Negreanu Leads Main Event, Aaron Lim Breaks Aussie Drought

Shane Warne, one of the most prolific Australian cricket players of all-time, joined Joe Hachem in kicking off the WSOP APAC Main Event.

Shane Warne, one of the most prolific Australian cricket players of all-time, joined Joe Hachem in kicking off the WSOP APAC Main Event.

After more than a week of preliminary bracelet events, the 2013 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Main Event got underway Thursday evening with a sizable turnout of local and international players. It capped a busy of day of poker, one that saw Aaron Lim continue a tremendous run of late as he broke a long drought among Australian players at the WSOP.

$10,000 Main Event

Cards went into the air at 6 pm local time Thursday, with a shorter-than-average five levels of play on Day 1 to kick off the Main Event. Approximately 390 players were registered by the close of the day’s action, but the field will likely continue to grow as players have the option to join through the end of the dinner break on Day 2, through the first eight levels.

Action was kicked off with a series of introductions, which included a video package and speeches by Jack Effel, Ty Stewart, Greg Merson and Aussie Rules football player Heath Shaw, who presented Merson with a signed personalized Collingwood Magpies jersey. That was followed by Joe Hachem and cricket legend Shane Warne, who conducted the traditional shuffle-up-and-deal.

Two players who made a deep run together in Event 3 at WSOP Asia-Pacific are among the top stacks after Day 1 of this event, as Daniel Negreanu appears to have the overnight chiplead with 136,050, followed closely by Phil Ivey and his 123,300. Mike Watson, Brandon Wong and Ben Wilinofsky each have over 100,000 in their own right, with Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Jeremy Ausmus, Antonio Esfandiari and Marvin Rettenmaier among the many survivors.

Things didn’t go so well for Bertrand Grospellier, JC Tran, Melanie Weisner, Jesse Sylvia, Antoine Saout, John Juanda or Andy Hinrichsen, who were among the early casualties. Bryan Piccioli opened WSOP APAC by winning Event 1, but he’ll have to wait until the summer to win another bracelet as he too was knocked out on Day 1.

Play will resume on Friday afternoon at 2 pm AEST (12 am ET), with six 90-minute levels and a dinner break scheduled for Day 2. BLUFF will have the full prizepool information as soon as its released, along with coverage of all the action from the Crown Casino. Here are the top ten chip counts going into Day 2 of the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event.

  1. Daniel Negreanu – 136,050
  2. Joel Feldman – 132,875
  3. Benjamin Willinofsky – 127,875
  4. Tobin Ryall – 127,250
  5. Victor Teng – 124,825
  6. Phil Ivey – 123,300
  7. Benjamin Spindler – 119,050
  8. Chan Leong – 114,950
  9. Gautam Dhingra – 114,050

$5,000 Six-handed No Limit Hold’em

The final bracelet awarded before the Main Event had a high likelihood of crowning a local champion, with several talented Australians among the final seven players who came back to finish the Six-handed event of Friday afternoon. After Australian Hall of Famer Jason Gray went out on the official final table bubble in seventh place, it would take only 31 hands to go from a full Six-handed table to heads-up play between Aaron Lim and Andy Lee.

What followed was a back-and-forth battle between the two young pros, with Lim ultimately getting the better of things to capture his first career WSOP bracelet. Lim has been on quite a tear as he’s transitioned to playing more live events, with a third place finish in the final Partouche Poker Tour Main Event and a win less then a month ago in the APPT Seoul Main Event.

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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