On Saturday last week, Event 2: AU$2,200 No-Limit Hold'em took center stage at Crown Melbourne and the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific as 215 players took to the felt to create a AU$430,000 prizepool.
Day 1 would be a fast-paced affair that saw just 31 players sneak into Day 2 that played all the way down to the final 10 when play was halted prior to the final table due to a health concern of Aik-Chuan Nee. Returning today, the final 10 competitors would all have their eyes locked onto the AU$107,500 first prize and coveted WSOP gold bracelet.
After doubling up early, Fred Chaptini became the official final-table bubble boy when his was cracked by Nee's .
Then, chips passed back and forth for close to two hours before a quick flow of eliminations saw Michael O'Grady, Feng Zhou, and Sam Ruha all eliminated in three consecutive hands before Samuel Ngai joined them on the rail three hands later after losing a race.
One of the craziest hands of the tournament — if not the entire WSOP Asia-Pacific — then saw Peco Stojanovski on the rail when he battled blind on blind against Nee. Nee limped the small blind holding the , and Stojanovski checked his as the dealer fanned an flop. Nee bet, and Stojanovski called to see the fall on the turn. Nee bet again, with Stojanovski once again making the call. The river landed the , and Nee bet out 48,000 before Stojanovski moved all in for 148,000. Nee snap-called holding a straight flush, and that demolished Stojanovski's full house.
After riding his luck multiple times, Martin Kozlov ran out of lives as he succumbed in fourth place when his couldn't outdraw Junzhong Loo's . The three remaining players then swirled chips between them before a short-stacked Luke Spano committed holding the against Loo's . Although he turned a flush draw to be drawing against Loo's top pair, Spano was unable to spike a spade and exited in third place, leaving Malaysia's Loo (932,000) and Nee (358,000) to battle it out for the country's first bracelet.
Nee began the heads-up battle closing the gap before Loo pushed his lead out further. Chips continued to be exchanged between the two, but after a hand that saw Loo get value from two pair, the final hand played out that saw Nee all in holding the against Loo's . The flop gave Nee some additional outs, but when the turn and river filled out the and , Nee was eliminated in second place and Loo was crowned the champion.
Final Table Results
|7||Sam Ruha||New Zealand||AU$15,867|
For Loo, this is not only his first WSOP bracelet, but also his country's, as Malaysia had yet to claim a WSOP title. What makes it more memorable for Loo was that he defeated his good friend Nee heads-up — someone he actually taught how to play the game.
Congratulations to Loo for winning his and Malaysia's first WSOP gold bracelet, and for collecting the AU$107,500 first-place prize.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team may have ended their coverage on Event 2, but you can check out all the remaining WSOP Asia-Pacific action right here, live from Crown Melbourne!