The second bracelet winner of the inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (APAC) was crowned Tuesday night in Melbourne, Australia. One day after Bryan Piccioli claimed the first WSOP title on Australian soil, Jim "MrBigQueso" Collopy bested a hard-hitting final table to win Event #2: $1,650 Pot-Limit Omaha for AUD$69,662.
WSOP APAC Event #2 Final Table Results
The final table began at 12:30 p.m. local time Tuesday with all nine players seeking a first WSOP bracelet. The field included established high-stakes players like Marvin Rettenmaier, Dan Shak, Mike Leah and Collopy, who began the day with a sizable chip lead.
Rettenmaier, who told PokerNews this week that he "needs" a WSOP bracelet to go along with his two World Poker Tour titles, fell short of accomplishing his goal when he busted in ninth place. With the blinds at 1,500/3,000, Tino Lechich min-raised to 6,000 from early position, and Shak came along from the hijack seat. Rettenmaier then moved all in for 21,800 from the button with the . Lechich folded, and Shak called with the , putting the German pro at risk of elimination.
The dealer rolled out a board of , giving Shak a winning straight to send Rettenmaier to the payout desk to collect his AUD$6,207 in winnings.
Nine hands later, Aussie Martin Kozlov followed Rettenmaier out the door in eighth place after an exciting three-way confrontation against Leah and Scott Reid. With the blinds still at 1,500/3,000, Paul Sharbanee opened with a raise to 7,000 from early position and Leah called from the cutoff seat. Kozlov then pushed a bet of 32,500 into the middle from the button, leaving around 6,000 behind in his stack. Reid responded by calling all in from the big blind for 23,600. Sharbanee folded, and Leah declared he was all in after doing the math in his head for several minutes. Kozlov called of the rest of his stack, and two players were at risk of elimination.
Reid was out in front with his aces and the flop kept him in the lead. The on the turn, changed nothing, and Reid dodged four outs in the river to triple his stack to more than 70,000. Kozlov was eliminated in eighth place for AUD$7,784, and Leah scooped a small side pot from Kozlov to leave him with around 56,000.
Unfortunately for Leah, he wasn't able to put those chips to good use. The Canadian was sent to the rail in seventh place at the hands of Collopy, who was by far the most active player at the table up to that point. After the blinds moved up to 2,000/4,000, Leah raised to 9,000 from middle position, and Collopy called from the small blind to see a flop of . Collopy checked, Leah bet 20,000, and Collopy check-raised the pot, enough to put Leah all in. Leah called and discovered he was out in front, but Collopy was drawing very live.
It didn't take long for Collopy to jump into the lead as the on the turn gave him a pair of aces, leaving Leah with just three outs. The on the river wasn't one of them, and Leah once again fell short of winning his first WSOP bracelet. Meanwhile, Collopy was sitting pretty with more than 260,000 in chips — more than double his next closest competitor.
Collopy played executioner again when he sent Sharbanee, another Australian, out the door in sixth place. Collopy min-raised to 8,000 from early position, and Sharbanee called from the big blind to see a flop of . Sharbanee moved his short stack all in, and Collopy called.
Sharbanee showed the for two pair and was in control against Collopy's . The on the turn added several outs for Collopy to win, and the was enough to do it, giving him a winning Broadway straight to boost his stack over the 300,000 mark. Sharbanee exited with a nice payday of AUD$12,856 after two-plus days of work.
Shak's run at his first WSOP bracelet ended a short while later when he lost a preflop confrontation against Edison Nguyen. Shak, who found success in this building when he won the 2010 Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge for AUD$1.2 million, was at risk with the against Nguyen's . The flop was huge for Nguyen as it gave him a wrap draw, and the on the turn have him the absolute nuts. Shak was still drawing to a higher straight, but he came up empty when the hit the river. For fifth place, Shak added AUD$16,940 to the $1.4 million he's already won in live tournaments in 2013.
That pot closed the gap between Collopy (270,000) and Nguyen (240,000) with four players left, and those would become the last two standing after Reid and Lechich were eliminated in fourth place and third place, respectively. First, Reid and Nguyen saw a flop of and the two players fired bets and raises at each other, resulting in Reid being all in with the . He was out in front of Nguyen's , but the turn and river gave Nguyen a shocking backdoor straight to send Reid out the door in fourth place for AUD$22,712.
Two hands later, Lechich was all in preflop for his last 74,000 against Collopy, who called Lechich's four-bet shove with the . Lechich revealed the , and it was off to the races. The dealer rolled out a board of , giving both players a straight, but Collopy's queen-high one was better, and he reclaimed the chip lead from Nguyen while eliminating Lechich in third place.
Collopy suddenly found himself in familiar territory: heads-up in a World Series of Poker event with a bracelet on the line. Back in 2010, he lost heads up to Gus Hansen in the WSOP Europe £10,000 No Limit Hold'em High Roller Heads-Up.
He wouldn't let history repeat itself. Nearly 50 hands into heads-up play, Collopy finally put Nguyen away to secure his first WSOP bracelet. On the final hand of the match, Collopy raised to 36,000 from the button and Nguyen re-potted to 108,000, exactly enough to put him all in. Collopy called, and the last flop of the tournament was about to be revealed:
Collopy needed some help after the flop came , and he got some when the on the turn gave him two pair. Only a king would save Nguyen from elimination, but it wasn't meant to be as the on the river gave Collopy his first gold bracelet and the AUD$69,662 top prize. For the second day in a row, an Aussie finished runner-up in a tournament; Jonathan Karamalikis took second to Piccioli in the AUD$1,100 "Accumulator" event on Monday. Nguyen, who hails from Brisbane, collected AUD$43,050 for second place.
That's a wrap for Event #2 of the inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific! Stay tuned to PokerNews for more tournament reports, plus interviews and feature stories from Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.
Lead photo c/o Shannon Morris for Crown/WSOP