Sydney Poker Championships Main Event Day 1a - It's All Sheldon!

Posted at 01:07 2009-09-11
It was an exciting day for poker in the harbour city as the Main Event of the inaugural Big Game Poker Sydney Poker Championships got underway at the Star City Casino in Sydney.   The casino is currently undergoing a huge $575 million redevelopment and the efforts are already starting to be seen with the new Sports Theatre and Bar area impressing those who were early casualties from the tournament. Meanwhile the poker room will also be receiving a huge facelift with the changes expected to be completed by October, well before the PokerStars.net APPT Grand Final.
133 players headed to the Star City poker room today for Day 1a with notables including Antonis “Toothpick Tony” Kambouroglou, Daniel Kochan, Billy “The Croc” Argyros, Paren “Puzz” Arzoomanian, Scott “Punty” Smith, Joey Del Duca, Tim “LuckyShades” Horan, Monica Nguyen, Karl Krautschneider, Jarred “FlopNutsOnYou” Graham and Graeme Putt amongst the field.
Warwick Mirzikinian was an early casualty after flopping a flush with {Qs}{Js}, only to see a fourth spade hit the board to give his opponent with {Ks}{Kd} a bigger flush. This would start a trend of frantic action that continued for most of the day, despite the generous 20,000-chip start banks and one-hour levels.
Sydney local Daniel Neilson continued his hot form on home soil after flopping the perfect scenario against Sam Vakili. Neilson held {Ac}{Jc} on a {Ks}{Qs}{Th} for the stone cold nuts, and it’s not hard to get paid off when your opponent holds the second nuts as Vakili couldn’t believe his misfortune with his {Jh}{9c}. That hand doubled up Neilson as he carried that form throughout the day to once again find himself making another Day 2.
However Neilson was well short of the leaders (mostly thanks to KK vs AA against Danny Taylor), as Jarred Graham, Graeme Putt and John “JCSydney” Caridad all had a good day on the felt to be amongst the chip leaders . Graham got his day motoring when he did exactly as his online name suggests, and flopped the nuts on Martin Cardno. Graham’s {Qx}{jx} saw a {Tx}{9x}{8x} flop and left Cardno in trouble with his {Jx}{8x} as the turn and river bricked to send the Kiwi to the rail.
Caridad did it a little tougher, having to come from behind on several occasions. In the first hand Caridad held {Ah}{Ks} against an opponent holding {kd}{Kc}. The player flopped a set on the flop of {Kh}{9h}{3d} to leave Caridad with one foot out the door, however poker is a funny game as the {5h} turn and {8h} river completed a flush for Caridad. A few hours later Caridad did it again as his {Ah}{Jh} spiked a jack against his opponent’s {Ad}{Kh}, as his day turned a full 180 degrees.
Meanwhile Graeme Putt got there in one of the more bizarre all-in situations you’ll see. In a three-way all in Putt held {As}{Ac} against two opponents holding {Ad}{Ah} and {Kd}{Ks}. Expecting to see a chop, Putt watched as the board was spread {Jc}{4c}{Jh}{7c}{9c} to put four clubs on board to scoop the pot with his flush!
However the story of the day was with the man they call “Sheldon”. Sheldon Mayer first came to our attention with a final table berth at last year’s Victorian Poker Championships Main Event where he carried a big chip lead throughout the tournament. It’s looking very similar here for Sheldon as he emerged from day 1a as a clear chip leader. After making a couple of nice calls earlier in the day, it was Sheldon’s pocket aces up again an opponent’s pocket queens that double him up before a huge hand at the end of the day went his way. On a flop of {7c}{5d}{Qc} Sheldon checked to Ben De Jonk who fired 5,500. Sheldon thought for a while before check-raising to 15,500 with De Jonk making the call to see the {7d} hit the turn. Sheldon slid out enough chips to put his opponent all in, with De Jonk snap-calling with his {9c}{7h} for trips. However Sheldon tabled {Qs}{qd} for a monstrous full house! The river bricked the {2c} and De Jonk became the final elimination of the day as Sheldon would bag and tag as the chip leader with 194,000 chips.
Play was halted with 36 players remaining with our top five chip counts as follows:
Sheldon - 194,000
Michael Humphrys - 161,400
Milan Gurung - 159,400
John 'JCSydney' Caridad - 122,300
Graeme 'Kiwi G' Putt - 112,700
Play recommences at 12:30pm AEST tomorrow with the likes of Levy, Assadourian and Hachem expected to be in attendance. Tune into PokerNetwork’s Live Reporting for play-by-play coverage of all the action live from the tournament floor!

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Sheldon Leads Sydney Poker Championships Main Event Day 1a Sheldon Leads Sydney Poker Championships Main Event Day 1a

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