WPT AUSTRALIA: Friday 22 September 2023

10pm: Namhyung Kim wins SHR; Main Event late registration ends

Firstly, a congratulations to Chris Tran, 2nd place in the WPT Australia Super High Roller for $306,106!

The heads up battle between Tran and Namhyung Kim had been raging for well over an hour when PMA picked up the action on the 7A6 flop; Tran checked the action across to prompt a bet of 450,000 by Kim. Tran was not content with that, pumping it up to 1.1 million.

Kim made the call, the 8 hit the turn, and Tran once again checked the action across to Kim. Kim obliged with a bet of 2 million; Tran shoved. Kim looked bemused, but with the all in being for less than 2 million more, begrudgingly plonked a stack of dark blues forward.

All in, call!

Tran slammed the AA over, and needed to fade eight outs, the K5 of Kim having picked up a straight draw on the turn. 1

The 9… heartbreak for Tran, who had mounted a comeback from 2 million at the break up to 6 million by this point.

Our winners interview with Kim will be coming up shortly; for now, from all of us at PMA, congratulations Namhyung Kim on winning the WPT Australia Super High Roller, the crystal boomerang trophy, and the $459,002 that comes with it!

Main Event update

In Main Event Day 1A news, late registration has officially come to a close with 295 entries. Today was a day of unlimited re-entries, and there were 67 in total over the course of the day. Tomorrow, Day 1B, features a single re-entry permitted only format.

295 entries means that the total prize pool overnight will be $2,212,500. With WPT staff estimating eclipsing the $5M mark for this event, we could be looking at a large field for Day 1B.

Some assorted stacks from around the room;

Gary Lin395,000
Abhinov Iyez320,000
Andreas Vasquez257,000
Steven Zhou250,000
Ashton Campbell250,000
Thijs Hilberts244,800
Corey Kempson225,200
Kazuhito Yotsushika208,700
Troy McLean172,200
Sam Haddad158,900

For us at PokerMedia Australia, that marks the end of our coverage for today; we’ll bring you all of the chip leaders for Day 1A first thing tomorrow along with our interview with Namhyung Kim!

Our coverage will commence at 11:30am for Day 1B of the WPT Australia Main Event, and we’ll be here to bring you all of the action from buy-in to bust-out!

8:30pm: Main Event eclipses $2M, SHR on break

The Main Event’s extended late registration period – there’s still almost two whole hours left to register in Day 1A – has so far allowed for 277 entries including rebuys to bring the prize pool up to over two million dollars, with another two and a half levels left to play.

As it stands, there are 223 players remaining on the tables.

The Super High Roller, meanwhile, has seen Namhyung Kim extend his chip lead slightly before both players have left on a scheduled 15-minute break.

Kim lost a bunch of chips to Chris Tran after calling Tran’s 2.4 million bet on the river only to blanche at the sight of Tran’s A-3, trip threes good enough to see Tran near double up.

A little while later, Tran would barrel three times against Kim, firing 325,000, 900,000, and 2.4 million on each respective street on a board showing 3K873.

Tran tabled his KJ confidently, but it was Kim with the Q3 who would river three of a kind to take down the sizable pot and return Tran back to the stack he had at the start of heads up.

Namhyung Kim18,400,000
Chris Tran2,350,000

7:30pm: Super High Roller heads up

Play has stopped in the Super High Roller; tournament staff setting up for heads up play as Korea’s Namhyung Kim and Chris Tran take a quick and well-deserved break.

Weiran Pu bowed out in 3rd; that result still good for a pay day just over $200K; whoever bows out next will take $306,306 whilst $459,002 PLUS a $20K WPT World Championship package awaits the tournament winner.

Namhyung Kim16,625,000
Chris Tran3,125,000

6:30pm: Dinner time!

The first day of the WPT Australia Main Event has departed on their 30-minute dinner break. The field so far has ballooned to 249 total entries, inclusive of 37 re-entries, creating a total prize pool ‘so far’ of $1,867,500; there are still nearly 4 hours left of late registration today alone, plus another flight tomorrow.

Can we hit a $6 million prize pool?

Some of the bigger stacks in the room;

Michael Pettigan228,000
Raphael Tenenbaum220,000
Gary Lin203,000
Steven Zhou196,000
Hangzhuang Fan156,000
Simon Chahine143,000
Ashton Campbell140,000
David Sebesfi139,000
Ehsan Amiri100,000

6pm: Five players, six figures

The elimination of Adam Kharman in 6th place in the Super High Roller means not only are we now down to five players remaining, but all five are guaranteed a six-figure score. Namhyung Kim is our chip leader with 7.45 million.

WPT Australia Main Event Day 1A assorted chip stacks:

Ashton Campbell272,500
Steven Zhou247,000
Raphael Tenenbaum186,000
Corey Kempson168,000
Jonathan Tripp161,000
Ryota Yamaji148,500
Julian Lios134,300
Ehsan Amiri132,000
Daniel Hachem126,300
Amin Riyazati111,200
Natalia Rosova102,000
Jackson Warne99,000
Bert Perry91,000
David Sebefsi86,200
JP Rounce-Sue84,000
Hari Varma61,000
Joe Hachem57,300
Steven Zhou and Ashton Campbell sit atop the Day 1A chip counts early on

Namhyung Kim leads Super High Roller final table

1Zhifan Ye2,875,000
2Weiran Pu1,360,000
3Namhyung Kim4,645,000
4Adam Kharman1,870,000
5Marcus Gierse2,750,000
6Eric Tsai1,030,000
7Chris Tran2,500,000
8Jin Hoon Lee2,115,000
9Martin Finger1,500,000

Finger lickin’ good

German poker pro Martin Finger came into today’s Day 2 of the Super High Roller and although things haven’t all gone his way today, he is still in contention on around 1.5 million in chips, or 25 big blinds, as we sit on the final table bubble.

Earlier today he spoke with PMA’s Ben Blaschke about his big stack, stating, “It’s the best position to be in. I had a decent start yesterday, then dropped back to starting stack, but from there I started accumulating to 1 million before I won a big all-in flip which pushed me to the chip lead.”

Asked how he planned to approach today’s action, Finger replied, “Honestly, just trying to play every hand the best I can and go from there.”

He also praised the quality of the SHR event.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I love the structure of the 2-day tournament and being right before the main event it’s a good kick off for the good stuff.”

Dylan Rowe busts on bubble of Super High Roller

Dylan Rowe is our bubble boy in the Super High Roller, shoving for his last 500,000 and finding a caller in chip leader Zhifan Ye.

Rowe needed help holding KQ against the AJ of Ye and when the A hit the flop it was all she wrote for the New Zealander as the field is slashed to 11.

We are now in the money with a minimum payday of $41,572 now guaranteed for our remaining players.

Ye is chip leader with around 3.4 million.

2:30pm: First break of the day

After the first 15-minute break of the day, the clocks were paused in both the Main Event and the Super High Roller for a Welcome to Country from Yugambeh traditional custodians.

Familiar faces

Plenty more familiar faces have appeared in the Main Event; we spied 2019 WSOP POTY Rob Campbell, Dan Smiljanic, and Anya Azimai, who sat down with PMA for a Deep Dive interview earlier this week.

Both Jackson Warne and Joe Hachem have also been sighted in the room.

SHR bubble

The Super High Roller is down to the significant money bubble, with 12 players remaining. Mata Ye is the current chipleader, cruising on 3.225 million; it’s Taiwan’s Eric “SixPoker” Tsai on the lower end with 385,000 – just 7.5 big blinds. Adam Kharman recently found a timely double up (a bubble double, so to speak) and now sits pretty on 2.8 million at this key stage in the event.

1:30pm: Flynn-tastic

PokerMedia Australia caught up with the winner of last night’s Shane Warne One Day Perpetual Trophy event, Ireland’s Gavin Flynn, to discuss his memorable victory.

1pm: #MissionHalfMillion

WPT Anchor Lynn Gilmartin was spotted railing husband Angel Guillen in the $20K Super High Roller, with Day 2 under way here at The Star Gold Coast.

“He [Angel] will be playing the Main tomorrow – today is Mission Half Million!” said Gilmartin.

Guillen has taken his seat alongside 19 other returning players for the start of Day 2. 11 players will make the money, with $41,572 for 11th and a massive $459,002 up top.

German ex-pat Martin Finger leads the tallies right now; in a field which includes Sean Ragozzini, Michael Egan, and Adam Kharman. Well-known Taiwanese poker YouTuber Eric “SixPoker” Tsai carries through more than a million in chips to Day 2.

12pm: Cards in the air!

109 entrants so far have taken to the felt for the $8,000 buy-in WPT Australia Main Event on Day 1A. There was a momentary delay for some players as tables were re-balanced to allow play to commence, giving us at PMA a chance to run around and see who’s in the field.

Some of the notable names taking a seat today include Daniel Hachem, fresh from a 2nd place finish in the WPT Australia Opening Event, as well as Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell.

WPT Australia 2019 winner Hari Varma is shooting for a repeat win, whilst other familiar faces included Yita Choong, Corey Kempson, Kahle Burns, Hussein Hassan, Joel Dodds, and Ehsan Amiri.

Amin Riyazati, who converted an overnight chip lead into a win in the Outback Survivor Bounty Event this week, is seated on the same table as both David Sebesfi (202nd, 2023 WSOP Main Event) and Malcolm Trayner, who carried the chip lead into the WPT Australia $5K 8-Max Action Clock final table but went down to eventual winner Raph Tenenbaum – who, incidentally, is seated on the next table over.

Marco Perri, who final tabled the 2022 WPT DeepStacks Main Event in Sydney, has become the first elimination of the event; running A-K into Q-Q on a K-Q-X flop for his entire stack in an aggressive confrontation. Yang Lei, who won the WPT Prime Main Event here at The Star Gold Coast just last year, has also joined the field.

Bonza mate!

Jason Gilbert overcame a tricky field to continue his strong record at the Star Gold Coast by winning the WPT Australia Bonza Bounty event on Thursday evening. He caught up with PMA afterwards to discuss his success.

Time to shine

From wherever you’re watching in Australia, New Zealand or around the world, hello and welcome back to PokerMedia Australia‘s continued coverage of the WPT Australia festival!

It’s another big day on the cards today, with Day 2 of the $20,000 buy-in Super High Roller kicking off this morning from 11:30am AEST. From the original 83 total entries, 20 will be returning today, with German ex-pat Martin Finger leading the way with 2.285 million in chips.

The top 11 players will be guaranteed a minimum payout of $41,752, while our eventual champion will earn themselves $459,002, plus a $20,000 WPT World Championship package and a shot at global poker stardom at The Wynn Las Vegas later this year.

Today also marks the beginning of the $8,000 buy-in WPT Australia Main Event, which will once again feature live updates from our friends at the World Poker Tour, as well as a final table live stream brought to you by Sharehand.

And of course, our PMA crew will be ringside to bring you our exclusive daily blog and social media coverage from all that’s happening on and around the felt at The Star Gold Coast, so be sure to bookmark your browsers and follow us on all our socials. See you soon!

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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