The first event of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific was a hometown affair as 10 Australians battled for their first bracelet Monday afternoon, and when the Accumulator was done and dusted Luke Brabin was the last one standing.
Brabin, playing the first WSOP event of his life, took home the bracelet and A$131,365 ($115,491) for his troubles – all but securing victory with a massive pot during three-handed play. He dispatched the final two players in short order, with Didier Guerin unable to come back from a massive deficit heads-up.
“It’s surreal obviously,” said Brabin after his victory. “I’ve never experienced anything like this. Only played 35 live tournaments in my life”
As for a dark horse run at WSOP Player of the Year honors, Brabin will be a bit limited by sticking to his tournament game of choice.
“I plan on playing six events, no Omaha. I was already planning on playing the High Roller,” commented Brabin on the remainder of his schedule. “I got some stake money.”
After three days of poker at the Crown, the fourth and final session of the opening event began with the guarantee of a good day for the locals. A new bracelet-winner was guaranteed Aaron Lim’s exit in 14th place the previous day, and all 10 of the remaining players were guaranteed a potentially life-changing sum of money for the win.
Six players had less than $100,000 in career earnings and only one player – Kahle Burns – had ever made a WSOP final table. Burns, who finished fifth in the 2013 WSOP APAC Main Event, went out on the final table bubble in 10th place and left behind a final group of nine first-timers just three hands into Monday’s action.
David Profaca followed soon thereafter in ninth place, shoving the last of his chips in with K T and failing to catch up to Zane Ly’s A 8. Eight were quickly reduced to seven on just the 13th hand of the final table, as Piyush Gupta ran 7 7 into Brabin’s J J.
Things turned south for Brian McAllister when he couldn’t bluff Stephen Lindeblad off of second pair on the river, losing a chunk of his stack. McAllister three-bet and then called all in against Guerin, with his J J taking on Guerin’s A K in a tournament-swinging pot. A 7 3 2 flop left McAllister ahead but gave Guerin nine more outs with a flush draw – outs he wouldn’t need to hit as the A hit the turn. With just two outs going into the river, the 9 brought McAllister’s run to an end in seventh.
The pace slowed considerably for the next several orbits, but a battle of the blinds suddenly saw Ly all in with T T against Daniel Murphy’s K Q. Ly appeared to be heading towards a double on the 8 4 2 flop and A turn, but the K on the river was one of Murphy’s six outs and delivered the knockout blow to Ly in sixth place.
A virtually identical race happened 10 hands later, with Guerin raising on the button and Ryan Hong three-betting all in from the small blind. Guerin, the bigger stack, called with T T against Hong’s K Q – and this time, the board was friendlier with an A 9 4 flop and T turn. While it gave Guerin a set, that 10 also left Hong with four outs to a straight, but the 7 would leave Hong to fall in fifth.
Brabin picked of Lindeblad with A K beating 2 2 in the dirtiest of ways as the board double-paired sevens and fives, rendering Lindeblad’s deuces counterfeited and his tournament over in fourth. That pot gave Brabin a slight lead over Murphy, with Guerin trailing behind as three-handed play began.
On the 111th hand of the final table the title was all but decided. Brabin minraised on the button and Murphy called in the big blind, with the flop falling T 7 6. Murphy check-raised and Brabin called, with the T pairing the board on the turn – which ultimately sealed Murphy’s fate. Murphy bet out again and Brabin raised all in – with Murphy just slightly ahead in chips to start the hand – and Murphy eventually called with T 2.
His trips and a flush draw were behind Brabin’s T 9 and the nine kicker played as the A hit on the river. That pot gave Brabin 1.47 million of the 1.83 million in play and all but sealed his victory. Brabin rivered a Q to win a coinflip (K Q vs. 3 3) against Murphy to send him out in third, and Guerin earned himself a big pay bump and a chance at a massive comeback to victory.
Alas, it was not to be. Guerin shoved with 9 8 on the button and Brabin called with K Q; despite adding some additional outs on the 7 6 2 flop, the 2 turn and Q river were not what Guerin needed and Brabin locked up the first bracelet of this series.
2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific – Event 1 Final Results
- Luke Brabin – A$131,365
- Didier Guerin – A$81,220
- Daniel Murphy – A$59,334
- Stephen Lindeblad – A$43,986
- Ryan Hong – A$33,080
- Zane Ly – A$25,234
- Brian McAllister – A$19,521
- Piyush Gupta – $15,318
- David Profaca – $12,189
Heath Chick contributed to this article
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