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WSOP APAC Halfway Recap: Five Bracelets Find New Owners

The World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific started on October 2nd in the famous Crown Casino in Melbourne. This year’s Asia-Pacific edition of the world’s best known poker series will feature a total of ten bracelet events including the $10,000 Main Event.

Five new gold bracelet owners

Five tournaments have already resulted in the crowning of five new (old) proud owners of the most coveted achievement in poker. The very first title, the AU$1,100 Accumulator, went to Aussie Luke Brabin, who topped the field of 611 players to claim the first place prize of AU$131,365.

Event #2, a AU$2,200 buy-in event, brought the very first gold bracelet for Malaysia as Junzhong Loo claimed the title after defeating his fellow countryman, Aik-Chuan Nee, in the heads-up battle for first place prize money of AU$107,500. Nee received AU$66,400 for his runner-up finish. The event attracted a total of 215 players, creating a prize pool of AU$430,000.

Aussies doing well, Lisandro takes number six

Event #3 featured Pot Limit Omaha and attracted 123 players who ponied up AU$1,650 in exchange for their place at the tables. Once again, an Australian player shined, but on this occasion it was a name well-known to many. Jeff Lisandro (pictured), a member of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame, added WSOP bracelet number six to his impressive resume. Lisandro also received AU$51,660 in prize money, but much more importantly, he joins the likes of TJ Cloutier, Ted Forrest, and Daniel Negreanu in the Six-Bracelet Club.

Aussies have fared well so far, as another title stayed on the continent after 29-year old Scott Calcagno outlasted 249 players in The Terminator event. Featuring a buy-in of AU$1,650, this tournament was different because players received a AU$500 red Terminator chip for every player they sent to the rail. Calcagno successfully outlasted all the players and terminated quite a few (twelve in total) in his quest for the gold and the first place prize of AU$61,250.

Melbourne local Sam Higgs triumphed in Event #5 – an AU$5,000 PLO tournament that attracted 80 players. The tattoo shop owner started the final day as a massive chip leader and calmly brought things to their natural conclusion, walking away with the bracelet and AU$127,843. Runner-up Mike Watson took home AU$79,099.

George Danzer battling for the PoY lead, Hellmuth after number fourteen

Two more events are currently under way. Event #6, The Dealer’s Choice, will be starting final table play soon. The last six players standing will battle it out for the first place prize of AU$42,720 and the man who will receive special attention by the media is certainly George Danzer. He will start as fifth in chips and needs to finish in fourth place or better to take the lead in the Player of the Year race. One of the names standing between Danzer and his goal is that of Brian Rast, who will be starting second in chips.

Finally, in Event #7, Phil Hellmuth is looking to add to his collection and claim his 14th career bracelet. Thirty players need to be toppled for Hellmuth to win no. 14. That’s the number that remain after a full day of play in the AU$2,200 6-Handed NLHE tournament that attracted 243 players, creating a prize pool of AU$486,000. The other well-known names still in with a shot include Tony Hatchem, brother of the more famous WSOP Main Event winner Joe, Jesse Sylvia, November Niner Bruno Politano, and Ashley Mason.

Phil will be starting fifth in chips, so we definitely would not bet against him to once again show everyone how it’s done. The WSOP APAC has now officially entered well into the second half and it won’t be long before the cards are in the air for the Main Event!



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Ivan Potocki

Ivan is an aspiring journalist writer from Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a degree in English Literature and a fiery work ethic, Ivan adds a dynamic and flexible element to the PokerUpdate writing staff.