History was again made at the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific on Tuesday with Australian poker legend Jeff Lisandro adding another chapter to one of the world’s finest poker records.
Lisandro defeated a field of 123 players, and a final table that included two other fellow Australian Poker Hall of Famers, to take the top prize of $51,660 and, more importantly, the sixth WSOP gold bracelet of his career.
The rapid-fire final table would see three eliminations in the first six hands of the day, and when overnight chip leader Zane Ly departed in third place, it was left to Lisandro to take on veteran Jason Gray for the title.
The two endured a tough heads-up contest, with plenty of small-ball poker, before Lisandro was able to break through on the 99th hand of heads-up play. It was Gray’s top two pair against Lisandro’s pair and nut flush draw, but it was a backdoor wheel straight that would deliver Lisandro the victory.
Lisandro now has bracelets in Europe, America and the Asia Pacific, and joins the likes of Jay Heimowitz, Layne Flack, TJ Cloutier, Ted Forrest and Daniel Negreanu on six WSOP bracelets.
Event #3: $1,650 Pot Limit Omaha Results
1st Jeff Lisandro – $51,660
2nd Jason Gray – $31,931
3rd Zane Ly – $22,771
4th Gary Benson – $16,563
5th Paul Sharbanee – $12,282
6th Paul Mac – $9,282
7th Stephen Woodhead – $7,146
8th Oliver Gill – $5,603
Terminator reaches the FT
With Lisandro wasting no time in finishing off his final table, attention turned to other corners of the Crown Poker Room with two other WSOP APAC events in action.
Event #4 of the WSOP APAC schedule was the $1,650 No Limit Holdem Terminator Event. The field of 250 players had been reduced to just 27 and they returned on Tuesday to play it down to a final table of nine.
Overnight chip leaders Josh Barrett (23rd) and David Bowen (21st) were surprising early casualties, while Ismael Bonjang (20th), Peter Aristidou (19th), Daniel Neilson (18th), Mike Watson (13th) and Darian Tan (11th) were some of those to fall short of the final table.
When Alan Schubert was bounced out in 10th place, the final nine players voted unanimously to call it a day despite the original plan of playing down to the final six.
Leading the way is Nelson Maccini who had a big day on the felt, while Brandon Shack-Harris will be looking to put a gap in the WSOP Player of the Year race with a big result in this event.
Also in contention for the WSOP bracelet is a famous name in this country — Hachem. It’s not Joe, but younger brother, Tony Hachem.
“I’m pretty stoked,” said Tony Hachem after reaching his first WSOP final table. “I’ve put myself in a good position, but there’s still nine players to go. Eight more to get through.”
Of course Tony has seen first-hand what it means to win a bracelet after his brother Joe won the biggest prize in poker back in 2005. For many years, Tony has tried to move out from the shadows of his older brother and establish his own identity in the poker world, and that’s something he’s been able to achieve in Australia as an ANZPT champion and two-time ANZ Player of the Year. However a WSOP final table is his opportunity to showcase his talents on a world stage.
“I’ve enjoyed being part of Joe’s success, and also the success that I’ve had, and to win a bracelet would be awesome,” said Hachem. “I would be happy to donate half of the money to the Shane Warne Foundation as long as I can win that bracelet!”
A triumph for Hachem would be even more remarkable considering his current state of a sleep-deprived new father, with his baby daughter born less than two weeks ago.
“It’s an amazing feeling as a father,” said Hachem with a glint in his eye. “I think I’ve gone to the bathroom twice during this event and a got a bit emotional looking at videos and photos of my new family.”
“I didn’t mind either way if we stopped early or kept playing, but it’s probably a good thing we finished early so I can go and get some sleep!”
The final table will recommence at 12:10pm local time with a top prize of AU$61,245.
$1,650 No Limit Hold’em Terminator Final Table
Seat 1: Scott Calcagno – 189,700
Seat 2: Brandon Shack-Harris – 111,100
Seat 3: Nelson Maccini – 266,800
Seat 4: Henry Tran – 52,000
Seat 5: Tony Hachem – 57,500
Seat 6: Joe Cabret – 85,900
Seat 7: Andrew Dales – 196,000
Seat 8: Nick Piskopos – 107,100
Seat 9: Duncan McKinnon – 63,000
More four-card fun
The third and final event of the day was the 2:10pm start of Event #5: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha. The field was pretty small to start the day with just five tables in action in the early levels, but slowly the latecomers arrived to fill out the field to 73 runners.
It was chock-full of talent with the likes of George Danzer, Frank Kassela, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Clements, Roy Bhasin, Billy Argyros, Jonathan Duhamel, Van Marcus, Aaron Lim, Jeff Rossiter, Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Madsen, Joe Hachem, Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer, 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth as well as Jeff Lisandro fresh from his victory in Event #3.
Lisandro was unable to replicate his feats of the previous event and was an early casualty when his flopped two pair was trumped by the turned straight of Dylan Wilkerson, but Gary Benson and Jason Gray both made deep runs in this event after final-tabling Event #3.
Another making a deep run was Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. After a slow start to the WSOP APAC series where he has failed to register a cash, Negreanu was among the chip leaders towards the end of the day.
“It’s the first day where I’ve had a chance. And I started really bad,” explained Negreanu. “I was down to 5,000 in chips. I didn’t win one hand. Then I finally beat one guy in a small pot and I told him since I won that pot off him, I’m going to give him a 1% freeroll, and then I went on a tear after that!”
Late registration was originally slated for eight levels, but tournament staff decided to leave registration open throughout the day, and allow latecomers to buy-in up until the start of play on Day 2 — something that Negreanu wasn’t overly concerned about.
“Yeah I don’t mind,” said Negreanu. “Most people would have assumed there would be more players, so buying into Day 2 is not that big of a deal. I think it’s fine.”
While Negreanu wasn’t that concerned about the size of the fields, he did have some concerns in the back of his mind in regards to the WSOP Player of the Year Race which appears to be slipping from his grasp. With Brandon-Shack Harris making the final table of the Terminator Event, Negreanu will be sweating his progress to keep his own POY hopes alive.
“It really depends where he finishes,” explained Negreanu. “If he wins it, he picks up a lot of points, so I’d need to have a pretty good run. But if he comes third or fourth, then if I do something here in this event, then I might have a chance.”
After a full ten levels of play, Negreanu was still well in the hunt for the title as just 19 players remained in the field. The prize pool won’t be announced until Day 2 in case there are a few latecomers who want to late reg and take a shot at running up a short stack.
Jonathan Duhamel, Ismael Bojang and Mike Watson were all challenging for the chip lead but it was Australian Jamie Pickering who topped the counts with 105,900. Of course, Pickering is well remembered for his rather “entertaining” heads-up battle with Vanessa Selbst for a PLO bracelet at the WSOP in 2008. Pickering finished second that day, so this may be his chance at redemption.
Day 2 play will recommence at 12:30pm local time where they’ll play through to a final table, and beyond, before the gold bracelet and top prize will be awarded on Thursday.
$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Top Ten
Jamie Pickering – 105,900
Jonathan Duhamel – 102,000
Ismael Bojang – 96,600
Geoffrey Mooney – 96,200
Mike Watson – 92,200
Richard Johnston – 77,600
Jason Gray – 75,800
Daniel Negreanu – 68,800
Greg Merson – 63,800
Sam Higgs – 60,500
Hump day blues
It may be the middle of the working week but there’s no slowing down at the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific with three more events filling the Wednesday schedule.
The fourth bracelet of the series will be awarded with the resumption of the final table of the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Terminator Event. That will be streamed live on the WSOP website with play recommencing at 12:10pm local time.
The $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Event will continue from 12:30pm while the new event of the day is the $1,650 Dealer’s Choice 8-Game Event. It will be the first time such an event has been held in Australia for the WSOP APAC, so it should be one that players will enjoy. That one gets under way at 2:10pm 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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