The 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific festival was winding down when Day 3 of the AU$25,000 High Roller saw six players return to finish a quest they had started days before. The quest was to stand at the top of the field and take home the coveted gold bracelet and AU$600,000 for finishing in first place.
Mike Leah claimed the honor and his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet after starting the final day with a monster chip lead.
AU$25,000 High Roller Payouts
|2||David Yan||New Zealand||$360,025|
Leah had sat at a WSOP final table before — four of them — in his quest for gold but ended up heading for the rail after finishing in third, fifth, and seventh-place twice. This time, however, he was going to write his own piece of poker history.
Even though the 40-year-old Canadian professional poker player started the day with over 50% of the chips in play, the competition left in the field was like tackling a granite rock pile with a plastic spoon; he faced Brian Roberts, Jonathan Duhamel, Sam Khouiss, Jesse Sylvia, and David Yan.
Roberts was first to fall by the wayside in sixth place. Khouiss and Duhamel were knocked out of the competition on the same hand by Sylvia. Sylvia hit the rail shortly after in third place. And then it was heads-up between Leah and Yan. Leah had never made it this far in his quest for gold in the previous final tables — he only had one player standing in his way.
Leah slipped into high-pressure-overdrive and started chipping away until he had Yan down to under 700,000 with 5,100,000 chips in play. Yan managed to fight back to seven figures, but Leah didn't stop applying the pressure and worked Yan back down to under 700,000. Then the final hand took place with Leah holding the against Yan's .
Hand #77: Leah announced all-in from the button and Yan called with the last of his chips.
The flop of gave Yan a backdoor flush draw. By the time the hit the turn, Yan's tournament life depended on a 4 on the river. The sent him home with a runner-up finish.
Along with his first WSOP gold bracelet, Leah also claimed the AU$600,000 in prize money. It's the second largest score of Leah's live tournament winnings — he finished runner-up to Daniel Colman in August for $1,047,638.
Read the full tournament report at PokerNews Live Reporting.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com.