Sunday the 5th of October 2014 would be the day that Australia would claim the first gold bracelet of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC). Usually such bold claims would be met with a raised eyebrow, but this time around the odds were well and truly with the locals.
With the final ten of the $1,100 Accumulator Event returning to the Crown Poker Room, Australia was guaranteed to keep the title on home soil with each of the final ten players hailing from the host nation. It’s a rare situation to see at an international event such as the World Series of Poker, but none of the locals were complaining!
Leading the way was Luke Brabin, but it would be Kahle Burns who was quick to go, after a cruel bad beat on just the third hand of the day. Daniel Murphy called a preflop raise, led at the flop before moving all in on the turn on a board of . Burns gave it some thought, before calling with to be ahead of Murphy’s but a devastating on the river would leave a shell-shocked Burns to depart in tenth place.
The rapid-fire action continued with David Profaca out in ninth, before Piyush Gupta ran his pocket sevens into Brabin’s pocket jacks to fall in eighth place.
The jacks weren’t so kind to Brian McAllister who lost a coin flip with the hooks against the ace-king of Didier Guerin to depart in seventh place, and when Zane Ly was bounced out in sixth place, the play was down to just five players before the first break of the day.
Guerin started to pick up some momentum and when he won another coin flip with pocket tens against the king-queen of Ryan Hong, the dangerous Hong was out in fifth place as Guerin was into the chip lead.
With four players left Guerin was out in front, with Steve Lindeblad talking up a storm on the short stack. Lindeblad made a move with pocket deuces but Luke Brabin wasn’t going anywhere with . Brabin didn’t hit a pair himself, but the double-paired board counterfeited Lindeblad to send him home in fourth place.
The final three players tried to look at a deal but couldn’t reach a consensus before a game-changing hand erupted between Daniel Murphy and Luke Brabin. After a check-raise on the flop, Murphy bet again on the turn with the board reading . Brabin moved all in to send Murphy into the tank. He eventually called with for trips and a flush draw, but still trailed Brabin’s . The river bricked and Brabin claimed the monstrous pot.
Murphy was crippled and eliminated shortly after in third place when his pocket threes lost the race against Brabin’s .
It left Brabin with an eight-to-one chip lead over Didier Guerin, and while Guerin was able to chip away at the gap with the first few heads-up pots, the first all-in clash would also be the last. Guerin open-jammed his short stack with and Brabin thought before calling with . Guerin flopped an open-ended straight draw but couldn’t connect any more with the board to leave Luke Brabin as the first WSOP APAC bracelet winner of 2014!
$1,100 NLHE Accumulator Final Table Results
1st Luke Brabin - $131,365
2nd Didier Guerin - $81,220
3rd Daniel Murphy - $59,334
4th Stephen Lindeblad - $43,986
5th Ryan Hong - $33,080
6th Zane Ly- $25,234
7th Brian McAllister - $19,521
8th Piyush Gupta - $15,318
9th David Profaca - $12,189
Meanwhile the $2,200 No Limit Holdem Event kicked off Sunday afternoon with 31 players still in contention, but only 24 would reach the money stage. Andrew Hinrichsen, Nathan Gubieski, Jeff Gross and a disappointed Kitty Kuo would all miss the money, with Steven Zhou the unlucky bubble boy when his pocket jacks were outflopped by the of Aik-Chuan Nee.
American pro Dan Heimiller was looking to make his third WSOP final table of 2014 in this event but fell just short of that goal, finishing in 11th. The two-time bracelet winner was moved all-in with his last 33,000 holding and was flipping against the of Martin Kozlov. The flop fell to give Kozlov two pair, but Heimiller had a ton of out with his Royal Flush draw. He bricked the remainder of the board as the turn fell the and the river and the unofficial final table was set.
Overnight chip leader Sam Ruha was still in front approaching the final table, but he faltered late to finish with a middling stack. Feng Zhou will head into the final table with the overall chip lead with Junzhong Loo right behind.
Action will resume at 12:10pm local time on Monday and will continue until the second champion of the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific is crowned.
WSOP APAC Event #2 - 'Unofficial' Final Table (by chip counts)
Feng Zhou - 241,500
Junzhong Loo - 200,500
Martin Kozlov - 155,000
Samuel Ngai - 153,000
Aik-Chuan Nee - 149,500
Luke Spano - 106,000
Sam Ruha - 103,000
Peco Stojanovski - 102,500
Michael O'Grady - 44,500
Fred Chaptini - 18,000
The final event of the day was Event #3: $1,650 Pot Limit Omaha, which kicked off at 4:10pm local time. A strong field of 123 of the game’s best took to the felt in this one with only 22 players remaining at day's end.
Among those exiting on Day 1 were Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah, Jeff Madsen, Brandon Shack-Harris, Billy "The Croc" Argyros, Joe Hachem, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.
Four members of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame remain in contention after Day 1 play. Gary Benson will head into Day 2 with the overall chip lead with 71,200. Jeff Lisandro is right behind him with 60,400 with Jason Gray in contention with 34,500. Mel Judah is one of the short stacks, but his stack of 15,900 is enough to still make a run.
WSOP APAC Event #3 – Top Ten Chip Counts
Gary Benson - 71,200
Jeff Lisandro - 60,400
Paul Mac - 38,600
Zane Ly - 37,200
Jason Gray - 34,500
Ismael Bojang - 27,000
Stephen Woodhead - 26,800
Oliver Gill - 26,300
Vadim Pinsky - 25,900
Ami Barer - 25,600
Click here for end-of-day chip counts
Action in this event will resume at 12:30pm local time on Monday just six spots from the money. A min-cash is worth $2,524 with a top prize of $51,660. Play is scheduled to continue until the final table of nine is reached. One new event is on tap for Monday. Event 4: $1,650 Terminator will kick off at 4:10pm local time.
Stay tuned to WSOP.com and Poker Asia Pacific for regular updates throughout the day from the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific live from the floor of the Crown Poker Room.