Oct 15, 2014
2014 WSOP APAC Round-up: Events #4, #5 and #6
By RTR Dennis
Event #4 -Scott Calcagno shakes off Two "Terrible" Years to win $1,650 NL Terminator
Cash game pro Scott Calcagno hadn't had the greatest results over the past two years. "I've had a pretty rough last couple of years playing poker," Calcagno said. "Luckily I have seen a lot of my friends be very successful which has kept me motivated. But my results really have been terrible the last two years."
The Aussie's fortunes definitely changed at the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific since he recently won the Event #4 $1,650 NL Terminator. The Terminator, which means that every player has a $500 bounty on their head, drew 250 entrants and featured a prize pool worth over A$250,000. Calcagno took the largest share of this prize pool after scooping a A$61,250 first-place payout.
A couple of notable players in Brandon Shack-Harris (6th, A$11,488) and Tony Hachem (8th, A$7,008) also final tabled this event. Shack-Harris' sixth-place finish moved him within 40 points of George Danzer for the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year award.
Event #5 - Tattoo Artist Sam Higgs wins $5k PLO
Sam Higgs is not a professional poker pro, nor does he claim to be. However, those inside of Melbourne's Crown Casino couldn't tell the difference as the Aussie survived a $5,000 PLO final table that included famed pros like Jonathan Duhamel, Jeff Rossiter and Mike Watson.
Higgs began the 8-player final table with over half the chips in play. And he used this advantage to push himself past more accomplished grinders like Duhamel (3rd, A$52,068) and Rossiter (5th, A$27,011). This pitted him against Canada's Watson, a long-time pro who was seeking his first gold bracelet.
While Higgs had a 2-to-1 chip advantage, Watson was able to even up the chip count. But Higgs staved off the rally and won the tournament along with a A$127,843 payout. After taking down Event #5, Higgs told reporters, "You can't ever complain about cash, but winning a bracelet is the ultimate prize." So it doesn't look like Higgs will be giving up his full-time job of running a tattoo parlor in Melbourne any time soon.
Event #6 - Rory Young overcomes Inexperience to win $1,650 Dealer's Choice
If one were choosing a favorite prior to the start of this A$1,650 8-Game Dealer's Choice event, they wouldn't have picked Rory Young. After all, Young has just a year and a half of poker experience and he was up against a stacked 89-player field that included the likes of Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth. Nevertheless, Young overcame his inexperience and lack of familiarity with certain games.
One key that helped him out was the fact that the games he doesn't play weren't chosen very often. In dealer's choice tournaments, the player with the dealer button gets to choose what will be played from the available eight games. This, along with the fact that Young admittedly ran really well propelled him to victory. He overcame a heads-up match with Sam Khouiss to secure his first WSOP bracelet along with a A$42,720 payout.