Sydney Championships 2019; Jason Gray wins $5K Challenge as more side events conclude

The Sydney Championships 2019 has been providing the poker headlines in Australia this week, with many events either already in the books or ongoing. New champions have been crowned since our last update, including winner of the AU$5K Challenge, Jason Gray.

We are now less than a week away from the Main Event and we will be bringing you updates of that event and all of those in between.

Here is the latest from Sydney.

Jason Gray wins AU$5K Challenge

Jason Gray
Jason Gray – Photo Star Poker

The $5K Challenge is one of the jewels in the crown of the Sydney Championships and typically attracts a strong field of players. This edition saw 129 players pay the AU$5,000 (US$3,454) buy in, creating a prize pool of AU$612,750 (US$423,288). In what was a predominantly Australian field, the UK’s Jason Gray was the only non-Australian to reach the final table, quickly becoming one of the stronger stacks as other players fell away.

Gray’s elimination of Andrian Chin in 4th place gave him clear daylight between his stack size and those around him, and soon after he found QQ in the big blind to eliminate Ebon Bokody who had shoved with KJ. That brought the action heads up, and the matter was settled on the very first hand when Gray was dealt AQ against Vincent Huang’s KQ. Gray collects AU$171,572 (US$118,552) for his 1st place finish.

The score will make a nice addition to Gray‘s career cashes of US$1.8 million. As for our runner up Huang, this score builds on what has already been a good year for the Australian, having already won two side events at the Aussie Millions earlier this year.

Here are the final payouts:

1st – Jason Gray – AU$171,572 (US$118,552)
2nd – Vincent Huang – AU$106,043
3rd – Ebon Bokody – AU$76,545
4th – Andrian Chin – AU$56,244
5th – Ehsan Amiri – AU$42,047
6th – Charlie Hawes – AU$31,967
7th – Vesko Zmukic – AU$24,712
8th – Majid Saab – AU$19,412
9th – Dejan Boskovic – AU$15,496

Patrick Laoyont wins AU$550 Mixed PLO/NLH

The AU$550 Mixed event at Sydney Championships 2019 involved Pot-limit Omaha and No Limit Holdem being played during the levels, with 134 players taking their seat at the start of play. This resulted in a prize pool of AU$67,000 (US$46,284).

Final Table Mixed PLO
Final Table Mixed PLO – Photo Star Poker

As the tournament boiled down to its final skirmishes, Steve Pappas, Daniel Simmons and Patrick Laoyont were the three final survivors. The elimination of Pappas brought the tournament down to heads up, and Laoyont kept the pressure on Simmons during their duel, wearing him down and eliminating him in 2nd place. Laoyont picked up AU$18,758 (US$12,958) for the win, consigning Simmons to a runner up consolation prize of AU$11,595. Here are the final payouts:

1st – Patrick Laoyont – AU$18,758 (US$12,958)
2nd – Daniel Simmons – AU$11,595
3rd – Steve Pappas – AU$8,370
4th – Bassam Habib – AU$6,150
5th – Jarryd Godena – AU$4,598
6th – Adam Cohen – AU$3,495
7th – Geoffrey Henshaw – AU$2,702
8th – Hoang Nguyen – AU$2,123
9th – Emmanuel Derecho – AU$1,694

Todor Kondevski wins AU$440 Masters

$440 Masters champion Todor Kondevski – Photo credit Star Sydney

171 runners pulled up chairs for the $440 Masters event, a good field size which generated a prize pool of AU$71,600 (US$49,461). The top prize for the event was set at just over AU$19,000. With 18 players having cashed in the event, the final 9 were soon assembled, with the field quickly shrinking over the next couple of hours. By the time heads up play was reached, just Joel Cohen and Todor Kondevski were left vying for the title and 1st place prize money. Despite the efforts of Cohen, it was Kondevski who emerged triumphant, collecting AU$19,335 (US13,357) for his efforts.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Todor Kondevski – AU$19,335 (US$13,357)
2nd – Joel Cohen – AU$11,947
3rd – Joseph Alvaro – AU$8,600
4th – Tamouz Alami – AU$6,303
5th – Francis Lannon – AU$4,701
6th – Brett Solo – AU$3,568
7th – James Langford – AU$2,754
8th – Anthony Moss – AU$2,160
9th – Rodney Tucker – AU$1,723

Chester Swords and Yita Choong crowned AU$550 Teams champions

$550 Teams event champions Chester Swords and Yita Choong – Photo credit Star Sydney

The AU$550 Teams event at the Sydney Championships 2019 attracted 131 entries, building a prize pool of AU$58,950 (US$40,723). The top prize of AU$16,508 would be split between the eventual winning team, with teams comprising of two players. Despite some interesting names being present in the late stages, the final battle came down to Adam Kharman/Rourke Jackson and Chester Swords/Yita Choong. The pairing of Swords and Choong soon imposed themselves on the match, gaining the upper hand and closing out the deal, banking what is a career best score for each player.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Chester Swords & Yita Choong – AU$16,508 (US$11,404)
2nd – Adam Kharman & Rourke Jackson – AU$10,202
3rd – Michelle Psarras & George Psarras – AU$7,364
4th – Ali Khouiss & Chad Inabinet – AU$5,411
5th – Anthony Ferrarelli &Luke Hanna – AU$4,045
6th – Gareth Sole & Amy Sole – AU$3,075
7th – Elliot Cichero & Akshay Kapoor – AU$2,377
8th – Emmanuel Parmakellis & Emmanuek Derecho – AU$1,868
9th – Matthew Pongrass & Thomas Pongrass – AU$1,491

Travis Endersby takes victory in the AU$440 Turbo

$440 Turbo winner Travis Endersby – Photo credit Star Sydney

The $440 Turbo served up some fast-paced Holdem for the 223 players involved, with each participant seeking the largest piece of an AU$89,200 (US$61,619) prize fund. As the field was being trimmed down to the final table, a remarkable story was unfolding, with Mark Yazbeck being joined by his two sons Patrick and Alex at the final table. In what is likely to be a tournament first for a field running into hundreds of players, a father and his two sons had all reached the final table. Patrick went on to fall in 8th, but Mark and Alex managed to get three-handed, before Mark busted in 3rd. Despite there being decent odds of a Yazbeck winner before the final table began, it was not to be, with Alex Yazbeck being defeated heads up by Travis Endersby.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Travis Endersby – AU$22,303 (US$15,407)
2nd – Alex Yazbeck – AU$13,783
3rd – Mark Yazbeck – AU$10,031
4th – Ross Mclaughlin – AU$7,419
5th – Glenn Pollett – AU$5,572
6th – Andrew Miller – AU$4,250
7th – William Davies – AU$3,291
8th – Patrick Yazbeck – AU$2,587
9th – Daniel Simmons – AU$2,063

Article by Craig Bradshaw