It's almost one week into the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific festival, and on Tuesday the third gold bracelet of the series was awarded in Melbourne. Capturing that title was a man who already laid claim to five bracelets, Jeff Lisandro, as he took down the AU$1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha affair.
Lisandro's historical win wasn't the only thing happening at Crown Melbourne, as Brandon Shack-Harris got his groove on in the AU$1,650 No-Limit Hold'em Terminator event and reached the final table. The big, bad AU$5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event also kicked off with a star-studded field.
In and out in less than three hours. That's how efficiently Australian Poker Hall of Fame member Jeff Lisandro executed the capturing of his sixth WSOP gold bracelet. In doing so, Lisandro earned the AU$51,660 top prize and joined the likes of TJ Cloutier, Layne Flack, Ted Forrest, Jay Heimowitz, and Daniel Negreanu as the other massively accomplished players with that many pieces of WSOP hardware.
Final Table Results
On Day 3, six players returned to action, whittled down from the original starting field of 123. Lisandro began the day third in chips, and it only took six hands to send the first three home.
First to go was Paul Mac, and then Paul Sharbanee followed him out the door. Gary Benson — another member of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame and gold bracelet winner himself — busted in fourth place on the sixth hand of the day before a bit of time passed prior to Zane Ly busting in third place on the 35th hand of Day 3.
Ly, who was making his second final table of this series after placing sixth in the first event, busted at the hands of Lisandro when Lisandro's aces held up. After that, it took 99 hands of battling with Jason Gray for Lisandro to finish the job.
Gray, who was playing his fifth WSOP final table, is also a member of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for him, his first bracelet will have to wait. On the 134th hand, the final two players got the money in and it was Lisandro hitting a wheel straight on the river to win the tournament.
Lisandro has now earned a WSOP gold bracelet in Las Vegas, Europe, and Australia, joining only Negreanu as players to have achieved that accomplishment.
The AU$1,650 No-Limit Hold'em Terminator event reached the final table at the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific with Nelson Maccini leading the final nine, but all eyes will be on Brandon Shack-Harris on Day 3 as he has retaken the WSOP Player of the Year lead and looks to really put some distance between him and the rest of the pack, most importantly George Danzer.
Starting the day in the money with the remaining 27 players guaranteed a AU$2,020 payday, the plan was to play down to the final table, with the potential to continue on to the final six if time permitted. Fady Alam (27th), Dylan Hortin (26th), and Josh Barrett (23rd) were swiftly out the door before another rapid fire of eliminations saw Ismael Bojang (20th), Peter Aristidou (19th), and Daniel Neilson (18th) all hit the rail.
Play then slowed up as Richard Lyndaker (17th), Mikel Habb (16th), Mike Watson (13th), and Darian Tan (11th) all found themselves on the rail before Alan Schubert became the final-table bubble boy when his was outdrawn by the , leaving the final table.
As mentioned, leading the final nine is Maccini, who won a monster pot early in the day when he flopped top set against an overpair and then used that momentum to rocket to a stack of 266,800. Andrew Dales (196,000) and Scott Calcagno (189,700) are the only other two big stacks, but plenty of notables still remain, including the aforementioned Shack-Harris.
Australian poker stalwarts Joe Cabret and Tony Hachem still remain, but it is Shack-Harris stealing the headlines as he has now taken back the lead from Danzer in the WSOP Player of the Year race. If things go his way, he could join Danzer as the only players to capture two bracelets in 2014. Danzer had leapfrogged Shack-Harris in the POY standings in the first event of the series here in Melbourne, Australia, but his time at the top only lasted a couple of days and he'll have some work cut out for him to get back there.
Below is a look at how the final table for this event will stack up on Wednesday.
Day 3 with begin at 12:10 p.m. local time.
On Tuesday, 73 players entered the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Event #5 $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, and after 10 one-hour levels of play only 19 of remained with Jamie Pickering and his stack of 105,900 leading the way. The number of entrants may go up as registration for this event is open until the start of Day 2.
It didn’t take long for the first elimination of the day to occur. In Level 1 (25/50) action exploded on a flop between Edward Hatzakortzian and Sam Higgs that resulted in the former getting his last 10,000 or so in the pot.
Hatzakortzian held two pair, but he admitted he didn't like the situation as Higgs held a queens with overs and a flush draw.
"Straight away," a resigned Hatzakortzian said after the turn gave Higgs the flush. Hatzakortzian could still win with either a queen of three, but it wasn't in the cards as the blanked on the river. With that, Hatzakortzian became the first player eliminated from the tournament, though he would be far from the last.
Others who hit the rail on Day 1 were 2014 WSOP Player of the Year contender George Danzer; Jeff Lisandro, who had just won his sixth gold bracelet; reigning Aussie Millions champ Ami Barer; 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth; 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem; and 2010 WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela, who was playing in his first WSOP APAC event.
Likewise, 2012 WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson played his first event upon arriving in Melbourne after some nightmarish travel delays. Merson, who bagged up 63,800, spoke with PokerNews' Chad Holloway about the delays:
Others who will be returning for Day 2 are Aaron Lim (45,000), Richard Ashby (39,600), Jeff Rossiter (35,200), John Dalessandri (17,400), Billy “The Croc” Argyros (12,300), and Dan Heimiller (5,200).
The remaining 19 players will return to action at 12:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday for Day 2 action, and of course the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to capture all the action from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.