WPT Australia: Sunday 24 September 2023

The bubble bursts, 73 heading through to Day 3

It took over an hour for the bubble to burst, but when it did it happened in spectacular fashion with three players eliminated at the same time.

On Table 4, Jonathon Trip was sent packing just moments before a 3-way all-in saw two players, including Ali Ghezelbash, hit the rail at the hands of Gary Lin.

That’s it for today with 73 players to return for tomorrow’s Day 3 action!

We will bring you full chip counts as soon as they are available.

Martin marchin’ on

We’re now down to the pure money bubble after Martin Kozlov delivered a fatal blow to Jeison Berdugo-Rojas.

Berdugo-Rojas was all-in holding AA on a Js5s3d flop and needing to dodge the flush draw of Kozlov’s K2.

He managed to do that but couldn’t avoid the backdoor straight draw as the turn 4 and river 6 to leave us with 76 remaining!

Martin Kozlov

Mini main

While the WPT Australia Main Event is getting very close to the bubble, the Mini Main is also bubbling along with a field of 377 entries so far (and more alternates waiting to be seated).

We’ll bring you the end of day chip counts in our Monday morning update, and extensive coverage tomorrow as we play down to a winner, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, there are 77 players remaining in the Main Event itself and play will stop for the evening once we reach 75 players remaining.

Demlakian doubles

We caught the action on a 5Q82 board with Ken Demlakian having shoved for his remaining 245,000 and Cuong Le thinking long and hard.

He eventually called with KK to be ahead of Demlakian’s AQ but needing to dodge plenty of outs. He couldn’t as the A landed on the river.

Ken Demlakian625,000
Cuong Le300,000


Gary Lin stopped by the PMA desk during the recent dinner break to discuss his strong start to the day, which has seen him move above the 1 million chip mark.

Lee loving life

Richard Lee has just rocketed up the leaderboard courtesy of a huge pot played against Konstaninos Kamaros.

In what Lee’s tablemates described as an early birthday present, Yita Choong opened to 13,000 before Kamaros bumped it up to 30,000. Lee then cold 4-bet to 68,000 with only Kamaros making the call. On the As6d9d flop, Lee continued for 55,000 and Kamaros called.

The turn was the 5, and when Lee checked to Kamaros he shoved for around 300,000. Lee gave it some thought but eventually threw in a calling chip to find himself well ahead holding AK against Kamaros’s A3. The river was the 2 as Kamoros hits the rail.

Lee moves to 850,000 after that hand.

Nuts v second nuts

Romain Morvan is currently sitting on a very healthy stack of 665,000, but he showed incredible self-control not to have left himself short after a big clash with Jason Pritchard.

On a 985 flop, both players checked before Pritchard led for 7,000 on the K turn. Morvan called as the dealer peeled the 2 on the river.

This prompted a bet of 15,000 from Pritchard before Morvan re-raised to 70,000. Pritchard bumped it back up to 135,000, sending Morvan into the tank. He eventually opted to just call and showed K7 for the second nuts, but Pritchard turned over AQ for the stone cold nuts.

“I had visions of cracking a million there,” Morvan said, adding that he wasn’t going to make the mistake of shoving in that particular spot.

Romain Morvan665,000
Jason Pritchard515,000
Jason Pritchard

Dinner time

Players are now on a 45-minute dinner break. They will return just 11 places shy of the money with 86 players remaining and 75 to be paid. We’ll see you soon!

Picture perfect

Japan contingent strong as Nozomu makes himself known

One very notable feature of this year’s WPT Australia series is the very large contingent of Japanese players taking part. According to the WPT’s Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh, there are at least 20 players here from Japan – so many in fact that it even took the WPT by surprise.

Japanese media are also here capturing a lot of the action to showcase to the poker-loving audience back home.

One player we’ve certainly noticed today is Shimizu Nozomu, who took a hefty chunk from Ethan “Rampage” Yau earlier and just showed off an audacious bluff in a hand against Hamish Crawshaw. 

On a 59Q flop, Nozomu led for [invalid notations] before Crawshaw raised to 40,000. Nozomu then 3-bet to 90,000, forcing an insta-fold from Crawshaw.

Nozomu flashed the 23 as he raked in the pot to move to 620,000.

Shimizu Nozomu

Halfway point

Players have just returned from a short break to begin their fourth 90-minute level of the day, with a 45-minute dinner break awaiting at the end of the level.

There are currently 109 players remaining of the 227 who began the day, and we’ll be bagging up either when we hit the money or when we complete six full levels for the day – whichever comes first.

The half million club

Adrian Pacheco1,040,000
Gary Lin980,000
Yuto Suzuki640,000
Yoon Kang640,000
Steven Zhou580,000
Cuong Le545,000
Luis Arrilucea512,000

Who’s gone?

We’ve lost just over 100 players since the start of the day’s play, with plenty of familiar names among them.

Those to have hit the rail include Shivan Abdine, Stephen Song, Troy McLean, William Wong, Josh Emerton, Omer Silajdzija, Octavian Voegele, Bert Perry, Josh McCully, Adam Cuzenza, Matt Pongrass, David Sebefsi, Armon Van Wijk, Matthew Bennett and more.

Rampage slowed

It’s been a roller-coaster of a day for popular poker vlogger Ethan “Rampage” Yau, who has just lost a big pot in a clash with Japan’s Shimizu Nozomu.

On a board reading 3410, Shimizu bet 12,000 and received calls from two players before Yau bumped it up to 45,000. Shimizu then shoves for 194,000 total with only Yau making the call.

Yau ad plenty of outs with KJ against the QQ of Shimizu but couldn’t hit any of them as the board ran out 5 and 2.

Shimizu Nozomu455,000
Ethan Yau170,000

The big stacks

Gary Lin990,000
Adrian Pacheco745,000
Yutio Suzuki505,000
Steven Zhou450,000
Luis Arrilucea412,000
David Tang410,000
Cuong Le400,000
Richard Lee395,000
Slav Rypinski378,000
Hauman Dombani350,000
Nozomu Shimizu350,000
Tokamitsu Namiki345,000
Ethan “Rampage” Yau340,000
Paawan Bansai330,000
Brendan Pettit325,000
Akhilesh Bhatia318,000
Peter Lim315,000
Chao Duan315,000
John Camilleri310,000
Josh Hutchins310,000

Candid camera!

Satisfaction Guerin-teed

Didier Guerin sat down moments ago with PMA to discuss his week at WPT Australia, his summer in Las Vegas, interactions with the great Daniel Negreanu and plans for the upcoming WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December.

On Song

Stephen Song had quite the year in 2022. Cashing for almost US$2.5 million in live events, his impressive run included two WSOP final tables and victory in the Wynn Fall Classic Progressive Bounty, however it was at the WPT World Championship in December that his star really shone.

Song outlasted a massive field of 5,430 players to win the WPT Prime Championship for a career-best US$712,650 payday – a win that also propelled him to the top of the GPI Player of the Year rankings.

Now here in Australia for the WPT Australia festival, he has endured a tough start to Day 2 after a huge clash with Slav Rypinski.

The hand began with Rypinski opening to 6,000, with a short-stack calling all-in before Song 3-bet to 18,000. Rypinski then 4-bet to 51,000 and Song shoved. Rypinski snapped and showed the pocket rockets to have Song’s KK drawing slim.

The A in the window was enough to seal the deal as Song slips back to 75,000 – still enough for 25 big blinds with blinds at 1,500/3,000 (3,000).

Stephen Song


The final payouts have been released, with a cool $838,890 up top for the eventual champion.

A total of 75 players will make the money with the min-cash worth $12,555.


Break it up

Players are on their first 15-minute break of the day, with 180 players remaining from the 227 who sat down 90 minutes ago.

We’ll bring you full payouts shortly.

Flynn flayed

Our Shane Warne One Day Perpetual Trophy champion, Gavin Flynn, has hit the rail.

Most of his chips went the way of Filipp Mamedov, with Flynn calling all-in on a JJJ3 board holding 1010 to be drawing dead against Mamedov’s KK.

He busted shortly afterwards.

Gavin Flynn … during happier times!

Shan shaping up

Shan Huang has found a much-needed double early on to give himself breathing room early on Day 2. 

Shan was all-in for his last 63,000 holding QQ and in good shape against the 1010 of Chao Duan. The board ran out K72KA to move to almost 130,000.

Chao falls back to 267,000.

Dropping like flies

It has taken long for some of the short stacks to hit the rail. 

Those to have had their hopes dashed during the early minutes of play today include Kiavash Arbabi – who was our first casualty – plus Shivan Abdine, Gaurav Sood, Joseph Antar, Takara Stutchbury and Ziyang Peng.

Rules of the game

Today sees players return to longer 90-minute levels, but they will also be time limited when it comes to making decisions. That’s right, a 30-second shot clock is in play and each player has five time-bank chips they can use throughout the day.

If a player takes more than 30 seconds on a decision, the dealer will take one of their chips once the hand is over for each 30 seconds over their original 30-second limit they take.

Once a player’s time chips are exhausted, their hand will be declared dead on any occasion in which they exceed their 30-second limit.

We will be playing a maximum of six levels today, although this could be shorter if we hit the money before then.

Moving time

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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