Day 3 Completed
Day 3 Completed
The 2019 The Star Sydney Champs has come to a conclusion after more than three weeks of poker action at The Star Sydney near Darling Harbour and the A$3,000 Main Event ended with the victory of Hamish Crawshaw. He came out on top of a record-breaking field of 600 entries to claim the trophy and a payday of A$352,800.
One year ago, the Kiwis Brian Lam and Charlie Hawes finished in second and third place respectively, and this time the trophy will be heading to New Zealand as Crawshaw defeated Mark Lassau in heads-up to claim the lion's share of the A$1,680,000 prize pool.
Crawshaw already cashed in The Sydney Champs Main Event in 2018 and had his breakthrough result on the live circuit earlier this year in another record-setting event on Australian soil. Out of a field of 822 entries in the 2019 Aussie Millions Main Event, he finished 7th for A$242,000 and topped that result here in Sydney.
The Star Sydney regular Joe Antar finished in 3rd place and the final table also featured Crawshaw's countryman Wenjian “William” Qiu, Bernie Stang and Corey Kempson.
Final Result A$3,000 Main Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in AUD)||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Hamish Crawshaw||New Zealand||A$352,800||$244,348|
|6||Wenjian “William” Qiu||New Zealand||A$67,956||$47,066|
Early Eliminations and a Roller Coaster Final Table
All eyes were set on Corey Kempson when the final 13 players returned their seats, as he held a commanding lead over the remaining finalists. It took just half an hour to set up the nine-handed final table as Peter Dykes, Collin Tran, Joseph Hayek and Kumar K.A departed in the first level of the day.
Crawshaw had started in the middle of the pack but his rise started with a double elimination on the outer table as his pocket deuces held up against the king-six of Tran and the ace-queen of Hayek. A few minutes later, K.A failed to get there with ace-queen against the ace-king of Mark Lassau.
Kempson still held a narrow lead but it was Bernie Stang that dominated the action with his big bet poker. Described by casino regulars as “one that can bring the pain,” Stang jumped into the lead in a pivotal hand of the final table when he got check-raised with king-jack on a jack-high flop. Kempson jammed with pocket queens for the overpair and a king on the turn brought the upset.
Kempson won a flip with ace-king suited against the dreadful pocket queens of Nickolas Oiberman right after but would have to settle for 8th place when his ace-ten suited ended up second-best against the ace-king of Tu Le.
Crawshaw Assumes Control
The chip lead changed just one more time for the remainder of the tournament. Stang dropped back into the middle of the pack and four-bet shoved for more than 30 big blinds with pocket nines, which Crawshaw snap-called holding pocket kings. A jack-high board brought no upset and Crawshaw was in the driver's seat.
With a sizable chip lead, Crawshaw increased the aggression and his stack while the remaining five hopefuls were battling back and forth. Wenjian Qiu would be the first to succumb when his three-bet jam with seven-four suited was called by fellow countryman Crawshaw with pocket nines.
Joe Antar was the shortest stack with five players remaining and scored a vital double through Crawshaw, who also doubled Lassau. But the Kiwi made up for the hiccups by sending both Peter Robertson and Tu Le to the rail. After another Lassau double, Crawshaw claimed the stack of Antar and entered heads-up play with a commanding lead.
Lassau nearly closed the gap at some point in the hour-long duel for the title, but the name at the top of the leaderboard remained the same. Eventually, they got it in after a three-bet pot on a jack-high flop and Lassau was at risk with kings for the overpair. Crawshaw held king-jack suited for top pair and the flushdraw, another club on the turn instantly sealed the victory for the New Zealander.
A Record-Breaking Main Event
Back in 2013, the buy-in of the Main Event was increased to A$3,000 and the attendance has gone up every year. Former champions featured some of the brightest talent and well-known names in Aussie poker such as Daniel Laidlaw, Martin Kozlov and Kahle Burns, who have all earned their merits on the international poker tables as well.
The first of two starting days saw a total of 280 entries and the guaranteed prize pool was already surpassed as soon as the cards for Day 1b went in the air. Another 320 entries boosted the field to 600 entries in total, up from 522 entries in the previous edition in 2018.
The Sydney Champs Main Event Since 2013
|Year||Entries||Prize Pool||Winner||Top Prize (in AUD)|
Numbers Up Across the Board
The poker room was buzzing during the entire festival and all events attracted fields well above the expectations with almost all well-known faces of the local poker scene in action at the cash game and tournament tables.
Adam Dundovic topped a massive field of 983 entries in the A$500 Cup and David Hirst claimed the trophy in the A$1,100 Monster Stack. Aussie Poker Hall of Fame member Jason Gray triumphed for the second time after 2017 in the $5k Challenge, while Qiang Fu topped a field of 356 entries in the 6-Max Event.
Last but not least, the A$20,000 High Roller ended with a three-way deal. Sean Ragozzini claimed the trophy and second-biggest prize of the entire festival.
Other Highlights of the 2019 The Star Sydney Champs at a Glance
|Event||Buy-In||Entries||Prize Pool||Winner||Top Prize (in AUD)|
|Monster Stack||A$1,100||382||A$382,000||David Hirst||A$84,039|
|Teams||A$500||131||A$58,950||Chester Swords & Yita Choong||A$16,508|
|5k Challenge||A$5,000||129||A$612,750||Jason Gray||A$171,572|
|High Roller||A$20,000||37||A$703,000||Sean Ragozzini||A$223,361|
While the annual showdown in Sydney is coming to an end, the preparations for the next big festival are already underway as the World Series of Poker Circuit Event will return to Sydney from November 14th to December 9th, 2019.
Mark Lassau raised to 400,000 and Hamish Crawshaw three-bet to 1,250,000, which Lassau called. On the flop, Crawshaw continued for 600,000 and Lassau gave it some consideration before raising to 2,000,000. Crawshaw moved all in and Lassau immediately called.
The kings were ahead, but that changed with the turn as Crawshaw hit the flush to leave Lassau drawing dead. His rail already celebrated while the meaningless rolled off on the river and Lassau was eliminated in 2nd place for A$218,215.
Crawshaw takes home the biggest prize of the festival for A$352,800 and the trophy will be heading to New Zealand.
A recap of today's action is to follow.
Hamish Crawshaw raised to 400,000 from the button and Mark Lassau called. The flop came , Lassau check-called the 250,000 continuation-bet of Crawshaw. The turn was the , Lassau fired a bet of 600,000 over the line which Crawshaw called. The river completed the board with the , Lassau now bet 750,000 which was enough to make Crawshaw fold.
Lassau limped in on the button and Crawshaw opted to check. The flop came , Crawshaw check-called the 200,000 bet of Lassau. They both checked through the on the turn to the on the river. Crawshaw bet 700,000 for Lassau to fold.
Crawshaw called on the button and Lassau opted to check. They both checked through the flop to the on the turn. Lassau bet 300,000 and Crawshaw called. The river completed the board with the , Lassau check-folded to the 1,300,000 bet of Crawshaw.
Mark Lassau raised to 500,000 and Hamish Crawshaw called to see a flop of flop. Crawshaw checked and called a bet of 600,000 to see both players check through the turn. Crawshaw bet the river for 2,075,000 and Lassau elected to fold.
Crawdraw raised the next two buttons to 400,000. Lassau called the first time and check-folded the flop to a bet of 250,000. He then three-bet the second time and Crawshaw let go.
A min-raise by Lassau to 400,000 was called by Crawshaw and the flop brought a check-fold from the Kiwi.
Hamish Crawshaw raised to 325,000 from the button and Mark Lassau called. They both checked through the flop to the on the turn. Lassau's bet of 350,000 was enough to make Crawshaw fold.
Lassau raised to 380,000 from the button and Crawshaw three-bet to 1,300,000 for Lassau to fold.
Crawshaw limped in on the button and Lassau raised to 425,000 which Crawshaw called. The flop came , Lassau check-called the 250,000 bet of Crawshaw. They both checked through the on the turn to the on the river. Lassau bet 350,000 and Crawshaw called for Lassau to scoop the pot with for the ace-kicker with the trips on the board.
Lassau limped in on the button and Crawshaw opted to check. The flop came , Crawshaw check-called the 175,000 bet of Lassau. They both checked through the on the turn to the on the river. Crawshaw bet 240,000 and that was enough for Lassau to let his hand go.
Hamish Crawshaw raised to 325,000 and Mark Lassau called. On the flop, Lassau bet and Crawshaw folded.
Crawshaw raised the next button to 325,000 and Lassau called, but check-folded a flop.
In a limped pot the flop, both players checked and Lassau bet the turn for 275,000, Crawshaw called. After the river, Lassau checked and sent his cards into the muck when he faced a bet of 475,000.
Lassau opened to 425,000 and Crawshaw three-bet to 1,500,000 in order to force a fold from Lassau.
Hamish Crawshaw raised to 325,000 from the button and Mark Lassau called. The flop came , Lassau checked and Crawshaw continued with a bet of 210,000. Lassau cut out raising chips but opted to fold.
Lassau raised to 380,000 from the button and Crawshaw called. The flop came , Crawshaw folded to Lassau's continuation-bet.
Crawshaw raised to 325,000 from the button and Lassau called. The flop came , they both checked to the on the turn. Lassau check-raised the 160,000 bet of Crawshaw to 450,000. Crawshaw made the call. The river completed the board with the . Lassau bet for Crawshaw to snap-fold.
Mark Lassau scooped a few small pots to add to his stack but Hamish Crawshaw struck back with aggression.
Crawshaw's raise to 325,000 was called by Lassau, who checked the flop. Crawshaw continued for 375,000 and that shut down the resistance.
Lassau min-raised the next button to 320,000 and Crawshaw moved all in to force a fold.