Stars shining over WSOP APAC

Last week, the first ever World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific kicked off at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. Plenty of Team PokerStars Pros flocked down under to battle it out for one of the five WSOP bracelets up for grabs, and while no one has been able to ship one just yet, there have been a few final table appearances.

Event #1 was a $1,100 "accumulator" tournament, during which players were allowed to play in all three of the starting flights. If a player successfully bagged chips in two or more of the starting flights, they were allowed to combine their stacks on Day 2. Of the 1,085 entries, 90 players made the money, including Team Pro Barry Greenstein. Greenstein was eliminated in 75th place when he lost a flip with ace-king against an opponent's pocket queens. Greenstein earned AUD$2,669.

Fellow Team Pro and 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel reached the final table of Event #1, locking up his 10th career WSOP cash and second career WSOP final table appearance. Unfortunately, Duhamel fell in fourth when he called an all-in bet from Jay Loo holding aces and eights for two pair. Loo tabled a set of queens, and the Duhamel was off to the cage to collect his AUD$71,870 in winnings.

In Event #3: $2,200 Mixed, another Team Pro reached the final table; Daniel Negreanu. It was Negreanu's 60th career WSOP cash, but his eyes were set on that elusive fifth WSOP bracelet - Negreanu's fourth and most recent WSOP win came in 2008, when he won a $2,000 limit hold'em event. Negreanu started the final table second in chips, but fell in fourth place to the eventual runner-up, Brandon Wong.

In a hand of pot-limit Omaha, Negreanu raised to 4,500, Wong three-bet to 14,500, and Negreanu made the call. The flop came {ac}{tc}{4h}, Wong continued for 18,500, and Kid Poker made the call. The turn was the {7s}, Wong bet enough to put Negreanu all in, and Negreanu called.

Wong: A♠T♦K♣Q♠
Negreanu: Q♣9♣5♥6♥

Wong led with two pair, but Negreanu held both straight and flush draws. Unfortunately for Kid Poker, the 4♦ bricked on the river, and he was eliminated. He earned AUD$16,336 for his efforts.

Negreanu took to Twitter afterwards: "Out in 4th big PLO hand need an 8 3 or a club on the river but missed. Next up is the main event tomorrow."


His good friend, and now nine-time WSOP bracelet winner, Phil Ivey took the event down, prompting Kid Poker to fire off one more tweet before going to bed.

"Congrats to Phil Ivey on his 9th bracelet. He is simply the best poker player in the world and has been for a long time. Bravo."

Negreanu evidently received a good amount of rest prior to the start of the WSOP APAC Main Event, because he finished Day 1 among the chip leaders. The aforementioned Duhamel also bagged a nice-sized stack after the first day of play, and both players are among the top 20 near the end of Day 2.

Local and fellow Team Pro Celina Lin also made Day 2 of the WSOP APAC Main Event, and was moved to Ivey's table.

"Got moved to @philivey table," she tweeted. "Hope he is kind enough to pass me a little chips like he did in the #AussieMillions #WSOPAPAC."

Lin, a two-time Macau Poker Cup champion, finished 24th in the Aussie Millions Main Event, but was unable to survive Day 2 of the WSOP APAC Main Event, busting at the hands of Rupert Elder.

"Unfortunately busted the #WSOPAPAC main, but all the best to every1 still in. Definitely a very prestigious title 2 win!"

The WSOP APAC Main Event will conclude on Monday at Crown. Perhaps Duhamel or Negreanu can make history, and become the first player to ever make multiple WSOP APAC final tables.

Rich Ryan
@PokerStars in Team PokerStars Pro