Brabin on top of Accumulator, Danzer Pinches POTY Lead

George Danzer

Our new WSOP POTY leader, George Danzer (Photos courtesy of Poker Asia Pacific)

Day 3 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific would see the first cashes of the series and a brand new opportunity for the bracelet hunters on a busy, but beautifully-sunny day in Melbourne.

All-Aussie Accumulator

The first event of the 2014 WSOP APAC, the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Accumulator Event, would see 93 players return to the Crown Poker Room on Saturday to continue their journey towards poker’s holy grail. Just two of those players, Julius Colman and Mace Turco, were proven to be “accumulators”, having bagged up chips in multiple flights, but once the bags were opened on Day 2 it was once again a level playing field.

Scott Clements was one to quickly discover that a new day can bring a change in fortune.

Clements was the overwhelming overnight chip leader when the day began and would’ve harbored ambitions to add to his two WSOP bracelets, but things didn’t quite go to plan as he was surprisingly bundled out short of the cash.

The top 54 players would take home at least AU$2,346 in prize money, but the money bubble was virtually non-existent. A couple of quick bustouts would leave Paul Sharbanee and his pocket jacks on the ropes in an unfortunate 55th place after losing the coin flip against ace-queen.

From there, the eliminations came at a steady rate with Brandon Shack-Harris (53rd), Sam Cohen (50th), Gary Benson (47th), Antonio Esfandiari (45th) and Dan Heimiller (31st) among those to grab a little profit in Event #1.

At the dinner break the field had been culled to just 26 players, with a very high proportion of those representing Australia and 23-year old local Didier Guerin holding the chip lead.

“It feels good. Excited. A little bit nervous. I have all the butterflies running through the stomach,” chatted Guerin excitedly during the break.

“I started the day with 25 big blinds, and then I got pretty lucky. I had Scott Clements to my right, which normally wouldn’t be a good thing as he’s very good, but I got it all in against him three times and won all three and that catapulted me to where I am now. It allowed me to start playing a lot more pots. A lot more post flop.”

Didier Guerin

Didier Guerin

Guerin is one of Australia’s most promising young players, but despite his tender years, has already had a taste of what the WSOP is all about.
Back in 2012, Guerin finished 35th in a $3,000 NLHE event at the WSOP in Las Vegas, and in doing so, became the youngest Australian to ever cash in a WSOP event at the age of just 21 years, 1 month. So will that experience, and a couple more years of wisdom, put him in good stead for a run at the gold?

“I played a lot at the World Series, so I understand the structures pretty well,” explained Guerin. “They’re very different to the structures we usually get in Australia. A lot of people complained about the structure at the start when people get killed off pretty quickly, but the good thing about World Series structures is that they progressively get better, as opposed to most tournaments in Australia where you start with 300 big blinds and it gets shallower from there. This is almost the opposite. There will be a much higher average BB on the final table for the WSOP, so hopefully there’s a bit more play and we can make good use of that.”

One of the interesting dynamics of the final three tables was the progress of George Danzer who needed to finish in at least 27th place to earn enough points to take over the WSOP Player of the Year lead from Brandon Shack-Harris.

“Obviously George is going for Player of the Year so there are definitely a few dynamics that we worked off there,” commented Guerin.

Danzer himself was well aware of the situation, but grinding the short stack didn’t allow him many opportunities to get involved as he eventually fell in 22nd place after his AQ was outdrawn by the JT of Kahle Burns.

“I’m happy with the run. I was short-stacked all day. I never had a big stack. I was just grinding the short stack and eventually the steam ran out and I busted!” said Danzer.

So did his game plan change at all with the possibility of the lead in the WSOP POTY on the line?

“I was a little tighter when we were around 30 players,” admitted Danzer. “It was one orbit of hands. I knew that we get more points when we’re down to 27 players, so I definitely played a little more careful there.”

Luke Brabin

Luke Brabin

Following the elimination of Danzer, it was left to three-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Madsen to carry the hopes of the internationals but his tournament also fell short of the final table when his AT was unlucky not to double against Ryan Hong’s JT when the board was spread KQ79Q.

Bobby Zhang fell in 15th place, before Aaron Lim missed out on the chance to become the first two-time WSOP APAC bracelet winner as his tournament unravelled in 14th place.

When the unofficial final table of ten was formed just after midnight local time, a few more hands were played before the full ten levels of the day were complete and the hard stop rule enforced. It’s an all-Australian final ten, with Luke Brabin in the box seat for a run at the WSOP APAC bracelet as the chip leader. Didier Guerin is well placed in the middle of the pack, while Kahle Burns has reached his second WSOP APAC final table after finishing fifth in the Main Event last year.

Event #1: $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Accumulator Final Table Chip Counts
Luke Brabin – 336,000
Ryan Hong – 308,000
Brian McAllister 233,000
Stephen Lindeblad -218,500
Didier Guerin – 205,000
Daniel Murphy – 153,000
Zane Ly – 121,500
Kahle Burns – 120,000
Piyush Gupta – 67,000
David Profaca – 62,500

Meanwhile, across the room

The second event of the 2014 WSOP APAC kicked off at 2:10pm on Saturday with a strong field turning out for the $2,200 No Limit Hold’em Event.

A total of 215 entrants for this event saw another stacked field with the usual suspects back to take another shot at WSOP gold and the top prize of AU$107,500.

Following his elimination from the Accumulator Event, George Danzer rushed over as one of the very last registrations before the cut off at the end of level six.

“By chance, I busted five minutes before the late registration ended. I wasn’t planning on playing both or multi-tabling, and if I had stayed in the Accumulator ten minutes longer, I wouldn’t have even played this one,” exclaimed Danzer.

“It worked out exactly so I jumped right in. I started with fifteen big blinds, and got one double up, but I’m still way behind average!”

Danzer put in a valiant effort but was eliminated with around 40 players remaining which was a little short of the top 24 who will finish in the money.

After ten levels of play it would be Sam Ruha who claimed the end-of-day chip lead with a stack of 122,000 as 33 players survived the day. Dan Heimiller has a top-ten stack while Kitty Kuo, Jeff Gross, Russell Thomas and former World Series of Poker Europe bracelet winner Andrew Hinrichsen all still in contention.

Event #2: $2,200 No Limit Hold’em Top Ten Chip Counts
Sam Ruha – 122,000
Tim O’Shea – 100,200
Michael O’Grady – 82,200
Bill Zaharis – 82,100
Sam Chuan – 68,400
Michael Kyriakou – 66,700
Dan Heimiller – 65,200
Martin Kozlov – 55,000
Loo Jun Zhong – 54,600
Peco Stojanovski – 54,300

No rest for the wicked

Sunday is traditionally the day of rest, but days of the week have no meaning when you’re neck-deep at the World Series of Poker! Sunday will see three different WSOP APAC events spread around the Crown Casino complex.

Much of the attention will be in the studio where the final table of Event #1 will decide the first champion of the 2014 WSOP APAC. Meanwhile the main poker room will host Day 2 of the $2,200 No Limit Hold’em Event from 12:30pm as well as the first day of the third event of the series — a $1,650 Pot Limit Omaha Event which starts at 4:10pm local time.

The 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific runs from October 2-18 in the Crown Poker Room in Melbourne, Australia.

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