
Adam ThaggardBUSTED!
Adam Thaggard

Drake doubles, Barba bounces

Patrick Barba raised preflop from middle position and called Jack Drake’s shove from the big blind.

Barba’s 1010 pockets were pipped by Drake’s JJ which swept cleanly through the board K8Q64.

Barba bounced back shortly a few hands later when Adam Thaggard raised 60,000 on the button and called Barba’s shove for 295,000. Thaggard turned over A6.

Barba flipped up QQ, sailing through the J8K102 to rake back some chips.

Jack Drake840,000
Patrick Barba580,000
Adam Thaggard200,000
Jack Drake.

Chip Counts at Break

Below is a round of counts amongst our remaining field of 18 players.

Shane Thompson has emerged as the chipleader of the pack, after some early double ups to run his stack up, followed closely behind by Nil Esteve and Zheming Zhu as they race up the chip leaderboard.

Feature Table

1Michael Falcon1,375,000
2Shane Thompson2,025,000
3Adrian Pacheco890,000
4Jack Drake410,000
5Andrew Batey820,000
6Brandon Bailey1,750,000
7Zheming Zhu1,775,000
8Adam Thaggard540,000
9Patrick Barba690,000

Table 8

1David Luong1,240,000
2Kenny Wang540,000
3Tu Le470,000
4Lawrence Stephenson1,235,000
5Wayne Clinch1,300,000
6Nil Esteve1,850,000
7Michael Kalin490,000
8Anthony Cierco1,000,000
9Mata Ye960,000

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

Dinner Break!

We are now down to a whittled field of 18 players remaining, so we have a list of payout updates for you, and we’ll be back with a update on field counts after this.

19Ben TurnerAustralia$3,788
20Alan WilsonAustralia$3,788
21Jennifer CassellAustralia$3,788
22Majid SaabAustralia$3,174
23Shane DickfosAustralia$3,174
24Kiko PuyatAustralia$3,174
25Gary LinAustralia$2,744

Ben burned

Brandon Bailey has been no stranger to pocket Kings in some of the hands we’ve witnessed, but this time he called Ben Turner’s all in and met against KK.

Bailey seemed set to take this into stride with his 88 finding nothing up to the turn J556, but fate turned quickly against Turner to deliver a suck out 8 on the river.


Brandon Bailey1,650,000
Ben TurnerBUSTED!


Zheming Zhu has zapped Alan Wilson from the tournament, snap-calling after Wilson went all in pre on the button.


Board: JAAJK

Zhu filled up with Aces full of Jacks to send Wilson out.

Zheming Zhu1,545,000
Alan WilsonBUSTED!

Saab story

Over on Table 8, Majid Saab called Michael Kalin’s all in from late position, turning up suited K10 for the heads up.

Despite hitting the top pair on the 2KJ, Saab was outgunned by Kalin’s pockets KK, and was never able to recover as he bricked on the 7, 8 streets.

Michael Kalin875,000
Majid SaabBUSTED!

Cassell out, Batey bites

Jen Cassell’s stack has been found on life support, crippled in an earlier hand by Michael Falcon and Andrew Batey doubled through all-in pre flop, in a battle of the blinds against Cassell’s small blind.

In the next hand, Casell called Alan Wilson’s all in pre for 105,000. Her AQ was ahead of Wilson’s K10 at the start of showdown, but the 99J104 board improved Wilson to a two pair to double up.

Wilson shoved in the next hand and Cassell called short from the button, her stack running out of steam as she turned up A4 to meet with Wilson’s A9.

Wilson hit top pair and held on 37928, sending Cassell to the payout desk.

Michael Falcon1,525,000
Alan Wilson400,000
Jennifer CassellBUSTED!

Look who’s here, it’s Adrian Pacheco!

Adrian Pacheco has doubled up off Michael Falcon, after Falcon raised to 80,000 on the button and then snap-called Pacheco’s shove for 385,000 from the big blind.

Pacheco’s A9 fell behind Falcon’s 108 on the 8210 flop, but found a runner-runner straight on the Q turn and J river.

Michael Falcon1,105,000
Adrian Pacheco785,000

Thaggard thunder

Adam Thaggard has scored a huge double through Alan Wilson after moving all in pre flop, in some blind-on-blind action. Wilson called him off with A5o as Thaggard showed up J3.

As the board ran out 9A8107, Thaggard rivered a straight to Jack to take down the pot, leaving Wilson severely short with a little over 40,000.

In the next hand, Wilson went all in on the small blind and found a caller in Michael Falcon. Falcon held the preflop edge with J9 as Wilson rolled up 53, but Falcon couldn’t do better than top pair as Wilson flopped the flush on a spread of 6978A.

Michael Falcon1,500,000
Adam Thaggard685,000
Alan Wilson105,000
Alan Wilson.

Dickfos and Kiko kicked out

Kiko Puyat sent the last of his stack all in preflop, hoping to double as he was called off by Wayne Clinch.

Clinch was riding ahead with AK to Puyat’s A6, and ran cleanly through 731029.

On the same table next hand, Shane Dickfos went all in short from the cut off and was snapped up by Mata Ye.

Dickfos was ahead with royally suited connectors, KQ, against Ye’s A4. Dickfos fell behind as Ye connected bottom pair on the flop and improved to two pair on the turn over a spread 8104109.

Wayne Clinch1,060,000
Mata Ye860,000
Shane DickfosBUSTED!
Kiko PuyatBUSTED!

Nil to Lin

Nil Esteve has eliminated Gary Lin after calling him all in on the flop of 658. A little over 200,000 was gathered in the pot as the action went heads up.

Lin’s 99 overpair were outmatched by Esteve’s 74 which had flopped the straight, and held through 3 turn and 10 river.

Nil Esteve1,840,000

Quick update

Another look at our field where the remaining 25 players are still in the mix, getting their chips in to keep grinding for the final table approaching.

Here’s a quick list on the recent round of payouts paid:

26Robert DamelianAustralia$2,744
27George IordanouAustralia$2,744
28Steven SmithAustralia$2,424
29Win Meng TanAustralia$2,424
30Mitchell FrostAustralia$2,424
31Charles TsaiAustralia$2,424
32Stephen BoydAustralia$2,424
33Aroha NgataAustralia$2,424
34Mason TrevanionAustralia$2,424
35Dylan WayneAustralia$2,424
36Khal FayadAustralia$2,424

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

Cassell rollin’

Jennifer Cassell, the reigning Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event champion, has just seen to the double eliminations of two players, Robert Damelian and George Iordaou.

Cassell called off both players from the button after all in preflop action, holding AJ against Damelian’s Q7 and Iordanou’s AQo.

She hit the board early on the flop and held through 102J103, taking out both stacks to move closer to the Million chips mark.

Jennifer Cassell800,000
Robert DamelianBUSTED!
George IordanouBUSTED!
Jen Cassell

Ngata gone, Boyd busted

Aroha Ngata has been eliminated by Brandon Bailey after she went all in preflop with QQ.

Unfortunately for Ngata, Bailey was ready for the party with KK, and spiked a set on the flop to seal the win on a board of K2584.

Bailey complimented Ngata’s prowess to the table, saying, “That’s the sort of hand you need to knock her out… she’s such a good player!”

In the very next hand, Bailey called and took out another player, Stephen Boyd, after Boyd pushed his short stack into the middle.

Boyd’s AK ran behind Bailey’s 1010 which improved to a two pair on the spread J6883, scooping up more chips for Bailey.

Bailey wasn’t done chatting up the table as he proclaimed, “That’s how you win tourneys, mate… act like a monkey, play like a pro!”

Brandon Bailey1,735,000
Stephen BoydBUSTED!
Aroha NgataBUSTED!
Brandon Bailey

Payouts update

We are now down to 36 players left in the field, with four tables left and 6 more levels to be played, unless the final table is set before Level 27.

Below is a list of the recent round of payouts paid:

37Carlos YoussefAustralia$2,109
38John HutchinsAustralia$2,109
39Jason AnandAustralia$2,109
40Mishel AnunuAustralia$2,109
41Mark EricksenAustralia$2,109
42Luke McCredieAustralia$2,109
43Jarrod ThatcherAustralia$2,109
44Meerwais HussainiAustralia$2,109
45Charlie HawesAustralia$2,109
46Anthony HarachAustralia$1,798
47Ashish GuptaAustralia$1,798

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

Fayed faded

Khal Fayed went all in preflop, quickly called off by Andrew Batey who turned up AQ, running ahead of Fayed’s suited A3.

Fayed couldn’t get a foot in the door on the board 86J85, and with Batey’s kicker riding high for the win he was faded out of the tournament.

Andrew Batey375,000
Khal FayedBUSTED!

Thompson stomps

Shane Thompson raised preflop to 35,000 UTG and then called Carlos Youssef’s raise UTG+1 to 135,000.

The two watched the flop dealt 525, before Thompson jammed all in and was called short by Youssef.

Thompson: 77
Youssef: QQ

Thompson’s runner runner flush beat up Youssef’s flopped two pair, on the remaining 6 and J river, cleaning out Youssef’s stack and taking the pot.

It’s been a good few levels for Thompson, who was down to as little as 110,000 in chips earlier, has recovered to keep up with the pack!

Shane Thompson1,005,000
Carlos YoussefBUSTED!

Turner turfs one

Ben Turner has eliminated John Hutchins after calling his all-in for a little over 120,000 preflop.

Hutchins held A10, but couldn’t hold against Turner’s better AK which ran cleanly through the board 44753.

Ben Turner610,000
John HutchinsBUSTED!

Double KO by Bailey

A three-way all in action between Brandon Bailey from UTG+1, Mark Eriksen on the button and Mishel Anunu in the small blind, has seen the latter two eliminated.

Bailey: KK
Mark Eriksen: A8
Mishel Anunu: Q10

The board was spread 210482, with Bailey’s Kings holding and delivering a double knockout.

Brandon Bailey1,030,000
Mishel AnunuBUSTED!
Mark EriksenBUSTED!

Falcon flies

Michael Falcon has scalped another stack, eliminating Charlie Hawes. Hawes shoved from the button after a raise from middle position preflop, and Falcon muscled in to isolate from the big blind.

Hawes was ahead with AJ against Falcon’s 77, and charged strongly through the board to the turn 9AKK with top two pair, before being rivered 7 to fill Falcon up to a boat.

Falcon has now moved past the Million mark, continuing his strong form at the top of the leaderboard.

Michael Falcon1,065,000
Charlie HawesBUSTED!

Harach harrassed

Shane Thompson has scored another double off Anthony Harach after shoving all in preflop again.

Harach snapped him up with JJ, but was left reeling as Thompson’s AJ hit trips on the flop A3A. With no hope of improving his hand as the dealer dealt 8 turn and 2 river, Harach was left with 1BB of chips and a chair.

In the next hand, Harach went all in UTG for 15,000, with Andrew Batey on the small blind raising and forcing a fold from the big blind.

Harach: 54
Batey: KK

Incredibly, both players found a hit on the flop K45, and after the 2 turn, both improved their hands to a full house with the 4 on the river, although Batey had him well covered with the better boat, shipping Harach to the rail.

Shane Thompson560,000
Andrew Batey240,000
Anthony HarachBUSTED!

“It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings!”

This was the exclamation from Mark Eriksen after his stack endured some swings in these first few levels, falling short.

Eriksen shoved UTG for 75,000, called by Kiko Puyat from the cutoff. Eriksen held Q8, standing behind Nguyen with AK.

The first window gave Eriksen a pair on the flop Q92, with the remaining streets 35 sealing a double up for Eriksen.

Kiko Puyat385,000
Mark Eriksen190,000

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


Our players are on their first break of the day, so here’s a list of the latest round of payouts, with 47 players remaining in our field:

48Zien TangAustralia$1,798
49Jim GiannoukosAustralia$1,798
50Jeremy WinlawAustralia$1,798
51Andrew MenziesAustralia$1,798
52Duncan McKinnonAustralia$1,798
53David CroucherAustralia$1,798
54Lucas TaeAustralia$1,495
55Steven GluyasAustralia$1,495
56Phil StamlerAustralia$1,495
57Thomas O’BrienAustralia$1,495

Winlaw walks

Jeremy Winlaw has walked off to collect his payout from the desk, after moving all in pre flop against David Luong.

Winlaw was falling short as went all in with J2, heads up to Luong’s suited connectors 109. Luong hit on the flop and held through A9433 to bust Winlaw to the rail.

David Luong682,000
Jeremy WinlawBUSTED!
David Luong

Shane splits

Shane Thompson, after just earlier having lost a good chunk of his chips, has moved all in again preflop, this time snapped up by Anthony Harach.

It was pockets against pockets, with Thompson’s AA looking down at Harach’s 1010.

Harach flopped a set on J109, but the turn Q and river 8 ended in a chop for both players.

Anthony Harach168,000
Shane Thompson168,000

Esteve doubles

Nil Esteve has clawed a double off the chipleader Michael Falcon after moving all in pre flop with AK.

Falcon called him off with AQ which hit the first window and connected two-pair on the flop Q1010, but after the 5 turn, the river J swung the favour back to Esteve, giving him a big double up for the day’s grind.

Michael Falcon764,000
Nil Esteve390,000

Barba shaves off a stack

Patrick Barba opened to 24,000 from the cutoff, with Shane Thompson defending his big blind to make the call.

On the flop 4AK, Barba called Thompson’s 60,000 bet. Thompson led out a larger bet of 125,000 on the 7 turn, which Barba called.

On the 5 river, Thompson decided to shove all in, with Barba calling short. It proved to be a bluff as Thompson turned up 52 for a weak second-bottom pair, which Barba had him trumped with KQ for the second-top pair.

Patrick Barba585,000
Shane Thompson138,000

Bert busto on bubble

Bert Perry moved all in preflop, at risk against Wayne Clinch who called.

Perry: AK
Clinch: A10

Perry led through the board, but was rivered by Clinch who connected a straight on the 78J29 board, busting Perry out as the stone bubble.

Players are now in the money!

Wayne Clinch570,000
Bert PerryBUSTED!
Wayne Clinch

Double double, but no bubble

With a cry of “All in, call!”, Nil Esteve went heads up with Win Meng Tan pre-flop, going all in for his last 79,000.

Tan turned up KK against Esteve’s AQ. Tan’s Kings were leading through the flop hitting two pair, but was cracked on the turn and left dead through 455A2.

Nil Esteve212,000
Win Meng Tan166,000
Nil Esteve

All Lin, call!

Gary Lin went all in pre with AQ, called by Lawrence Stephenson who woke up with KK.

Lin was sweating as the flop was peeled, but visibly relieved as he hit top top on the turn and held out on 679A9, to loud groans from the crowd.

At the end of the hand, Phil Stamler said to Stevenson, “They were all rooting for you mate!”

Stephenson: “I know, I was rooting for me too!”

Lawrence Stephenson582,000
Gary Lin335,000

Brewin’ and bubblin’

We are now on the bubble as action is brewing between chip leader Michael Falcon and Jim Giannoukos over a laid up board of 895J7 and some 150,000 in the pot.

Falcon bet 75,000 into the river, with Giannoukos at risk with 110,000 behind. Giannoukos flashed J and mucked his hand, with Falcon flashing a 10 in kind as he took the pot.

Action has moved to hand-for-hand as the bubble hunt continues.

Michael Falcon939,000
Jim Giannoukos110,000

Kalin calls in

A small double for Michael Kalin off Brandon Bailey after the former went all in on the turn for the last of his 66,000 stack, with the board facing up KJ74.

Bailey’s K10 was slightly outmatched by Kalin’s suited KQ which held higher kicker as the river rolled K for the trips.

Brandon Bailey396,000
Michael Kalin252,000

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

Hawes back for more

Charlie Hawes had clashed again with Zheming Zhu heads up, after moving all in pre with 77.

Zhu called and turned over a strongly suited QJ which only met with dead air on the board 2A1032, giving Hawes a return of chips back in exchange to double up.

Zheming Zhu660,000
Charlie Hawes276,000

Psyduck vs Panda!

Two of the most recognisable figures on felt – and their owners – are now seated next to each other as we approach the bubble.

Luke McCredie, whose stack token Psyduck regularly travels across the felt on the Australian poker scene, has taken to his seat next to none other than Kenny Wang, aka “Panda” per the figurine which regularly tops his chip stacks across events.

Psyduck vs Panda: whose stack will be super effective?

Eriksen doubles

Mark Eriksen has found a double through Robert Damelian after going all in preflop on the button, his stack falling a little short.

Damelian was leading preflop with QQ, but Eriksen’s 85 quickly flopped a two pair and held through 5810JK for the double up.

Mark Eriksen401,000
Robert Damelian220,000

Hum and Hawes

Over on Table 7, the clock was called after some action had built up to the river, with about 420,000 in the pot and two players heads up, Zheming Zhu and Charlie Hawes.

The board was spread 7K2K3, and Zhu had bet all in on the river for 250,000 effective, covering Hawes who went deep in the tank.

Hawes was unapologetic as he deliberated his decision with about 194,000 behind, considering the field edging close to the bubble. The dealer heard another player call for time, activating the 30 second clock.

Hawes eventually folded, leaving Zhu to take the pot.

Zheming Zhu688,000
Charlie Hawes183,000

Croc snapped up

Some more all in pre-flop action as Billy “The Croc” Argyros went heads up with AK, against Shane Dickfos who answered with K10.

Argyros appeared agitated as the flop was dealt 9JQ, throwing his hands up in the air and exasperating, “Why does this always happen to me?”

The 2 turn and A river completed the action, sending Argyros out.

Shane Dickfos150,000
Billy “The Croc” ArgyrosBUSTED!

Seeing Stars

Check out our quick round of photos featuring notable faces in our field for Day 2 today!

Money, money, money!

With a series of quick eliminations in our first level, the bubble is fast approaching as we have 64 players still remaining.

Here is a full rundown of the payouts:


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

Stevensons vs Jung vs Jang

We’re experiencing a serious case of Deja-vu as we have had two elimination hands with a Stephenson vs Jang, and a subsequent Stephenson vs. Jung. DUN DUN!

Lawrence Stephenson raised preflop from the LoJack, Mose Jang shoved from the Hijack and was snapped up by Stephenson.

Stephenson quickly showed 1010, ahead of Jang’s 55 which fell further behind as Stephenson improved to a set on the flop and Jang bricked out a straight draw on 10687A.

Another Stephenson on felt, this time in the form of Dean Stevenson, went all in preflop with Jong Jung, whose 77 failed to hit as Stevenson’s JJ flopped a set and held on 510J45.

Dean Stevenson258,000
Lawrence Stephenson212,000
Mose JangBUSTED!
Jong JungBUSTED!
Lawrence Stephenson.

Double, on the double!

We’ve just witnessed a quick elimination in the first few hands of this level, after some betting action saw Marinka Vulic go all in pre-flop, called by Alan Wilson.

Vulic flipped up A4, as Wilson turned over AQ, falling behind on the 4AK flop, bricking the 10 turn before quickly connecting with 10 on the river for the nut flush, sending Vulic to the rail. Wilson’s stack moved just shy of the half-Million mark to keep up with the leaders.

Alan Wilson470,000
Marinka VulicBUSTED!
Alan Wilson.

Stop! Continue…

A slight delay in proceedings today as a glitch in the Matrix resulted in a text message sent to players notifying of an 11:50am AEST starting time, as opposed to the advertised 11:30am starting time. Staff have reeled the last of the players back in, with Danny McDonagh joking, “Find out who hacked into the system, they’ll be disqualified!”

The call has now been made to shuffle up and deal, so play is officially underway. We will be bringing you all the bluffs, sweats and tears from the felt as it happens.

Good luck to all 77 players today, and may the flop be with you!

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


Hello and welcome to the WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event Day 2, live from the poker room here at The Star Gold Coast!

77 players will be returning today from the starting field of 455 entries, all eyeing to take home the $82,001 up top for the champion title and a beautiful WPT Prime Gold Coast crystal surfboard trophy.

The top 57 from today’s field will finish in the money, taking a slice of the $409,500 prizepool, with a min-cash of $1,495. Michael Falcon is still sitting atop the chip counts with a lead of 857,000 chips, at 300,000 more than the second chipleader.

The field will play 45 minute levels, with blinds recommencing at 4,000/8,000 (8,000), playing down to end of level 27 or until the final table is reached, with some breaks in between to stretch their legs.

LevelSmall BlindBig BlindBB Ante

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 Star Club Card and photo ID with you for verification purposes, and should you have any questions regarding your seat allocation, please see the Star Poker Gold Coast team upon arrival. 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
01011Tu Le125,000
01022Lucas Tae82,000
01033Chi Chu143,000
01044Mishel Anunu240,000
01055Jason Anand501,000
01066Dylan Foster133,000
01077Mick Gavrilovic112,000
01088Adam Thaggard344,000
01099Andrew Menzies126,000

Table 2

PMA IDSeatNameChips
02011Lawrence Stephenson126,000
02022Mose Jang134,000
02033Gary Lin233,000
02044Attila Bognar198,000
02055Majid Saab269,000
02066Ben Turner543,000
02077Stephen Boyd205,000
02088Shane Dickfos116,000
02099Brandon Bailey282,000

Table 3

PMA IDSeatNameChips
03011Steven Smith170,000
03022George Iordanou168,000
03033Win Meng Tan466,000
03044Charles Tsai366,000
03055Jim Giannoukos256,000
03066Lucy Sheppard272,000
03077Ashish Gupta318,000
03088Jennifer Cassell336,000
03099George Archer550,000

Table 4

PMA IDSeatNameChips
04011David Luong131,000
04022Luke McCredie328,000
04033Aroha Ngata324,000
04044Adrian Pacheco474,000
04055Jack Drake110,000
04066Meerwais Hussaini381,000
04077Tom O’Brien296,000
04088Kiyo Puyat385,000
04099Mark Ericksen393,000

Table 5

PMA IDSeatNameChips
05011Alan Wilson199,000
05022Steven Gluyas90,000
05033Anthony Cierco148,000
05044Marinka Vulic201,000
05055Lauren Bonte149,000
05066Robert Damelian43,000
05077Richard Tang209,000
05088Phil Stamler226,000
05099David Croucher136,000

Table 6

PMA IDSeatNameChips
06011Zhifan Ye247,000
06033Anthony Harach223,000
06044Khal Fayad143,000
06055Patrick Barba166,000
06066Jason Sampson250,000
06077Guangyu Wang372,000
06088Andrew Batey301,000
06099Shane Thompson485,000

Table 7

PMA IDSeatNameChips
07011Nil Esteve127,000
07022Charlie Hawes185,000
07033Mitchell Frost149,000
07044Anthony Maglicic50,000
07055Michael Falcon851,000
07066Ruiyang Wang124,000
07088Zheming Zhu468,000
07099Nigel Kwok68,000

Table 8

PMA IDSeatNameChips
08011Jong Jung118,000
08022Jeremy Winlaw96,000
08033Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros111,000
08044Dean Stevenson252,000
08055Jesper Henrich151,000
08066Duncan McKinnon174,000
08077Mason Trevanion80,000
08099Kevin Lee152,000

Table 9

PMA IDSeatNameChips
09011Jon Rounce119,000
09022Carlos Youssef154,000
09044Jarrod Thatcher248,000
09055Mark Lawton135,000
09066Michael Kalin40,000
09077Wayne Clinch370,000
09088John Hutchins146,000
09099Bert (John) Perry249,000

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