WPT AUSTRALIA: Monday 18 September 2023

11:30pm: All hail the Bounty King

The Mystery Bounty event is over! After picking off a number of hands in a row against Loy Abdo, including raising to 6 million and getting value after rivering a flush with 108, Adam “Bounty King” Thaggard, who has completely dominated for the entire day and earned himself that new nickname, has completed the ‘Grand Slam’.

In the final hand, a short stacked Abdo shoved from the button, and Thaggard called quickly.

Abdo’s J7 found a pair on the 74Q flop, but Thaggard’s Q10 outflopped him and held through on the 5, 10 board, even improving to an entirely unnecessary two pair.

The win nets Thaggard $120,743 and the WPT Australia crystal boomerang trophy. Thaggard may have told a little white lie to PMA earlier when he said he was going to “chase bounties a little less” though; he ended up with 18 bounties including the top bounty of $100K! Thaggard also pulled a $25K, $7,500, and $5,000 big bounties, plus a smattering of minimums, for a total of $147K in bounties!

All up, that equates to a massive $267,743 return on investment for the $1,650 buy in tournament. In addition to his cash winnings, Thaggard is also the newest recipient of a $6,000 WPT Prime Championship package.

It’s not the first time that a player has ‘scooped’ the Mystery Bounty; Chris Tran performed the same feat in this exact same tournament at WPT Australia last year, whilst Seyed Nasab completed the ‘Grand Slam’ at the Sydney Champs, also in 2022.

Quite the performance, Mr Thaggard; from all of here at PokerMedia Australia – congratulations!

Thaggard spoke with PMA’s Chris Wadih following his win – that interview will be uploaded here when available.

The Outback Bounty Survivor event is down to 61 runners at the end of the days play, led by Amin Riyazati with 651,000. He’s followed by New Zealand’s Te Rangimoeakau Matenga who bagged a healthy 549,000 whilst seated on the Star Poker Feature Table. The average stack overnight will be just over 200,000.

The bubble for that event will burst early on Day 2; 52 players will be making the money for a minimum cash worth $1,056, while the eventual winner will take home $49,032 – plus bounties, and another $6K WPT Prime Championship package.

The WPT Australia Ladies Championship satellite has also drawn to a close – Emma Apostolou, Silvana Agius, Lauren Gabriel, Lucie Gibergues, and Jian Long have all been successful in earning their entry into the $660 WPT Australia Ladies Championship, which will commence at 1:30pm tomorrow.

10:30pm: Heads up in the Mystery Bounty

Adam Thaggard is chasing the Grand Slam of mystery bounty events; after pulling the top bounty of $100K out of the Outback Bank earlier this evening, he’s found himself heads up against Loy Abdo for the tournament win, which is worth $120,743.

Abdo currently holds the chip lead after eliminating Mishel Anunu with A7; Anunu’s A3 flopped a flush draw but bricked out to find the rail.

Loy Abdo14,600,000
Adam Thaggard10,400,000

The Outback Survivor Bounty Event is playing hand-for-hand at the moment; but it’s not the money bubble. There are 83 players remaining, meaning after one more elimination there will be 20% of the field remaining, and then every knockout will score a $2K bounty!

10pm: Mystery Bounty down to three

Adam Thaggard is still bossing the Mystery Bounty, but Loy Abdo and Mishel Anunu are both looking to put an early end to his already stellar run.

Abdo recently doubled through Thaggard with 55, flopping a set and holding true to best the flush draw of Thaggard.

Bounties are no longer a real consideration for the three, as all of the remaining bounties are worth the remaining $500 – though there is still $120,743 to play for, and the title. For Thaggard, we suspect victory would take him to a total cash including bounties of approximately $270,000 – not half bad!

For the Outback Survivor Mystery bounty, which is now into Level 14 2,000/4,000 (4,000), there are 104 players remaining from the 410 starters. Those boosted bounties are going to come into play when 82 players are left to go. There’s still plenty of notable names left in the field, including Ankit Ahuja, Malcolm Trayner, and David Sebesfi from yesterday’s $5K 8-Max Action Clock final table, as well as Shem Goltz.

Registration in the WPT Australian Ladies Championship Action Clock Satellite has closed; the satellite attracted a total of 33 runners and will award 5 seats to the $660 Ladies Championship tomorrow. The winner of THAT event will receive a package to the WPT Ladies World Championship in Vegas, alongside the crystal boomerang WPT Australia trophy and the cash that goes with it.

PMA happened to be walking past as New Zealand’s Rachel Rangikotua turned the second Royal Flush she’s ever had, tabling K2 after no one would even call a minimum bet on the 10JAQ board, much to her amusement.

Adam Thaggard10,525,000
Loy Abdo8,800,000
Mishel Anunu8,000,000

8.15pm: Entries locked out

The Outback Survivor Bounty tournament has passed the end of late registration just a short while ago; the event has amassed a total of 410 entries to create a prize pool of $410,000, with 180 remaining to fight it out to the end of Day 1.

The prize pool has also been announced; the bubble will burst with 52 players making the money, from first place, which will earn someone $49,032, to a min-cash of $1,056 for 52nd.

In addition, the bounty phase of the tournament will start when 82 players are remaining. The bounties will then be worth a whopping $2,000 for each elimination.

Across the room, the Mystery Bounty is now down to 5 players remaining following the eliminations of Keni Barrett in 9th place, Taiwan’s Wei-Chin Huang in 8th, and then Matthew Wingham in 7th place at the hands of Adam “Bounty King” Thaggard. In that hand, Thaggard came from behind with A10 against Wingham’s dominating AQ with a simple Ten in the window to claim a fifteenth bounty of the day.

Then, just after 8pm, Thaggard claimed yet ANOTHER elimination – making two pair on the river to end the run of Japan’s Taku Kubota… but Kubota got his revenge quickly, claiming a bounty chip he’s been holding onto for a while and pulling the $10K WPT Prime Championship Package! Congratulations Taku!

Thaggard is truly dominating the Mystery Bounty event, he now has a stack of close to 13 million – that’s half of the chips in play!

In addition, the WPT Australian Ladies Championship Action Clock Satellite has commenced – there’s an hour left of late registration for the satellite, in a line-up of Australia’s finest which currently includes WPT Anchor Lynn Gilmartin, 2022 Australian GPI Female POTY Janet Wyvil, and Anya Azimai, who sat down to speak with PMA yesterday.

6.30pm: Mystery Bounty Final Table is set!

Adam Thaggard just cannot be stopped today; in the last hand, Thaggard three-bet overnight chip leader Yiteng Ge preflop and received a call. Both players checked the 8K8 flop, before Ge checked his cards and shoved all in on the 2 turn.

Thaggard paused to check that he did, indeed, actually have the KK before making the call, with Ge’s QJ drawing stone dead; and with that, the WPT Australia Mystery Bounty Final Table has been set! Ge received $10,041 for his efforts, in addition to the $9,000 in bounties he ‘stole’ from the Outback Bank.

2023 WPT Australia Mystery Bounty Final Table Draw

1Sal Fazzino3,665,000
2Huang Wei-Chin2,310,000
3Keni Barrett900,000
4Truong-Khac Tran3,305,000
5Loy Abdo3,105,000
6Matt Wingham1,775,000
7Adam Thaggard6,085,000
8Mishel Anunu4,435,000
9Taku Kubota825,000

They will play the remaining 8 minutes of the current level and then depart on a 30-minute dinner break.

5:30pm: Player Gallery

The Outback Survivor Bounty event continues to attract interest, now over 300 entrants!

PMA‘s Chris Wadih set out with a camera to capture the ever-growing field and spy any notables in the running.

Hussein Hassan, fresh off his 3rd place finish in yesterdays $5K 8-Max Action Clock event, has taken his seat to the left of the media desk, alongside Ken Demlakian. We also spied Corey Van Jaarsveldt, Attila Bognar, Eugene Wong, Dan Smiljanic, Martin Ward, and local legend Omer Silajdzjija amongst the strong field.

The Mystery Bounty is down to two tables – just thirteen players remain and although the action has certainly slowed down there’s still plenty of excitement in the air – Sal Fazzino claimed a $15,000 bounty about half an hour ago, leaving the $10K WPT Prime Championship package as THE top bounty right now! Who will get it? We’ll be sure to find out!

And as usual, Ehsan Amiri (who’s still in the Mystery Bounty and is shooting for his second final table of WPT Australia ALREADY) was only too happy to strike a pose – golden!

Editors note: Commentator’s curse is not a real thing… we promise. Sorry Ehsan!

4pm: They call him the Bounty King!

That was what MC Tanera (@taneranathan) called on the microphone as Adam Thaggard approached the Outback Bank once again. That would prove to be, as Thaggard peeled back the cover to unveil all of the zeroes – the Australian record $100,000 top bounty has been claimed!

Thaggard didn’t stop there – he’s now been to the Outback Bank TWELVE times, with over $140,000 in bounties heading his way, that’s equivalent to more than first place prize money – which is even more impressive considering Thaggard started Day 2 with 14 big blinds. We’ll be catching up with Thaggard later in the day for a PMA Deep Dive interview during a break.

Thaggard is now astride a stack of 4.9 million, more than good enough for the chip lead as the average stack has eclipsed the million mark with 23 players remaining. Remi Burucoa has just shy of 3 million, whilst Marco Perri (1.32 million) and Mishel Anunu (1.89 million) both have healthy stacks.

Now that the 100K bounty has been claimed, the top bounty remaining is $15,000 (and there’s two of those left), and the $10K WPT Prime Championship package.

The Survivor Outback Bounty even is continuing to grow, now up to 242 total entries with three hours left of late registration.

3pm: Walking the floor

We caught up with both Hayden Doughty and Adam Thaggard during the Mystery Bounty Day 2. In a case of ‘commentators curse’, Doughty was eliminated in 39th place a little while after recording – but only after his pocket Aces went down in an incredible nut full house vs QUADS cooler to neighbouring chip leader Remi Burucoa in a pot close to 4 million chips!

Of course, after that cooler Burucoa remains in the lead – we walked around to get some assorted counts for everyone following along at home.

Remi Burucoa3,700,000
Adam Thaggard3,065,000
Yiteng Gi1,725,000
Marco Perri1,360,000
Gangtao Hu1,230,000
Simon Pedler1,225,000
Zhengmin Zhang1,080,000
Mishel Anunu1,050,000
Matthew Wingham875,000
Ehsan Amiri630,000
Joe Hachem520,000

Adam Thaggard is continuing his absolute rampage, having now collected EIGHT bounties from the Outback Bank – but the $100K brick AND the $10K WPT Prime Championship package have yet to be claimed!

Our second bounty tournament of the day, the $1150 buy in Outback Survivor Bounty event that we explained earlier, has also commenced a little over half an hour ago. So far, there have been a total of 155 entries, but late registration is still open for another 4 hours. The cut off to register for this exciting event is just before 7:20pm local time.

2pm: Break time

Half the field remained in the Mystery Bounty at the break as 41 players departed for 15 minutes.

A quick scan of the stacks revealed several millionaires in play; leading the pack was New Caledonia’s Remi Burucoa on a stack of 1.8 million, though the bounty-rich Adam Thaggard isn’t that far behind with 1.525 million (and those four bounty ingots).

Of course, having a big stack is a large advantage in a bounty format, where first place isn’t the only priority – survival as a short stack won’t win you any bounties, and that $100,000 top bounty is STILL in play, as is the $10K WPT Prime Championship package that’s been hidden away for one player.

The field will resume with blinds at 10,000/20,000 (20,000). A quick reminder, as well, that the Outback Bank is considered impenetrable during breaks; bounties are only redeemable during play.

1pm: Bounties after bounties

Just over an hour in and we’ve already lost 34 runners; not all of those bounties have been claimed yet with some players electing to hold on to their bounty chip for a later time.

Over 20 gold ingots have been claimed already; most have been for the minimum $500 and a couple of $1,000 bounties.

It’s Adam Thaggard who’s struck gold though, holding up the Outback Bank no less than FOUR times -recently uncovering a mammoth $25,000, having already drawn a $7,500 bounty in addition to two $500 bricks for a total of $33,500 in bounties ALONE for Thaggard – so far.

Hayden Doughty pulled out $5,000 for himself only recently, and Paul Murray also laid claim to a 5,000 bounty, although Murray has since been eliminated himself.

PokerMedia Australia‘s very own Chris Wadih, with some special guests, took the chance to take a look at the day ahead; as well as Day 2 of the Mystery Bounty event, the “Survivor Bounty” format will commence play at 2:30pm.

11:30am: Golden opportunities

83 of them, to be exact! That’s how many gold ingots are waiting to be collected in the “Outback Bank” here at The Star Gold Coast, for the players remaining in Day 2 of the Mystery Bounty event.

Each golden ingot has an amount on the bottom, from the Australian record top bounty of $100,000 waiting to be claimed, to a minimum amount of $500. PLUS, one of those ingots has a $10K WPT Prime Championship package ($4,000 cash + $6K package)!

Leading the field today is Yiteng Ge, who bagged 832,000 last night, followed closely by Zhengmin Zhang with 810,000. Some notables include 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem (570,000), as well as both the male and female 2022 Australian GPI POTY’s in Yita Choong (443,000) and Janet Wyvil (210,000).

We also spied Shem Goltz (426,000), Didier Guerin (136,000), and Zisimos Jordan (163,000), all of whom have taken the time to chat with PMA‘s Chris Wadih over the last couple of days. Those interviews are viewable on the PokerMedia Australia Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) pages – make sure to like and follow to keep up with all of the content over the coming fortnight!

Goltz, incidentally, has ALREADY pulled the first bounty of the day out of the Outback Bank – cue a sigh of relief and applause from the rest of the field as it was a minimum bounty for Goltz; that $100K brick is still out there!

Mystery Bounty Day 2 Seat Draw

Hold up, wait a minute …

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