WPT AUSTRALIA: Sunday 17 September 2023

9:30pm: Wrapping things up

The Mystery Bounty Day 1B is nearing the end of play; just 86 players remaining to play down to 50 after the break.

In front of the pack is Remi Burucoa (pictured below) with 475,000 in chips. The majority of those, according to a tablemate, were collected when he got ultimate value from a set of Tens on a King high board not too long ago, betting full pot on the turn and ripping it all in on the river. The opponents hand was never shown.

Not far off the pace is Justin Pace, with 472,000 going into the break. Also with stacks approaching 400K were Ehsan Amiri, Yita Choong, and Michel Bouskila.

Walking the floor with PMA‘s own Chris Wadih, who might just be Australia’s answer to Jeff Platt, we stumbled across Shem Goltz, fresh back from a lengthy stay in Las Vegas which included a rather interesting proposition from none other than Bill Perkins! Goltz also took the time to talk about his growing YouTube channel.

From all of us here at PMA, that’s a wrap for Day 4 of WPT Australia! We’ll be back tomorrow morning to bring you all of the action from Day 2 of the Mystery Bounty – that will be with 83 starters all chasing the Australian record Top Bounty of $100,000!

8pm: Mystery Bounty back underway

The Mystery Bounty Day 1B recently headed off on a dinner break, giving us the chance to scout around for a potential chip leader.

Pictured above is Alex Rodriguez, who hails from New Caledonia. He had amassed a stack of 305,000 going into the break, putting him a fair way ahead of his nearest competitor – the next closest stacks we could find belonged to Michel Bouskila with 270,000, Jerry Gan with 258,000, and Thomas Bradford with 243,000.

Shortly after the break, we spied Yita Choong earning himself a full double and an elimination to boot after besting pocket Kings with his own pocket Aces; Choong chipped up to about 270,000 himself after the hand.

The average stack at the moment is just over 100K and 152 players still remain; quick reminder, we’re playing down to the final 50 players tonight.

As previously announced, the Mystery Bounties, coming into effect tomorrow, will include a top bounty of an Australian record $100,000 for whoever draws it out of the above-pictured “Outback Bank”!

6:45pm: PMA Deep Dive with Anya Azimai

The ever delightful Anya Azimai – a regular in the Australian poker circuit – sat down with PMA‘s Chris Wadih earlier for the first of a series of “Deep Dive” interviews that will be a regular feature of PMA‘s WPT Australia coverage.

In this instalment, Azimai discusses her experiences throughout the last year, balancing poker with travel, and what her plans are for WPT Australia. Azimai, who first came to the attention of PMA during a final table run in the 2022 Treasury Brisbane Poker Festival Main Event where she finished 4th for $22,513, is particularly looking forward to the Ladies Event which starts on Tuesday 19 September.

The Mystery Bounty event, in which Azimai also competed but was unable to find a bag, is still in progress across the Star Gold Coast Poker room – from 398 entrants, 182 remain trying to find a bag. 12.5% of the field represents 50 players will be required to join the 33 from Day 1A for Day 2.

A total of 658 entries across the two starting days means that the Mystery Bounty event has attracted a total prize pool of $987,000. PMA spoke briefly to WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh just now, and we’re excited to confirm that the Top Bounty tomorrow WILL be $100,000, and a first place finish will also attract a six figure pay day.

4.45pm: Rounce-Sue emerges victorious in the Opening Event for $156,413

Jon Peter “JP” Rounce-Sue has completed a lengthy turn-around – at one point soon after heads up started, victory for Daniel Hachem looked almost certain as Hachem held 90% of the chips in play.

Over half an hour later, Rounce-Sue had re-taken the chip lead, and picking up the action on the turn on a board showing 102JK, Rounce-Sue checked the action across to Hachem, who bet out 1 million. Rounce-Sue responded with a raise to 2.5 million, called by Hachem.

Rounce-Sue then open shoved on the 2 river, sending Hachem into a deep tank for several minutes. Eventually, Hachem picked up a stack of chips and placed them forwards – only to mutter “nice hand” as Rounce-Sue tabled K10.

Rounce-Sue was immediately surrounded by family as soon as he won, congratulating him on his massive score; and from us at PMA, congratulations all round “JP”!

4.15pm: Tenenbaum takes out the $5K for $116,424

On a flop of 942, Ankit Ahuja and Raphael Tenenbaum found all the chips in the middle – Ahuja tabled 109 for top pair, and had to fade plenty of outs; Tenenbaum tabling 62 for bottom pair and a flush draw.

Getting there immediately on the J turn, it was Tenenbaum’s turn to fade as Ahuja could still take the pot with another heart on the river.

The 5 was the final card of the tournament – with that, Tenenbaum secured his maiden recorded victory in the WPT Australia $5K 8-Max Action Clock tournament.

Raphael sat down with PMA‘s Chris Wadih after his victory

From all of us here at PMA, we’d like to extend a congratulations to Raphael on his first major title, and the $116,424 that goes with it!

3.45pm: Head to head

As if it were scripted, both the Opening Event AND the $5K 8-Max Action Clock are heads up at the same time!

Rounce-Sue vs Hachem

A shorter stacked Konstantin Held looked down at K-7 in the small blind and shoved into Jon Peter Rounce-Sue, who made the call with A-7 and found himself in a great spot. The clean board ensured the elimination and set up a heads up match between Rounce-Sue and Daniel Hachem.

It’s Hachem, though, who carries the advantage – he’s turned his stack from one of the shortest to start the day into a dominating chiplead, including calling off a bluff from Rounce-Sue to the tune of approximately 6 million.

Daniel Hachem18,075,000
Jon Peter Rounce-Sue8,975,000

Tenenbaum vs Ahuja

A flop of 397 spelled doom for Hussein Hassan – getting the rest of his stack in with 910 but quickly called by Raphael Tenenbaum with AA. The J2 turn and river changed nothing and Hassan hit the rail.

Raphael Tenenbaum10,725,000
Ankit Ahuja6,075,000

2pm: Heartbreak for Sebesfi

“We have an all in and a call on the $5K 8-Max final table,” came over the PA system and we rushed over, notepad in hand, as the tournament director continued “David Sebesfi is all in and at risk with Ace King, against the Ace Queen of Raphael Tenenbaum.”

What a fantastic spot for Sebesfi, made even better as the dealer spread the flop of K8J. You can probably see where this is going, though; the 3 on the turn changing nothing before the 10 caused Sebesfi to spin away from the table, clearly devastated.

The gutshot Broadway sees Tenenbaum now with a stack of approximately 3.7 million.

PokerMedia Australia will be taking the opportunity to have a more detailed conversation with Sebesfi whilst he has a breather prior to taking his shot at the ever-growing Mystery Bounty field – now up to 210 entries today with another three hours of late registration to go – that huge expected prize pool we mentioned earlier is looking ever likely!

The Opening Event has been whittled down to just 3 players remaining; Jon Peter Rounce-Sue, Daniel Hachem, and Konstantin Held departed on a 15-minute break a little while ago. Just before that break, though, a shout of triumph from Rounce-Sue rang around the room making the correct call with JJ on a board of A93Q4 to see Held table K8 for a missed flush draw.

The hand crippled Held down to just a handful of big blinds, whilst Rounce-Sue took a dominating chip lead – almost double the stack of Hachem.

Jon Peter Rounce-Sue14,100,000
Daniel Hachem7,875,000
Konstantin Held2,925,000

1pm: Hachem eliminates Wong, Rounce-Sue takes chiplead

Daniel Hachem, despite starting the final table with a short stack, is now second in chips in the Opening Event! A series of hands, culminating in Hachem’s AQ flushing Eugene Wong out of the tournament in 8th place; all in on the turn on a 92K3A board and crushing the K2 of Wong.

Hachem now sits on a stack of 7.1 million, with just 7 players remaining and a $26,222 payout for the next elimination. Jon Peter Rounce-Sue, however, has also chipped up over the last hour or so and he now has around 8 million – that’s pretty good!

Day 1B of the Mystery Bounty has commenced on the main floor; 132 entries so far have taken their seats; WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh just announced that the prize pool for the Mystery Bounty event is expected exceed $1,000,000.

Several notables are already floating around; on a quick walk through the tables, PMA spied Carlos Youssef, Ricky Kroesen, Attila Bognar, Ken Demlakian, Omer Silajdzija, Corey van Jaarsveldt, and Robert Damelian.

2022 Australian GPI Player Of The Year Yita Choong has also fired a bullet today; 2022 was a truly incredible year for Choong, who achieved a final table in the infamous WSOP ‘Millionaire Maker’ before a 2nd place finish in the 2022 Sydney Champs Main Event, alongside a long list of cashes around the world. A self-professed member of ‘Team Can’t Close’ (his own words), Choong will certainly be hoping to add victory here at WPT Australia to his impressive resume.

On the $5K 8-Max Action Clock Final Table, Hussein Hassan is now in pole; with approximately 4 million in front of him, he now has ‘only’ 6 opponents to contend with; Ehsan Amiri and Michael Egan have hit the rail so far.

12pm: Yesterday’s results

Day 1A of the Mystery Bounty event wrapped up around 2am last night as the field was dwindled down to 12.5% of the 260 entries (that’s 33 players remaining). Those players will return tomorrow for Day 2 along with all of the survivors from today’s Day 1B, which kicks off at 12:30pm.

It was Yiteng Ge who bagged the chiplead from Day 1A in a performance which included a hand witnessed by PMA where Ge opened with 98 and rivered a straight flush on the 7JJ1010 board – much to the dismay of his opponent who had defended their big blind with J8!

2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem found a top-five stack of 570,000 by the end of the day, with other notables including Simon Pedler, Bert Perry, Michael Mariakis, Janet Wyvil, and Didier Guerin. Guerin, incidentally, found himself on the business end of PMA‘s camera during the day, taking the time to answer a few questions with our own Chris Wadih. That video – and others – can be found on the PokerMedia Australia social pages including Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).

A full list of chip counts from the end of the day can be found below.

Yiteng Ge832,000
Philip Lim639,000
Zhifan Ye635,000
Zheming Zhu631,000
Joe Hachem570,000
Simon Pedler548,000
Kazuhiko Yotsushika435,000
Steffan Thomas426,000
Bert Perry419,000
Colin Denby389,000
Bruno da Silva383,000
Matthew Wingham369,000
Brodie Ward318,000
Lachlan Crilly310,000
Michael Mariakis297,000
Sal Fazzino281,000
Matthew Spratt278,000
Nozomu Shimizu277,000
Huang Wei Chin238,000
Jackson Young238,000
Yang Lei219,000
David Wallensky216,000
Janet Wyvill210,000
Loy Abdo191,000
Peter Apostolou172,000
Lilian Barbieri169,000
Adam Thaggard139,000
Didier Guerin136,000
Nathan Telhado135,000
Shiina Okamoeo101,000
Ngaio Williams91,000
Davor Derek86,000
David Ewing74,000

11:15am: Cloud nine for final nine… twice!

Headlining this Sunday will be two final tables – both the Opening Event and the $5K 8-Max Action Clock played down to 9 players in the final stages of last nights play and will be returning today.

Kicking off will be the Opening Event final table, starting at 11:30. Led by Adelaide’s Chris Edgar with 5.26 million, the final table also features Daniel Hachem, who found a late triple up to survive another day and will start the final table with 1.4 million chips.

Marco Perri, who final tabled the 2023 WPT Prime Gold Coast $5K Challenge, also features in the line-up, bagging 1.65 million.

The Opening Event Final Table will be taking place under the lights on Table 1, which has been set up as a feature table for the WPT Australia festival. First place will secure $156,413, plus a $6K package to the WPT Prime Championship at the Wynn Las Vegas in December.

Opening Event Final Table Seat Draw

1Mikael Larsson3,790,000
2Henry Wu2,140,000
3Eugene Wong3,650,000
4Chris Edgar5,260,000
5Daniel Hachem1,400,000
6Konstantin Held1,240,000
7Steven Gluyas1,755,000
8Jon Peter Rounce-Sue4,115,000
9Marco Perri1,650,000

A little later on at 12:15, the remaining 9 players in the $5K will take to the felt on Table 15 to battle it out for a $116,424 top prize, all players being guaranteed a minimum of $11,647 for making the final table.

Malcolm Trayner bagged the big stack; but not by much, as Hussein Hassan is hot on his heels, bagging just 45K less overnight (less than 1 BB difference). Hassan, who won the 2019 APL Million, will undoubtedly be looking to add another six-figure score to his extensive resume.

Raphael Tenenbaum also had a stellar first day, near the top of the chip counts for the majority of the time, and will take 2.805 million into the FT to round out your top three stacks, whilst David Sebesfi is looking at another deep run after a solid 2023 WSOP; as well as recording a final table finish at the 2023 WSOP NLH Deepstack for US$41,684, he finished 202nd in the biggest Main Event field of all time for a cash worth US$58,500.

$5K 8-Max Action Clock Final Table Seat Draw

1Ehsan Amiri245,000
2Anthony Xu2,145,000
3Cuong Le810,000
4Michael Egan425,000
5Hussein Hassan3,140,000
6Raphael Tenenbaum2,805,000
7Ankit Ahuja1,245,000
8Malcolm Trayner3,185,000
9David Sebesfi2,745,000

More to the story

From wherever you’re watching in Australia, New Zealand or around the world, good morning and welcome back to The Star Gold Coast and our continued coverage of the WPT Australia festival!

It’s already been a flying start to the series, with Lauren Bonte taking the honours as the first recipient of a coveted crystal boomerang.

The popular French import, who has featured prominently at many mid-tier major events since 2018, topped a field of 147 entries in the $565 NLH Turbo to pocket $19,841, to secure her first Tier One victory and add to her most recent win in the Monster Stack at the APT Gold Coast Championships.

WPT AUSTRALIA $565 NLH TURBO – FINAL TABLE RESULTS ($565 buy-in, 147 entries, 19 players paid)

1stLauren BonteAustralia$19,841
2ndJavad VerdomAustralia$12,496
3rdJordan RileyAustralia$7,420
4thChristopher KokkinosAustralia$4,473
5thHiromasa OnizukaAustralia$3,479
6thCleber PiccioneAustralia$2,911
7thJohn HutchinsAustralia$2,521
8thPatrick MurphyAustralia$2,240
9thWan GanAustralia$1,984

It has also been a strong start to the WPT Australia series, with solid numbers across the board, including the first Day 1 flight of the Mystery Bounty, which last night brought in 260 entries, and two more final tables confirmed, with South Australia’s Chris Edgar returning as chip leader in the Opening Event, while Malcolm Trayner has edged out Hussein Hassan for pole position in the $5K 8-Max Action Clock finale – and there’s all that and more coming your way in today’s blog from 11:30am AEST, so stay tuned!

But although there has been no shortage of prominent figures on and around the felt at The Star Gold Coast, it would be remiss of us here at PokerMedia Australia to not address the controversy in the lead-up to this series.

As first reported by the Australian Poker Schedule (APS) and PokerNews, WPT Australia Main Event third-place finisher Najeem Ajez, high-stakes specialist Jarred Graham and 2018 WSOP Main Event final tablist Alex Lynskey are amongst those to have been issued with a Withdrawal of Licence (WoL) for all Star Entertainment Group properties.

According to Lynskey, there was no explanation or reasoning given for the bans, telling PokerNews‘ US Editor Jon Sofen they have issued exclusions to many of their patrons who have made large transactions at their properties in the past.

“[It’s] probably a case of throwing a net to catch 20 criminals but 1,000 innocents have been caught in the crossfire, many of those are pro poker players who have perfectly legitimate reasons for these transactions,” Lynskey said.

PMA understands that The Star Entertainment Group are unable to comment on exclusions, and that they are not required to provide reasons or justifying the exclusions, nor the information relied upon making them.

PMA will also be releasing an in-depth investigative story in due course.

Hold up, wait a minute …

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

Our social media and blog coverage of the WPT Australia series at The Star Gold Coast will resume from 11:30am AEST. While you wait, check out our latest news articles, blogs and Live Reporting archives, bookmark our website, and give us a like and follow across all our socials to get access to all of our content.


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Thanks for your patience, and we’ll see you back here soon!

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