The 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) continued on Saturday at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. It was a quieter day than usual as no new event began, but there was still plenty going on with a bracelet awarded and another final table set.
The newest bracelet winner is another Aussie, this time going by the name Alexander “AJ” Antonios. He won the $2,200 Six-Max No Limit Hold’em, marking the sixth WSOP APAC victory for a local player out of seven events so far.
Heading into the final table the big story was that Phil Hellmuth was gunning for his 14th bracelet. It started well for Hellmuth too as he dealt the fatal blow to Brazil’s Bruno Politano in 6th place. It was a race situation that would see Hellmuth’s trump Politano’s .
Politano picked up $19,809 for that effort, which is a great result, but is just a small amount compared to the $730,725 he has already locked up for making the November Nine in this year’s WSOP Main Event.
Hellmuth was the chip leader following Politanos elimination, but quickly found himself as the short stack when he played a big pot with Michael Tran and ran into Tran’s on a board. Hellmuth might be able to dodge bullets, but he can’t dodge quads.
For quite some time it was looking like Hellmuth would be the next player eliminated, but it was Yu Kurita who would fall in 5th place. Kurita was eliminated when her pocket jacks couldn’t improve against Michael Tran’s big slick.
Once Kurita was out the door, Hellmuth quickly followed. The 13-time bracelet winner was short stacked and all in preflop holding against Tran’s . No help for Hellmuth and was left on the rail, bitterly disappointed that he was unable to capture another bracelet.
Tran was the chip leader to kick off three-handed action, but the lead would change several times over the next three hours before Steven Zhou was eliminated in 3rd place to usher in heads-up between Tran and Alexander Antonios.
It was Antonios who was the most prolific during three-handed action and it was he who sent Zhou to the rail and so began heads-up with a big chip lead over Tran.
There were only 23 heads-up hands played before a champion was crowned. Antonios had Tran on the ropes and ultimately Tran was short stacked and all in preflop holding against the of Antonios. The board was of no help to Tran and so he was sent home as the runner-up, while Antonios was crowned the champion!
Event #7: $2,200 Six-Max NLHE - Results
1st: Alexander Antonios - $128,784
2nd: Michael Tran - $79,646
3rd: Steven Zhou - $55,365
4th: Phil Hellmuth - $38,909
5th: Yu Kurita - $27,624
6th: Bruno Politano - $19,809
While the six-max was drawing to a close the big names were downstairs in the poker room playing down to a final table in Event 8: $5,000 8-Game Mixed.
The total field of 45 had been whittled down to 26 to begin Day 2, but registration was still open until the start of play on the second day. There were three late entries and so the field weighed in at 48, which created a $225,600 prizepool.
The UK’s Richard Ashby was the chip leader to kick off the day and he would use that stack to survive much of the night before being eliminated in a meaningless 8th place. Some of those who hit the rail long before Ashby include Daniel Negreanu, Mel Judah, Joe Hachem and current WSOP Player of the Year leader Brandon Shack-Harris.
While Shack-Harris was on the rail, his nearest competitor for the POY award Gefore Danzer was still alive when there were eventually seven players remaining and all he needed to do to surpass Shack-Harris was to make the final six.
Danzer began the 'unofficial' final table of seven (and the bubble) with the second shortest stack overall and luckily for him, the short stack Brian Rast, would find in a round of No Limit Hold'em and lose his chips to Jonathan Duhamel who held .
With that, Danzer had crawled onto the official final table and now no matter where he finishes, will be the front-runner in the WSOP Player of the Year race as only the Main Event and High Roller remain.
Leading the final six is two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements, while 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel is second in chips. Germany's Ismael Bojang is also amongst the final six, making this his second final table of the 2014 WSOP APAC and a record-breaking 13th WSOP cash in a single year.
Two Australians have also made the final table - Tino Lechich and Sam Khouiss. Both of these players have been staples of the local scene for a long time and will be hoping to keep the bracelet on home soil. Notably, this is Khouiss's second WSOP APAC final table in just a few days.
The final six have locked up $13,310, while the winner is set to pocket $84,600 and of course, the latest WSOP APAC gold bracelet!
Event #8 $5,000 8-Game Mixed - Final Table lineup
Seat 1: George Danzer – 26,800
Seat 2: Sam Khouiss – 169,500
Seat 3: Jonathan Duhamel – 175,200
Seat 4: Scott Clements – 179,200
Seat 5: Ismael Bojang – 79,700
Seat 6: Tino Lechich – 90,500
The 8-Game final table will be playing down to a winner on Sunday from 12:10pm and don’t forget that the tournament we have all been waiting for – the $10,000 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event – also begins on Sunday with the first of two Day 1 flights kicking off at 12:30pm.