From a field of 329 players, the USA’s Scott Davies, now residing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has come out on top to claim the 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event title and the $850,136 top prize.
“Oh my god, this is amazing!” Davies said with his first bracelet in hand.
“This is the Super Bowl to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. When I decided I was going to play poker for a living I just remember Chris Moneymaker winning the Main Event and thought one day I might get a chance to do that.”
Davies took that chance and turned into a life-changing amount of money, but more importantly, he fulfilled a goal that has been very important to him for more than a decade.
So important in fact, that Davies has a blog titled ‘My Quest For A WSOP Bracelet’.
“Now I’ll have to change the name to ‘My Quest For Two WSOP bracelets!” Davies laughed.
Prior to today, Davies lifetime tournament winnings were just over $400,000. He’s more than doubled that in a single swoop.
Davies wasn’t playing for the money though. Not entirely anyway.
“The bracelet means everything to. I mean, I’d be lying if the $850,000 isn’t huge, but I decided I wasn’t coming into this final table looking to ladder up the pay jumps.”
“I wanted to win.”
Davies overcame the UK’s Jack Salter heads-up to win the title. It was a gallant effort from Salter, who picks up $516,960 for the runner-up finish.
Salter was hit with a cooler of a deck and Davies realized that on this occasion, he was on the winning side of the cards.
“If there was ever a day to run good, this was the day to run good. I picked up aces twice and then flopped a full house when Jack flops trips to win the event.”
“This is probably the best I’ve ever run in a single day.”
It was certainly good timing to run good, but the humble Davies also deserves credit for keeping his poise on one of the biggest stages in the poker world.
Now that’s is all over, Davies plans to head to Macau to play more poker, but not before he pinches himself and proves that he has just taken down one of the biggest events in the world.
“I’m just afraid to pinch myself in case I wake up back in Vancouver. It’s absolutely amazing. I couldn’t imagine a better day.”
The event ran as a five-day tournament with two Day 1 flights. There were 329 total entrants, creating a gigantic $3,125,000 prize pool. It was the top 36 who took home some money for their hard work at the felt, while the eventual winner was set to pocket $850,136.
Some of the most distinguished players in the world partook in the tournament and many of them failed to make the money including 2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem, six-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, 2012 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Merson and the most recent WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer.
The bubble ended up bursting early on Day 3 of the event and it was Kasra Bakhshaee who was sent home with no money and a bad beat story. Bakhshaee’s elimination actually came at the hands of eventual final tablist Angela Italiano.
Once the bubble had burst players locked up at least $20,003. Some of prominent players who were eliminated in the money, but well before the final table, include Japan’s Yu Kurita (36th), recent Australian bracelet winner Sam Higgs (32nd), Canadian Xuan Liu (31st), local online young gun Dylan ‘WhiteRabbito’ Honeyman (27th), the USA’s Samantha Cohen (26th), Australian bracelet winner Aaron Lim (24th), Australian sporting superstar and one of Cricket’s all-time greats Shane Warne (22nd) and German high roller specialist Tobias Reinkemeier (20th).
With just two tables remaining, Brandon Shack-Harris was still alive and needing to finish in the top two to win the WSOP Player of The Year award. Unfortunately for Shack-Harris he would finish in 17th place and clear the way for George Danzer to claim the WSOP Player of the Year title.
From there, Australian poker legend Gary Benson (15th), JJ Liu (13th) and Jackie Glazier (12th) all missed out on making the final table, while it was Japan’s Eiji Matsumura (10th) who was the ‘unofficial’ final table bubble finisher.
Three more players needed to be eliminated before the final six was set and it was Henry Szmelcer (7th), Jason Guiliano (8th) and Victor Teng (7th) who bubbled the televised final table.
When the final six began it was the UK’s Jack Salter who had a big chip lead, while at the other end of the spectrum it was Australian and last lady standing Angela Italiano with the short stack.
It took just 14 hands on the final day for Italiano to hit the rail in sixth. Italiano pocketed $118,769 for that effort, which is a remarkable story considering the Crown Casino local satellited into the WSOP APAC Main Event for just $130. That’s a pretty nice return on her investment!
2010 WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela was having a great time to kick off the final day and even found himself as the chip leader quite early in the day. Then it all went downhill. First he lost a massive pot with big slick against pocket aces and then, the very next hand, ran into aces again! This time Kassela held ace-queen and the result was fatal as Kassela was eliminated in fifth place.
Next out the door was Kyle Montgomery, with his chips going to Scott Davies when he couldn’t win a crucial flip. The fourth-place finish for Montgomery netted him $231,287 which is easily the largest tournament result of his career.
The last hope for the Main Event title to stay in the Asia Pacific was Taiwan’s Henry Wang. He had battled away with one of the shorter stacks for much of the final six but couldn’t hold on past third place. It was Davies who took all of Wang’s chips and so he had a slight chip lead going into the heads-up battle with Salter.
Earlier this year, Salter finished runner-up in another international event in Monte Carlo and heads-up lasted more than eight hours. Davies and Salter did have deep stacks, but it was always going to be tough for a repeat of that epic battle.
In the end it would take less than two hours for heads-up be all over as once again Salter had finished as the runner-up in a massive tournament.
Davies, meanwhile, captured his first gold bracelet.
Not to mention, a massive $850,136.
Here are the final table results from the 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event:
1st: Scott Davies - $850,136
2nd: Jack Salter - $516,960
3rd: Henry Wang - $343,805
4th: Kyle Montgomery - $231,287
5th: Frank Kassela - $164,089
6th: Ang Italiano - $118,769