With over $3.3 million in live tournament winnings and plenty of huge online poker victories, Mike Leah was starting to enter those discussions about the greatest poker player to never win a gold bracelet. However, Leah finally got his first bracelet in the 2014 WSOP Asia-Pacific $25k High Roller.
Like any high roller victory, this one certainly wasn’t easy as the Canadian was pitted against a stacked 68-player field. Despite the tough competition, Leah built a stack so big that he had over half the chips in play when the final table started. From here, the skilled pro used his advantage to bully other players and adapt when the table dynamic changed.
Leah’s prize for his expert play was a massive A$600,000 payout. Other players who fared well include Jesse Sylvia (3rd, A$216,811), Jonathan Duhamel (4th, A$145,003) and Brian Roberts (6th, A$85,027).
Following the win, Leah expressed relief about winning his first bracelet. “I’m obviously very happy – I don’t know if it has sunk in yet,” he said. “I’ve been trying to accomplish this goal for so long. There is just relief that I’ve finally done it.”
Leah went on to discuss how badly things were going for him at the 2014 WSOP APAC, before he turned it around with the high roller win:
I just tried to stay focused on every single hand. I didn’t want to think too far ahead. I wanted to bully the table around, but was trying to find a balance between using my chips and not being reckless.
This has been a great year for me. The first nine events here I felt I really played awful. I punted a bunch of events and wasn’t happy with how I played. It just seems once I can get into a tournament and off to a good start, getting a lot of chips, I really zone in. All the tournaments I have done well in this year have been like that.
2014 WSOP APAC $25k High Roller (AUD)
1st: Mike Leah – $600,000
2nd: David Yan- $360,025
3rd: Jesse Sylvia – $216,811
4th: Jonathan Duhamel – $145,003
5th: Sam Khouiss – $110,078
6th: Brian Roberts $85,027
7th: Sam Higgs – $65,035
8th: Andrew Hinrichsen – $50,021