World Poker Tour lands in Australia ; Liam Doyle wins the Opening Event

WPT has established itself as the most prestigious global poker tour in the world, and between September 27th and October 7th Australia is playing host to a WPT festival for the very first time in history.

The opening events are already in the books, and there are still many enthralling events yet to come, so allow us to bring you the latest from the Gold Coast.

Event 1 – AU$1,000 WPT Australia Opening Event – Winner: Liam Doyle

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Opening event winner Liam Doyle – Photo credit: WPT

The first event on the schedule in Australia was the AU$1,000 (US$669) buy in opening event. The number of entries reached 292 before the close of registration, creating a prize pool of AU$292,000 (US$195,348). Of those who began the event, 37 would go on to get paid, with almost AU$65,000 set aside for 1st place.

As the action got down to the final stages, Cam Adams was sent to the rail in 3rd place to set up a heads-up match between Mexico’s Angel Guillen-Pereda and New Zealander Liam Doyle. After trading pots for a while, Doyle managed to gain the upper hand in the match before finishing off his opponent to claim the title. This win is a huge step forward for Doyle, who claims his first recorded live title and biggest lifetime score by some distance.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Liam Doyle (New Zealand) – AU$64,368 (US$43,062)
2nd – Angel Guillen – AU$45,260
3rd – Cam Adams – AU$29,112
4th – Ash Gupta – AU$18,177
5th – Connie Graham – AU$14,031
6th – Alan Yousif – AU$11,622
7th – Dean Boskovic – AU$9,767
8th – Amir Abbas – AU$8,030
9th – Adam Thaggard – AU$6,436

Event 2 – AU$600 Super Stack Freezeout – Winner: George Kurubilis

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Super Stack winner George Kurubilis – Photo credit: WPT

The second event in this festival saw 198 runners pull up a seat and stake their claim to the title. The AU$600 (US$401) buy ins accumulated to form a total prize pool of AU$118,800 (US$79,477) with 25 players going on to get paid. Almost AU$30,000 awaited the champion.

As the final battle lines were drawn up, Taner Durust and George Kurubilis were the fortunate challengers who had managed to navigate their way through the field. Heads-up play commenced with the elimination of Octavian Voegele and it did not take long for Kurubilis to stamp his authority on proceedings, taking control of the match and eventually wrestling the title away from Durust. With just over US$21,000 in live cashes to his name before this event began, Kurubilis has drastically increased his live cashes with this score.

Here are the final payouts:
1st – George Kurubilis (Australia) – AU$29,572 (US$19,784)
2nd – Taner Durust – AU$20,360
3rd – Octavian Voegele – AU$12,177
4th – Samuel Deering – AU$7,407
5th – Robert Damelian – AU$5,720
6th – Jonathan Pye – AU$4,740
7th – Joshua Smith – AU$4,039
8th – Jahdi Khouri – AU$3,493
9th – Rojas Berdugo – AU$2,957

Event 3 – AU$300 Turbo Freezeout – Winner: Kai Yeung

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Turbo Freezeout winner Kai Yeung – Photo credit: WPT

The third event at Star Gold Coast was the AU$300 (US$201) buy in Turbo Freezeout event. The field size for the tournament grew to 237, generating a total prize pool of AU$71,100 (US$47,566). A total of 30 players went on to pick up winnings with five figures up top for the winner.

As the final hands of the tournament played out, just three remained. Carlos Youssef’s attempts to push himself up the chip counts hit turbulence, resulting in him hitting the rail shortly after.

This left Australian Kai Yeung to potentially give the festival its first female winner, but she first had to deal with Andy Mathis. After a few pots had been traded, the momentum began to move towards Yeung, and she did not let the opportunity slip, finishing her opponent off to take the victory.

Here are the final payouts:
1st – Kai Yeung (Australia) – AU$16,624 (US$11,121)
2nd – Andy Mathis – AU$11,673
3rd – Carlos Youssef – AU$7,288
4th – Michael Chrisanth – AU$4,433
5th – Mark Bevan – AU$3,423
6th – William Wong – AU$2,837
7th – Craig Abernethy – AU$2,417
8th – James Nimmo – AU$2,062
9th – Shurane Vijayaram – AU$1,662

Still to come

With WPT Australia just getting started, the best events are yet to begin. The coming days will bring numerous exciting events, and here is our pick of them.

  • Among the interesting events still to come is the AU$660 (US$442) Big Bounty event. Getting underway on October 2nd, the tournament will feature 30-minute blind levels with half of the buy in set aside as a bounty on each player.
  • Stepping things up a gear on October 3rd is the AU$5K (US$3,345) Single Day event. This High Roller allows for a single re-entry and will feature 30-minute blinds with boosted starting stacks of 25,000 chips.
  • The Main Event kicks off on October 4th with the first of three starting flights. The AU$2,500 (US$1,673) tournament allows for a single re-entry and will see players starting with 30,000 chips.
  • Following on October 6th is the 2 Day AU$5K (US$3,345) Challenge event. Players have a single re-entry available, starting stacks of 25,000 and 45-minute blind levels.

Article by Craig Bradshaw