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

Day 1C complete; Noman Mirza confirmed as chip lead

Day 1C of the 2023 WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event is in the books as the clock ticks over 12 minutes into Level 12. 46 players have survived to bag a stack into Sunday’s Day 2 from 165 total entries today.

Included among the survivors; Matt Pongrass (311,000) and Mark Fester (91,000) have had a blast throughout the last hour or so as the two best friends found themselves seated together. Matt Morris (270,000) found a late elimination to bag a decent stack. Jimmy Tran and Hussein Hassan have applied their high-pressure style to great effect, bagging 206,500 and 160,000 respectively despite being seated next to each other for most of the day.

On top of the world, though, is Noman Mirza, bagging 415,000 to carry through into Day 2. Speaking to PMA after the conclusion of play, Mirza said he was “just trying to play the best poker I could, to not think about the buy-in, not think about how much I want to bag. Today, it worked out well for me in the end.”

2023 WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event – Day 1C full chip counts

PlayerChips
Noman Mirza415,000
Cuong Le323,000
Matt Pongrass311,000
Shuai Chang300,000
Khac Trung Tran278,500
Matt Morris270,000
Terence Clee219,500
Chao Li215,500
Liam Murray209,500
Gary Lin208,000
Jimmy Tran206500
Billy “The Croc” Argyros205,000
Robert Kwan203,000
Qais Shanasa197,000
Sam Capra193,500
Hugo Dief188,500
Mishel Anunu185,500
Dylan Kehoe185,500
Darren Ooi166,500
David Martell164,000
Hussein Hassan160,000
Ruiyang Wang152,500
Andrew Hindmarsh149,000
John Apostolidis142,000
Joel Feldman130,000
Nick Wright120,500
Mina Gerges100,500
Adrian Pacheco95,000
Mark Fester91,000
Rob Spano84,000
Chin Yan Chan80,500
Jun Wang75,500
Bowen Liu75,000
Anthony Beck68,000
Adam Kharman60,500
Wei Zhu56,000
Andrew Menzies51,000
Michael Egan47,500
Justin Cohen40,500
Thibaut Klinghammer39,000
Emmanuel Seal37,000
Ivan Icosic31,500
Fabian Geisel27,000
Blain Robertson25,500
Geoff Marther18,500

Stephenson sent off

Picking up the action on a board showing 567Q, Lawrence Stephenson checked the action across to Matt Morris.

Morris bet 28,000, and Stephenson made the call after a few moments. The pot in the middle now over T100K, the river 2 looked unlikely to change any holdings.

With just 41,500 behind, Stephenson shoved. Asking for a count immediately, Morris cut out the calling chips and double checked to see how much he would have left if he was wrong – before slamming out the call.

“You win” advised Stephenson, as he tabled AJ for a missed flush draw.

Morris tabled AQ for top top. Yep, that’ll do it.

PlayerChips
Matt Morris286,000
Lawrence StephensonBUSTED!

Klinghammer drops the… er, hammer

Thibaut Klinghammer has been nursing a short stack for a while now, surviving a number of all ins, and was looked up just before by Dylan Kehoe when he shoved for his last 38,000 preflop.

Klinghammer: AQ
Kehoe: AJ

High cards for both players, but the board ran out 65634 to maintain the superior kicker of Klinghammer for a full double.

PlayerChips
Dylan Kehoe118,000
Thibaut Klinghammer82,500
Dylan Kehoe


No Leeway

Kevin Lee, winner of the $2,500 PLO event earlier today, opened the action UTG to 5,500. Lawrence Stephenson made the call, and Gary Lin completed from the big blind.

On a flop of 6J8, all three players checked. Lin checked again on the J turn, prompting Lee to bet 6,500. Stephenson called, then Lin min-clicked to 13,000. Lee came along while Stephenson let his hand go.

On a 10 river, Lin applied maximum pressure, shoving with Lee well covered.

After several minutes in the tank, Lee called, only to muck when Lin tabled J2.

PlayerChips
Gary Lin218,000
Lawrence Stephenson71,500
Kevin LeeBUSTED!
Lin eyeing up Lee’s stack earlier in the day…


Can’t stop the Tran train

Hussein Hassan opened the action under the gun with a raise to 5,500, whilst simultaneously buying up all of the black chips on the table for the impending colour up.

Nothing but folds all the way around to Jimmy Tran in the big blind, who defended to see a flop of 5810. Both players checked, and Tran checked once more on the J turn card.

Hassan fired a delayed c-bet of 11,000, only to see Tran check-raise to 33,000. After a few moments, Hassan cut out calling chips and placed them forwards.

Tran bet again on the 2 river, this time for 63,000. Hassan considered it before folding his cards.

PlayerChips
Hussein Hassan199,900
Jimmy Tran188,100

Fester flying

Mark Fester opened the action to 5,000 in early position before being 3-bet to 15,000 from a player on his immediate left.

Action folded all the way back around to Fester, and he jammed all-in, with the other player covered.

The other player snap-called for “around 50K”, and the cards were tabled.

Fester: AK
Villain: KQ

A dream spot for Fester, as the board ran out 835102 to ensure the elimination.

Fester has since been moved to a new table, with 72 players remaining in the tournament we’re now down to 8 tables. To Fester’s direct left on his new table? His best mate, Matt Pongrass. This should be fun.

PlayerChips
Mark Fester176,400
Matt Pongrass91,900
Fester (left) and Pongrass (the other left)


Damelian doneski

Lawrence Stephenson opened from from the hijack and Robert Damelian defended from the big blind to see a flop of 845.

Damelian checked to the aggressor, and Stephenson obliged with a continuation bet of 4,000. Damelian then check-jammed for his last 19,800, Stephenson making the quick call.

Damelian tabled K8 but Stephenson had the goods, tabling A8 to have Damelian in very rough shape.

The A on the turn ended things, the river a meaningless 2.

PlayerChips
Lawrence Stephenson76,100
Robert DamelianBUSTED!


Hours and hours

Players will now be playing 60-minute levels instead of 40-minute from now until the end of the tournament.

Late registration has also closed as of now for Day 1C, final numbers confirmed as 165 total entries including 137 unique entries and 28 re-entries.

Day 1C will continue until 20% of the field remain (which equates to 33 players) OR 12 minutes into Level 12 as per Day 1A/B did.

Break time!

The remaining 95 players have departed on what should be the final 15-minute break of the day. With 15 minutes left of late registration, today’s flight has smashed the total entries for Day 1A and 1B combined; 161 entries including 27 re-entries so far.

PlayerChips
Noman Mirza282,000
Liam Murray196,700
Chao Li195,100
Qais Shanasa184,000
Adrian Pacheco165,600
Jimmy Tran162,200
Billy Argyros148,500
Mina Gerges147,900
Romain Morvan128,700
Matt Morris121,800
Gary Lin117,700
Hussein Hassan105,600
Michael Egan85,800
Yang Lei76,700
Mishel Anunu62,900
Dean Boskovic53,300
Adam Kharman48,300
Adrian Sportelli41,100
Matt Pongrass34,700

Monster pot

Adam Kharman opened the action before Chao Li re-raised to 8,500, receiving calls from the player on his left and Kharman.

On a flop of 6-6-K, both Kharman and Li checked to the third player, who bet 18,000 to calls from both Kharman and Li.

The action was identical on the Queen turn; check, check, 18K, call, call, before an Ace dropped on the river. Kharman checked once more, Li led out for 23,000 and got called twice by the third player and Kharman.

Li tabled K-K to take down the well built pot.

PlayerChips
Chao Li195,100
Adam Kharman51,900


Mirza lets one go

Noman Mirza opened to 3,500 from under-the-gun, and action folded all the way around to the re-entered Ehsan Amiri. Amiri elected to defend his big blind.

Amiri then checked his option on the 1043 flop, prompting Mirza to fire a continuation bet of 5,000.

Amiri check-raised to 13,000 and that was that, a snap fold from Mirza. No real dent to Mirza however, he had piles of chips in front of him.

PlayerChips
Noman Mirza283,100
Ehsan Amiri105,800

Rollercoaster for Anunu

“All in and a call!” from an outer table as PMA ran over to catch the action; Mishel Anunu was all in and at risk with a flop showing 983.

Matt Morris, the other player in the hand, had tabled AK, but Anunu had outflopped the big slick with A9.

No worries for Morris though, insta-bink with the K on the turn to give him the lead.

Anunu would then play an Uno Reverse card, the Q on the river giving him the stone cold nuts to double through Morris.

PlayerChips
Matt Morris142,600
Mishel Anunu36,400


Not today for CVJ

Corey Van Jaarsveldt picked up a hand under-the-gun and created a pot preflop with Dean Blatt worth around 16,000.

The flop of 1057 was met with a continuation bet of 7,000 from ‘CVJ’, before Blatt shoved.

Van Jaarsveldt made the call, tabling AA, but it was Blatt who had smashed the flop with 55 for bottom set.

The K, 9 run out couldn’t save Van Jaarsveldt – but when the stacks were counted down, Van Jaarsveldt still had chip. Yes, that’s chip, not chips – precisely one T100 chip. And because Van Jaarsveldt was UTG, that chip would become his ante on the next hand.

Folds all around to Romain Morvan in the lojack, who raised to 2,400. Mina Gerges then re-raised from the small blind to 9,600, forcing a fold from Morvan.

Morvan rationalised “I’m supposed to call there, but I figured I’ll see your hand anyway!” as the cards were tabled; QJ for Gerges, 94 for Van Jaarsveldt, who could only win his ante back.

The board of 3J76K sealed the deal, sending Van Jaarsveldt to the rail permanently, confirming to PMA he will not be back tomorrow due to other commitments. GG.

PlayerChips
Mina Gerges126,800
Romain Morvan107,200
Dean Blatt64,200
Corey Van JaarsveldtBUSTED!

The Amiri saga

After losing the below hand to Nick Wright, Ehsan Amiri was crippled in a two pair versus flush cooler and left with just T6,000.

Amiri would then put them all in on the button after a Wright open in the cut-off. Gavin Best then re-raised from the small blind to 12,000, forcing both the big blind and Wright out of the pot.

Amiri had woken up with Q-Q and was looking at a potential triple up with blinds and antes, but the A-T of Best would go the Barry Greenstein route, spiking an Ace on the river to eliminate Amiri in a 1-2-3 punch.

PlayerChips
Gavin Best55,400
Ehsan AmiriBUSTED!


The Wright way

A third player in the pot and Nick Wright checked the action to Ehsan Amiri on a 658 flop. Amiri slid out a bet of 4,000, the third player called, and then Wright shoved for his last 18,100.

Amiri mulled his options over before sliding out chips for a flat call. The other player got out of the way.

Amiri tabled A7 for an open-ended straight draw, currently behind the 63 of Wright.

The K on the turn did nothing for either player, before an Ace dropped, but the wrong one for Amiri – the A giving Wright a flush and a full double.

PlayerChips
Ehsan Amiri55,400
Nick Wright53,200

Dinner break

The players are just returning from their 30-minute dinner break to start Level 7.

Here are some assorted chip counts PokerMedia Australia was able to get during the break.

PlayerChips
Noman Mirza200,700
Liam Murray162,600
Hussein Hassan158,800
Gary Lin153,100
Mina Gerges138,800
Michael Egan95,700
Adam Kharman74,000
Ehsan Amiri67,900
Rob Damelian66,100
Neb Blanusa60,500
Dean Blatt52,900
Martin Ward51,900
Romain Morvan49,300
Jack Drake44,500
Dean Boskovic40,000
Matt Pongrass37,100
Adrian Sportelli31,300
Jan Kossyrev26,300
Kevin Lee22,700
Gavin Best15,600
Probably the first time he hasn’t been chip leader, but it’s Gavin Best


Ruling!

All in and a call! over on an outer table as the ultimate cooler played out in slow motion.

AA against Lloyd Godsland’s KK.

The board ran out 8484. Then… K.

“It’s close” said a tablemate, referring to the stack sizes.

Counting down the stacks, the player with Aces had their Godsland covered by just T200.

To add insult to injury, they’d then be in the big blind on the very next hand – ante paid first, meaning they could only win their ante back.

Everyone folded and the small blind had a free race just before the dinner break – their K8 seeking to eliminate the forced-in 92.

Nope – two pair on the 79582 board meant survival for the ante on the last hand before a 30-minute dinner break.

PlayerChips
Lloyd Godsland117,900

Counterfeit

Dean Boskovic led out for 5,000 on a board showing Q8Q4, called by a single opponent.

The river 8 found checks from both players, and Boskovic’s opponent tabled A10.

Boskovic mucked, implying he’d been counterfeited by the river.

PlayerChips
Dean Boskovic65,600

Nguyen calls the bluff

With a full board of 6QJQK showing, Huy Nguyen was facing a bet from Alex Zhang.

That bet was for all of it; Zhang shoving for his remaining 12,900 into the pot of approximately 12K.

Zhang eventually made the call, showing KJ to a muck and an exit stage left from Zhang.

PlayerChips
Huy Nguyen39,800
Alex ZhangBUSTED!

Kharman KO’s Johnstone

With nearly 10K in the pot from preflop action, Adam Kharman checked his option on the 9102 flop, and Dale Johnstone slid out a bet of 4,000.

Kharman responded with a check-raise to the tune of 11,500, and Johnstone took some time before announcing all in, 25,000 effective.

Kharman snap-called and tabled 109 for top two. Johnstone tabled the K with the other card face down accidentally, then went to fix it and flipped both over so that the K was visible, before tabling both Kings.

The run-out of 4, 3 was no help to Johnstone as he hit the rail.

PlayerChips
Adam Kharman80,200
Dale JohnstoneBUSTED!


Lee loses one

Kevin Lee, who’s registered into Day 1C straight after shipping the $2,500 PLO Event for a WSOP Circuit Ring and $52,160, tangled with Rob Damelian just before over on Table 7.

Picking up the action on the river with a large pot already in the middle, Lee fired 11,000. The board showed 67J96, and Damelian made the call.

Lee tabled AJ, and Damelian had missed his flush draw… but hit trips with A6 to scoop.

PlayerChips
Rob Damelian66,300
Kevin Lee21,200

Battle of the titans

Sydney’s Ehsan Amiri versus Adelaide’s Gavin Best. That sounds like a fantastic heads up match we’d certainly like to see; today, though, it’s a battle between two short stacks.

Picking up the action on a board showing 6A9J, Amiri led out for 2,200, precisely half pot. Best made the call, and the 3 dropped on the river.

Amiri asked to see the stack of Best – Best had approximately 12K behind – before betting once more, this time for 4,000. Best snap-called.

“I missed my flush draw but I hit my three!” announced Amiri, tabling 43.

No good; the top pair for Best with A4 taking down the small but meaningful pot.

PlayerChips
Gavin Best24,300
Ehsan Amiri19,200


Spano zilched

“All in and a call!” from the far table, where Rob Spano had got his remaining 19,700 in the middle with A9.

Steven Zhou was his opponent; AK in front of him with the full board already displayed, Zhou’s King playing on the 2AQ44 spread.

PlayerChips
Steven Zhou134,600
Rob SpanoBUSTED!


“All in, first hand!”

That was the shout from Zac Duce, who has just registered. Walking over, a full board was spread on the table of A83K10, and Ehsan Amiri had led out for 3,000.

The shove sent Amiri into the tank for several minutes, whilst Duce appeared to be having the time of his life, jokingly calling clock before saying “I’m not actually calling clock, I’m just messing with him. I’ve got Ehsan in the tank!”

Ehsan eventually folded, flashing the K.

“Big fold mate, big fold! Queen of diamonds. That’s all you get.” said Duce, slamming the Q in the middle of the table and mucking the other card.

PlayerChips
Zac Duce53,000
Ehsan Amiri24,700

Morvan succumbs to pressure

Rob Spano opened the action to 800 under-the-gun, only to be immediately 3-bet to 2,200 by John Camilleri to his direct left.

Steven Zhou flatted from the button. Romain Morvan, in the small blind, then 4-bet to 7,200, forcing folds from Spano and Camilleri before Zhou called once more.

On the flop of Q82, Morvan continued for 4,500. Zhou clicked it to 9,000 and Morvan made the call, before checking the 10 turn.

Zhou fired another barrel, this time to the tune of 16,000. Morvan, with 23,000 behind, thought it over for several minutes before making the laydown.

The remaining players have departed on the first 15-minute break of the day.

PlayerChips
Steven Zhou122,900
Romain Morvan23,000

That’s just MacNaught-y!

Kim MacNaught opened preflop and found several callers, including Dale Johnstone on the button.

Recounted to our roving reporter after the fact, the flop spread 9J7 and MacNaught continued for 3,400. Johnstone shoved for his last ‘approximately 10K’, and only McNaught called.

Johnstone: A10
MacNaught: QJ

The combo draw of Johnstone binked immediately on the Q turn, but MacNaught still had outs to the full house.

Or Johnstone could just improve again on the K river, whatever.

“If I’m going to lose it, I may as well lose it to the best hand in poker!” laughed MacNaught.

PlayerChips
Kim MacNaught61,800
Dale Johnstone19,000

No Chan-ce

Rob Spano is also in the field for Day 1C, and found himself in a spot against Ken Chan at the start of Level 3; with a board showing Q610103.

Spano checked the action across to Chan, who fired a bet of 14,000 into the 21K pot.

Spano thought it over before making the call – only to see Chan table AK.

PlayerChips
Ken Chan59,400
Rob Spano16,500

Big field

For the second day in succession, we’ve surpassed the previous days total entries early in Level 2 – now up to 97 entries including 1 re-entry, with another 6 hours of registration to go.

More faces in the field include Adrian Pacheco and Dylan Kehoe, seated together on the same table; on the next table over, Lawrence Stephenson, Adam Kharman, and Jimmy Tran have taken seats.

Tran is fresh off a final table appearance in the $2,500 PLO event today, where he finished 6th for $8,198, and Tran also final tabled the $775 PLO Event earlier in the week, finishing 5th, good for $4,527.

Stephenson, meanwhile, is rocking his trademark pink board shorts – of course.

Hussein Hassan is in the thick of the action, seated next to Cooper Feltham, who’s taking another shot after being felted yesterday (after being left with a single T1,000 chip and trying to mount a valiant comeback to no avail).


It’s too early

Marc Seymour 3-bet over an open and a couple of callers to 3,700, from the button. Yiteng Ge made the call, and action folded around to Steve Boyd, who also came along.

Ge, first to act, checked the flop of 2610, with Boyd following suit. Seymour continued, sliding forwards a bet of 3,800. Only Ge made the call and the pair both checked the 9 turn.

The river J was then met with a lead of 11,500 from Ge, sending Seymour into the tank for a minute or so.

Seymour sighed, remarking “It’s too early to go all in on a bluff!”, folding the A face up.

“Show the bluff!” laughed tablemate Adrian Pacheco. Ge did not, or could not, oblige.

PlayerChips
Yiteng Ge55,600
Steve Boyd30,500
Marc Seymour29,400

Just the nuts

John Camilleri opened to 800 in early position and David Sebesfi made the call on the button. Both blinds released and the flop spread out 27Q to checks from both Camilleri and Sebesfi.

The turn 8 was met with a lead of 1,600 from Camelleri; Sebesfi made the call after a moments thought.

Camilleri upped the pressure on the 2 river, firing 5,000 and sending Sebesfi into the tank. After a minute or so, Sebesfi chucked a 5K chip into the middle.

“I reckon that wins it!” remarked tablemate Corey Van Jaarsveldt as Camilleri tabled 22 to a muck from Sebesfi.

On the very next hand, Camilleri check-raised Sam Haddad’s 1,300 bet on a flop of A92 to3 3,500, then fired again for 2,600 on the 8 turn, prompting Haddad to remark “You don’t have twos again, do you??” to laughter from the table.

“I can assure you I do not have twos” responded Camilleri, betting 3,300 on the 7 river, before snap-folding A9 face up when Haddad raised to 15,000.

PlayerChips
John Camilleri32,200
David Sebesfi29,500


Steely wheely

Shem Goltz got off to a flying start over on Table 7, opening to 600 from middle position and finding a caller in Robert Damelian, defending his big blind.

Recounted to PMA after the fact by Goltz, Damelian check-called a bet of 300 from Goltz on the 25A flop, before both players rapped the table on the 3 turn.

Damelian then led out for 900 on the K river, prompting Goltz to raise to 3,900.

“The wizard found a fold!” laughed tablemate Martin Ward, as Goltz explained that Damelian had flashed the Q as he folded.

Good fold, it turned out. Goltz tabled the 4 for the straight flush and took the pot.


Under way!

Tournament Director Alexander Saloyedoff has the honours of announcing shuffle up and deal for Day 1C of the Main Event, playing on the north side of the Star Gold Coast Poker room.

Today’s flight has attracted 63 entrants as of the start of play today, and we’ve spied a number of recognisable faces.

Adelaide’s Gavin Best, who won the WPT Prime $5K Challenge here at The Star Gold Coast last year for a career-high $130,355, has arrived fresh and ready to play today, seated alongside Noman Mirza, both players playing their first 2023 WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event flight, along with Shem Goltz and Corey Van Jaarsveldt.

Neb Blanusa back for more

Neb Blanusa, David Sebesfi, and Marc Seymour are back amongst the field after being unable to find a bag yesterday.

Robert Damelian is in action on the felt today, and Brisbane grinders Sam Haddad and Martin Ward are taking their first shot in this Main Event. Sydney’s Ehsan Amiri has also just been spotted walking into the poker room.

Third times the charm

Welcome back once again to the WSOP-C Gold Coast Main Event for Day 1C, live from the poker room here at The Star Gold Coast! Today is the third of four Day 1 flights for this event, with Day 1D still to come tomorrow.

So far, Day 1A and 1B combine for a total of 130 entries, of which 31 players have bagged stacks for Sunday – Day 1A reached 10 players (20% of the field) to stop play 12 minutes into Level 12, and yesterday Day 1B did not quite reach 20%, ceasing play at the same time in the structure with 21 players remaining.

Sean Ooi put on a dominating performance yesterday, and although he lost the chip lead throughout the third stanza, came back to bag the chip lead for Day 1B with 366,500. That pales in comparison, however, to the target set by Iran’s Kamyar Ekrami at 497,000, followed by Amin Riyazati with 420,500, both from Day 1A.

Sean Ooi in the earlier levels

Ooi is having a dream run in 2023, winning the largest ever APL Millions Main Event for $585,000 in August to add to an out-of-this-world year including (deep breath) multiple five-figure results starting with a 3rd place in the Jackstar SHR at APLPT Gold Coast in January for $31,070, 7th and then 3rd in The Centurion event at APLPT Sydney and Melbourne respectively for $56,620 combined, a win in The Goliath event at APT Sydney for $66,000… we’re only in March, need we keep going? Most recently, in October, Ooi took out the $5K XHR event at APT Nationals for $56,000.

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
1100200200
2200300300
3200400400
4300500500
5300600600
6400800800
75001,0001,000
86001,2001,200
98001,6001,600
101,0002,0002,000
111,5002,5002,500
121,5003,0003,000

Action will kick off here at The Star Gold Coast at 14:30 local time, and PMA will be there to bring you all of the action from buy-in to bust-out!

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