Wednesday April 10,2013 : U.S. PLAYER CLAIMS FIRST AUSSIE W.S.O.P. BRACELET
 
Online poker ace Bryan Piccioli receives the first WSOP winner's bracelet to be awarded in an Aussie event
 
Bryan Piccioli, at 24 years already a seasoned online and tournament poker pro from New York state, has claimed the record for the first World Series of Poker winner's bracelet to be awarded on Australian soil.
 
The young American, who started playing in 2004 and has well over $5 million in online career earnings to his credit, along with almost $400,000 in live tournaments, beat a talented final table and a tough heads up opponent to win the first event in the inaugural  World Series of Poker Asia Pacific festival, which started in Melbourne, Australia this week.
 
The tournament is offering players the chance to win a WSOP bracelet in five of its events, and Piccioli, better known online as “the_czar19”, earned the first one by winning the $1,100 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Accumulator on its third day of action.
 
The controversial format for the event, which allowed players to enter all three starting flights, carrying their chips through from each Day 1, made it possible to enter the third day with up to 60,000 chips.
 
When the final table formed, Piccioli faced Jonathan Karamalikis, Jay Loo, WSOP Vegas champ Jonathan Duhamel, Jeremy Ausmus, Graeme Putt, Iori Yogo, Peter Kleugden and Ryan Otto, battling through to a heads up confrontation with Karamalikis in which he held a start lead of almost three quarters of a million.
 
Despite the best efforts of his talented opponent, Piccioli retained his lead to eventually claim the game and the main prize of A$ 211,575…and the record setting bracelet.
 
Karamalikis took home a second placing check for A$ 130,000, and WSOP champion Duhamel only managed a fourth place for A$71,870.
 
In related news, the second bracelet in the tournament went to another American online pro when Jim ‘Mr_BigQueso' Collopy took down the A$1,650 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event after besting a field of 172.
 
The field included a number of big names in the game, several of which made the final table of Edison Nguyen, Tino Lechich, Scott Reid, Dan Shak, Paul Sharbanee, Mike Leah, Martin Kozlov and Marvin Rettenmaier.
 
The heads up saw Collopy pitted against Edison Nguyen in match which turned out to be a thriller, with Collopy almost busting out before fighting back to eventually eliminate a hard-charging opponent.
 
The win gave Collopy a bracelet and the A$69,662 main prize, leaving the runner up with A$43,050 and plenty of respect.