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Sid Guna, Justin Wong Win the 2017 WSOP Sydney Teams Event

Sid Guna, Justin Wong Win the 2017 WSOP Sydney Teams Event 0001

A whopping 246 teams showed up to the Star Poker Room to take place in arguably the most fun tournament of the 2017 WSOP Sydney Circuit Series.

Here's how the Teams Event worked: Each team started with 10,000 chips — 5,000 for each player. The first player sat down with their 5,000 and played the first level. If the player busted, the second player sat down with their 5,000 chips.

If the first player survived Level 1, the second player took their seat at the start of Level 2 and added their 5,000 chips to the stack of player one. The players then alternate every level until they are sporting a shiny new ring or headed home.

The Prize Pool

A substantial $110,700 prize pool was generated, paying the top 27 teams and putting a generous $27,138 up top.


The Final Table

There were no breaks in the Teams Event which means the field was thinned pretty quickly down to the final nine. Here is how things shaped up.

1Matt Pongrass and Mark Fester474,000
2Nathan Blazevic and Nick Lo Russo487,000
3Robert Liu and Declan Russell164,000
4Justin Wong and Sid Guna234,000
5Kym Chisholm and Daniel Fogl-Kulch378,000
6Nada and Todor Kondevski104,000
7Michael Mayer and Lenny Derosa74,000
8Jimmy Briggs Jr. and Kayci Hill94,000
9Carlos Youssef and George Kanan423,000

With just a little over a ten big blind average, the action was fast and turned into an all-in fest.

After a short-stack doubled through George Kanan, Kanan found himself all in with the flop reading {q-Spades}{8-Spades}{a-Clubs}. He held {k-Hearts}{2-Spades} and saw the bad news when Team Kondevski showed {a-Hearts}{8-Hearts}. The {6-Spades} turn opened the door a bit but it was quickly closed on the {3-Hearts} river. Team Youssef and Kanan added a ninth-place finish to their resumes, taking home $2,481.

Leaving in eighth place was Team Liu and Russell after going all in from under the gun and finding two callers.

Russell: {a-Hearts}{j-Hearts}
Blazevic: {8-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}
Chisolm: {q-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}

Nathan Blazevic, with the largest stack, would eliminate both teams if he could find an eight. Well, he didn't find one, but his eight completed the straight that fell on the {4-Clubs}{6-Spades}{6-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} sending Team Chisholm and Fogl-Kulch home as well. Liu and Russell had the shorter stack, so they are taking home $3,102, while Chisholm and Fogl-Kulch exit in seventh place with $3,940.

The next to go was Team Kondevski when Nada Kondevski put the team's remaining chips in the middle with {a-Hearts}{9-Clubs}. Nick Lo Russo made the call with {q-Clubs}{q-Spades}. Kondevski didn't improve and Team Kondevski took home $5,086 for their sixth-place finish.

Team Briggs and Hill were on the chopping block next when Kayci Hill slid their stack to the middle with {k-Clubs}{j-Clubs} and was looked up by Justin Wong holding {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. High card wins on the board {5-Clubs}{q-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{7-Hearts} sending Briggs and Hill home in fifth place and $6,675.

Leaving in fourth place was Team Mayer and Derosa after Michael Mayer bet all he had on {k-Clubs}{2-Hearts} against the {a-Spades}{2-Diamonds} of Pongrass. Once again, high card wins on the board {9-Spades}{3-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}, awarding Mayer and Derosa $8,910 for fourth place.

Team Blazevic and Lo Russo failed to find magic a second time when their {6-Clubs}{9-Clubs} couldn't outrun the {q-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} of Sid Guna. Blazevic and Lo Russo pocketed $12,107 for their top three performance.

And that brings us to heads up between Teams Matt Pongrass and Mark Fester and Justin Wong and Sid Guna. It was Fester and Guna on the felt and as the action began, with Fester scoring a big double-up against Guna.

But Guna held his cool and players switched out, which seemed to switch the momentum at the same time. On the final hand of the evening, Pongrass completed the small blind and Wong answered with a raise to 150,000. Pongrass moved all in from there and Wong made the call.

Wong: {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}
Pongrass: {a-Spades}{q-Spades}

The board came {5-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{5-Hearts}. As so many of the hands at the final table, high cards takes the pot and on this particular hand the championship. Team Pongrass and Fester leave as runners-up with a paycheck of $16,757.

And that leaves Wong and Guna as the last team standing and the 2017 WSOP Sydney Circuit Team Event Champions. They earned $27,138 and Gold Ring to celebrate their achievement.

Their results seemed to exceed their expectations. "At first we just wanted to get a jacket," Guna told the Star Poker Room Live Reporting Team, referring to the very stylish jackets awarded to all players who make the final table.

"Then when we made the final table we thought it would be really cool to be top three. Then when we were heads up we said let's go for it and see what happens."

And look what happened.

Final Table Results

1Team Wong and Guna$27,138
2Team Pongrass and Fester$16,757
3Team Blazevic and Lo Russo$12,107
4Team Mayer and Derosa$8,910
5Team Briggs and Hill$6,675
6Nada and Todor Kondevski$5,086
7Team Chisholm and Fogl-Kulch$3,940
8Team Liu and Russell$3,102
9Team Youssef and Kanan$2,481

Wong cited a hand against Team Briggs and Hill that put them in position to win.

"The hand against Jimmy (Briggs Jr) where we had {a-Hearts}{j-Clubs} and they had {7-Clubs}{8-Diamonds} and he flopped top pair and we made a straight on the river. That was the turning point. We should have been gone there but we survived."

"This is the first time I have played a Teams Event with Sid," Wong told the Star Poker Live Reporting Team. "I normally play with my girlfriend and I might be in a bit of trouble getting this result without her."

Something tells us she'll be fine with the result and may even bow out again next time.

The Action Down Under is Just Getting Started

There is time to get in on the action with a variety of tournaments scheduled to be held. The tournament series is being held through December 18, 2017. you can find the full schedule can be found on the StarPoker website.

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