LIVE REPORTING: 2023 WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event Day 2

LAPORAN LANGSUNG: Acara Pembukaan WPT Prime Gold Coast 2023 Hari ke-2


Zheming Zhu has zapped Alan Wilson from the tournament, snap-calling after Wilson went all in pre on the button.


Board: J♠A♣A♥J♥K♦

Zhu filled up with Aces full of Jacks to send Wilson out.

Zheming Zhu1,545,000Alan WilsonBUSTED!

Saab story

Over on Table 8, Majid Saab called Michael Kalin’s all in from late position, turning up suited K♣10♣ for the heads up.

Despite hitting the top pair on the 2♣K♥J♥, Saab was outgunned by Kalin’s pockets K♦K♠, and was never able to recover as he bricked on the 7♠, 8♥ streets.

Michael Kalin875,000Majid SaabBUSTED!

Cassell out, Batey bites

Jen Cassell’s stack has been found on life support, crippled in an earlier hand by Michael Falcon and Andrew Batey doubled through all-in pre flop, in a battle of the blinds against Cassell’s small blind.

In the next hand, Casell called Alan Wilson’s all in pre for 105,000. Her A♠Q♥ was ahead of Wilson’s K♠10♦ at the start of showdown, but the 9♥9♣J♣10♣4♥ board improved Wilson to a two pair to double up.

Wilson shoved in the next hand and Cassell called short from the button, her stack running out of steam as she turned up A♦4♣ to meet with Wilson’s A♠9♣.

Wilson hit top pair and held on 3♣7♥9♠2♠8♥, sending Cassell to the payout desk.

Michael Falcon1,525,000Alan Wilson400,000Jennifer CassellBUSTED!

Look who’s here, it’s Adrian Pacheco!

Adrian Pacheco has doubled up off Michael Falcon, after Falcon raised to 80,000 on the button and then snap-called Pacheco’s shove for 385,000 from the big blind.

Pacheco’s A♠9♣ fell behind Falcon’s 10♠8♠ on the 8♥2♣10♥ flop, but found a runner-runner straight on the Q♠ turn and J♠ river.

Michael Falcon1,105,000Adrian Pacheco785,000

Thaggard thunder

Sam Thaggard has scored a huge double through Alan Wilson after moving all in pre flop, in some blind-on-blind action. Wilson called him off with A5o as Thaggard showed up J♥3♠.

As the board ran out 9♠A♥8♦10♥7♠, Thaggard rivered a straight to Jack to take down the pot, leaving Wilson severely short with a little over 40,000.

In the next hand, Wilson went all in on the small blind and found a caller in Michael Falcon. Falcon held the preflop edge with J♦9♣ as Wilson rolled up 5♦3♦, but Falcon couldn’t do better than top pair as Wilson flopped the flush on a spread of 6♦9♦7♦8♠A♥.

Michael Falcon1,500,000Sam Thaggard685,000Alan Wilson105,000

Alan Wilson.

Dickfos and Kiko kicked out

Kiko Puyat sent the last of his stack all in preflop, hoping to double as he was called off by Wayne Clinch.

Clinch was riding ahead with A♥K♦ to Puyat’s A♠6♠, and ran cleanly through 7♦3♥10♦2♠9♠.

On the same table next hand, Shane Dickfos went all in short from the cut off and was snapped up by Mata Ye.

Dickfos was ahead with royally suited connectors, K♠Q♠, against Ye’s A♣4♣. Dickfos fell behind as Ye connected bottom pair on the flop and improved to two pair on the turn over a spread 8♥10♥4♦10♣9♥.

Wayne Clinch1,060,000Mata Ye860,000Shane DickfosBUSTED!Kiko PuyatBUSTED!

Nil to Lin

Nil Esteve has eliminated Gary Lin after calling him all in on the flop of 6♦5♠8♣. A little over 200,000 was gathered in the pot as the action went heads up.

Lin’s 9♥9♠ overpair were outmatched by Esteve’s 7♣4♥ which had flopped the straight, and held through 3♠ turn and 10♦ river.

Nil Esteve1,840,000Gary LinBUSTED!

Quick update

Another look at our field where the remaining 25 players are still in the mix, getting their chips in to keep grinding for the final table approaching.

Here’s a quick list on the recent round of payouts paid:

PlaceNameCountryAmount26Robert DamelianAustralia$2,74427George IordanouAustralia$2,74428Steven SmithAustralia$2,42429Win Meng TanAustralia$2,42430Mitchell FrostAustralia$2,42431Charles TsaiAustralia$2,42432Stephen BoydAustralia$2,42433Aroha NgataAustralia$2,42434Mason TrevanionAustralia$2,42435Dylan WayneAustralia$2,42436Khal FayadAustralia$2,424

Level 22: 15,000/25,000 (25,000)

Cassell rollin’

Jennifer Cassell, the reigning Star Gold Coast Champs Main Event champion, has just seen to the double eliminations of two players, Robert Damelian and George Iordaou.

Cassell called off both players from the button after all in preflop action, holding A♦J♥ against Damelian’s Q♠7♥ and Iordanou’s AQo.

She hit the board early on the flop and held through 10♦2♣J♠10♥3♥, taking out both stacks to move closer to the Million chips mark.

Jennifer Cassell800,000Robert DamelianBUSTED!George IordanouBUSTED!

Jen Cassell

Ngata gone, Boyd busted

Aroha Ngata has been eliminated by Brandon Bailey after she went all in preflop with Q♣Q♦.

Unfortunately for Ngata, Bailey was ready for the party with K♣K♥, and spiked a set on the flop to seal the win on a board of K♠2♠5♦8♦4♥.

Bailey complimented Ngata’s prowess to the table, saying, “That’s the sort of hand you need to knock her out… she’s such a good player!”

In the very next hand, Bailey called and took out another player, Stephen Boyd, after Boyd pushed his short stack into the middle.

Boyd’s A♠K♥ ran behind Bailey’s 10♥10♠ which improved to a two pair on the spread J♣6♠8♦8♠3♠, scooping up more chips for Bailey.

Bailey wasn’t done chatting up the table as he proclaimed, “That’s how you win tourneys, mate… act like a monkey, play like a pro!”

Brandon Bailey1,735,000Stephen BoydBUSTED!Aroha NgataBUSTED!

Brandon Bailey

Payouts update

We are now down to 36 players left in the field, with four tables left and 6 more levels to be played, unless the final table is set before Level 27.

Below is a list of the recent round of payouts paid:

PlaceNameCountryAmount37Carlos YoussefAustralia$2,10938John HutchinsAustralia$2,10939Jason AnandAustralia$2,10940Mishel AnunuAustralia$2,10941Mark EricksenAustralia$2,10942Luke McCredieAustralia$2,10943Jarrod ThatcherAustralia$2,10944Meerwais HussainiAustralia$2,10945Charlie HawesAustralia$2,10946Anthony HarachAustralia$1,79847Ashish GuptaAustralia$1,798

Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (20,000)

Fayed faded

Khal Fayed went all in preflop, quickly called off by Andrew Batey who turned up A♥Q♣, running ahead of Fayed’s suited A♣3♣.

Fayed couldn’t get a foot in the door on the board 8♠6♠J♣8♦5♥, and with Batey’s kicker riding high for the win he was faded out of the tournament.

Andrew Batey375,000Khal FayedBUSTED!

Thompson stomps

Shane Thompson raised preflop to 35,000 UTG and then called Carlos Youssef’s raise UTG+1 to 135,000.

The two watched the flop dealt 5♥2♠5♠, before Youssef jammed all in and was snapped up by Thompson.

Youssef: 7♦7♠
Thompson: Q♦Q♥

Thompson’s overpair beat up Youssef’s and held on the remaining 6♠ and J♠ river, cleaning out his stack and taking the pot.

It’s been a good few levels for Thompson, who was down to as little as 110,000 in chips earlier, has recovered to keep up with the pack!

Shane Thompson1,005,000Carlos YoussefBUSTED!

Turner turfs one

Ben Turner has eliminated John Hutchins after calling his all-in for a little over 120,000 preflop.

Hutchins held A♠10♣, but couldn’t hold against Turner’s better A♥K♦ which ran cleanly through the board 4♠4♥7♠5♥3♠.

Ben Turner610,000John HutchinsBUSTED!

Double KO by Bailey

A three-way all in action between Brandon Bailey from UTG+1, Mark Eriksen on the button and Mishel Anunu in the small blind, has seen the latter two eliminated.

Bailey: K♦K♠
Mark Eriksen: A♦8♦
Mishel Anunu: Q♦10♣

The board was spread 2♦10♦4♥8♠2♠, with Bailey’s Kings holding and delivering a double knockout.

Brandon Bailey1,030,000Mishel AnunuBUSTED!Mark EriksenBUSTED!

Falcon flies

Michael Falcon has scalped another stack, eliminating Charlie Hawes. Hawes shoved from the button after a raise from middle position preflop, and Falcon muscled in to isolate from the big blind.

Hawes was ahead with A♦J♦ against Falcon’s 7♦7♠, and charged strongly through the board to the turn 9♦A♥K♦K♠ with top two pair, before being rivered 7♥ to fill Falcon up to a boat.

Falcon has now moved past the Million mark, continuing his strong form at the top of the leaderboard.

Michael Falcon1,065,000Charlie HawesBUSTED!

Harach harrassed

Shane Thompson has scored another double off Anthony Harach after shoving all in preflop again.

Harach snapped him up with J♣J♠, but was left reeling as Thompson’s A♦J♦ hit trips on the flop A♥3♥A♣. With no hope of improving his hand as the dealer dealt 8♣ turn and 2♦ river, Harach was left with 1BB of chips and a chair.

In the next hand, Harach went all in UTG for 15,000, with Andrew Batey on the small blind raising and forcing a fold from the big blind.

Harach: 5♣4♣
Batey: K♣K♦

Incredibly, both players found a hit on the flop K♠4♦5♠, and after the 2♦ turn, both improved their hands to a full house with the 4♥ on the river, although Batey had him well covered with the better boat, shipping Harach to the rail.

Shane Thompson560,000Andrew Batey240,000Anthony HarachBUSTED!

“It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings!”

This was the exclamation from Mark Eriksen after his stack endured some swings in these first few levels, falling short.

Eriksen shoved UTG for 75,000, called by Kiko Puyat from the cutoff. Eriksen held Q♠8♠, standing behind Nguyen with A♦K♥.

The first window gave Eriksen a pair on the flop Q♦9♣2♥, with the remaining streets 3♣5♦ sealing a double up for Eriksen.

Kiko Puyat385,000Mark Eriksen190,000

Level 20: 10,000/15,000 (15,000)


Our players are on their first break of the day, so here’s a list of the latest round of payouts, with 47 players remaining in our field:

PlaceNameCountryAmount48Zien TangAustralia$1,79849Jim GiannoukosAustralia$1,79850Jeremy WinlawAustralia$1,79851Andrew MenziesAustralia$1,79852Duncan McKinnonAustralia$1,79853David CroucherAustralia$1,79854Lucas TaeAustralia$1,49555Steven GluyasAustralia$1,49556Phil StamlerAustralia$1,49557Thomas O’BrienAustralia$1,495

Winlaw walks

Jeremy Winlaw has walked off to collect his payout from the desk, after moving all in pre flop against David Luong.

Winlaw was falling short as went all in with J♥2♣, heads up to Luong’s suited connectors 10♦9♦. Luong hit on the flop and held through A♣9♠4♦3♣3♠ to bust Winlaw to the rail.

David Luong682,000Jeremy WinlawBUSTED!

David Luong

Shane splits

Shane Thompson, after just earlier having lost a good chunk of his chips, has moved all in again preflop, this time snapped up by Anthony Harach.

It was pockets against pockets, with Thompson’s A♥A♠ looking down at Harach’s 10♣10♥.

Harach flopped a set on J♦10♦9♥, but the turn Q♥ and river 8♠ ended in a chop for both players.

Anthony Harach168,000Shane Thompson168,000

Esteve doubles

Nil Esteve has clawed a double off the chipleader Michael Falcon after moving all in pre flop with A♦K♠.

Falcon called him off with A♣Q♠ which hit the first window and connected two-pair on the flop Q♣10♣10♥, but after the 5♠ turn, the river J♠ swung the favour back to Esteve, giving him a big double up for the day’s grind.

Michael Falcon764,000Nil Esteve390,000

Barba shaves off a stack

Patrick Barba opened to 24,000 from the cutoff, with Shane Thompson defending his big blind to make the call.

On the flop 4♠A♣K♠, Barba called Thompson’s 60,000 bet. Thompson led out a larger bet of 125,000 on the 7♥ turn, which Barba called.

On the 5♣ river, Thompson decided to shove all in, with Barba calling short. It proved to be a bluff as Thompson turned up 5♦2♠ for a weak second-bottom pair, which Barba had him trumped with K♥Q♦ for the second-top pair.

Patrick Barba585,000Shane Thompson138,000

Bert busto on bubble

Bert Perry moved all in preflop, at risk against Wayne Clinch who called.

Perry: A♠K♣
Clinch: A♣10♠

Perry led through the board, but was rivered by Clinch who connected a straight on the 7♣8♣J♥2♣9♥ board, busting Perry out as the stone bubble.

Players are now in the money!

Wayne Clinch570,000Bert PerryBUSTED!

Wayne Clinch

Double double, but no bubble

With a cry of “All in, call!”, Nil Esteve went heads up with Win Meng Tan pre-flop, going all in for his last 79,000.

Tan turned up K♦K♠ against Esteve’s A♥Q♥. Tan’s Kings were leading through the flop hitting two pair, but was cracked on the turn and left dead through 4♦5♣5♥A♠2♣.

Nil Esteve212,000Win Meng Tan166,000

Nil Esteve

All Lin, call!

Gary Lin went all in pre with A♥Q♦, called by Lawrence Stephenson who woke up with K♣K♦.

Lin was sweating as the flop was peeled, but visibly relieved as he hit top top on the turn and held out on 6♠7♠9♣A♣9♠, to loud groans from the crowd.

At the end of the hand, Phil Stamler said to Stevenson, “They were all rooting for you mate!”

Stephenson: “I know, I was rooting for me too!”

Lawrence Stephenson582,000Gary Lin335,000

Brewin’ and bubblin’

We are now on the bubble as action is brewing between chip leader Michael Falcon and Jim Giannoukos over a laid up board of 8♦9♦5♣J♠7♣ and some 150,000 in the pot.

Falcon bet 75,000 into the river, with Giannoukos at risk with 110,000 behind. Giannoukos flashed J♦ and mucked his hand, with Falcon flashing a 10♦ in kind as he took the pot.

Action has moved to hand-for-hand as the bubble hunt continues.

Michael Falcon939,000Jim Giannoukos110,000

Kalin calls in

A small double for Michael Kalin off Brandon Bailey after the former went all in on the turn for the last of his 66,000 stack, with the board facing up K♣J♣7♣4♠.

Bailey’s K♦10♥ was slightly outmatched by Kalin’s suited K♥Q♥ which held higher kicker as the river rolled K♠ for the trips.

Brandon Bailey396,000Michael Kalin252,000

Level 19: 6,000/12,000 (12,000)

Hawes back for more

Charlie Hawes had clashed again with Zheming Zhu heads up, after moving all in pre with 7♣7♦.

Zhu called and turned over a strongly suited Q♠J♠ which only met with dead air on the board 2♠A♦10♦3♣2♦, giving Hawes a return of chips back in exchange to double up.

Zheming Zhu660,000Charlie Hawes276,000

Psyduck vs Panda!

Two of the most recognisable figures on felt – and their owners – are now seated next to each other as we approach the bubble.

Luke McCredie, whose stack token Psyduck regularly travels across the felt on the Australian poker scene, has taken to his seat next to none other than Kenny Wang, aka “Panda” per the figurine which regularly tops his chip stacks across events.

Psyduck vs Panda: whose stack will be super effective?



L to R: Luke McCredie, Kenny Wang

Eriksen doubles

Mark Eriksen has found a double through Robert Damelian after going all in preflop on the button, his stack falling a little short.

Damelian was leading preflop with Q♣Q♥, but Eriksen’s 8♣5♣ quickly flopped a two pair and held through 5♦8♦10♠J♠K♣ for the double up.

Mark Eriksen401,000Robert Damelian220,000

Hum and Hawes

Over on Table 7, the clock was called after some action had built up to the river, with about 420,000 in the pot and two players heads up, Zheming Zhu and Charlie Hawes.

The board was spread 7♠K♣2♦K♠3♦, and Zhu had bet all in on the river for 250,000 effective, covering Hawes who went deep in the tank.

Hawes was unapologetic as he deliberated his decision with about 194,000 behind, considering the field edging close to the bubble. The dealer heard another player call for time, activating the 30 second clock.

Hawes eventually folded, leaving Zhu to take the pot.

Zheming Zhu688,000Charlie Hawes183,000

Croc snapped up

Some more all in pre-flop action as Billy “The Croc” Argyros went heads up with A♦K♥, against Shane Dickfos who answered with K♠10♥.

Argyros appeared agitated as the flop was dealt 9♣J♥Q♣, throwing his hands up in the air and exasperating, “Why does this always happen to me?”

The 2♠ turn and A♠ river completed the action, sending Argyros out.

Shane Dickfos150,000Billy “The Croc” ArgyrosBUSTED!

Seeing Stars

Check out our quick round of photos featuring notable faces in our field for Day 2 today!

Dylan Wayne

Adam Thaggard

Ben Turner

Jen Cassell

Charles Tsai

Anthony Cierco

Meerwais Hussaini

Mark Ericksen

Aroha Ngata

Jason Anand

Patrick Barba

Robert Damelian

Phil Stamler

Jarrod Thatcher

Carlos Youssef

Bert Perry

Mata Ye

Kenny Wang

Michael Falcon

Money, money, money!

With a series of quick eliminations in our first level, the bubble is fast approaching as we have 64 players still remaining.

Here is a full rundown of the payouts:


Level 18: 5,000/10,000 (10,000)

Stevensons vs Jung vs Jang

We’re experiencing a serious case of Deja-vu as we have had two elimination hands with a Stephenson vs Jang, and a subsequent Stephenson vs. Jung. DUN DUN!

Lawrence Stephenson raised preflop from the LoJack, Mose Jang shoved from the Hijack and was snapped up by Stephenson.

Stephenson quickly showed 10♦10♠, ahead of Jang’s 5♦5♥ which fell further behind as Stephenson improved to a set on the flop and Jang bricked out a straight draw on 10♥6♠8♦7♦A♦.

Another Stephenson on felt, this time in the form of Dean Stevenson, went all in preflop with Jong Jung, whose 7♣7♥ failed to hit as Stevenson’s J♣J♥ flopped a set and held on 5♣10♣J♠4♠5♥.

Dean Stevenson258,000Lawrence Stephenson212,000Mose JangBUSTED!Jong JungBUSTED!

Lawrence Stephenson.

Double, on the double!

We’ve just witnessed a quick elimination in the first few hands of this level, after some betting action saw Marinka Vulic go all in pre-flop, called by Alan Wilson.

Vulic flipped up A♣4♣, as Wilson turned over A♠Q♥, falling behind on the 4♥A♥K♥ flop, bricking the 10♦ turn before quickly connecting with 10♥ on the river for the nut flush, sending Vulic to the rail. Wilson’s stack moved just shy of the half-Million mark to keep up with the leaders.

Alan Wilson470,000Marinka VulicBUSTED!

Alan Wilson.

Stop! Continue…

A slight delay in proceedings today as a glitch in the Matrix resulted in a text message sent to players notifying of an 11:50am AEST starting time, as opposed to the advertised 11:30am starting time. Staff have reeled the last of the players back in, with Danny McDonagh joking, “Find out who hacked into the system, they’ll be disqualified!”

The call has now been made to shuffle up and deal, so play is officially underway. We will be bringing you all the bluffs, sweats and tears from the felt as it happens.

Good luck to all 77 players today, and may the flop be with you!

Level 17: 4,000/8,000 (8,000)


Hello and welcome to the WPT Prime Gold Coast Opening Event Day 2, live from the poker room here at The Star Gold Coast!

77 players will be returning today from the starting field of 455 entries, all eyeing to take home the $82,001 up top for the champion title and a beautiful WPT Prime Gold Coast crystal surfboard trophy.

The top 57 from today’s field will finish in the money, taking a slice of the $409,500 prizepool, with a min-cash of $1,495. Michael Falcon is still sitting atop the chip counts with a lead of 857,000 chips, at 300,000 more than the second chipleader.

The field will play 45 minute levels, with blinds recommencing at 4,000/8,000 (8,000), playing down to end of level 27 or until the final table is reached, with some breaks in between to stretch their legs.

LevelSmall BlindBig BlindBB Ante174,0008,0008,000185,00010,00010,000196,00012,00012,0002010,00015,00015,0002110,00020,00020,0002215,00025,00025,0002315,00030,00030,0002420,00040,00040,0002525,00050,00050,0002630,00060,00060,0002740,00080,00080,000

Day 2 seat draw

Play will resume at 11:30am AEST, with recommencing blinds at 4,000/8,000 (8,000). Please make sure you have your Star Club Card and photo ID with you for verification purposes, and should you have any questions regarding your seat allocation, please see the Star Poker Gold Coast team upon arrival. May the flop be with you!

To assist our Live Reporting Team, please ensure your PMA ID cards are kept close to your stack, face-up and visible at all times.

Players are also asked to move their PMA IDs with them when broken or balanced to another table, and they must be left on the table to be collected after an elimination and at the end of day’s play.

Table 1 (Feature Table)

PMA IDSeatNameChips01011Tu Le125,00001022Lucas Tae82,00001033Chi Chu143,00001044Mishel Anunu240,00001055Jason Anand501,00001066Dylan Foster133,00001077Mick Gavrilovic112,00001088Adam Thaggard344,00001099Andrew Menzies126,000

Table 2

PMA IDSeatNameChips02011Lawrence Stephenson126,00002022Mose Jang134,00002033Gary Lin233,00002044Attila Bognar198,00002055Majid Saab269,00002066Ben Turner543,00002077Stephen Boyd205,00002088Shane Dickfos116,00002099Brandon Bailey282,000

Table 3

PMA IDSeatNameChips03011Steven Smith170,00003022George Iordanou168,00003033Win Meng Tan466,00003044Charles Tsai366,00003055Jim Giannoukos256,00003066Lucy Sheppard272,00003077Ashish Gupta318,00003088Jennifer Cassell336,00003099George Archer550,000

Table 4

PMA IDSeatNameChips04011David Luong131,00004022Luke McCredie328,00004033Aroha Ngata324,00004044Adrian Pacheco474,00004055Jack Drake110,00004066Meerwais Hussaini381,00004077Tom O’Brien296,00004088Kiyo Puyat385,00004099Mark Ericksen393,000

Table 5

PMA IDSeatNameChips05011Alan Wilson199,00005022Steven Gluyas90,00005033Anthony Cierco148,00005044Marinka Vulic201,00005055Lauren Bonte149,00005066Robert Damelian43,00005077Richard Tang209,00005088Phil Stamler226,00005099David Croucher136,000

Table 6

PMA IDSeatNameChips06011Zhifan Ye247,000206033Anthony Harach223,00006044Khal Fayad143,00006055Patrick Barba166,00006066Jason Vipulananthan250,00006077Guangyu Wang372,00006088Andrew Batey301,00006099Shane Thompson485,000

Table 7

PMA IDSeatNameChips07011Nil Esteve127,00007022Charlie Hawes185,00007033Mitchell Frost149,00007044Anthony Maglicic50,00007055Michael Falcon851,00007066Ruiyang Wang124,000707088Zheming Zhu468,00007099Nigel Kwok68,000

Table 8

PMA IDSeatNameChips08011Jong Jung118,00008022Jeremy Winlaw96,00008033Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros111,00008044Dean Stevenson252,00008055Jesper Henrich151,00008066Duncan McKinnon174,00008077Mason Trevanion80,000808099Kevin Lee152,000

Table 9

PMA IDSeatNameChips09011Jon Rounce119,00009022Carlos Youssef154,000309044Jarrod Thatcher248,00009055Mark Lawton135,00009066Michael Kalin40,00009077Wayne Clinch370,00009088John Hutchins146,00009099Bert (John) Perry249,000

Author: Timothy Harris