A total of 54 events were played at the World Series this year and Australians made 9 final tables and cashed for a total number of 75 times, including multiple cashes to Sarah Bilney (5), Mark Vos (4), Tony Dunst (4) and Roy Vandersluis (4); as well as many others with multiple cash finishes.
T6 pro Jeff Lisandro landed the first final table for an Aussie when he collected $347,004 for his second place finish to Mike Matusow in Event #18 - $5,000 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw. It wasn’t easy for Lisandro as he had to battle a pro-heavy final table including Barry Greenstein, Erick Lindgren, Tom Schneider, David Benyamine and Australia’s own Tony Guoga. Lisandro also had two other cashes in event #10 and #26 and finished the series with total winnings of $357,270.
Tony Guoga made the second WSOP final table of his career when he placed 6th alongside Lisandro in Event #18 - $5,000 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw and pocketed $78,076 for his efforts. Guoga however was only able to cash one more time in Event #11 - $5,000 No-Limit Holdem Shootout where he pocketed $16,920 for his 32nd place finish.
Following an outstanding 2008 Aussie Millions where he cashed four times, made three final tables and took out the $1,000 Limit Holdem event, Queenslander Jamie Pickering would continue his great form into the 2008 WSOP by placing 2nd in Event #19 - $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha for $145,459. When play reached heads-up with eventual winner Vanessa Selbst, Pickering was entertaining the fans on the rail with cocktails and shots, combined with a barrage of raises in the dark! In the end Selbst held her nerve to take the bracelet, and Pickering would go on to add two more cashes to his series in event #28, 13th for $61,718, and event #50, 27th for $28,651.
Hong Kong based Australian David Steicke snuck under the radar but put in some solid results while in Las Vegas. After cashing in two early holdem events of a total of $10,358, Steicke would go on to final table Event #23 - $2,000 No-Limit Holdem with fellow Aussie Andrew Jeffreys. Starting the day in fourth chip position Steicke played solid while others dropped away around him until eventual winner Blair Hinkle’s flopped two-pair would hold against Steicke’s flush draw and see him eliminated 4th in the 1,344 player field. Jeffreys entered the final table as the slight chip-leader, but his day didn’t go as planned as he was eliminated early on in 8th position for $63,598.
Known to the online world as Bond18, Tony Dunst is an adopted Aussie who now resides in Melbourne. Dunst increased his total of WSOP cashes to seven after adding four at this series including one final table which came in Event #29 - $3,000 No-Limit Holdem. Heading to the final table with the second shortest stack, Dunst struggled on a table filled with the likes of Matt Vengrin, Alex Bolotin, Full Tilt Pro David Singer and eventual winner John Phan, and consequently finished in 8th place for $54,344.
Melbournian and Crown poker dealer Michael Guzzardi took time off this year to focus on T6’s Rake Race, and was rewarded by winning the first prize of a $60,000 WSOP package. Guzzardi would make use of his prize by making his first final table in the second event he played when he took 7th place in Event #34 - $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha w/Rebuys for $90,267. Guzzardi would go on to cash a further two times in event #39, 86th for $5,569, and event #41, 24th for $5,687, and consequently was rewarded by being named Poker Network’s Young Gun of the Month for June.
Having cashed in Event #27 - $1,500 No-Limit Holdem in 26th place for $17,360, T6 Poker pro Jason Gray made a final table appearance when he collected 3rd for $209,855 in Event #37 – Omaha Hi-Lo World Championship. It wasn’t an easy ride for Gray as he battled it out against David Chiu, Ram Vaswani, Mike Matusow, Toto Leonidas and eventual bracelet winner David Benyamine.
Billy ‘The Croc’ Argyros has been around Australian poker for many years and it looks like staying that way after adding a further two cashes to his five previous WSOP cashes. After placing 31st in Event #22 - $3,000 HORSE for $6,284, he netted the biggest result of his career by finishing 4th in Event #50 - $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha World Championship for $268,605. Argyros continued the good run of T6 Poker sponsored Australians by making it the 5th final table for a T6 Poker pro and third six-figure collect.
Sarah Bilney burst onto the poker scene after finishing 63rd in the 2005 WSOP Main Event, and with six previous WSOP cashes, Bilney added a further five to this tally this year. Her earnings may seem modest at a total of $26,431, but most poker players would agree that consistency is the key, and being the leading Aussie Bilney has proved that she is no slouch on the felt.
Roy Vandersluis was one of ten Aussies to cash in the Main Event, to go with cashes in event #31, 71st for $4,655, event #36, 25th for $16,032 and event #44, 71st for $8,748. In the Main Event, Vandersluis would sneak into the money in 655th spot for $21,230.
WSOP bracelet winner Mark Vos added a further four cashes at this year’s WSOP, and increasing his live tournament winnings to over 1.2 million. Vos placed in event #2, 146th for $4,558, event #5, 55th for $8,971 and event #31, 82nd for $4,189 before having a deep run in the Main Event to eventually finish in 80th position for $77,200.
Following his win at the APT Manila, David Saab followed that result up with the deepest run by an Australian in the Main Event eventually finishing 46th for $135,100 after getting his aces cracked by 8h6h. Following his success in Manila, Saab was rewarded by being awarded Poker Network’s Player of the Month for June.
The WSOP produced some tremendous results for Australians, and we are proud to recognize their achievements on the world poker stage. With upcoming events in Australia, Europe and Asia, we expect these players will be looking to continue their great form into the second half of the year.
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