The World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) continued at Crown Melbourne on Monday with Day 5 of the series showcasing three events and awarding the second WSOP APAC gold bracelet of 2014.
Up in the studio the final ten combatants took their seats for the final table of Event #2: $2,200 No Limit Holdem. Unlike the day before, the start of this final table was much more subdued with few eliminations in the early goings.
Poker SA regular Fred Chaptini was the overnight short stack and found an early double up with pocket queens, but moments later he had pocket aces cracked by the set of eights held by Aik-Chuan Nee to be the first to fall in tenth place.
A huge three-way all in would produce the elimination of Michael O’Grady and massive double up for Aik-Chuan Nee. O’Grady moved all in preflop with and overnight chip leader Feng Zhou tried to isolate with but they both rank smack-bang into Nee’s . The board produced a third king for good measure to see O’Grady head to the rail.
Feng Zhou’s fall from grace continued with a lost coin flip sending him home in eighth, before the pocket deuces of Sam Ruha couldn’t find a third lucky duck to better the pocket tens of Junzhong Loo.
The momentum was with Loo when he also eliminated Samuel Ngai in sixth place, with Ngai’s failing to improve against Loo’s pocket nines.
Another enormous hand would see Peco Stojanovksi eliminated in fifth place in rather brutal fashion. In a battle of the blinds and a limped pot, the chips went in on the river on a board of . Stojanovksi would’ve been feeling ecstatic with his deceptive for a full house, but incredibly he was beat as Aik-Chuan Nee showed for a straight-flush! Ouch!
With four players remaining, the Malaysians were dominating as they are heading towards the first WSOP bracelet for their nation. Aik-Chuan Nee held the chip lead at this point, just ahead of Junzhong Loo. Aussies Luke Spano and Martin Kozlov were also in contention, but Kozlov would find the rail in fourth, leaving Spano to try and keep the bracelet on home soil.
Spano was the short stack during three-handed play and wasn't able to run it up as he was eliminated in third place to usher in an all-Malaysian heads-up battle.
Loo and Nee are friends outside of poker and had played each other many times before. It was clear the two were fighting hard for the win as the battle was fierce. The chips would back and forth before the 50th hand of heads-up play would be the final hand of the tournament.
It was Nee’s up against Loo’s . The flop was interesting as both added straight draws, but the turn and river completed the board and with that, Junzhong Loo had defeated Aik-Chuan Nee to claim the first-ever bracelet for a Malaysian and a very nice $107,500 score.
Event #2: $2,200 No Limit Holdem Final Table Results
1st Junzhong Loo - $107,500
2nd Aik-Chuan Nee - $66,444
3rd Luke Spano - $48,358
4th Martin Kozlov - $35,763
5th Peco Stojanovski - $26,862
6th Sam Ngai - $20,490
7th Sam Ruha - $15,867
8th Feng Zhou - $12,470
9th Michael O’Grady - $9,946
Meanwhile, the $1,650 Pot Limit Omaha Event played through the money bubble and reached the final table. Action resumed on Monday with 22 players and four Australian Hall of Famers still alive in the field. Play started six spots out of the money and Edison Nguyen was the unfortunate bubble boy in this one. He was all-in with top pair against two pair from Jason Gray and failed to improve.
All four Hall of Fame pros cashed in this event and three made the final table. Mel Judah was the final table bubble boy. He started the day as one of the short stacks but had a large enough stack to mount a comeback.
As play reached ten-handed, Judah found himself short once again and put his chips at risk against Oliver Gill. Judah revealed and was ahead of the of Gill. A flop of put Judah in the lead and he retained that lead when the hit the turn. Unfortunately, the river fell the to give Gill a better pair and send Judah out in 10th.
Gary Benson, Jeff Lisandro and Jason Gray all made the final table and are looking to add to their Hall of Fame resumes. Gray went to work early, knocking out Vadim Pinsky in ninth place. He took the chip lead into the dinner break with Gary Benson not far behind.
Oliver Gill hit the rail in eighth place. He was all-in on the turn with two pair and a gutshot straight draw. Zane Ly made the call with a better two pair. Gill missed his draw and hit the rail.
Stephen Woodhead was the last elimination of the day, falling to Gary Benson. In the previous hand, Paul Sharbanee doubled through Woodhead to leave him with just 2,000 chips. Woodhead put those at risk with . Benson called with . The board ran out , completely missing both players. Benson's A-K was good enough to send Woodhead to the rail in seventh place.
Play concluded with six players remaining and Zane Ly holding the chip lead. However, the big story is the three Hall of Famers still in contention. Jason Gray is in second in chips, while Jeff Lisandro sits third in chips and is looking for his sixth career bracelet. Gary Benson will come back in fourth and is looking for his second career bracelet.
Play will resume at 12:10pm local time Tuesday and continue until a champion is crowned.
$1,650 Pot Limit Omaha Chip Counts
Zane Ly - 181,000
Jason Gray - 160,000
Jeff Lisandro - 69,000
Gary Benson - 68,000
Paul Sharbanee - 46,000
Paul Mac - 34,000
While Aussie legends were busy dominating the PLO Event, the $1,650 Terminator Event kicked off. A solid turnout of 250 players took to the felt in this event. For those unfamiliar with a Terminator format, players have a $500 bounty on their heads. The more players you knock out, the more money you win.
As expected, many of the game's top players took their shot at this event but the majority hit the rail on Day 1. Among those free to play tomorrow's event are Vanessa Rousso, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Madsen, Jackie Glazier, Jonathan Little, Antonio Esfandiari, Jamie Pickering, Jonathan Duhamel and Scott Clements.
Late in the day, Tournament Director John Waters announced that play would continue on beyond the scheduled finish until the money bubble burst. Just 27 players would receive a payday in this event but 2013 Main Event Champion Ryan Riess was not among them. He was this event's bubble boy as his pocket aces were cracked by the pocket jacks of Nick Piskopos who hit a runner-runner straight to send the former champion to the rail.
Piskopos' elimination of Riess vaulted him into the end of day chip lead with David Bowen the only other player to finish over 100,000 in chips. Other notable players in contention heading into Day 2 include Daniel Neilson, Tony Hachem, Brandon Shack-Harris and Mike Watson.
$1,650 NLHE Terminator Event - Top Ten Chip Counts
Nick Piskopos - 189,500
David Bowen - 119,100
Josh Barrett - 82,100
Darian Tan - 70,500
Nelson Maccini - 66,900
Dylan Hortin - 62,00
Yanji Ge - 51,800
Daniel Neilson - 48,000
Xue Wu - 47,100
Tony Hachem - 41,900
Click here for the complete Day 1 chip counts
The remaining players will receive at least $2,020 with first taking down $61,250. The final 27 players will return on Tuesday at 12:30pm local time and play until the final table is reached. In addition, one new event kicks off on Tuesday. The $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Event should draw the game’s finest players in a quest for the last PLO bracelet of the year.