Early Highlights from the Sydney Championships 2019

This summer, The Star Sydney is spearheading tournament action in Australia with its keenly awaited series – the Sydney Championships 2019. The tournaments got underway on July 11th and are set to run until August 5th, with 17 events filling the schedule.

With everything from a AU$330 Crazy Pineapple event to a AU$3,000 NLH Main Event taking place, along with the coveted AU$500 Sydney Champs NLH Cup, many players have been making the trip down under to get involved.

Here is a recap of the action so far.

Adam Dundovic wins the AU$500 Sydney Champs NLH Cup

Adam Dundovic
Adam Dundovic – Photo Star Sydney

The AU$500 Sydney Champs NLH Cup is one of the most prestigious events on the series schedule and this instalment attracted a near 1,000 player-field. The 983 runners generated a prize pool of AU$442,350, with AU$84,057 set aside for the winner. With four separate starting flights and a further two days of play needed to separate the champion from the challengers, it eventually came down to Adam Dundovic and Hussein Hassan.

Australian Dundovic may only have had two cashes totalling AU$1,887 in previous live tournament winnings but he did not let this lack of experience faze him in the run in. He held his nerve admirably to see off the challenge of Hassan, picking up his first live tournament win and AU$84,057 in prize money.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Adam Dundovic – AU$84,057
2nd – Hussein Hassan – AU$51,985
3rd -Adnan Al-maliki – AU$38,369
4th – Casey Kooiman – AU$28,709
5th – Scott Wood – AU$21,750
6th – Neeraj Sampelly – AU$16,685
7th – Jahdi El Khouri – AU$12,956
8th – Michael Mariakis – AU$10,187
9th – Mark Leslie – AU$8,104

David Hirst takes down the AU$1,100 NLH Monster Stack

David Hirst
David Hirst – Photo Star Sydney

The AU$1,100 NLH Monster Stack opened the Sydney Championships in style, with 382 players acquiring a seat in the tournament area. This ensured that AU$382,000 found its way into the prize pool, creating a 1st prize of over AU$84,000. Over two days of play the field was whittled down to a winner, with David Hirst and Amir Abbas the two heads up protagonists. Hirst wasted no time in putting the challenge of Abbas to the sword, banking a career score which eclipses the AU$67,751 he already has in live career cashes. Hirst’s previous best score of USAU$14,152 also came in the opening event of the Sydney Championships, when he took 4th place in Event 1 back in 2013.

The final table payouts are as follows:

1st – David Hirst – AU$84,039
2nd – Amir Abbas – AU$51,933
3rd – Sayed Jabbour – AU$37,948
4th – Josip Vidaic – AU$28,176
5th – Ehsan Amiri – AU$21,247
6th – Benjamin Menzies – AU$16,262
7th – Alex Falon – AU$12,629
8th – Julius Lambert – AU$9,947
9th – Con Angelakis – AU$7,946

Lei He crowned in the  AU$500 Short Deck

Lei He
Lei He – Photo Star Sydney

Event 2 on the schedule was the AU$500 Short Deck (Re-Entry). The short deck format involves removing cards between the value of 2 and 5 from the deck which spices up the action and provides a new twist on an old favourite game. Given the unusual format which may have been alien to some players, it is no surprise to see a tentative turnout for event 2, with 97 runners pulling up chairs at the start. The prize pool was still certainly worth winning however, with a AU$43,650 pool providing a winner’s share of just over AU$13,000.

The event concluded with Australia’s Lei He taking victory, defeating Samir Khoueis heads up. Lei He has an interesting live tournament resume, having taken 3rd in the APPT Sydney NLH Main Event for AU$282,169 back in 2007, along with a couple of other small cashes around the same time. He then went ten years before posting his next cash in 2018. This score will bring his total career winnings up to AU$301,149.

The final 9 payouts are as follows:

1st – Lei He – AU$13,094
2nd – Samir Khoueis – AU$8,094
3rd – Travis Endersby – AU$5,763
4th – John Yacoub – AU$4,186
5th – Patrick Yazbeck – AU$3,101
6th – Veselin Zmukic – AU$2,341
7th – Jarryd Godena – AU$1,801
8th – Liqin Zhou – AU$1,410
9th – John Parker – AU$1,124

Dominic Thomson wins the AU$330 Pineapple

Dominic Thomson
Dominic Thomson – Star Sydney

This event was another interesting tournament which strayed from conventional Hold’em. In Pineapple, players are dealt three hole cards before discarding one before the action begins. As with the Short Deck event, this saw a slightly smaller, but still very respectable sized field take to the felt. 177 players got involved in this one, creating a prize pool of AU$53,100. This allowed for a winner’s prize of AU$14,336.

Dominic Thomson went on to emerge victorious from the field after a heads up tussle with Akshay Kapoor. Thomson picks up the top prize for his efforts, in what is his first Pineapple tournament victory.

The final 9 payouts are as follows:

1st – Dominic Thomson – AU$14,336
2nd – Akshay Kapoor – AU$8,860
3rd – Andrej Senic – AU$6,378
4th – Daniel Shan – AU$4,674
5th – Marc Liddell – AU$3,478
6th – Jacob Flanagan – AU$2,646
7th – Jake Mehmet – AU$2,042
8th – Erotkritos Likoudis – AU$1,602
9th – Salvatore Lucisano – $1,278

Article by Craig Bradshaw