LIVE REPORTING: 2023 WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event Day 1B

Day 1B in the bag; Ooi leads surviving 21.

Day 1B certainly slowed to a crawl at the end, with 23 players for the last 45 minutes until 2 quick eliminations near the end of the day, including Marc Seymour on the last hand of play.

That means that 21 survivors will carry a bag through to Day 2 of the WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event on Sunday; of those, Sean Ooi reigns supreme. After screaming to a huge chip lead early on in the day, Ooi ran into some problems in the latter levels, dropping back to average stack on occasion, before getting “two absolute gifts” (according to tablemate Sean Ragozzini) to bag the lead for 1B.

Even though he’s earned a couple of days off, Ooi has his eyes on Event 11 tomorrow, which is the $450 15/15 Single Day Event. Whilst it’s not a ring event, Ooi may certainly have an edge on the field.

Sean Ooi366,500
Zhixang Ang258,500
Rod Batoz246,000
Joe Sandaev238,500
Slav Rypinski230,000
Ken Demlakian227,000
Lachlan Crilly199,500
Aditya Rao193,500
Scott Carmichael172,500
Malcolm Trayner156,500
Wenjie Sun151,500
Wayne Clinch151,000
Ali Ghezelbash109,000
Nathanial Hutton106,500
Killian Farrell98,500
Travis Endersby96,500
Nigel Kwok72,500
Dan Smiljanic67,000
Shino Otani41,000
Sean Ragozzini39,000

Sun is shining

Wenjie Sun opened to 6,000 under-the-gun on one of the first hands of Level 12. Malcolm Trayner flat-called from his immediate left, before Cooper Smout pulled the trigger from the button, shoving for 43,000.

Sun iso-shoved, earning a snap-fold from Trayner, and tabled QQ.

Smout tabled J10 and got to his feet, before immediately starting to pack up his things as the flop came KKK.

An A on the turn was met with a hopeful “Ace?” from Smout.

The river was a fake Ace though; the 4 no help to Smout as he hit the rail.

With just 2 minutes left to play in Day 1B, the next post you can expect is the confirmation of the chip leader for the flight!

Wenjie Sun153,000
Cooper SmoutBUSTED!

Carmichael finds a late double

Scott Carmichael opened to 4,500 from early position and action folded around to Marc Seymour in the blinds.

Seymour upped the ante to 16,000, folding out the big blind before Carmichael shoved for 90,000. Seymour made the call.

Carmichael: KK
Seymour: AK

The unfortunate cooler sent some chips from Seymour to Carmichael as the board ran out Q79J9.

Scott Carmichael185,000
Marc Seymour148,500

Parker to parking

“All in and a call!” on the far table, as Cooper Smout and John Parker had the chips in the middle and the cards on their backs.

Smout: A5
Parker: J10

Both players connected on the A910 flop, but running 5, 5 saw all of the chips go Smout’s way.

The Main Event Day 1B is now down to just 23 players remaining. Hall of Famer Gary Benson is among the recent eliminations.

Cooper Smout70,000
John ParkerBUSTED!
Gary BensonBUSTED!

Feltham crippled

Cooper Feltham nearly had a better headline, after shoving in middle position and being called by Michael Blake in the blinds.

Blake found himself ahead, tabling A2 against the J10 of Feltham.

The board ran out 46K6Q, missing both players, and Feltham shipped some chippies over to Blake.

Not all of them though. Feltham was left with a single T1000 chip.

Michael Blake44,000
Cooper Feltham1,000

Ooi drops some

Picking up the action on the turn as the board showed 75J8, Sean Ooi tanked before leading out for 14,000. Zhixang Ang tanked before making the call.

On the J river, Ooi hit the tank, before leading out once more, this time for 40,000.

To no one’s surprise, Ang tanked some more, more than a minute passing before Ang slid calling chips over the line; Ooi tabled K9 for a missed straight draw, bettered by the 97 of Ang.

Zhixang Ang332,000
Sean Ooi127,000

Structure update

Tournament staff have confirmed that instead of playing to the end of Level 12, the remaining 27 players will be playing until 48:11 remains on the clock in Level 12 – the same time that last night’s surviving 20% reached – OR until 20% of the field remain.

We will also be skipping the last 15-minute break, due at the end of Level 11, for this reason.

Otani saved by Demlakian

Shino Otani open shoved for her last 21,500 from middle position. Ken Demlakian asked to see the stacks of the remaining opponents, which were mostly below average stack with the exception of Ali Ghezelbash in the big blind, before making it 48,000 to go.

Action folded to Ghezelbash, who looked at his cards and immediately gave an expletive, counting out the calling chips to see how much more he had. Eventually, Ghezelbash folded AQ face up.

Otani tabled KK and found herself well ahead of the 99 of Demlakian.

The board then ran out 5A46Q to give Otani the full double.

“I saved you!” cried Demlakian as he passed the chips over, “Nice hand.”

Shino Otani47,000

Egan eliminated

Michael Egan raised to 18,000 after Ken Demlakian opened in early position to 4,500.

Shino Otani got out of the way quickly, before Demlakian shoved, covering Egan by a handful of big blinds.

Egan called and tabled AK, dominating the AQ of Demlakian.

It was domination rotation, however, on the 8410Q9 board, and with a “Good game, guys”, Egan departed.

Ken Demlakian138,000
Michael EganBUSTED!

Hutton needs no Guide-r

Just before the break, Greg Guider opened to 6,000 under-the-gun, with action folding around to Nathan Hutton in the cut-off.

Hutton jammed, forcing both blinds out of the before Guider snap-called.

Hutton: AK
Guider: KJ

The King in the window paired both, as the flop spread A6K to a “Don’t get up yet!” from Hutton.

The 10 certainly gave Guider some outs, but the 5 was decisive, sending Guider to the rail.

Nathanial Hutton194,800
Greg GuiderBUSTED!

Break time and assorted counts

The final 15-minute break of the day also coincides with the end of late registration – including some last minute entries, Day 1B has attracted a total of 80 entries. Of those, 31 remain to play either 3 more 60-minute Levels or to 20% of the field, which equates to 16 players remaining.

One of those late entrants was none other than Australian Poker Hall of Famer Gary Benson, who has taken a seat on the far table alongside Cooper Smout and Wenjie Sun.

Marc Seymour333,400
Zhixang Ang261,900
Joe Sandaev255,300
Sean Ooi213,600
Nathanial Hutton194,800
Rod Batoz189,600
Ali Ghezelbash169,800
Ken Demlakian135,000
Travis Endersby122,000
Cooper Smout105,800
Dan Smiljanic98,400
Wenhie Sun92,800
Killian Farrell67,600
Nigel Kwok61,500
Malcolm Trayner48,400
Gary Benson40,000
Shino Otani40,000
Slav Rypinski39,000
Michael Egan32,400
Romain Morvan19,900

That’s gotta hurt

Nigel Kwok opened to 3,200 under-the-gun, finding a caller in Slav Rypinski two seats to his left.

Karsten Kobbing, recently crippled when his QQ went down in flames to AK, took his time next to act before releasing his hand to wait for a better spot.

Michael Sleiman, on the other hand, 3-bet jammed from the big blind for 16,700 effective. Kwok re-shoved, forcing Rypinski out of the way.

Kwok: QQ
Sleiman: 1010

10 in the window… and the Q directly underneath it. Ouch.

The full board spread out Q91076 to eliminate Sleiman.

Michael SleimanBUSTED!

Hutton on the button

With around 11,000 in the pot and a flop of 437 on board, Romain Morvan fired a bet of 5,000 from the big blind, only to get raised by Nathanial Hutton from the dealer position to 13,000.

Morvan made the call, then checked the action across to Hutton on the 5 turn. Hutton fired a second barrel, 21,000 this time, sending Morvan into a short tank before he made the call, leaving himself 17,400 behind.

Morvan checked again on the A and Hutton continued the story, a third barrel for all of it. Morvan tanked for so long that two tablemates called the clock, and then continued to think until the clock ran out, his hand dead.

Hutton flipped the J8 into the middle of the table.

Nathanial Hutton112,100
Romain Morvan17,400

Parker back to start

“All in call!” from the far table, where John Parker had shoved for his last 19,100 on the turn and been looked up by Wenjie Sun.

Parker tabled 69 (nice), good for two pair on the board of 7339, and ahead currently of the KQ of Sun.

The river was paint … but the J not enough to eliminate Parker, who doubled back to starting stack.

Wenjie Sun89,400
John Parker46,900

Not rags for Ragozzini

Sean Ragozzini found a full double over on the feature table, getting all the chips in preflop against the similar stack of Haozhe Gan only to find himself dominating.

Ragozzini: AJ
Gan: KJ

Ragozzini would stay ahead on the 48734 board.

Sean Ragozzini85,100
Haozhe Gan5,700


“It was a punt call!” said a tablemate, recounting to PMA how Adrian Sportelli had found the rail in spectacular fashion earlier in the level, “It was for a LOT though…”

Marc Seymour was certainly seeing a lot more chips in front of him, a massive stack as the two monster hands had collided.

Seymour explained to our reporter that Sportelli had 3-bet over an early position open and Seymour had 4-bet, forcing the original raiser out of the pot, before Sportelli had came along.

Sportelli then check-called a bet of 22,000 from Seymour on the Q-8-8 flop, then checked again on a 3 turn.

Seymour shoved, sending Sportelli spiralling.

Eventually, Sportelli made the call to put himself at risk; only to find out that his J-J was dominated by the K-K of Seymour.

The river bricked and Seymour soared into the chip lead, which he has only increased since, recently eliminating Charles Tsai as well.

Marc Seymour322,000
Adrian SportelliBUSTED!
Charles TsaiBUSTED!

Vuksanovic vanquished

Picking up the action on the turn, Gina Vuksanovic checked the action across to Cooper Smout. The board at the time showed J8710.

Smout had a quick look at the stack of Vuksanovic – she had approximately 17,000 behind and with around 30,000 in the pot, Smout slid forward a stack of yellows to put Vuksanovic to the test.

Vuksanovic defeatedly made the call, tabling KJ after Smout showed her his AA.

The river 2 changed nothing.

Gina VuksanovicBUSTED!

Scarf unwrapped

Andrew Scarf limped under-the-gun and action folded all the way around to the blinds.

Killian Farrell completed in the small blind before Ali Ghezelbash raised to 4,000 from the big. Scarf pulled out the old limp-raise to 15,000, Farrell got out of dodge, and Ghezelbash shoved to a snap call from Scarf.

Ghezelbash found himself on the right end of the dream cooler – AA against the KK of Scarf; with the board missing both players Ghezelbash held through to eliminate Scarf.

Ali Ghezelbash174,200
Andrew ScarfBUSTED!

Good check back

Killian Farrell opened to 2,200 and action folded around to Travis Endersby in the small blind, who 3-bet to 9,200.

Dan Smiljanic, on a fresh re-entry, relinquished his big blind, before Farrell made the call.

On the KK8 flop, Endersby continued with a down bet of 5,000, with Farrell coming along.

Sizing up on the J turn was next on the playlist for Endersby; a bet of 14,500 finding another flat call from Farrell.

Endersby slowed down on the Q river, rapping the table, and Farrell thought through the hand before checking back. Endersby tabled AK to take it down.

“Good check back” was all he said.

Travis Endersby96,400
Killian Farrell95,100
Dan Smiljanic38,000

Dinner break

The remaining 41 players have departed on a 30-minute dinner break, giving us a chance to catch a breath and get some stack counts.

The second flight has so far attracted 73 entries including 13 re-entries.

Sean Ooi still carries the lead, but it has narrowed, with several players on his heels.

Day 1B dinner break – assorted counts

Sean Ooi188,300
Rod Batoz165,700
Wenjie Sun139,600
Adrian Sportelli130,100
Greg Guider128,900
Marc Seymour128,100
Killian Farrell124,600
Malcolm Trayner122,800
Ali Ghezelbash121,600
Nathanial Hutton109,900
Zhixang Ang98,300
Cooper Smout88,100
Slav Rypinski79,700
Romain Morvan79,000
Joe Sandaev53,800
Karsten Kobbing47,900
Travis Endersby45,600
Sean Ragozzini39,400
Shino Otani29,000
Dan Smiljanic19,600
Michael Egan14,600

Battle of the blinds

Action folded around to Michael Egan in the small blind, who elected to complete. Malcolm Trayner upped the ante to 3,000 from the big blind, and Egan called.

The flop of 8610 prompted Egan to check-raise to 11,500 after Trayner continued for 4,000.

Trayner shoved for 31,700 total. Asking for a count, Egan made the call once he realised it was around 30,000 only to see Trayner table QQ.

Egan tabled K10 and was unable to catch up on the J, A run out.

Malcolm Trayner70200
Michael Egan17,500

Caris cut

Chuck Caris shoved for his last 8,200 on a board of 638, with 6,900 in the pot from preflop action.

Both Cooper Smout and Nathanial Hutton made the call.

Smout then checked the 6 turn, and Hutton put out a bet of 11,000 to a quick fold from Smout.

Hutton tabled the 86 and Caris rapped the table, tabling J8 and getting to his feet.

“It’s not over yet.” said Hutton.

The river 3 was not the miracle Eight, however, and Caris was eliminated.

Nathanial Hutton124,800
Cooper Smout104,900
Chuck CarisBUSTED!

It’s a chop, I swear

Ali Ghezelbash bet 5,000 on a board of 9Q57, only to be raised by Ken Demlakian in late position to 12,500.

Ghezelbash made the call, and the river paired the Q, leading Demlakian to check after a moment.

Ghezelbash checked back. “Ace high” announced Demlakian. Ghezelbash tabled AA.

“Yeah, I have an Ace too, mine’s just smaller!” laughed Demlakian. “It’s a chop!”

“When the second Queen comes, you have to rip it!” laughed back Ghezelbash, stacking his newly acquired chippies.

Ken Demlakian71,200
Ali Ghezelbash65,900

Sportelli ships it

The flop of 2QK spread on the feature table as a preflop raising war had created a 13,200 pot between Riccardo Tallarico and Adrian Sportelli.

Tallarico checked it over to Sportelli, who fired a bet of 7,000. Tallarico quickly called, before both players checked the 4 turn.

Tallarico led out for 7,500 on the J river and Sportelli mulled it over before picking up all of his yellows and placing them forwards, enough to force Tallarico all in.

Tallarico folded instead. Sportelli was eliminated in 11th on Day 1A yesterday, one player short of finding a bag for Day 2, and is well on his way to making amends today.

Adrian Sportelli109,100
Riccardo Tallarico44,800

Sandaev takes some, loses some, then the rest

With a board showing 87Q10, Wenjie Sun led out for 1,600. Joe Sandaev made the call from middle position before Zhixang Ang raised to 5,500. Both Sun and Sandaev called to see the A on the river.

Sun checked, and Sandaev went for it; betting 20,000 into the pot of 21,000 to force folds from both Ang and Sun.

On the very next hand, Sandaev opened under-the-gun and was 3-bet in early position by Greg Guider.

Sandaev responded with a 4-bet, but for Guider, that wasn’t enough; he 5-bet jammed and was snap-called by Sandaev.

Sandaev: AA
Guider: QQ

The board ran out 31069, all safe for Sandaev before the Q dealt the cruelest of blows; Sandaev shipping across 52,400 to Guider.

Sandaev was left short and would get it in seconds later as we ticked over to Level 5, flopping bottom two on a 610A flop in a limped pot with 106 in the big blind, Sandaev bet 800 and got check-raised to 2,400 by his opponent. Sandaev shoved for his remaining 14,000 and was called by 87.

The 5 on the turn changed nothing but the 9 handed his opponent the nut straight and the pot.

Greg Guider105,600
Wenjie Sun105,500
Zhixang Ang68,400
Joe SandaevBUSTED!

Shanasa slammed

As PMA walked past Table 8, we spied a pot brewing – around 45K in the middle already and a board showing QJ7A, Cooper Smout, in the small blind, had checked the action across to Qais Shanasa in late position.

Shanasa checked back after some pause for thought, and Smout checked once more on the 8 river.

Shanasa pulled a trigger; moving all in with Smout covered. Smout looked nonplussed for a moment, then chucked in a single chip to signify a call for 33,200 effective.

Shanasa turned over the 1010, having utilised his straight blockers to try to pull a monster bluff; the AK of Smout unable to find a fold, however, doubled up through Shanasa leaving him with crumbs.

On the very next hand, Shanasa moved all-in for his remaining 2,900. Not done with Shanasa yet, Smout asked how much it was before clicking it to 5,300.

Both blinds got out of the way, and Shanasa tabled JJ, a massive favourite against the 77 of Smout – for about three seconds, as the board ran out 7395K.

Cooper Smout124,800
Qais ShanasaBUSTED!

Ooi, slow down

It’s break time here at the WSOP-C Main Event, and a clear chip leader has emerged at the first break; none other than Sean Ooi.

Ooi, who won a record-breaking APL Million Main Event earlier this year for a $585,000 score, will have a mammoth stack of 467 big blinds going into the next level – more than double the next biggest stack we could find.

Here are some assorted counts from the field.

Sean Ooi231,600
Marc Seymour105,100
Killian Farrell101,300
Haozhe Gan99,200
Rod Batoz77,000
Qais Shanasa65,700
Nathanial Hutton52,600
Ken Demlakian50,500
Will Davies48,900
Mishel Anunu42,400
Cooper Smout39,100
Shino Otani38,700
Chuck Caris36,600
Michael Sleiman35,600
Charles Tsai27,800
David Sebesfi22,000
Karsten Kobbing21,300
Travis Endersby20,900

Farrell flying

Killian Farrell, who busted early yesterday in Day 1A, is back to try again here on Day 1B, and found himself in the thick of the action just before.

With the board showing 7236, Farrell called a bet from his opponent to create a pot of 21,100 going to the river.

The river in question, the 9, had Farrell’s opponent thinking his options over, asking to see Farrell’s stack, before checking.

Farrell checked back after a brief moment, for his opponent to announce “Jack High”, flashing J-4 and mucking as Farrell tabled 109.

Killian Farrell51,600

Batoz ba-bink!

A big bet on the river from Rod Batoz attracted the attention of our roving reporter; with J6992 in the middle of the felt and approximately 16,000 in the pot, Batoz had put out a full pot bet of 15,700, with the action on David Martell to decide.

Martell considered it for several minutes, counting out the calling chips and fixing the stoic Batoz with a stare before placing the chips over the line.

Batoz tabled Q9 to an insta-muck from Martell.

Rod Batoz68,700
David Martell27,400


A pot was developing fast over on Table 8, as Nathanial Hutton bet 2,400 onto the board of 75710 only to be raised to 6,000 by Zhixang Ang.

Hutton made the call, then checked his option on the Q river. Ang, with a stack of 22,500 in front of him, took the bait, betting 15,000 in the face of Hutton.

Hutton didn’t wait too long; after a few moments, he announced all in and received the big red triangle in front of him, with Ang covered.

Ang went into the tank. With only 7,500 behind, it really did appear as though he was considering a fold; after a number of minutes, he dropped the rest of his chips into the centre of the table.

Hutton immediately tabled 1010 for a turned full house to a sigh from Ang; he flashed the 7 before leaving.

Ang has been replaced at his seat by none other than Sydney grinder David Sebesfi. Sebesfi, who has had an on-fire 2023 thus far, is fresh off a 15th place finish ($3,523) in the WSOP-C Mystery Bounty event on the other side of the room.

Sebesfi also becomes the 50th entry in the WSOP-C Main Event Day 1B – which means we’ve equalled yesterday’s total entries and we’re only in Level 2.

Nathanial Hutton69,200
David Sebesfi40,000
Zhixang AngBUSTED!

Max value?

Picking up the action as the flop displayed K7J, Ken Demlakian bet out 1,200 and found calls from both Shino Otani and Neb Blanusa.

A rather dangerous looking 7 on the turn caused Demlakian to slow down and check. Otani followed suit, then Blanusa slid out 3,000. Only Demlakian called to the 6 river as Otani got out of the way.

Four to a flush on board found checks from both Demlakian and Blanusa – Demlakian tabled KJ and Blanusa mucked, no club in either hand.

“Well done Ken” remarked a tablemate, “you got the most out of that!

Ken Demlakian58,200
Shino Otani31,700
Neb Blanusa19,300

Sleiman chipping up

An initial open to 500 by Michael Sleiman found 2 callers including Triton Travis Endersby, before Marc Seymour squeezed to 3,000 from the big blind.

Sleiman found a 4-bet to 7,500, forcing folds from the other two in the pot before Seymour made the call.

On a flop of 6J7, Seymour then check-called a continuation bet of 5,000 from Sleiman, and the dealer peeled the Q on the turn.

Seymour checked once more, and Sleiman did not show any signs of slowing down, piecing together a bet of 14,000. Seymour mulled it over, but folded after some thought.

Michael Sleiman55,300
Marc Seymour39,700

Demlakian forces the fold

Picking up the action on a flop showing Q6Q, Ken Demlakian fired a bet of 1,500 after his opponent checked.

His opponent made the call, and both players checked the 5 turn card with around 6,000 in the pot.

His opponent checked again on the K river and Demlakian wasn’t going to allow that, betting 7,200 and forcing a quick fold.

Ken Demlakian49,100

Shuffle up and deal!

Tournament Director Daniel Dumbrell has announced shuffle up and deal, and it’s away we go!

Several familiar faces already in the field include local grinders Chuck Caris, Rod Batoz, and Karlsten Kobbing, the latter of which finished third in the $775 PLO event earlier in the week. Shino Otani is taking a shot, and we also spied Dan Smiljanic on her table, who won the WPT Prime Opening Event here at The Star Gold Coast in 2022 for $55,587.

Ken Demlakian is back in play after an unfortunate spot in Day 1A where he ran smack bang into the full house of Amin Riyazati – quite literally getting all the chips in with zero percent equity. Malcolm Trayner is also back in action after failing to find a bag yesterday.

Travis Endersby, pictured above and fresh from a final table performance at the Triton Super High Roller series in Monte Carlo for a career best $300,100 (and a cash bubble in last nights Main Event satellite), has also taken his seat directly opposite the media desk, and will be hoping to run up a stack in this premier event.

Day 1B, second chance for some!

Welcome back to the WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event for Day 1B, live from the poker room here at The Star Gold Coast!

The tournament attracted 40 unique entries and 10 re-entries for the first of four Day 1 flights, and played down to 20% of the field remaining, hitting the mark just after the start of Level 12.

The average stack between the remaining players is therefore exactly 200,000, with the high target set by Iran’s Kamyar Ekrami at 497,000, followed by Amin Riyazati with 420,500. Zheming Zhu bagged 240,000 – the only other stack above the 200K mark.

The Iranian now resides in Sydney; his previous best result came courtesy of the Sydney Champs in 2016, finishing 3rd in the “$7K Challenge” event for $71,888.

Of the shorter stacks surviving from yesterday, Mitchell Reid bagged up 41,500; together with Antoine Follet (87,000) and Farhad Mohajarani (99,000), they make up the three shortest stacks.

For Ekrami, it’s the first event he’s played at the WSOP-C Gold Coast, and he’s advised he has no plans to play anything else, returning on Day 2 to ‘play his normal game’ with the security of knowing the big stack means he can ‘cope with one or two bad beats; not do anything special or crazy’.

The Day 1 structure sees players undergoing 12 levels – the first 9 levels will be 40 minutes each, with a 15-minute break after every 3 levels, before level 10 until the end of the tournament will be 60-minutes apiece. For the full series schedule, click here.

LevelSmall BlindBig BlindBig Blind Ante

Action will kick off here at The Star Gold Coast at 3:30pm local time, and PMA will be there to bring you all of the action from buy-in to bust-out!

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