Welcome to the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific. The PokerNews Live Reporting team is back in beautiful Melbourne, Australia, for the second installment of this magnificent poker festival from Crown Casino.
This year, 10 gold bracelets will be awarded — up from five that were given out in 2013 — but the big story will be the WSOP Player of the Year race that takes front and center. Brandon Shack-Harris currently leads that fight with 752 points, but George Danzer is nipping at his heals with 745.2 points. Daniel Negreanu, last year's WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event champion, sits fourth with 519.08 and is also the reigning WSOP Player of the Year. Those three are for sure going to be in attendance playing anything and everything, so look for the battle to go right down to the wire.
Kicking off the festivities will be the AU$1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator. Last year, the event attracted 1,085 entries and generated a prize pool of AU$1,085,000. Walking away with the title and his first gold bracelet was American Bryan Piccioli. He defeated Australian tournament star Jonathan Karamalikis heads up to win the AU$211,575 first-place prize.
Others winning bracelets in Australia during last year's inaugural festival were James Collopy, Phil Ivey, Aaron Lim, and the aforementioned Negreanu.
With three starting days in this opening tournament and the "accumulator" format in play, competitors will be allowed to enter anywhere from one to three starting days. For Day 2, a player will combined all chips accumulated from the Day 1s that were survived to take the combined stack into Day 2. For example, if Negreanu bags up 50,000 in chips on Day 1a, 25,000 in chips on Day 1b, and 25,000 in chips on Day 1c, he will take 100,000 into Day 2.
Day 1a action will kick off later today at 6:10 p.m. local time with players beginning the tournament with 3,000 in tournament chips and the blinds at 25/25. The plan is to play eight one-hour levels, with a 15-minute break after every two levels.
While you wait, check out the following articles:
For now, we're going to grab some breakfast and take to the streets of Melbourne to see the sights. We'll see you back here later on!