The two-day WSOP Circuit Sydney $5k Challenge is in the books with Australia's Shivan Abdine the man to see off challenges from the 203-strong field to take the title, the coveted WSOP Circuit Ring and a top prize of AU$260,000 (~$175,980) after defeating heads-up opponent Adrian Attenborough, who made AU$160,610 for his runner-up finish.
This result marks a career-high for Abdine, beating his prior largest cash of $90,842, which came back in 2016 in a Las Vegas-based tournament, by some margin. In addition to winning his first WSOP Circuit title, this victory is Abdine's third outright tournament title and pushes his live winnings up to over US$1m, moving him up from 59th to 48th on the Australia All Time Money List.
"It feels good, I've been deep in a lot of spots before that haven't worked out - that's just the way it goes sometimes - but today went really smoothly," said a relaxed and surprisingly mellow Abdine immediately after posing for his winner's shot.
"I've known Adrian for a while, we came up together and it's always really fun to play a good opponent. I didn't expect too much coming into the final table, I did come in with a slight lead, but lost it early so was in a bit of a situation where I had to tighten up a little to get myself back into it. It's the title that means the most, the ring will probably go in the draw."
Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (AU$)||Prize (US$)|
|7th||Honglin Jiang||New Zealand||AU$37,350||$25,280|
|8th||Charlie Hawes||New Zealand||AU$29,330||$19,850|
A total of 21 players cashed for a share of the AU$1m prize pool, with 15 of them returning for the start of the second and final day. It took just a single 45-minute level to reach the nine-handed final table with a slew of early eliminations.
It took just fifteen minutes from the start of play to see 15 become 14, though the first elimination was not the extremely short-stack Patrick Laoyont - returning with just a single big blind - but New Zealand's Sosia Jiang.
Jiang returned as the third shortest stack and was unable to spin it up, getting the last of her chips in pre-flop from the button with king-ten offsuit. Germany's Marc Camphausen called from the small blind before Abdine moved all-in from the big blind to isolate, showing down ace-queen which held to send Jiang out in 15th for an AU$15,620 payday.
Minutes later Ryan Bownds hit the rail in 14th place for the same payout as Jiang; Bownds moved all-in for 20 big blinds over the top of chip leader George Mitri's opening raise with ace-nine and found himself trailing to the latter's ace-queen with a queen-high runout sealing his fate.
The busts outs kept coming as regular as busses with China's Chao Duan the next to depart close to fifteen minutes later: Duan fell in a blind vs blind battle against Ehsan Amiri when that latter turned a straight and Duan rivered two pair, which is when all the chips went in and Duan went out, taking home AU$15,620 for 13th place.
Despite returning with just a single big blind, Patrick Laoyont managed to ladder up the payouts, falling an orbit after Duan's exit after making a stop and go play against James Obst. Laoyont, holding king-nine, hit bottom pair on the flop, but found himself behind to Obst's queen-jack top pair on a jack-high board and hit the rail in 12th for AU$18,970.
Vincent Huang was next to go, running ace-jack suited into Abdine's pocket jacks with all the chips going in pre-flop and Huang failing to hit. Huang exited in 11th, also for AU$18,970.
Tam Truong hit the rail in tenth at the close of the level just minutes after Laoyont. Truong got the last of his chips in with king-jack only to see Amiri wake up behind with king-queen, which held to see Truong depart, also for an AU$18,970 payday.
Final Table Action
By the time the final table arrived, it was Abdine who had edged into a slender lead with a stack of just over 1m in chips, with George Mitri close behind with 929,000 with the rest of the field all with stacks smaller than 600k.
It took a gruelling two hours before the first final table casualty, with Mitri enduring a torrid time of it where almost nothing went his way and his once proud stack was whittled down to 440,000. A big clash of hands then went down with Mitri, holding ace-queen suited, falling afoul of Camphausen's pocket kings. All the chips went in pre-flop and Camphausen's premium pocket pair held to see Mitri hit the rail in ninth for AU$23,400.
Following the break, New Zealand's Charlie Hawes became the eight place casualty, moving all-in with ace-ten suited over the top of an Abdine open with the latter making the call with a dominating ace-queen. Hawes made AU$29,330 for his deep run.
Adrian Attenborough hit a flush in a hand against Michael Doumani shortly afterwards to flirt with the chip lead briefly before Abdine whacked Honglin Jiang to seize a lead he would not relinquish until play reached heads-up. Jiang's final hand was a coin flip, the New Zealander's suited ace-king losing a race to Abdine's pocket jacks to push the latter up to 1.7 million in chips and send Jiang out the tournament with AU$37,350 for his troubles.
Abdine continued to dominate, railing James Obst next after the latter moved all-in with ace-ten suited over the top of the former's open and Abdine made the call with pocket sevens, which held to further strengthen his chip lead. Obst took home AU$48,350 for sixth.
A level later Attenborough cracked Amiri's pocket aces calling the latter's ten big blind shove with the speculative nine-eight suited and hitting his flush to send Amiri out in fifth for AU$63,600.
That left four, with Abdine and Attenborough as the two big stacks, and Doumani and Camphausen as the two shorties. Despite earning a double through Attenborough, Doumani could not mount a comeback. Attenborough took all his chips back with interest after Doumani three-bet all-in pre-flop from the small blind with ace-ten over the top of an Attenborough button raise and ran into pocket queens.
Camphausen departed close on Doumani's heels after tangling in a hand with Abdine in a blind on blind battle. Despite have the slightly better hand pre-flop with king-nine, Camphausen was out flopped by Abdine's queen-four with the Aussie hitting trip queens on the flop and Camphausen making a pair of nines on the turn, which is when all the chips went in.
However, the German will not be too disappointed with the AU$115,970 on offer for third place - Camphausen was on a year's holiday and was down to his last AU$3,000 prior to the series. After keeping $1,000 for a plane ticket home he spun $2,000 up to $8,700 in a daily tournament, then won a satellite for $500 into the $5k Challenge. That makes Camphausen AU$124,670 to the good for the series so far.
Once play reached heads-up, Attenborough and Abdine reached an accord and opted to go all-in blind for the WSOP Series Ring. Seven coin flips later, Abdine emerged the victor, his trey-duece suited besting Attenborough's jack-six offsuit.
While that concludes the action in the $5k Challenge, the AU$2,200 Main Event is just around the corner with Day 1a getting underway at 12:30 p.m. local time. You can catch all the action on PokerNews so join us then.