Steve O’Dwyer Wins ACOP High Roller, Colman Seventh
Steve O’Dwyer is making a big splash on the pages of FlushDraw today, as in addition to the article about his campaign to raise the profile about an exploit players are abusing online, he’s also managed to win a major poker event.
The HK$500,000 (~$64,500) buy in Super High Roller at the PokerStars 2014 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) stop at PokerStars Live in Macau saw 52 players battle over three days, before eight of them earned a return on their investments.
The bubble had burst during the previous day’s action, leaving just the final eight players to determine which one of them was going to take home the lion’s share of the HKD$48,470,400 ($6,260,000) prize pool. The eight returning players included seven professionals and one Hong Kong businessman. That businessman was Kitson Kho, whose survival to the cash had already garnered him his biggest result to date. His previous biggest results were a pair of APPT scores and a WSOP cash that totaled less than the buy-in for this Super High Roller.
The others at the table may have brighter stars than Kho, but this game has a habit of seeing new names rise and fall on a regular basis. A name that needed no introduction following his tear through the tournament world this year was Dan Colman. Colman had already won over $22.5 million in 2014 before he’d played a hand in this event, and making final tables seems to be almost automatic for the American.
Other names at the final table included EPT Winner Davidi Kitai, Connor Drinan (the guy who lost pocket aces vs pocket aces in the Big One for One Drop earlier this year), Ryan Fee, Pratyush Buddiga, 2010 WSOP Main event third-place finisher Joseph Cheong, and 2012 EPT Grand Final Winner Steve O’Dwyer. It certainly couldn’t be described as a “soft” table. Cheong went into the final day with a decent chip lead, holding over 12.6 million chips, ahead of O’Dwyer’s and Buddiga’s stacks of around eight million.
An hour or so in, all eight still sat at the table, and Joseph Cheong remained in the lead. O’Dwyer had chipped up to over 9 million, closely followed by Ryan Fee, who had picked up chips from Kitai.
Kitai only survived about 20 more minutes, as he was the first to be eliminated from the event. Davidi moved his short stack of 680K over the line from middle position. He got a call from Dan Colman who was sitting with the button in front of him. Colman was behind, holding QcJd against Kitai’s Kh8h. Prior to this hand, the players had been joking about how well Colman has been running this year, so when the board came 9cKsTc and he picked up the nut straight, the table burst into laughter. A little harsh for Kitai, but that was probably the last thing on his mind as the 6s turn and the 9h river failed to help him. He picked up HK$2,420,400 (US$312,091) for his troubles. As he came to the table as one of the shorter stacks, his early exit wasn’t a major surprise, but the only shorter stack was Colman, who was now up to around 5.5 million chips.
The chips in Colman’s stack weren’t still for long, as another massive hand was soon on the way. Colman opened to 375K from the hijack, and Cheong raised from the small blind to exactly one million. The action then rolled around to Steve O’Dwyer, who four-bet to 2.21 million. Colman was left in a spot that was going to be either shove or fold as a call would be for just under half his stack. He shoved his remaining chips into the middle and Cheong gracefully bowed out of the hand. O’Dwyer made the call and the cards were flipped onto their backs. Colman was holding AcKc, but O’Dwyer was miles ahead as he was holding AsAh. Colman was having to fall back on his luck again, and this time the flop failed him as it came 7s8c4d. Ryan Fee decided to needle Colman, and announced to the table “Don’t worry, you run so good you’ll catch runner runner here…” The 9c fell on the turn, giving Colman a flush draw, but Fate obviously had other ideas as the 6h river washed away Colman’s hopes. He did add another HKD$2,900,000 (US$373,932) to his outstanding results for 2014.
After some more final-table action, the six remaining players were becoming the haves and the have-nots. Connor Drinan was down to 1.1 million, and Kho wasn’t doing much better with only 2 million in front of him. Pratyush Buddiga was a little better with 5.3 million, but Ryan Fee had 10.5 million. Cheong’s stack was 12 million chips deep, and O’Dwyer held the chip lead with 16 million in front of him.
Kitson Kho was the next to go. He pushed his remaining 1.75 million with AhTc, and Buddiga made the call holding the dominating AcKd. Local lad Kho was in need of help, but the cards really weren’t on his side. The flop fell Js2h5d, giving no one a sweat, and the 3h and 3d completed the board to send the chips to Buddiga. Kho’s sixth-place finish saw him add a HKD$3,400,000 ($438,403) score to his Hendon Mob page.
It was another hour before we saw another player leave their seat for the last time. Pratyush Buddiga opened the action from the button, raising it to 525k. Cheong announced he was all in for his remaining 5.3 million chips. Pratyush made the call to put Cheong’s tournament life on the line. In a classic race, Cheong’s AhJs was behind Buddiga’s 5h5c. The board ran out with brick after brick for Cheong, and he failed to hit any helpful cards. His 5th place earned him HKD$4,100,000 (US$528,663), and left the table with just 4 players.
It took two running hands to eliminate the next player from the ACOP Super High Roller final table. The first saw Connor Drinan open shoved from the button for around 8 million, and Ryan Fee made the call from the small blind. When the card were flipped over, Drinan was probably happy to see he was racing. Connor held Ah9d and Fee’s 7h7d was only just ahead. Fee called for a seven on the flop, and the poker gods smiled on him as the community cards dealt were 5s7cKs. The Ac on the turn gave a sweat, but the 2d river saw all but 300,000 of Drinan’s stack slid to Fee.
The next hand saw the end of Drinan, as he shoved all in for less than a blind from 1st position. Buddiga limped on the button, and O’Dwyer checked his option in the big blind. The flop was dealt to show 6d2cJd, and both the remaining active players checked. The 4d turn re-opened the action, as O’Dwyer’s 400k bet saw Buddiga fold.
With the action heads up, the cards were turned over. Drinan had Qd8c, and was looking for a forth diamond to beat O’Dwyer’s turned flush, as he held 5d3d. The colour was right, but the suit wasn’t as the river was the 2h. Connor picked up HKD$5,100,000 (US$657,605) for his 4th place finish, leaving the table with just three gladiators fighting for the title.
3rd place left the table right on the heels of Drinan. Buddiga shoved his remaining 5 million chips from the small blind, and got a call from O’Dwyer. Buddiga had got caught with the Kc2c and O’Dwyer had him dominated with Kd7h. The community cards were effectively useless as they helped no-one, and busted Pratyush Buddiga in third place for HKD$6,550,000 (US$844,571).
Heads up play lasted for 48 hands, and saw Steve O’Dwyer start with a 2 to 1 chip lead over Ryan Fee. O’Dwyer kept the chips lead throughout the battle, but Fee did not make it easy for him to maintain. The final hand started with Fee’s opening raise from the button to 1.3 million. O’Dwyer called, and the flop came down Qs9h7h bringing a check from O’Dwyer. Fee fired out a 1.6 million continuation bet and Steve called to bring the 3h turn. O’Dwyer checked again, and took an age to call Fee’s 4 million chip bet. The river was the 5h, putting a 4 card flush on the board. Steve checked for a third time, and Fee continued his aggression, with a 10 million shove. O’Dwyer went into the tank, leaning back in his chair. After what must have seemed like a very long time, he finally made the call.
Fee turned over 6s5d for a pair of fives, but he had always been behind O’Dwyer’s Qc8h for a rivered flush. Fee ended the day with a pay day of HKD$9,950,000 ($1,282,975) to go with his second place trophy.