The 2014 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific reached thrilling conclusion on Saturday evening with American Scott Davies emerging triumphant over the WSOP APAC Main Event field of 329 players to capture a top prize of $850,136 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
“Oh my god, this is amazing!” said Davies amid the euphoria of victory. “This is the Super Bowl to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
“When I decided I was going to play poker for a living, I remember watching Chris Moneymaker winning the main event. I just thought one day I might get a chance to do that.”
That day arrived for Davies as he showcased his talents on a final table that was beamed worldwide on ESPN on a 30-minute delay, overcoming a tough heads-up opponent in Jack Salter. However Davies also had his share of good fortune with the cards falling his way during a televised final table that would last just 85 hands.
First to fall from the final table was the short-stacked fan favourite, Angie Italiano. She called a preflop raise with AT out of the small blind and then made a move at a flop of Q42. It wasn’t enough to shake Frank Kassela who instantly called with QT for top pair. Italiano was looking for one of the three remaining aces, but the K turn was a great card as she added both straight and flush possibilities. The rail were cheering for their favourite lady to find the double up, but the K completed the board to leave Italiano to depart in sixth place.
Frank Kassela padded his stack and was contending for the chip lead, but in a remarkable fall from grace, Kassela ran into pocket aces in consecutive hands to go from hero to zero.
The first would be against Scott Davies as the two tangled in a preflop raising war. Kassela five-bet his AK and then called it off when Davies tank-shoved, but it was AA for Davies with the rockets holding true.
The very next hand would see a similar outcome for Kassela when he again five-bet preflop, this time with AQ. Jack Salter was his opponent and he called to see a flop of 765. With almost half his stack already committed, Kassela moved all in at the pot, but Salter re-checked his hole cards before making the call and tabling AA. The 7 turn and T river gave the pot to Salter to see Kassela make a surprise exit in fifth place.
It would be fellow American Kyle Montgomery next to go. He cold four-bet jammed with AK over the top of a raise and a three-bet. Jack Salter was the original raiser, and he let it go, but Scott Davies made the call with JJ.
The board bricked out 47925 to leave the jacks in front and eliminate Montgomery in fourth place.
Henry Wang was the lone representative remaining of the Asia-Pacific region, but he was unable to find himself a double to get back in contention. The end for Wang would come when he three-bet jammed K9 over a button open from Scott Davies, but the timing couldn’t have been worse as Davies snapped it off with AA once again. Wang got a little help on the 2QK flop with a pair of kings, but the 4 turn and 2 river would see Wang depart and leave it heads-up for the title.
It was America’s Scott Davies against Jack Salter from the United Kingdom and the two were fairly even in chips. However they were also extremely deep with over one hundred big blinds apiece when heads-up play commenced. It had taken only 38 hands of play on the televised final table to reach this point, but everyone was well aware of Salter’s epic heads-up marathon at the EPT Grand Final, and were ready to settle in for the long haul.
However a cooler of a flop would see bring a surprisingly-quick end to the heads-up battle after just 47 hands. The final hand would be three-bet preflop with Davies leading out from the big blind on a 6TT flop. Salter made the call and the 8 arrived on the turn. Davies bet again, Salter raised, Davies re-raised and, after a couple of minutes in the tank, Salter moved all in. Davies snap-called and tabled 66 for a flopped full house as Salter cringed and revealed TQ for trip tens. Salter would need to fill up or find quads on the river but the 3 bricked the board.
It’s another big runner-up finish for Salter in major championship as Scott Davies takes the WSOP APAC bracelet back to the United States along with $850,136 in prize money.
WSOP APAC Main Event Results
1st Scott Davies (United States) – $850,136
2nd Jack Salter (United Kingdom) – $516,960
3rd Henry Wang (Taiwan) – $343,805
4th Kyle Montgomery (United States) – $231,287
5th Frank Kassela (United States) – $164,089
6th Angie Italiano (Australia) – $118,769
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