The first ten days of the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific are in the books. New champions have been crowned and Australia has been a dominant force on their home felt, winning six of the seven WSOP APAC gold bracelet awarded.
Now it was time for the big one. The WSOP APAC Main Event had arrived.
The $10,000 buy-in Main Event would see 129 players take their seats on Sunday for Day 1a. The good weather in Melbourne may have swayed a few players to opt to play on Monday, with an even bigger field expected for Day 1b. Registration is open for the first eight levels of the Main Event, so in reality, players have all the way up until 4pm Tuesday afternoon before committing their buy-in.
Following the initial welcome from World Series of Poker Tournament Director Jack Effel, the microphone was fittingly handed to 2005 World Champion, and Melbourne local, Joe Hachem to give the official shuffle up and deal.
Some of those in action for Day 1a included Russell Thomas, Daniel Neilson, Jonathan Karamalikis, Kitty Kuo, Anthony Hachem, Tom Grigg, Xuan Liu, Jesse Sylvia, Jackie Glazier, WSOP APAC Event #1 champion Luke Brabin, six-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, reigning World Champion Ryan Riess and the late arrival of the 13-time WSOP champ Phil Hellmuth.
There were also a couple of new faces spotted around the Crown Poker Room with Fabian Quoss, Dan Shak and Tobias Reinkemeier making an appearance for the big buy-in events that close out the WSOP APAC schedule.
Six 90-minute levels would be played on day one with Jesse Sylvia and Tobias Reinkemeier among the early movers. At the dinner break, the field was already down to 100 players with Asa Smith winning a dramatic pot that ran fifteen minutes into the dinner break to shoot to the top of the counts. The action was four-bet preflop with Smith’s KJ flopping top two pair and getting paid off in full by Michael Addamo.
Another with a big stack during the day was a player who has tasted success in the Crown Poker Room before — 2011 Aussie Millions Main Event champion David Gorr. He’s only played one other event this series, and was happy to save his form for the big one here at the WSOP APAC. It proved to be a wise decision with Gorr making a strong start to his Main Event campaign.
“I started late, I registered thirty minutes into the third level and I managed to double up in the first twenty minutes,” explained Gorr. “I hit trip kings on the turn and my opponent put me in with aces and a flush draw. I was fortunate enough to hold.”
The Australian Poker Hall of Famer has enjoyed his share of success over the years, but says he is not motivated by bracelets or money.
“I just enjoy playing poker!” Gorr said. “It’s nice to cash in occasionally. Once you put your money in it, you always have a chance of winning. To win a bracelet, well, it would be a very unique double!”
At the end of six levels there would be 70 players make it through the day with German superstar Tobias Reinkemeier bagging up the chip lead with 171,925 in chips.
“I feel pretty good obviously. A bit exhausted,” said Reinkemeier following the day’s play. “When I play in live tournaments I try to focus all the time, which is pretty exhausting for me personally.”
“I ran pretty well for the whole day. I was up to 160k a couple of hours ago, but then went down to 90k, but overall it went pretty well.”
While it was one of Reinkemeier’s first appearances at the WSOP APAC, he has in fact been in Australia since the start of September, enjoying a vacation Down Under to coincide with the World Series.
“I love it here. Melbourne is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world. A lot of aspects I love about it. Usually when there’s something happening here, whether it’s in October or the Aussie Millions in January or February, the weather is always really good and the people are always very welcoming.”
WSOP APAC Main Event Day 1a Top Ten Chip Counts
Tobias Reinkemeier – 171,925
Asa Smith – 156,450
Ivan Zhou – 153,200
Craig Blight – 144,950
Sean Winter – 124,175
Chane Kampanatsanyakorn – 123,175
Jesse Sylvia – 123,050
Jack Salter – 102,300
Jackie Glazier – 98,500
John Moffitt – 93,075
While the WSOP APAC Main Event was bubbling over nicely in the Crown Poker Room, upstairs in Studio 3, a stacked final table had formed for the conclusion of the $5,000 Mixed Event – the eighth event of the schedule.
After Day 2 of the event, Danzer was on the short stack, but he would’ve simply been relieved to make the money and gain valuable points in the WSOP Player of the Year. Danzer’s final table finish earned him enough points to take over the lead, so with that monkey off the back, Danzer was free to try and extend his lead as much as possible and shoot for his third WSOP gold bracelet.
Danzer started the day in a blaze of glory and never really looked back. Danzer was winning every pot, and it didn’t matter who the opponent was, Danzer was taking them down one by one.
Aussie poker veterans Sam Khouiss and Tino Lechich would be the first to go as Australia would be denied its seventh bracelet of the series, leaving the four international superstars to battle it out.
A three-way 2-7 Triple Draw hand would remove Ismael Bojang and cripple Jonathan Duhamel, and with four eliminations in five hands, the final table was suddenly heads-up between George Danzer and Scott Clements.
Things were pretty even until a hand of No Limit Hold’em would give Danzer a big double up with two pair against Clements’ pocket aces. That shot Danzer into a healthy lead, but Clements wasn’t going away that easily.
Clements fought back to nudge ahead, but Danzer steadied the ship through some strong play in Pot Limit Omaha before finishing the job in No Limit Holdem. When Clements shoved his short stack with Q6, Danzer made the call with JT and connected with the flop to pair his ten to grab the victory and his third WSOP bracelet.
“My girlfriend was telling me I was going to get another bracelet,” said an ecstatic Danzer following his win. “I thought I might cash two times and be happy if I maybe win Player of the Year.”
But he did more than just cash. It’s the first time since 2009 that someone has won three bracelets in the calendar year, and Danzer has all-but secured the WSOP POY crown. It would take a huge result from Brandon Shack-Harris in the final two events of the WSOP APAC to challenge his lead.
$5,000 Mixed Event Results
1st George Danzer – $84,600
2nd Scott Clements – $52,340
3rd Jonathan Duhamel – $34,291
4th Ismael Bojang – $23,688
5th Tino Lechich – $17,371
6th Sam Khouiss – $13,310
The last chance at the big one
Monday only has one event marked down but it will be a big one, with a huge field expected for Day 1b of the WSOP APAC Main Event. For ten large you can jump into the action and take a shot at one of the biggest prizes in Australian poker. Day 1b will commence at 12:30pm local time.
The 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) runs from October 2-18 in the Crown Poker Room in Melbourne, Australia.
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