Back in full swing, the recently concluded World Poker Tour Prime Gold Coast series saw its 11-event schedule fill up with hundreds of both local and international runners. The festival which ran from June 9-20, 2022 at The Star Gold Coast debuted its first Mystery Bounty event and featured a highlighting AU$1,500 Main Event. This season’s biggest winners include Australia’s Yang Lei who clinched the Main Event title, Steven Hoek and Gavin Best for their side event victories, and $1,100 NLH champion Romain Morvan with the Player of the Series title.
Photo Credit – WPT/ Star Poker
Next stop on schedule is WPT Prime Cambodia set to run from August 11-23 at NagaWorld Phnom Penh. The upcoming festival boasts a 24 event lineup with a whopping US$ 500,000 guaranteed Main Event, double of its latest 2019 festivities.
2022 WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event: Yang Lei – AU$ 201,755 (~US$ 138,901)
This year’s WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event saw a record-breaking 896 entries across its three starting flights with only 112 players cashing in on a minimum payout of AU$ 2,434. The three-day affair in partnership with Star Poker now stands as the largest field recorded in WPT Prime history, in addition to having generated a prize pool past the one million mark – AU$ 1,191,680 (US$ 839,538).
Yang Lei, Photo Credit – WPT/ Star Poker
A total of 125 runners returned for Day 2 with only the remaining nine surviving through the final day. Queensland grinder Yang Lei led the pack, holding a colossal stack of 158 big blinds followed closely by next in line Najeem Ajez with 91. At the end of the day, it was the two chip leaders who battled head to head with Lei’s unrelinquishing lead pushing him towards the coveted victory. Lei’s 5:1 chip advantage by heads up play eventually secured him his career best cash to date amounting to AU$ 201,755 (~US$ 138,901) as well as direct entry into the WPT World Championship (valued at $15,000) to be held in Las Vegas in December, with flights and accommodation as added value. Lei’s total live earnings as reported by The Hendon Mob now stands over $600K with all listed results recorded in his homeland, Australia.
Buy-in: AU$ 1,500 (~US$ 1,032)
Dates: June 16-20 , 2022
Prize pool: AU$ 1,191,680 (US$ 839,538)
ITM: 112 places
WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event Final Table Results
Tony (Jun) Lu
Win Meng Tan
*Top prize includes entry into the WPT World Championship (valued at $15,000) to be held in Las Vegas in December
WPT Prime Gold Coast Event 6: $1,000 Mystery Bounty: Steven Hoek – AU$ 75,466 (~US$ 51,955)
Mystery Bounty events have been emerging left and right throughout the region with its fun-filled nature giving players more excitement and a chance to win bigger prizes. The local casino’s first Mystery Bounty tournament saw a field of 395 entries and only 50 players getting paid. The budding format made it more eventful for the players with the biggest bounty up for grabs listed at an incredible AU$ 31,875.
Steven Hoek, Photo Credit – WPT/ Star Poker
$330 NLH Freezeout champion Alex Lee entered the final table with a commanding chip lead but could not stop Day 2 overall chip leader Steven Hoek who stormed through the first 15 minutes eliminating three players Charles Tsai, Martin Ward, and Earlson Ecobiza in 7th, 8th, and 9th place respectively. Ecobiza with the shortest stack cashed AU$ 4,892 in prizes yet left with the biggest bounty of all having picked up the extra AU$ 31,875 from the Treasure Chest. Hoek continued his good run of cards, busting out everyone else on the table one by one and ended with 15 bounties in total amounting to AU$ 26,550 for a combined AU$ 75,466 (~US$ 51,955) following his impressive victory.
Buy-in: AU$ 1,000 (~US$ 688)
Dates: June 14-16 , 2022
ITM: 50 places
WPT Prime Gold Coast Event 6 Final Table Results
WPT Prime Gold Coast Event 10: $5K Challenge: Gavin Best – AU$ 119,174 (~US$ 82,047)
The largest buy-in event of the series attracted 86 runners and generated a prize pool of AU$ 404,200 (US$ 278,277) with only 11 players making the money. One of the last events closing the festival, Australian Poker Hall of Famer Leo Boxell led the final nine looking to score a trophy and the top prize of AU$ 130,355. Local runner Gavin Best who started the final table 7th in chips however, wasted no time and carried on to send 8th and 9th place finishers Ken Loong and Qais Shanasa to the rails with his premium hands.
Gavin Best, Photo Credit – WPT/ Star Poker
No trophy was due for Earlson Ecobiza who fell in 9th place at the Mystery Bounty event and soon fell into the hands of Boxell with top pair vs the legend’s nut flush draw after the board turned an Ace. By the first break, Best cruised his way to the lead as he dusted Raph Tenenbaum with yet another premium holding, pocket Jacks. Tournament flips ran in favor of both Best and Boxell as they eliminated Sammy Haddad and Benoit Yick in 4th and 5th place. Best continued with his momentum, sending Boxell towards the exit with Quad sixes against the Hall of Famer’s rivered two-pair.
By heads up play, Best held over a 2:1 chip advantage against his Colombian opponent Lucho Vargas. The duo eventually struck a deal with both guaranteed AU$ 90,000 and the remainder going to the eventual champion. Just a few hands later, a massive cooler ensued with Best holding a flopped full boat against Vargas’ trip fours. 27 year old Best secured the title and top prize of AU$ 119,174 (~US$ 82,047) following the win while also recording his career-best cash.
Buy-in: AU$ 5,000 (~US$ 3,442)
Dates: June 19-20 , 2022
Prize pool: AU$ 404,200 (US$ 278,277)
ITM: 11 places
WPT Prime Gold Coast Event 10 Final Table Results
*Denotes heads up deal was made
Player of the Series: Romain Morvan
Romain Morvan, Photo Credit – WPT/ Star Poker
After twelve days of action, France’s Romain Morvan was crowned as the overall Player of the Series with a total of 800 points in tow. Morvan clinched the top spot on the leaderboard after faring well in the Mystery Bounty event with a 4th place finish and winning the $1,100 NLH tournament. The French runner bagged the exclusive Player of the Festival trophy and an entry into the WPT Australia Main Event (valued at $5,400), scheduled at Star Poker Gold Coast in September.
Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.
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