One week down at the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) but the action is just heating up with three more events spread around the Crown Melbourne complex with plenty of variety to offer a little something for everyone.
The feature event of the day was the final table of the $1,650 No Limit Holdem Terminator Event where the fourth WSOP APAC gold bracelet would be awarded.
Aussie Millions champion Joe Cabret would be first to go on Hand #12 of the final table. In a three-bet, three-way pot, all players checked a flop before Scott Calcagno made a bet on the turn. Cabret was the only caller as the completed the board. Calcagno bombed the river with a big bet to put Cabret all in and he obliged with but Calcagno had flopped a full house with his .
Tony Hachem was soon to follow just two hands later when he three-bet jammed pocket tens straight into the pocket aces of Henry Tran.
Nelson Maccini continued to lead after taking a big pot from Andrew Dales, before Henry Tran became the next casualty when he tried to steal it with but failed to get past Nick Piskopos and his .
There was a lot of attention on the progress of Brandon Shack-Harris on this final table as a victory would all but assure him of the WSOP Player of the Year title. Shack-Harris earned some valuable points to extend his lead but he might’ve been hoping for a little better than sixth place. The end came when Shack-Harris three-bet all in with pocket nines but lost the coin flip against Scott Calcagno’s .
Day 1 chip leader Nick Piskopos was out in fifth place after a bit of a cooler saw his make two pair against Nelson Maccini’s set of sevens. There was nothing that Piskopos could do as he picked up $15,075 for his efforts.
Duncan McKinnon had managed to navigate his way to the final four players without collecting a single $500 terminator button. McKinnon was short stacked for the entire tournament but when he ran his straight draw and overcards into Scott Calcagno’s pocket kings, McKinnon’s run ended in fourth place.
It would be Andrew Dales next to go. He was all in and dominated with against Calcagno’s but caught some life on the flop with two pair. However just as quick, the hit the turn to counterfeit his hand before the river sent him to the rail.
It would be Scott Calcagno to take on Nelson Maccini for the gold with both players pretty even in chips, however it appeared neither wanted to push the action. Most pots were small, and there were an abnormally large number of walks for a heads-up contest.
Calcagno scored a double up with against Maccini’s but Maccini would claw back the lead when he picked off a bluff river raise holding two pair.
After nearly 80 hands of heads-up play there was a chance for Calcagno to go for the jugular with a turned flush against two pair, but Calcagno kept the pot small and then a fourth diamond hit the river to kill the action.
Calcagno found another good spot with a flopped set of fives. Calcagno again played it slow, calling bets on the flop and turn before moving all in on the river. Maccini paid it off and mucked to jump Calcagno into the chip lead.
After another level of mostly walks, the 175th hand of heads-up play would finally break the deadlock.
Again it took until the river for the chips to be committed. The board read and Calcagno had check-called bets on the flop and turn before moving all in on the river. Maccini made the call with for top pair but Calcagno had for a full house! He wins $61,245 and 12 terminator buttons worth another $6,000, plus the shiny new WSOP gold bracelet.
$1,650 No Limit Holdem Terminator Event
1st Scott Calcagno - $61,245
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
The $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event produced seven late entries on Day 2 to boost the total number of entrants to 80. Some of the latecomers included Ryan Riess, Brian Roberts, Kahle Burns, Vincent Wan and Mitch Carle who were prepared to take their chances with a 12.5 big blind starting stack.
Day 2 started with 26 players remaining and all shooting for the final table. Only the top eight players will be paid in this event with first receiving $127,843. Former Main Event Champions Ryan Riess and Greg Merson were looking to go deep but were both eliminated in a monster hand against Richard Johnston.
A preflop raising war resulted in both Riess and Merson all-in against Johnston who showed . Riess had and Merson held . The board missed all three players and Johnston's aces sent both former champions to the rail.
Daniel Negreanu continues to struggle during this series. The 2013 APAC Main Event Champion fell short of the final table, finishing in 13th place. Jonathan Duhamel was Negreanu's nemesis in this one. Negreanu had bet aggressively in his final hand with just queens against a wrap draw of Duhamel. A river queen gave Negreanu a set, but it also filled out Duhamel's straight. Negreanu departed to try his luck in the Dealer’s Choice 8-Game Event.
With only eight players receiving a payday in this one, even making the final table wasn't enough to get paid. Nathan Pan ended up becoming this event's bubble boy, finishing in ninth. Both he and Sam Higgs had flopped trip aces, but Higgs had him outkicked. Neither player improved and the final table of eight was reached.
At the start of final table play, Sam Higgs had a solid chip lead but soon extended that to an overwhelming lead after a big pot against Ismael Bojang. Higgs flopped a set of aces and bet aggressively throughout the pot. Bojang lost the majority of his stack in this hand while Higgs shot up over 500,000 in chips.
Play was halted with six players remaining and Sam Higgs has over half the chips in play, with Mike Watson, Jeff Rossiter, Ismael Bojang, Jamie Pickering and 2010 World Champion Jonathan Duhamel rounding out the table.
$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table Chip Counts
Sam Higgs - 667,000
Jonathan Duhamel - 153,000
Mike Watson - 143,000
Jamie Pickering - 99,500
Jeff Rossiter - 63,500
Ismael Bojan - 44,000
Players will return at 12:10pm on Thursday and play until a champion is crowned.
The final event of the day was the $1,650 Dealer’s Choice 8-Game Event. This event was one that most players looked forward to as it was not only a true test of poker skill, but also a lot of fun. The event drew a solid field in Las Vegas and was the talk of the 2014 WSOP.
A field of 89 players took to the felt in this event on Wednesday with just 19 players surviving the day. This event favours strong mixed game players, so it is little surprise that Aussie Poker Hall of Famer and Stud bracelet winner Gary Benson finished as the chip leader when play was halted. Other notables returning on Day 2 are Jeff Madsen, George Danzer, Frank Kassela, Brian Rast, Sam Khouiss and Jason Gray.
$1,650 Dealer’s Choice 8-Game Top Ten
Gary Benson - 38,025
Frank Kassela - 36,225
Benjamin Benoit - 35,650
George Danzer - 32,275
Jeff Madsen - 32,075
Michael Wang - 29,175
Sam Khoiss - 24,875
Rory Young - 21,300
Samuel Ngai - 20,925
Stuart Rutter - 20,775
Click here for complete Day 1 chip counts.
This event will resume at 12:30pm on Thursday and will play down to the final table.