The World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific has had a strong local turnout thus far, which made the American sweep of the first three bracelet events a little bit tough for the Australians to handle.
It all came to an end when Aaron Lim, a 26-year-old pro from Perth who’s having the year of his life, beat out a final table filled with pros from the region. Lim took home the first Australian bracelet of the inaugural WSOP APAC series, becoming the first player from Australia to win a WSOP bracelet since Andrew Hinrichsen won in Cannes in 2011.
“It’s huge,” said Lim. “It’s at my second home, Melbourne’s my second home. I’m incredibly honored to be the first Australian to take down a bracelet. I was a bit concerned when Americans took the first two, then Ivey took the third, yeah? So it’s lucky number four for me I guess.”
The last month has been especially strong for Lim, who won an APPT title in Seoul in March.
“When you run hot, you run hot,” said Lim. “Any poker player that wins a tournament is going to say that. That was a breakthrough for me, winning a big, major tournament, and this tops it off. It’s been an incredible month for me.”
It wasn’t an easy path to victory for Lim, who had to deal with a table that would’ve been the strongest in almost any tournament field in the world.
“Just looking at the field on Day 1, at my first table I had Mohsin Charania, JC Tran, Dominik Nitsche and Dan Kelly,” said Lim. “It was an incredibly tough first day for me, and to even get through [that] was the toughest part. I knew if I could get through that first day I’d be okay.”
While Americans might not have recognized some of the other names at the final table, it was an accomplished group of players from throughout the Pacific Rim. Australian Brendon Rubie finished second to Timothy Adams in the Four-handed event at the 2012 WSOP, and Jason Gray is in the Australian Poker Hall of Fame.
“This is probably one of the toughest final tables I’ve ever played,” said Lim.
Lim’s heads-up opponent was no slouch either.
“Andy [Lee]’s a terrific player,” said Lim, “And I think he played extremely well. It’s hard to tell who had the better of each other because we can’t see the cards. A few coolers here and there, and I just run like god during the all-in parts. I feel sorry for him, if you can’t win all-in pots, you’re not going to win a tournament.”
Name: Aaron Lim
Hometown: Perth, Australia
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Lifetime live tournament earnings: $1,059,611
Notable poker achievements: Lim has live cashes dating back to 2010, but his true breakout performance came in September of 2012, when he finished third to Ole Schemion in the last Partouche Poker Tour Main Event for over $500,000, at a final table that also included Dan Smith and Dan O’Brien. Lim got his first major win less than a month ago, taking down the APPT Seoul Main Event for $109,532.
Memorable quote: (On his terrible history in World Series of Poker Events)
“The last three years, I’ve made Day 4 [of the Main Event] all three years and I have not managed to cash. That’s an accomplishment, I think, not stone-cold bubbled but within 20 places each time. At World Series of Poker Europe in Cannes last year I made Day 3 and I didn’t cash as well. I was thinking, I hope Melbourne’s not going to curse me and I’m not going to cash in this as well, but I guess this [win] makes up for it.”
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