The 2014 World Series of Poker APAC continued on Friday with the start of Event #8: $5,000 8-Game Mixed, the very tournament that Phil Ivey won last year to capture his ninth gold bracelet. This year’s tournament attracted 45 runners – down from 2013’s 91 – though that should go up as registration is open until the start of Day 2.
After 10 one-hour levels of play, just 26 players would make it through the night with Richard Ashby and his chip stack of 79,850 leading the way. Others making it through with big stacks were Bruno Portaro (52,925), Brandon Shack-Harris (51,175), and Dylan Honeyman (49,400).
Ashby, who late registered after Level 4, slowly built his stack throughout the evening, but had an especially good round of Omaha hi-lo in Level 9. After taking two decent pots from Jeff Madsen earlier in the orbit, Ashby opened his button to 1,000 and Rob Campbell defended the big blind.
Ashby continued for 500 on the flop with Campbell check-raising to 1,000. Ashby called, and when Campbell bet 1,000 when the landed on the turn, Ashby raised. Campbell called, and then check-called another 1,000 when the river landed the .
Ashby tabled his for Broadway and Campbell mucked. With that, Ashby saw his stack climb to over 80,000 in chips.
Long before that, 2010 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Frank Kassela became the first elimination of the day. We missed the hand that crippled him, but we do know that he tried to run a bluff in no-limit hold'em against Bruno Portaro, who held two pair.
Not long after, Kassela got his last few chips all in on fourth street in razz against Mike Leah.
Kassela: / /
Leah: / /
"Why do I feel I'm drawing dead?" Kassela said even before fifth was dealt. Kassela was drawing live, but his bad omen came true as Leah made a seven-six low on sixth to leave Kassela drawing dead. With that, Kassela exited in Level 1 and became the day’s first elimination, though he wouldn’t be the last.
Others who fell on Day 1 were Vanessa Rousso, Dylan Hortin, Roland Israelashvili, Jackson Zheng, Rainer Quel, Sam Ngai, and Antonio Esfandairi, who fell in a hand of Omaha hi-lo to recent WSOP APAC bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro. The Australian Poker Hall of Famer would follow Esfandiari out the door a short time later though.
While some big names fell, plenty made it through to Day 2 including Mike Watson (39,875), Brian Rast (32,350), Daniel Negreanu (25,000), Joe Hachem (24,375), Dan Heimiller (15,350), Jonathan Duhamel (14,550), and George Danzer (9,525).
Registration is open up to the start of Day 2, which will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time on Saturday. The field is sure to pick up a few players, and once official numbers are determined we’ll be sure to bring you prize pool and payout information. Until then, goodnight from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.