LIVE REPORTING: Stacked Adelaide Poker Festival – The Croc’s $4K Challenge Day 2

Congratulations to Pierce Hynes ($64,000), 2023 Stacked Poker The Croc’s $4K Challenge Champion!

Pierce Hynes is the champion of the inaugural Stacked Poker The Croc’s $4K Challenge after an impressive grind on the final table. Halfway through the final table, he managed to snatch the chip lead off Joe Sandaev (2022 Stacked Poker Adelaide Main Event champion), and did not falter as he clinched the title.

Hynes outlasted a field of 56 total entries, patiently grinding his way up from the shorter stacks starting Day 2, to collect $64,000.

“Next year we’ll be playing the Pierce $4K Challenge, with winner to take naming rights!” joked a railbird, in a nod to Pierce Hynes’ side bet with Billy “The Croc” Argyros, where the latter lost and wore Hynes’ face adorned with a golden crown on a shirt, eerily foreshadowing Hynes’ victory here tonight as the champion. Blessed by the Croc!

The camaraderie amongst the players for this tournament has been truly wonderful to witness, with much fun banters and competitive play making this event memorable. Congratulations to the 2023 The Croc’s $4K Challenge Champion Pierce Hynes and to Andrew Michael on another entertaining tournament!

Pierce Hynes

STACKED POKER The Croc’s $4K Challenge ($4,000 buy-in, 56 total entries, 7 players paid)

1Pierce Hynes$64,000
2Fotis Fotakis$43,000
3Joe Sandaev$33,000
4Weng Wong$24,500
5Gary Lin$18,300
6Higor Seibel$13,100
7Yita Choong$9,156

Be sure to check out our coverage of the continuing action on the felt here at Stacked Poker Adelaide, with the Main Event Day 1A still rolling until the end of level 13.

Fotis Fotakis eliminated in 2nd place ($43,000)

Fotis Fotakis opened on the button to 120,000 and Pierce Hynes raised to 500,000 on the button. Fotakis shoved for 1,200,000 and was snapped up by Hynes.

Fotakis: A6
Hynes: JJ

Hynes was crushing ahead with pockets, and on a dry board of 1037KK, it was winner winner chicken dinner!

Stay tuned as we bring you the wrap up with our champion, Pierce Hynes!

Pierce Hynes5,600,00
Fotis FotakisBUSTED!
Fotis Fotakis

Heads Up!

Play is now heads up, with Pierce Hynes and Fotis Fotakis pausing the clock to discuss an ICM deal. Hynes has a major lead over Fotakis, with almost three-quarters of the chips in play.

After a brief break and some discussion, the two have decided to play on with no deal made.

6Fotis Fotakis1,495,000
9Pierce Hynes4,105,000

Joe Sandaev eliminated in 3rd place ($33,000)

Joe Sandaev committed the last of his stack all in on small blind with 470,000 left, as Fotis Fotakis snap called from the big blind.

Sandaev: 66
Fotakis: K10

Sandaev was holding pockets all the way through, but was dealt a blow with a brutal river as Fotakis paired up Tens through 953210.

We are now heads up!

Fotis Fotakis1,495,000
Joe SandaevBUSTED!
Joe Sandaev

Level 25: 30,000/60,000 (60,000)

Fotis doubles up

Pierce Hynes opened to 100,000 on the button, with Fotis Fotakis opting to shove all in for 565,000 from his big blind, and was called by Hynes.

Hynes: AK
Fotakis: 55

Board: 896J7

Fotakis’s pockets held, improving to a straight on the river to double up.

Pierce Hynes3,600,000
Fotis Fotakis1,200,000

Hynes crushing

The battle between Pierce Hynes and Joe Sandaev is still being wages as Fotakis’s stack dwindles down.

Hynes opened to 150,000 on small blind, with Sandaev calling from big blind.

On the flop AK3, Hynes bet 100,000 and Sandaev called, then both players checked through the K on the turn. On the river 8 Hynes checked, leaving Sandaev to lead a bet of 375,000.

Hynes took a moment to sip his drink, appearing to contemplate raising, before calling.

Hynes: K7
Sandaev: AJ

Pierce Hynes4,800,000
Joe Sandaev1,000,000

Weng Wong eliminated in 4th place ($24,500)

Weng Wong shoved for 270,000 under the gun, with Joe Sandaev calling from the button.

Wong: AK
Sandaev: A10

Wong’s King kicker led through the runout of 4J38K, pairing up on the river for the win.

Ten minutes later in another hand, Pierce Hynes opened to 100,000 on the button and called Wong’s shove for 570,000 from the small blind.

Wong: JJ
Hynes: AQ

It was a horror flop gone wrong for Wong, and a dream flop for Hynes as the dealer laid down AA6, and with the 8 turn and 6 river, it was all over.

We are now down to our top three players, with Fotis Fotakis clinging on with 550,000 against the two chip leaders.

Pierce Hynes3,700,000
Joe Sandaev2,200,000
Weng WongBUSTED!
Weng Wong

Gary Lin eliminated in 5th place ($18,300)

Fotis Fotakis shoved all in on small blind, with Lin calling short from the big blind with 300,000 left.

Fotakis showed K7 against Lin’s pockets 55, which was quickly pushed out as Fotakis flopped top pair, improving to three-of-a-kind on the turn to hold down KQ10KJ.

Fotis Fotakis885,000
Gary Lin

Level 24: 25,000/50,000 (50,000)


Our players have taken another break to stretch their legs. We’ll be back in 10 minutes!

Weng and a prayer

Weng Wong is still fighting to stay in the game, after Pierce Hynes shoved from the small blind to challenge Wong’s big blind. Wong called with about 225,000 in his stack, barely 5 BBs.

Hynes peeled 108, as Wong showed strong suited connectors QJ charging ahead, and hit top pair to improve to top two-pair through Q6AA6.

Pierce Hynes2,440,000
Weng Wong450,000

Level 23: 20,000/40,000 (40,000)

Wong coming along

Gary Lin opened to 60,000 UTG before calling Weng Wong’s shove for 100,000 from the button.

Lin turned over K9, with Wong’s KJ coming in front as it held through the spread of A10K8K. It was a much needed boost for Wong’s stack as the levels continue to climb and keep up with the others.

Gary Lin560,000
Weng Wong275,000

Sandaev pierced

After multiple battles back and forth, our chip leaders have clashed again!

Joe Sandaev opened to 60,000 under the gun, with Pierce Hynes calling from the small blind. As the flop was dealt 10910, Hynes check-called Sandaev for 50,000.

Both players opted to check the 8 turn, and on the river 8, Hynes led out a hefty bet of 210,000, called by Sandaev.

Hynes revealed Aces for the overshooting two-pair, as Sandaev quickly mucked, leaving Hynes to stake his claim on position of chip leader.

Pierce Hynes3,000,000
Joe Sandaev1,600,000

Stack Counts Update

As our next pay jumps are getting big, with the next jump over $6,000, it’s time to take another review on where our top five are now situated with their stacks:

1Weng Wong310,000
4Joe Sandaev1,540,000
6Fotis Fotakis880,000
7Gary Lin960,000
9Pierce Hynes1,980,000

Level 22: 15,000/30,000 (30,000)

Higor Seibel eliminated in 6th place ($13,100)

Higor Seibel opened to 50,000 from the cutoff, inspiring Pierce Hynes to shove all in from the big blind.

Seibel checked his stack, eyeing the stacks from the players behind him in the action including Weng Wong, before casting his eyes over at the remaining payouts, shrugging and calling it in.

Hynes: AK
Seibel: AQ

Seibel was already behind with Hynes’ King kicker leading, and was unable to come out in front as the board ran down A10244 to complete.

Pierce Hynes1,975,000
Higor SeibelBUSTED!
Higor Seibel

The Fotakis finess

Fotis Fotakis is building a stack on the final table, after blind-on-blind action against Higor Seibel.

Seibel opened to 50,000 on the small blind, with Fotakis defending from the big blind with a raise to 225,000 which Seibel called.

On the flop of 528, Seibel checked before Fotakis shoved, forcing a quick fold from Seibel to rake in the sizeable pot.

Fotis Fotakis1,000,000
Higor Seibel600,000

Level 21: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)

Dinner Break

With our players on dinner break, we have taken a look at how our top 6 are faring:

1Weng Wong330,000
4Joe Sandaev1,465,000
5Higor Seibel700,000
6Fotis Fotakis600,000
7Gary Lin1,250,000
9Pierce Hynes1,255,000

Yita Choong eliminated in 7th place ($9,156)

Gary Lin shoved on the small blind, prompting Yita Choong to peel his cards carefully one at a time to review before calling.

Lin: K8
Choong: 44

The board ran out KJ396, with Lin’s top pair giving him a significant boost to get back into the game, and sending Choong out to the cage to collect his min-cash.

Gary Lin1,240,000
Yita ChoongBUSTED!
Yita Choong

Neb Blanusa eliminated in 8th place

It didn’t take long for the money bubble to burst, after Neb Blanusa shoved for 155,000 all in pre flop from small blind.

Joe Sandaev muscled in to call, laying down strong pockets QQ to Blanusa’s A3, which hit dead air on a board laid out 5102J8.

We are now in the money!

Joe Sandaev1,600,000
Neb BlanusaBUSTED!
Neb Blanusa

Jonathon Karamilikis eliminated in 9th place

Jonathon Karamilikis limped on the Hijack before calling Joe Sandaev’s raise to 40,000 from the button. Both players checked through to the river on the board of 5684Q.

On the river, Karamilikis jammed 220,000 all in and was snap-called by Sandaev.

Sandaev: K7x
Karamilikis: J10

We are now on the money bubble!

Joe Sandaev1,900,000
Jonathon KaramilikisBUSTED!
Jonathon Karamilikis

The Croc’s $4K Challenge Final Table

Our nine remaining players have taken to their seats as the final table, and we have a full rundown of the field’s stacks as they begin.

From all of us at PokerMedia Australia, we wish all our final tablists the very best of luck!

Final Table seat draw

1Weng Wong220,000
2Jonathon Karamilikis115,000
3Neb Blanusa290,000
4Joe Sandaev1,845,000
5Higor Seibel910,000
6Fotis Fotakis370,000
7Gary Lin840,000
8Yita Choong310,000
9Pierce Hynes700,000

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

Edgar gone

Action has started to slow down somewhat as we play hand for hand, with ten players remaining.

Fotis Fotakis found a double up through Chris Edgar, after going all in pre with KQ and snagging top pair through 25K24, with Edgar’s A10 unable to hit.

A few hands later, Joe Sandaev opened to 30,000 UTG, with Weng Wong calling from the cutoff, before folding as Edgar jammed all in and Sandaev iso-shoved.

Sandaev: AQ
Edgar: KQ

Sandaev’s hand prevailed through a rainbow board of low cards, eliminating Edgar to round off our final table of 9!

Joe Sandaev1,845,000
Chris EdgarBUSTED!

Croc crumbles

Billy “The Croc” Argyros found himself short with only 64,000 as he moved all in pre-flop and was snapped up by chip leader Joe Sandaev.

Argyros rolled over A6, facing off heads up against Sandaev with KJ.

Sandaev turned top pair, eliminating Argyros as the board ran 7Q2K3.

Joe Sandaev1,544,000
Billy “The Croc” ArgryrosBUSTED!

Level 19: 10,000/15,000 (15,000)

Lin slidin’

At the very end of the level, there was a huge pot brewing between Joe Sandaev and Gary Lin, the top two chip leaders clashing as they fought for ten minutes over a hand.

Sandaev opened to 24,000 UTG, before calling Lin’s raise to 110,000 from the small blind.

On the flop J67, Lin led for 85,000, with Sandaev taking his time to make the call.

On the J turn, Lin check-called Sandaev for 130,000.

With the Q on the river, Lin shoved, snap-called by Sandaev.

Sandaev: A5
Lin: AK

Sandaev’s nut flush was good for the pot as he moved up for the chip lead.

Joe Sandaev1,440,000
Gary Lin600,000

Benson busto

Gary Benson shoved for his last 106,000 on the small blind, called by Higor Seibel on the big blind.

Benson: A7
Seibel: A8

Seibel had Benson edged out, riding to pick up two pair through 59Q98.

Higor Seibel600,000
Gary BensonBUSTED!

Two chewed out

A quick series of eliminations as our short stacks have gone for double or nothing, to settle for the latter.

Andrew Michael open shoved for 98,000 on the small blind, called off by Chris Edgar in the big blind.
Michael’s Q8 was behind Edgar’s K10 and failed to hit as the board ran J7A4A, eliminating Michael.

Steven Chew was struggling to hold on, reshoving from the small blind after Yita Choong jammed a little over 100,000 from the Hijack. Choong’s KQ was behind Chew’s A10 on the flop, but improved on the turn to a flush through KA736, leaving Chew with just under 100,000.

On the very next hand, Chew went all in pre-flop and clashed once more with Choong. Chew’s AJ looked the goods, but was no match as Choong woke up with monsters KK, and sliced cleanly through a rainbow spread of J8262.

Chris Edgar650,000
Yita Choong475,000
Steven ChewBUSTED!
Andrew MichaelBUSTED!

Level 18: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)


Whilst our field of 14 players remaining take a break to stretch their legs and refresh, here’s a quick look at the top 5 chip counts:

Gary Lin1,274,000
Joe Sandaev914,000
Neb Blanusa575,000
Higor Seibel530,000
Pierce Hynes495,000


Adrian Pacheco moved all in pre-flop from the big blind, called on the river by Gary Lin, facing off over the board of 81056K.

Pacheco: Q3
Lin: 109

Pacheco appeared to miss his draw with a bluff on the river failing to pay off, moving Lin’s stack past the 1 million mark and chip leader of the field.

Gary Lin1,200,000
Adrian PachecoBUSTED!

Piercing through

Our reporter has picked up three-handed action on the flop over at the feature table, where Pierce Hynes was seated in the cut off, Gary Benson in the small blind and Higor Seibel in the big blind.

The pot had built to 100,000 facing a flop of 356. Benson checked, Seibel bet 25,000 before moving out of the way as Benson called Hynes’ raise to 72,000.

On the 8 turn, Benson led a bet of 90,000 which spurred Hynes to move all in for 122,000. Benson looked unhappy as he went into the tank, before calling the extra change.

Benson: 76

Hynes: 97

Although Benson had flopped middle pair and turned an up-and-down straight draw, Hynes had turned a gutshot straight which completed as a flush on the river with 3.

Pierce Hynes500,000
Gary Benson145,000

“Unlucky Jerry!”

Johnathon Karamilikis shoved UTG+1 for 130,000, with Jerry Zhang calling him short from the button for 92,000 to make it heads up.

Zhang: AK
Karamilikis: AJ

Karamilikis offered his commisserations to Zhang, saying “Unlucky Jerry!”, foreboding the outcome before the board ran out 5JQ8A.

Johnathon Karamilikis230,000
Jerry ZhangBUSTED!

Hong gets gonged

The action was all in pre-flop as Ryan Hong submitted his tournament life on the line, some 80,000 in chips (or 8 BBs) against Neb Blanusa who called him off.

Hong: 98
Blanusa: A3

Blanusa made a wheel through the runout of 624J5, sending Hong to the rail.

Neb Blanusa480,000
Ryan HongBUSTED!

Perri pipped

Our first elimination following close of re-entries, after Marco Perri opened UTG+1 for 23,000 and Fotis Fotakis called him from the big blind.

The flop 7910 didn’t inspire much action with both players checking to the Q turn, where Fotakis bet 60,000. Perri spun the last of his chips into the middle and was snap called.

Perri: KQ
Fotakis: Q10

Perri’s suited connectors were behind as Fotakis had made two pair, with the river 3 merely a formality.

Fotis Fotakis370,000
Marco PerriBUSTED!

Money, money, money!

The payouts have now been finalised, with a total prize pool of $203,056.

The top 7 finishers will score a minimum cash of $9,156, with the top prize paying out $62,000.

The full list of remaining payouts are listed below:


Croc-crunching numbers

Registration for The Croc’s $4K Challenge Day 2 has now closed, with a total of 56 entries generating a tasty prizepool of $203,056.

With 18 players remaining, we are not too far off from the final table as our field has reduced to two tables. We have seen a few more double ups as our field races to make the final table and keep up.

Gary Benson opened to 16,000 on the button, before tank-calling Higor Seibel’s shove for 136,000.

Benson: 33
Seibel: Q10

Higor doubled up through Benson on the spead of K7J10K.

Over on table 3, Adrian Pacheco called Weng Wong’s all in on the flop of 797.

Wong: 76
Pacheco: J9

The turn 10 and river 3 completed the action for Wong to score a double up.

Gary Benson450,000
Higor Seibel272,000
Weng Wong220,000
Adrian Pacheco189,000

Level 17: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

So Luong

Wilson Luong has emerged as one of the latest players to hit the rail after moving all in and was snapped off by Neb Blanusa.

Luong: A4
Blanusa: 99

Blanusa’s pockets held, fending off through 37384 to complete with two-pair.

Neb Blanusa475,000
William LuongBUSTED!

Round 2, Fight!

We caught up to the action all in on the flop of 972, with Gary Lin calling Marco Perri.

Round 1, fight!

Perri: 98
Lin: KK

The 3 turn and Q river didn’t offer any comeback for Perri as he was sent to rail and went to re-enter, and was re-seated to the same table.

Not five minutes later, Perri went all in pre-flop and went heads up with Lin once again.

Round Two, fight!

Perri: A9
Lin: 66

Lin’s pockets were already ahead as they improved to a full house through 102822.


Lin is now up the top of the pack, close only behind Joe Sandaev who is chasing a million in chips.

Gary Lin850,000
Marco PerriBUSTED!


Johnathon Karamilikis has re-entered the tournament, finding a quick double up after Pierce Hynes opened the action to 16,000 and called Karamilikis’ shove.

Karamilikis: AK
Hynes: AJ

Karamilikis boarded up a boat through to river over 1010K910.

Johnathon Karamilikis176,000
Pierce Hynes 88,000

Level 16: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)

Yay, Yita!

Johnathon Karamilikis shoved a full starting stack of 100,000 all in pre-flop, prompting Yita Choong to jam all in.

Karamilikis: AK
Choong: 1010

Choong’s pocket Tens held, improving to two pair through 227Q3, eliminating Karamilikis.

Yita Choong306,000
Johnathon KaramilikisBUSTED!

Benson bites

Action fired off as Gary Benson opened on the button to 16,000, Higor Seibel raised to 52,000 before calling Benson’s 3-bet to 131,000.

The flop 35J saw Seibel check, with Benson leading strongly with a bet for 143,000 to force a fold from Seibel.

A few hands later, Adam Cusenza opened to 12,000 on the button, before Benson shoved. Cusenza went into the tank, rolling his eyes before calling with a shrug.

Cusenza: KJ
Benson: 22

The flop gave Cusenza a lead with a straight draw, but bricked out as it ran out Q10375, good for Benson’s deuces to hold.

Gary Benson572,000
Higor Seibel300,000
Adam CusenzaBUSTED!

Double for Michael

Andrew Michael shoved all in UTG+1 for 51,000 and Pierce Hynes iso-shoved from the cutoff, sending the pair heads up.

Michael: KK
Hynes: AQ

Michael’s hand held through the board 687QJ, giving him a quick boost to get back into the game and keep grinding.

Pierce Hynes125,000
Andrew Michael117,000

Edgar edged out

A cry of “All in, call!” came from table 2 as Chris Edgar laid up his hand, together with Joe Sandaev as they went to heads up showdown.

Edgar: AJ
Sandaev: Q9

The dealer spread the board and Sandaev flopped a straight with a possible flush and straight flush draw through 10J8AQ, with the river denying Edgar a reprieve of a boat, sending him out.

Joe Sandaev770,000
Chris EdgarBUSTED!

Chips back for Choong

On the very next hand after Gary Lin squeezed a fold off Yita Choong, David Ewing open shoved UTG, going all in pre-flop and was snapped up by Choong who had him covered.

Ewing: 88
Choong: AA

Choong’s hand ran cleanly through 6910910, eliminating Ewing to take down the pot.

Yita Choong270,000
David EwingBUSTED!

Lin livin’ large

Gary Lin is showing no signs of slowing down, hitting his stride early into the first level of Day 2.

Our reporter caught up to the action on the river with Lin on small blind heads up against Yita Choong in the big blind. The board was spread 5JQ48.

Lin opted to check, leaving it open to Choong to lead with a bet of 51,000. After a considerable tank, Lin went all in, prompting a confused look on Choong as he deliberated on a decision for a good few minutes before making a painful fold.

Gary Lin506,000
Yita Choong175,600

Shuffle Up and Deal!

Play is now underway as our field of 18 players returning have taken to their seats.
To all players, we wish you all the best of luck, and may the flop be with you!

Level 15: 3,000/6,000 (6,000)

Croc Thunder!

Following from the action yesterday at Stacked Poker Adelaide, PokerMedia Australia will be giving you all the action highlights from Day 2 the inaugural “Croc’s Challenge” $4,000 High Roller, a wonderful addition to the Australian Poker Circuit named in honour of the colourful Billy “The Croc” Argyros.

Argyros is amongst a mix of strong contenders returning for play on Day 2, along with fellow Australian Hall of Famer Gary Benson, Joe Sandaev, Adrian Pacheco, Adam Cusenza, Gary Lin, Marco Perri, Jerry Zhang and Yita Choong.

Re-entries will continue through to the end of the first break of play today, (after Level 16) closing at approximately 3:20pm ACST, so come on down and take your opportunity to wrestle for The Croc’s $4K Challenge Champion!

Stay tuned as we bring you all the action as the cards fall in The Croc’s 4K Challenge Event shortly, followed by plenty more action from the Adelaide Poker Festival Main Event Day 1A starting at 6pm ACST.

Here’s a quick look at the levels for Day 2, featuring relaxed 40 minute levels, playing down to a winner:

LevelSmall BlindBig BlindBB Ante

Day 2 seat draw

Day 2 of the Stacked Adelaide Poker Festival $4K Challenge will begin at 2pm ACST, with recommencing blinds at 3,000/6,000 (6,000). The blind levels are now 40 minutes in duration.

Late registration and re-entries are still available until the end of Level 17 (approximately 3:20pm local time). Should you have any questions regarding your seat allocation, please approach tournament staff at Stacked Social upon arrival. Best of luck to all players, and may the flop be with you!

Table 1

1Neb Blanusa257,000
2Wilson Luong135,000
4Jerry Zhang147,000
5Gary Benson513,000
6Higor Siebel480,000
8Fotis Fotakis200,000

Table 2

2Joe Sandaev536,000
3Adrian Pacheco349,000
4Weng Wong111,000
6Pierce Hynes149,000
7Chris Edgar234,000
9Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros211,000

Table 3

3Adam Cusenza201,000
4Gary Lin421,000
6Yita Choong283,000
8Marco Perri297,000
9David Ewing90,000

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