Star Poker Championships first highlights

Jason Gray wins 5K challenge

Jason Gray - Photo Star Sydney
Jason Gray – Photo Star Sydney

The 2017 Sydney Championships at Star Casino have been a highlight on the live poker calendar among players in Australia and Asia for a number of years now, and the AU$5K event is a special part of the series each year. This year saw 142 entries combine to create a prize pool of AU$674,500, with AU$188,866 set aside for 1st. The total number of players to make the money was 15.

For a long time it looked like Australian pro Michael Addamo might take this one down, as he entered the second day with a comfortable chip lead, and led going into the final table too. Unfortunately for him, everything started to unravel during the final table and he eventually fell in 4th place. The story of eventual winner Jason Gray was a complete contrast, as he started with one of the smallest stacks and then climbed his way up the leader board to take down the event. Jason Gray is well known in the world of Australian poker, having been grinding the live circuit for many years. He picks up AU$188,866 for this victory.

Nurlan Boobekov takes down the opening event

Nurlan Boobekov - Photo Star Poker
Nurlan Boobekov – Photo Star Poker

The AU$440 buy in, AU$400K guaranteed opening event kicked things off in style at the Star, attracting 1,160 runners, and generating a top prize of AU$84,735. Many notable players took to the felt, but by the time the second day began, only 159 remained, with many casualties falling in the opening four flights. 117 of those players would go on to get paid.

As the second day drew to a close, the final table was set, with Nurlan Boobekov holding the chip lead. Despite the efforts of those around him, he closed out the tournament in clinical fashion, defeating Matthew Maks heads-up to claim the 1st prize of AU$84,735. Maks had to settle for AU$52,302. Boobekov is not only a live tournament player, but also has five ‘Triple Crown’ awards on PocketFives ranking site, playing under the name ‘Nur1ck’.

Ladies – Suzy Khoueis making it look easy

Suzy Khoueis - Photo Star Poker
Suzy Khoueis – Photo Star Poker

Suzy Khoueis is quickly becoming something of a phenomenon in this part of the world, having now won an astonishing three ladies events in a row here in Sydney’s Star Poker Room. She took down the WSOP Sydney Ladies event in 2016, before taking her shot at the 2017 Star Poker Festival earlier this year. She won that too, before amazingly, showing up for this event and winning that too. This AU$330 Ladies Event attracted 53 entries, creating a prize pool of AU$15,900. Suzy Khoueis takes home the admiration of the poker world and AU$5,965 for her latest accomplishment.

Article by Craig Bradshaw