Mark Fester Wins Record-Breaking WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event

The 2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event is the biggest-ever event in the tour's history and Mark Fester won it for $412,981.

You only need look at the attendance of the WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event if you need proof that live poker is alive and kicking in Australia. A monster-sized field of 2,023 poker players bought in for $1,500 and created a $2,609,590 prize pool this week. The huge turnout is the biggest-ever WPTDeepStacks event in the tour’s history, and Australian Mark Fester took it down.

The final day’s action saw 23 players return to their seats hoping to bag the $412,981 top prize. Those returning players fell by the wayside one by one until only nine remained. Those nine stars made up the official final table.

The Star Sydney paused for a minute’s silence for the start of the final table as players paid their respects to the late Shane Warne. Warne finished 12th in this event in 2019 and would no doubt have completed in the 2022 edition.

Fester Fourth in Chips at the Final Table

Austria’s Benedikt Eberle sat down as the chip leader with eventual champion Fester fourth.

Marco Perri busted in ninth place for $41,274 shortly after the final table action commenced. He three-bet all-in over the top of a Nick Wright raise, and Wright called. It was ace-jack for Wright and ace-ten for Perri. Perri never caught up and headed to the cashier’s cage.

Spencer Davies’ ace-three ran into the superior ace-five of Eberle, which reduced the player count by one. Davies collected $52,655 for his eighth-place finish.

Then came the untimely demise of Darius Bucinskas in seventh place, a finish worth $67,803. Bucinskas open-shoved for 14.4 big blinds with ace-seven but Wright woke up with pocket aces. The aces held, and Bucinskas bowed out.

Bucinskas’ seat had not had a chance to go cold before Lirui Zhang busted in sixth. The Chinese grinder moved all-in for 15 big blinds with king-queen, and Wright called with ace-six. An ace on the flop left Zhang drawing to running cards. An eight on the turn left Zhang drawing dead. He scooped $88,090 for his efforts.

Six-Figure Scores All Round

The five remaining players locked in a six-figure prize. Start-of-the-day chip leader Eberle was the first player to reel in such a sum. It was a coinflip that took Eberle out of the event. He committed his chips with pocket sevens when Fester held ace-queen. An ace on the flop proved enough to reduce the player count by one. Eberle returns to Austria with $115,507 in cash.

Fourth place and $152,906 went to Luke McCredie; Fester sent him to the showers. McCredie was down to a few big blinds after losing a large pot. He pushed all-in with the lowly six-five, and Fester called with king-eight from the big blind. McCredie was drawing dead on the turn after Fester flopped two pair.

Heads-up was set when Anthony Cierco found his tournament life on the line holding ace-six versus Wright’s dominating ace-jack. A jack in the window meant Cierco needed running cards to stay in the event. That did not happen and Cierco resigned himself to a $204,270 payout.

Fester held a slender lead going into heads-up. The players neglected to make a deal despite a near $135,000 difference in first and second-place prize money. Only three hands of one-on-one poker happened before the tournament crowned its champion.

The final hand was a cooler of epic proportions. Wright has a set of kings but Fester turned a Broadway straight. All the chips went into the middle on the river, which bust Wright in second place for $275,328 and Fester became the 2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event champion, an accolade that came with $412,981 in prize money.

WPTDeepStacks Sydney Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (AUD) Prize (USD)
1 Mark Fester Australia $412,981 $309,025
2 Nicholas Wright Australia $275,328 $206,022
3 Anthony Cierco France $204,270 $152,851
4 Luke McCredie Australia $152,906 $114,416
5 Benedikt Eberle Austria $115,507 $86,431
6 Lirui Zhang China $88,092 $65,916
7 Darius Bucinskas Australia $67,803 $50,736
8 Spencer Davies Australia $52,655 $39,401
9 Marco Perri Australia $41,274 $30,884