With the conclusion of Event #5 the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific is officially halfway over. Two days ago the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament attracted 80 players that created a prize pool of AU$376,000, but today just six of them returned to the Crown Casino to play down to a winner. It’d take just three hours and 110 hands for Melbourne local and tattoo shop owner Sam Higgs, who began the day as a massive chip leader, to walk away with the AU$127,843 first-place prize.
Things got off to a quick start when, on just the third hand of the day, action folded to Mike Watson in the small blind and he raised to 12,000. German pro Ismael Bojang responded by three-betting the size of the pot, Watson four-bet, and Bojang got all in for roughly 55,000 total.
The flop was dry as could be for Bojang, but the turn gave him both straight and flush draws. Unfortunately for Bojang, he'd miss as the bricked on the river. Bojang exited in sixth place for AU$21,123, which marked his 11th WSOP in 2014.
On Hand #39 of the final table, a short-stacked Jeff Rossiter got his chips all in holding only to run into the of Watson. The board ran out clean and Rossiter had to settle for fifth place and AU$27,011 in prize money.
The next to go was Day 1 chip leader Jamie Pickering, who fell on Hand #44 when he got his remaining chips all in on the turn with kings only to run into the nut-flush of Higgs, and he was followed out the door by 2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel, who got his stack all in preflop holding the and failed to outdraw the of Higgs.
Higgs began heads-up play with a slight chip lead, but within three hands Watson took it over. Not to be deterred, Higgs retook the lead and then set about slowly whittling away at his opponent. After 55 hands of heads-up play, which was Hand #110 of the final table, Higgs limped from the button and then called when Watson, who by this time was at a 5-1 chip disadvantage, raised to 24,000. The flop saw Higgs call a bet of 48,000, and then Watson moved all in for his last 87,000 on the turn. Higgs thought for a while before dropping in a call and saying "gamble."
Watson was ahead with kings and an open-ended straight draw, while Higgs was drawing to a flush and a straight draw of his own.
"More outs than I thought," Higgs said optimistically. The dealer then burned and put out the . Higgs hit his straight, and for the third time in his career Watson had to settle for a runner-up finish is a WSOP event.
Higgs, who won a PLO event back in January at the Aussie Millions, captured his first WSOP gold bracelet and the AU$127,843 first-place prize.
That does it for our coverage from Event #5: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, but the PokerNews Live Reporting Team is still hard at work covering both Event #6: $1,650 8-Game Dealer’s Choice and Event #7: $2,200 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em, so be sure to follow those for more WSOP APAC action.