The historic first event of the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific reached a final table late Sunday night at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. The first-ever AUD$1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Accumulator final table will be led by Bryan Piccioli, who went on an incredible rush to finish Day 2 with 790,000 in chips. Picciolil will be joined at the final table by well-known poker pros Jeremy Ausmus, Jonathan Karamilikis and 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel.
WSOP-APAC Event #1 Final Table
Day 2 of Event #1 began with 144 players attempting to reach the money and make their way toward the first-ever WSOP APAC gold bracelet and AUD$211,000 top prize. Former November Niner Antoine Saout began the day with the chip lead after accumulating nearly 105,000 chips during Day 1b and 1c. He was followed by 2010 WSOP bracelet winner Dan Kelly with 82,000. Several other big names were still in contention, including Phil Hellmuth, Barry Greenstein and Eugene Katchalov, as well as 2012 Octo-Niners Jesse Sylvia Ausmus, Jake Balsiger and Russell Thomas.
The top 90 finishers in the tournament would receive a payday of at least AUD$2,452, and two players ended up sharing the honor of bubble boy. At one table, Melanie Weisner eliminated a player with the against the when the board ran out , giving her the winning flush.
Moments later, Luke Edwards moved the remainder of his stack in preflop from the button holding and Ash Gupta called with pocket aces from the small blind. The rockets held up, leaving the remaining players with some guaranteed money for their two-plus days of work.
From there, the players began dropping quickly. Greenstein (75th — AUD$2,669), Thomas (53rd — AUD$3,461), Mike Watson (44th — AUD$3,841), Jackie Glazier (36th — AUD$4,307), Weisner (34th — AUD$4,307) and Sylvia (32nd — AUD$4,883) were among the notables who made the money, but fell short of the final table.
Kelly had the chip lead for part of Day 2, but he eventually met his demise in 28th place for AUD$5,599. According to WSOP.com, Dean Blatt min-raised to 6,000 preflop, and Piccioli called directly behind. Kelly then moved all in for his last 8,000, and both Blatt and Piccioli called. Blatt check-called a bet of 10,000 on the flop, and he then check-called a bet of 23,000 after the hit the turn. The landed on the river, and Blatt moved all in. Piccioli instantly called for his last 79,000 and revealed the for a set of eights. That was good enough to win a massive pot and send Kelly to the rail.
Hellmuth was still eyeing his 14th WSOP bracelet when the remaining 27 players redrew for the final three tables, but his ride ended in 20th place. Down to less than three big blinds, Hellmuth committed the rest of his stack with the and was unable to come from behind against Junzhong Loo's . This cash was the 96th of Hellmuth's WSOP career, putting him 20 cashes ahead of Men "The Master" Nguyen, who has 76.
Piccioli continued to add to his stack when he handed Saout a nasty beat with 13 players remaining. After a series of raises in front of him, Piccioli five-bet all in preflop with pocket tens, and Saout called with pocket jacks. The Frenchman was in excellent shape to move into the chip lead, but the board gave Piccioli a rivered full house, shooting him into the lead and leaving Saout with only 25,000 in chips. He was eliminated on the very next hand.
After the elimination of Oliver Gill in 12th place, Piccioli played executioner again by sending Alek Givotovsky out in 11th place and Gupta in 10th place, locking up the official nine-handed final table that will be live-streamed at WSOP.com on Monday.
The final table will kick off at 2 p.m. local time in Melbourne, and PokerNews will bring you all of the highlights in our recap at the conclusion of play. Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2013 WSOP APAC from Crown Casino!