WSOP bracelet winner, Sydney Championships winner and now Martin Kozlov is eyeing WPT Australia glory as he takes a Top 5 chip stack into tomorrow’s Day 4 of the WPT Australia Main Event. He spoke with PMA’s Ben Blaschke at the end of Day 3’s play about his first live tournament in more than three years!
Lin-sanity ends Day 3 early, takes monster chip lead into Day 4
One moment we had 30 players left, the next minute we were down to 24 as a late flurry of action saw the tournament staff call the clock on Day 3 of the WPT Australia Main Event shortly before the end of Level 20.
But the hand that ultimately ended the day’s action was a massive one as overnight chip leader Gary Lin clashed with one of the other big stacks, Michael Rattigan.
The hand began with Lin opening to 40,000 UTG as it folded around to Rattigan who bumped it up to 160,000. Lin called to see a flop of Q♣8♦J♣.
Rattigan fired out for 125,000, with Lin raising to 375,000. Rattigan called.
On the 6♠ turn, Rattigan checked to Lin who made it 350,000. Rattigan announced he was all-in and Lin quickly called, showing 8♣8♥ for the flopped set.
Rattigan was drawing dead with A♦Q♦ and hit the rail while Lin soars into the chip lead again.
With full chip counts to come, the top 5 chip counts at the end of the day’s play are as follows:
Kang crashes down
Yoon Kang has just hit the rail in a massive clash with Yuto Suzuki.
The hand began with Peter Lim opening to 40,000 and kang making the call before Suzuki 3-bet from the small blind. Lim folded and Kang called to see a flop of 6♣A♦7♠. Suzuki thought briefly before betting 155,000, with Kang calling.
On the 8♣ turn Suzuki bet 275,000 with Kang calling again. When the river landed 3♠, Suzuki checked and Kang announced he was all-in. Suzuki thought briefly before calling and showing A♠6♠ for the flopped two-pair, while Kang showed K♣Q♣ for the missed draw.
He hits the rail while Suzuki moves to 2.55 million.
Leading the way
Let’s take a look at the big stacks while the 33 remaining players in the WPT Australia Main Event enjoy a 45-minute dinner break.
Once considered the home of Australian poker, Adelaide is enjoying a renaissance of sorts with a growing number of poker rooms and festivals making a name for themselves and a strong contingent of local players emerging on the national and international circuit.
We catch up with one of those, Amin Chehade, to discuss the Adelaide poker scene.
Burst that bubble!
The bubble has burst in the Mini Main, with 53 players making the money. Now with 40 remaining, we will see a winner crowned later this evening.
Running the gauntlet are chip leaders Jarod Cunningham, Hiroshi Nishiyama, Alex Lee and Angel Guillen.
Lee, well known as one of Singapore’s crushers and sitting fourth on the nation’s all-time money list, boasts a long list of deep finishes in events all around Asia and will be looking to add a WPT Australia side event trophy to his cabinet.
The winner will take home $148,910.
2019 WSOP Player of the Year Robert Campbell is our latest casualty, running into trouble in a pre-flop all-in clash holding K♦Q♠ to find himself completely dominated by the K♣K♠ of Dylan Kehoe.
Moments earlier, Takanao Fukita hit the rail after shoving with 7♥7♦ and running into the 9♦9♠ of Yoon Kang. The A♦5♣K♥ flop provided no help for Fukita and the 9♥ turn sealed the deal as we fall to 33 players remaining.
Jarrod Thatcher is the latest to hit the rail, shoving for his last 250,000 with A♥J♣and running into the pocket Kings of Yita Choong.
The board ran out 9♣10♥3♣K♦3♠ to push Choong up to 1.19 million.
Morvan moves above 2 million
Romain Morvan is the latest player to cross the 2 million chip barrier, clipping former chip leader in the process.
In a button v small blind battle, Lin opened to 30,000 before Morvan 3-bet to 135,000. Lin then came back over the top for 290,000, prompting Morvan to announced he was all-in. Lin quickly folded.
Lin falls below 2 million after that hand but is still comfortable with 1.9 million.
Will he or Wonky?
Vincent “Wonky” Wan can not only lay claim to winning the tournament long considered the most prestigious on Australian soil, his victory in the 2020 Aussie Millions Main Event also leaves him as the last to do so.
Wan told PMA that he hasn’t played a whole lot since other than a handful of tournaments here and there, but he now finds himself in the mix to win what has replaced the Aussie Millions as Australia’s “must play” event – the WPT Australia Main Event.
Currently sitting with 770,000, he will be looking to add another $838,890 to the $1.3 million he scored in January 2020 – what a feat that would be!
All systems go
We now have three of today’s tournaments running in parallel, with the $10k WPT World Championship Warm-up having just begun and 25 players registered so far.
Also underway is Day 2 of the Mini Main. From a starting field of 416 runners, there are now 62 remaining of which 53 will make the money. They are playing for a top prize of $148,910.
Meanwhile there are 40 players left in the Main Event itself.
At our second break of the day, there are 43 players remaining with each guaranteed a minimum of $19,281. We started today with 73 remaining, meaning we’ve lost 30 players during the first three hours of play.
Thatcher on a mission
We caught up with Jarrod Thatcher a few moments ago to discuss his run through this WPT Australia Main Event and his impressive year to date.
Barking up the right tree
Sydney’s Slav Rypinski is enjoying yet another deep run this week, and he has a lucky charm coming along for the ride with him.
Rypinski picked up his card protector at the Rocks markets in Sydney after finding this little caricature bearing a striking resemblance to his dog Shelby.
The charm is working, with Rypinski – who reached the final table of the WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event in March – currently sitting on a stack of around 450,000.
The female touch
There is one solitary female still in the field today following Janet Wyvill’s earlier elimination, with Shiina Okamoto part of the strong Japanese contingent to have travelled to the Gold Coast for WPT Australia.
Okamoto has already enjoyed a solid year, finishing runner-up in the Ladies Championship at the WSOP for US$118,768 and cashing in the Main Event as well, however victory here would comfortably eclipse both of those results.
Although short for much of the today, Okamoto has just doubled through chip leader Gary Lin to move to around 465,000.
Break it up
We’re one level and 90 minutes down here on Day 3 of WPT Australia and it’s certainly been an action filled time, with 19 players hitting the rail.
Among the casualties so far are Luis Vargas, Janey Wyvill, Guangrui Meng, Steven Zhou, Sean Ragozzini, Daewoong Song, Paawan Bansal, Anthony Auvale, Michael Gathy, Nozomu Shimizu and Lewis Murray.
There are currently 54 players remaining with the plan to play a maximum of six levels today.
To Paris with love
Paris Sitzoukis has just won a huge pot to send Steven Zhou to the rail following a pre-flop clash that saw the two players get it all-in, with Sitzoukis holding A♠A♣ to have Zhou’s Q♠Q♥ dominated.
There was no Queen to save Zhou as he hits the rail, while Sitzoukis moves to around 810,000.
There are now 64 players remaining with other recent casualties including Janet Wyvill, Dale Marsland and Nozomu Shimizu.
Time runs out for Vargas
With just a single elimination needed today to secure a pay jump from $12,555 to $13,452, Luis Vargas tried everything he could to survive as long as he could by burning through his entire allocation of time banks.
After Takamitsu Namiki opened to 16,000 – receiving calls from Zhifan Ye and Chris Colaneri – Vargas waited for the full 30 seconds allocated by the action clock, then threw in one of his time banks to buy himself another 30 seconds. When this ran out he did it again, and again, until he eventually shoving his remaining 31,000 moments before the clock expired.
It didn’t matter much in the end: Namiki quickly shoved over the top and it was heads-up between the two with Namiki’s A♠J♥ dominating Vargas’s A♦8♥.
The board ran out 7♣J♠5♣3♥Q♥ as Vargas hits the rail in 73rd.
Sean Ragozzini is also an early casualty today, busting shortly afterwards.
What’s in store?
It’s going to be a busy day here at The Star Gold Coast, with three events set to run concurrently as the afternoon progresses.
The WPT Australia Main Event has already kicked off, while at 3pm those who survived Day 1 of the Mini Main Event will return to play down to a winner.
Then at 3:30pm the 10k World Championship Warm-Up gets underway in what should be a star-studded event.
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