The 2014 WSOP APAC $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament brought 80 players to the battle of the green felt wars, all looking for a gold bracelet and the top share of the AU$376,000 prize pool. When the smoke and broken dreams of two days of play had been put to rest, six of them returned to the Crown Casino ready to play down to the last one standing. In a short three-hour time span that contained 110 hands, Melbourne local and tattoo shop owner Sam Higgs walked away with the AU$127,843 first-place prize.
Mike Watson was in the small blind on the third hand of the day and he raised to 12,000. German pro Ismael Bojang answered with a pot size raise, Watson raised, and Bojang went all-in for about 55,000 total.
The flop left little hope for Bojang but the turn gave him both straight and flush draws. The on the river sent Bojang to the rail in sixth place for AU$21,123, marking his 11th WSOP in 2014.
Jeff Rossiter was short stacked on Hand #39 and put all his chips in with but couldn't beat Watson's . The board left Rossiter with a blank and he was gone in fifth place for AU$27,011 in prize money.
Day 1 chip leader Jamie Pickering made his exit on Hand #44 when he went all-in on the turn with kings and Higgs crushed him with the nut flush. Next to go was 2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel — he pushed his stack all-in preflop with the and Higgs was right there with the .
Then it was down to Sam Higgs and Mike Watson. Higgs was ahead by a slight margin but Watson solved that within three hands. Higgs was relentless and took the chip lead back and just kept building. Heads-up play went for 55 hands — Hand #110 of the final table — and then it was all over.
Higgs button limped and called a raise to 24,000 from Watson. By this time Watson was at a 5-1 chip disadvantage. The flop brought a bet of 48,000 from Watson — Higgs called. Then Watson shoved all-in for his last 87,000 when the came on the turn. Higgs thought about it, and as he called, said, "gamble."
Watson was ahead with kings and an open-ended straight draw to improve his chances of wearing a gold bracelet home. Higgs was drawing — he had a a flush draw and his own straight draw.
"More outs than I thought," Higgs said. The peeled off on the river. Higgs had his straight and Watson was going to settle for his fourth runner-up finish in a WSOP event.
In January Higgs won a PLO event at the Aussie Millions and to add to his poker resume, he just took home his first WSOP gold bracelet, and the AU$127,843 first-place prize.
Read the entire tournament report over at PokerNews Live Reporting.
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