Day 2 Completed
|Prize Pool||703,000 AUD|
|Blinds||8,000 / 16,000|
Day 2 Completed
Aspiring young Aussie poker pros and veteran regulars of The Star Sydney entered the most expensive event of the 2019 The Star Sydney Champs and a total of 37 entries created a prize pool of A$703,000 in the A$20,000 High Roller, which was split among the top four spots.
Down to the final three players, an ICM deal was agreed on and a blind flip decided over the champion. It was chip leader Sean Ragozzini that connected with the board to become the official winner of the tournament, while Tom Rafferty finished in second place and Michael Egan ended up in third.
As per the ICM deal Ragozzini takes home A$223,361, Rafferty earned a payday of A$220,466 and Egan scored A$188,873 for his efforts. Thanks to his victory, Ragozzini more than doubled his cashes on the live circuit so far and Egan hit a milestone as he will jump to more than $1.1 million in live cashes.
Final Result A$20,000 High Roller
|Place||Player||Country||Scheduled Payout (USD)||Actual Payout (USD)|
|1||Sean Ragozzini||Australia||A$316,350 ($219,103)||A$223,361 ($154,699)*|
|2||Tom Rafferty||Australia||A$210,900 ($146,068)||A$220,466 ($152,694)*|
|3||Michael Egan||Australia||A$105,450 ($73,034)||A$188,873 ($130,813)*|
|4||Ebon Bokody||Australia||A$70,300 ($48,689)|
*Denotes ICM deal three-handed
The constellation at the start of the nine-handed final table was clear. There were two big stacks, four players closely bunched together in the middle of the pack and three shorter stacks. Nine hopes but only four spots guaranteed a return on their investment on the feature table at The Star Sydney.
It wouldn't take long for the action to kick off as eventual champion Ragozzini started the final day in style by sending Hun Wei “Alex” Lee and Mladen Vukovic to the rail in quick succession.
Gautam Dhingra also missed out on the money and Matthew Wakeman was unable to repeat his runner-up finish of the previous year after heading out in sixth place, two off the money. It was a classic flip that decided the fate of Wakeman, who came up short with ace-king against the pocket tens of Ebon Bokody.
That left the final five hopefuls on the money bubble and the average was more than sixty big blinds deep. Two of them, Vincent Huang and Bokody, were fresh off a deep run in the A$5k Challenge in which they finished second and third respectively.
Ragozzini was seeking a rare cash outside of Melbourne, while Egan came into the final day as one of the most experienced players still in contention.
And then there was Sydney's Tom Rafferty, who entered the final table as the chip leader and remained in the top spot until the money bubble. Rafferty was cruising along until one hand changed the circumstances in dramatic fashion. Egan got it in with queens and Rafferty snap-called with aces only to see a queen appear on the turn.
Only a few hands later, Egan won a flip with ace-king against the pocket jacks of Huang to let the bubble burst thanks to an ace on the river. Now it was suddenly Egan in the driver's seat with three and a half times the buy-in locked up as the min-cash with four left.
What followed was a fierce battle and the overall lead changed several times. All four contenders for the title were in the top spot at some point until Ragozzini pulled away after taking big pots off Bokody and Egan.
It would be Bokody that had to settle for the min-cash as his ten-four suited ended up drawing dead to the ace-king suited of Egan. After having finished third in the A$5k Challenge, Bokody recorded another five-figure cash in the series and will be eager to do so in the upcoming Main Event as well.
Ragozzini boosted his stack to more than a million but Rafferty doubled through him with aces. The action slowed down again and Egan chipped up to almost close the gap to the duo at the top. When they got back from the break and agreed on deal numbers, it was a blind flip that ended up in favor of Ragozzini and he would sit down a few minutes later to pose for the winner shots.
While the High Roller action might be finished, the flagship event of the festival will kick off in fewer than 24 hours from now. With a buy-in of A$3,000, the Main Event provides a guaranteed prize pool of A$1,500,000 and the poker room has been buzzing throughout the last few days in the build-up to the highlight of the entire schedule.
If the numbers of all events so far and the very successful live satellites are anything to go by, it will be a big turnout in the days to come and the PokerNews team will be on the floor from start to finish to provide all the action.
After negotiating and agreeing upon an ICM-deal, Sean Ragozzini shoved from the button with the biggest stack and was called by both Tom Rafferty and Michael Egan.
The flop came for Ragozzini to hit the pair of tens immediately.
The turn was the which didn't change things.
The river completed the board with the for the deal to be sealed as Ragozzini scooped the whole pot and tournament by eliminating both Rafferty and Egan in the final hand. Ragozzini wins A$223,361 after the deal.
A recap of today's action is to follow.
Michael Egan raised the button to 25,000 and picked up calls by Sean Ragozzini in the small blind and Tom Rafferty in the big blind. The flop was checked to Egan and his bet won the pot.
Ragozzini then raised to 25,000 on the button and Rafferty called. Egan three-bet to 90,000 in the big blind and forced two folds.
Rafferty limped the button and Egan then raised to 52,000 from the small blind. Ragozzini made the call and Rafferty got out of the way. On a flop of , Egan checked and a bet of Ragozzini won the pot.
All three remaining players headed into a 10-minute break right after.
Michael Egan limped in from the button and Sean Ragozzini completed his small blind. Tom Rafferty raised to 44,000 in the big blind and that was enough to get the folds.
Egan raised to 25,000 from the button and Rafferty called in the big blind. The flop came , Rafferty check-folded to Egan's continuation-bet.
Rafferty limped in on the button, Egan completed the small blind, and Ragozzini opted to check The flop came , Egan check-called the 20,000 bet of Rafferty while Ragozzini check-raised to 63,000. Rafferty folded and Egan called. The turn brought them the , Egan checked again. Ragozzini did the same for the to complete the board. Egan checked for the last time and so did Ragozzini. Egan tabled and Ragozzini showed so they could chop the pot.
Michael Egan raised the button and Tom Rafferty defended the big blind. On a flop, Rafferty check-called a bet of 12,000 and they checked the turn. After the river, Rafferty bet 50,000 into 66,000 and Egan folded.
A limped pot then brought the turn on which Rafferty bet 18,000 and Egan called. The river was checked and Rafferty tabled , Egan won the pot with .
Egan won the next hand out of the small blind before the flop and dragged in another pot.
Tom Rafferty raised from the button and Sean Ragozzini shoved in the big blind to put Rafferty all-in who called for the 370,000 he had behind.
The board ran out for Rafferty to hold with the rockets to double up.
Sean Ragozzini raised out of the small blind and Tom Rafferty called from the big blind. They checked the flop and a bet of 32,000 by Ragozzini on the turn for 32,000 won the pot.
Michael Egan three-bet jammed for 295,000 and forced a fold from Ragozzini.
Rafferty then limped the button and Egan filled up from the small blind, Ragozzini checked in the big blind. There was no betting action on the flop and the turn. On the river, Egan check-folded to a bet of 35,000 by Ragozzini and a call from Rafferty.
Ragozzini turned over and Rafferty won the pot with .
Ebon Bokody shoved from under the gun for 105,000 and Michael Egan did the same from the small blind with the bigger stack. Sean Ragozzini asked for a count and the dealer confirmed Egan had 230,000 behind. In the end, Ragozzini folded for them to battle it out.
The board ran out for Egan to hit two pair on the turn to eliminate Bokody in fourth place for A$70,300.