The highlight on Day 9 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific would see the final six players head to Studio 3 at Crown Melbourne for the conclusion of the $1,650 Dealer’s Choice 8-Game Event.
Rory Young was the chip leader but it was another stacked final table line up with Aussie veterans, a few young guns and a couple of pros who had reached the WSOP pinnacle several times before.
One of those was George Danzer, who simply wanted to reach fourth place to reclaim the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race. Unfortunately for Danzer, that would not happen as he was the first to be eliminated from the final table.
Danzer was crippled in a hand of Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo against David Zhao, with Danzer leading the betting on fourth before check-calling the remaining streets with an eight-seven low. However Zhao would table a pair of sixes and eight-six low to scoop and leave Danzer crippled.
Danzer chopped the next pot to stay alive, but the following hand would run into Brian Rast’s quads to be first to the rail in sixth place.
It would take some time to lose another player as the final five dug their heels into some tough, tight play through the limit games.
Jason Gray was on the short stack and after drawing two, two and one in 2-7 Triple Draw he got his last chips in with a nine-low, but Rory Young drew two and then stood pat the final two draws with an eight-low to take the pot. It was Gray’s second final table of the WSOP APAC series but again the bracelet eludes him.
The other Aussie veteran of the line up, Sam Khouiss, started to get some momentum four-handed. He scooped a big pot with two pair and a low in Omaha Hi-Lo to take over the chip lead and put David Zhao under pressure.
When the game shifted to Pot Limit Omaha, Khouiss bet the pot on a flop of before Zhao moved all in. Khouiss called off what was left and showed for two pair and the nut flush draw while Zhao held the same two pair with an inferior flush draw. The turn was the to complete Khouiss’ flush as the river was the to send Zhao home in fourth place.
Brian Rast was hoping to draw on his experience to add his third WSOP bracelet but it wasn’t to be as he came unstuck in No Limit Holdem. Rory Young would open-jam the small blind with and Rast quickly called in the big blind with pocket eights. The flop of brought Young some help but it was the on the turn that put him in front with a full house. Rast was left needing an eight to stay alive but the river wasn’t it as he was eliminated in third place.
Rory Young would carry a small lead into heads-up play with Sam Khouiss, and would extend that lead through an orbit of 2-7 Triple Draw, but a flopped flush for Khouiss in Pot Limit Omaha helped to steady the ship.
When the game switched back to 2-7 Triple Draw, it seemed that Young was able to pip Khouiss at every pot. A key hand would see Young make a seven-low to collect a nice pot against Khouiss’ eight-low, and then moments later Young drew one to make an eight-low to better Khouiss who stood pat with a nine-low.
The end came during a round of Pot Limit Omaha with Young betting enough to put Khouiss all in on a board of . Khouiss thought for a moment before making the call with for a pair and straight draws against Young’s Ts] for top pair and flush draw. The river brought two pair for Khouiss but it improved Young to a set of tens to grab the victory!
Khouiss misses the gold as 22-year old Young captures his first WSOP bracelet and $42,720 in prize money.
Event #6: $1,650 Dealer’s Choice 8-Game Event Results
1st Rory Young - $42,720
2nd Sam Khouiss - $26,402
3rd Brian Rast - $18,482
4th David Zhao - $13,462
5th Jason Gray - $9,904
6th George Danzer - $7,399
While Rory Young was winning a bracelet, poker legend Phil Hellmuth was busy trying to make yet another WSOP final table. The event was the $2,200 NLHE Six-Max and exactly 31 players returned to the felt on Day 2 from a starting field of 243.
It was the top 27 players who were set to make the money and so four players were going to be sent home very disappointed on Day 2. None more disappointed than Sang Lee though, as he was eliminated as the bubble boy when his was cracked by .
Some of those who made it into the money, but fell short of a final table, include 2012 November Niner Jesse Sylvia (22nd), prominent New Zealand pro Jackson Zheng (15th), the UK’s Ash Mason (13th) and reigning Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer (11th).
Once the final table was set it was Sydneysider and Macau regular Steven Zhou with the chip lead, while the big story was that 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth had made the final six and will now be hunting for bracelet number 14.
Also of note is that Brazil’s Bruno Politano has made the final table. Politano is part of the upcoming November Nine who will fight it out for the WSOP Main Event title and an eight-figure top prize.
Event #7: $2,200 Six-Max – Final Table
Seat 1: Steven Zhou - 315,000
Seat 2: Phil Hellmuth - 266,500
Seat 3: Alexander Antonios - 278,000
Seat 4: Michael Tran - 274,000
Seat 5: Yu Kurita - 269,500
Seat 6: Bruno Politano - 65,000
The Dealer’s Choice and the Six-Max weren’t the only events taking place on the ninth day of the 2013 WSOP APAC. There was also the beginning of the $5,000 8-Game Mixed.
The tournament started off with just four tables of players but more and more sat down throughout the night to see 45 entrants take their seats.
Recent bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Watson, Jeff Gross, Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Madsen, Joe Hachem and Jonathan Duhamel were just some of those hunting for the next WSOP gold bracelet.
After ten levels of play, just 26 players remained with the UK’s Richard Ashby having a big day out to lead the field. Registration is still open until the start of play on Day 2, so there’s a chance we may still see a couple of latecomers.
$5,000 Mixed Event Day 1 Top Ten
Richard Ashby - 79,850
Bruno Portaro - 52,925
Brandon Shack-Harris - 51,175
Dylan Honeyman - 49,400
Mike Watson - 39,875
Jan Suchanek - 32,750
Brian Rast - 32,350
Oliver Gill - 30,500
Daniel Negreanu - 25,000
Joe Hachem - 24,375
Click here for the complete Day 1 chip counts
The final table of the $2,200 No Limit Holdem Six-Max event will start at 12:10pm and will be streamed live on wsop.com while Day 2 of the $5,000 Mixed Event will recommence at 12:30pm in the Crown Poker Room.