The inaugural World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific certainly hasn't lacked star power at final tables in the early going. The AUD$1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha (Event #2) reached a final table on Monday, and a handful of the game's top pros will return Tuesday for a chance at a WSOP bracelet and a AUD$69,662 top prize.
Jim Collopy, known as "MrBigQueso" in the online poker realm, will take the lead into the final table on Tuesday with 209,200 in chips. Collopy leads a talented group that includes Dan Shak, Mike Leah and Marvin Rettenmaier, all of whom are seeking their first WSOP gold bracelet.
WSOP APAC Event #2 Final Table
|5||Minh Phuc Nguyen||122,200|
Collopy's stack dipped as low as 8,000 on Day 2, but he worked his way back to take a comfortable lead going into the final table, his second ever in a WSOP event. The 24-year-old fell just short of WSOP glory at the 2010 WSOP Europe £10,000 No Limit Hold'em High Roller Heads-Up where he finished runner-up to Gus Hansen. Collopy will get his shot at redemption in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Collopy won't be the only player seeking his first WSOP bracelet at the Event #2 final table. In fact, all nine of the finalists are without poker's most prestigious piece of hardware. The biggest names vying for the title will be Rettenmaier and Shak, two of the hottest players on the planet right now. Rettenmaier is coming off a year in which he won back-to-back World Poker Tour titles, and he made another WPT final table in Baden earlier this year.
Shak, meanwhile, is coming off a recent win at the PartyPoker Premier League and boasts more than $1.4 million in tournament winnings already in 2013. He's had success at Crown Casino before, winning the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge for AUD$1.2 million. Shak defeated his good friend Phil Ivey heads-up for that prestigious title back in 2010.
Also reaching the final table was Mike "goleafsgoeh" Leah, who won a critical hand on the final table bubble to advance to the final day. According to WSOP.com, Australian player "Toothpick" Tony Kambouroglou got his last 9,000 chips in the middle holding on a flop of . Leah called with for a flopped full house, and Kambouroglou was left drawing to a royal flush to stay alive. It wasn't meant to be for the Aussie as the turn and river secured the hand for Leah, moving him into the middle of the pack when the final table kicks off on Tuesday.
Play will recommence at 12:30 p.m. local time and won't end until a brand new bracelet winner is crowned. Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for a full recap of the final table at the completion of play on Tuesday.