When the latest final table of the 2014 WSOP APAC was down to three, the gold was guaranteed to be heading back to the city of Adelaide in South Australia.
Hailing from the same city isn’t all that Andrew Dales, Nelson Maccini and Scott Calcagno had in common either. They also had similar intentions - to claim the $61,250 top prize and forever be remembered as a WSOP bracelet winner.
Of course, only one player could emerge as the victor and on this occasion it was 29-year professional poker player old Scott Calcagno who disposed of his fellow South Australians to win the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Terminator.
As Calacgno was presented with his gold bracelet following his victory, he was shaking slightly. He looked elated.
“I wasn’t nervous when I was playing, but I’m shaking now,” Calcagno said. “Winning is just a big release of feelings”
Prior to his victory Calcagno had only posted three results in two years. Calcagno does consider himself primarily a cash game player, but he had been playing plenty of tournaments and was getting frustrated with his results.
Watch the final table in its entirety.
“I’ve had a pretty rough last couple of years playing poker,” Calcagno said. “Luckily I have seen a lot of my friends be very successful which has kept me motivated.”
“But my results really have been terrible the last two years,” he added.
Calcagno paused, pondered.
“It’s just turned around really quickly now.”
Calcagno looked down at his new gold bracelet.
“It’s crazy how this game works.”
Running as a three-day tournament, the total field was exactly 250 players. The prize pool was set at $250,000 and it was the top 27 who picked up a piece of that pie.
The ‘terminator’ aspect of the event meant that each and every player had a $500 bounty on their head. Eliminate a player, take their bounty chip, and cash it in for $500. Amazingly, Malaysia’s Darian Tan managed to get his hands on 11 bounties for just under ninth-place cash, but fell short of the final table in 11th place.
Reigning WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess had to be happy with a few bounty chips and no in-the-money result as he was eliminated as the bubble boy late on Day 1. Riess had a bit of a bad beat story too. He got his chips in good with pocket aces against the pocket jacks of eventual fifth-place finisher Nick Piskopos and couldn’t stay ahead.
It wouldn’t take long for 27 to become a final nine on Day 2. Some of those who didn’t quite make it to the final table include the USA’s Dylan Hortin (26th), prominent Aussie Daniel Neilson (18th) and Canadian Mike Watson (13th).
Germany’s Ismail Bojang also made the money of the terminator, finishing in 20th place. Bojang then quickly jumped in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha and ended up making the final table. Bojang finished in the money in nine events this summer in Vegas and has now added another two cashes to his resume to bring the running total to 11. The PLO is Bojang’s third WSOP final table of 2014.
Australian Nelson Maccini was the chip leader at the beginning of the final table, leading the way over seven fellow local players and the USA’s Brandon Shack-Harris.
Prior to this final table Shack-Harris was just a few WSOP Player of the Year points behind George Danzer, but after ultimately finishing in 6th place, moved into a comfortable 40-point lead. Shack-Harris has now cashed in eight WSOP events this year, including one bracelet and five final tables.
With the spotlight off the international star it became an all-Aussie affair and eventually when just three players remained, all hailed from the same city of Adelaide.
When Andrew Dales fell in third place, Nelson Maccini and Scott Calcagno began heads-up with very even chip stacks and with lots of time to grind away for the bracelet.
It ended up taking well over three hours before Calcagno was able to overcome Maccini to win his first WSOP gold bracelet and the $61,250 top prize. Calcagno also managed to collect 11 terminator buttons throughout the tournament and even gets to cash in on his own button.
That makes it three of four bracelets for the locals at the 2014 WSOP APAC so far!
Here are the final table results from the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Terminator:
1st: Scott Calcagno - $61,250
2nd: Nelson Maccini - $37,845
3rd: Andrew Dales - $$27,343
4th: Duncan McKinnon- $20,123
5th: Nick Piskopos - $15,075
6th: Brandon Shack-Harris - $11,488
7th: Henry Tran - $8,900
8th: Tony Hachem - $7,008
9th: Joe Cabret - $5,605