Sylvia, Thomas, 888poker Team Ready for Inaugural WSOP APAC

Jesse Sylvia
Jesse Sylvia

The 888poker team will be out in full force at the first-ever World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific next week.

Over the last year 888poker pros Russell Thomas, Jesse Sylvia, Jake Balsiger and Sam Holden have become fixtures of the tournament circuit, each with notable cashes and victories. 

WSOP APAC represents another chance for the team to further establish itself in the poker world.

“I’m really excited,” said Sylvia.

“I think the WSOP APAC will be awesome. It’s great to have more chances to win a bracelet and the schedule looks great. I also really like Melbourne a lot and had a great time when I stayed at the Crown last.” 

Sylvia was the runner-up finisher in the 2013 Main Event for $5.2 million but is rapidly proving he’s no one-hit wonder with deep runs in both the PCA Main Event and the WPT LAPC.

“It was fun to go deep in something else,” said Sylvia.

“I’ve been putting a lot of time into improving my tournament game lately so it’s nice to get some results. I want to win something though. Taking second definitely gives you that hunger to take something down.”

One of the five bracelet events at the WSOP APAC would certainly fit that bill.

Thomas Riding Sunday Million Momentum to WSOP APAC

Russell Thomas
Russell Thomas

Thomas has more reason to be excited for WSOP APAC than most. He recently outlasted 8,407 to win the Sunday Million for $219k this week. It’s one of the toughest online tournaments in the world to win. 

“It all happened so fast, there wasn’t nearly as much build up as the Main Event,” he said. “Obviously making the Main Event final table is way more epic but this was definitely the second coolest experience of my life.”

Interestingly Thomas didn’t say he felt particularly validated by the win.

“The win isn't really validation because I know I'm not an MTT player who has played 40,000 tournaments and grinded the Sunday Million every Sunday for years,” he said.

“This is like my seventh Sunday Million since Black Friday.”

That said, Thomas did mention that the intensive training he did with Jason Somerville leading up to the Main Event helped him at the Sunday Million final table.

Now Thomas’ attention, like the rest of Team 888, will shift to Australia for WSOP APAC.

“I’m definitely looking forward to WSOP APAC,” he said.

“I think it's a great addition to the international circuit simply due to the venue.  It also gives some Asia Pacific players a chance to win some bracelets close to home!”

Crown Exterior
The site of the 2013 WSOP APAC.

The 888poker team is tighter than ever and Thomas said it’s beneficial for everyone (except their opponents).

“Jesse and I spent a bit of time with Jake in Barcelona and Cannes, but most recently I think we all became better friends in Melbourne for the Aussie Millions earlier this year,” said Thomas.

“It was there we planned to rent a place in Mexico to grind online together this month.  We all kind of think about the game a little bit differently and we all make each other better.”

Sylvia echoed that thought.

“I'm very lucky to be on a team with such positive, outgoing people,” he said.

“Often times, people get so caught up in poker that they forget about the world around them, and all the amazing stuff that's going on. That's certainly not the case for the guys on the team.”

The 2013 WSOP APAC at the Crown Casino is set to take place April 4-15. PokerListings is the official live coverage provider in partnership with 888poker.

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