Like many poker players, Scott Davies can trace his poker origins back to the day when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 WSOP Main Event. And ever since seeing Moneymaker achieve poker fame, Davies made it his mission to eventually win a gold bracelet. Last night, Davies achieved his decade-old dream by taking down the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event along with a A$850,136 top prize.
“Oh my god, this is amazing!” Davies said after his win. “This is the Super Bowl to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. When I decided I was going to play poker for a living I just remember Chris Moneymaker winning the Main Event and thought one day I might get a chance to do that.”
Davies had to top a 329-player field in this event to claim his first gold bracelet. And this wasn’t an easy task, considering the level of competition involved. Greg Merson, Jeff Lisandro, Joe Hachem and Phil Hellmuth were just some of the outstanding players in this $10k buy-in event. But none of them proved to be much of a threat as they busted out early on.
Some of the notables who did fare well in the APAC Main Event include Sam Higgs (32nd), Xuan Liu (31st), Aaron Lim (24th), cricket legend Shane Warne (22nd), Tobias Reinkemeier (20th) and Brandon Shack-Harris (17th). As for Shack-Harris, he was chasing a top-two finish, which would have given him the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year award. However, busting out in 17th place secured the POY for George Danzer.
Moving on to the final table, this was a nice mix of noted pros and amateurs. Ang Italiano belonged in the latter category as she satellited into the APAC Main Event through a $130 feeder. And the “Last Woman Standing” couldn’t have been disappointed with her sixth-place effort and A$118,769 prize. Henry Wang was another intriguing amateur, as he battled towards a third-place finish and A$343,805 payout.
His elimination set up a heads-up match between Davies and Britain’s Jack Salter for the title. The latter came into this tourney with plenty of accomplishments and over $1.5 million in live winnings. But Davies was no slouch either, with over $400k in live earnings. He also had a slight chip advantage, which proved to be a mute point as both players battled back and forth for two hours.
In the end, Davies got the better end of the deck and prevailed. “If there was ever a day to run good, this was the day to run good,” he said. “I picked up aces twice and then flopped a full house when Jack flops trips to win the event. This is probably the best I’ve ever run in a single day.”
2014 WSOP APAC Final Table Results (All AUD)
1. Scott Davies (USA) – $850,136
2. Jack Salter (UK) – $516,960
3. Henry Wang (Taiwan) – $343,805
4. Kyle Montgomery (USA) – $231,287
5. Frank Kassela (USA) – $164,089
6. Ang Italiano (Australia) – $118,769