Joseph Cheong just won the first bracelet of his career in Event #34: $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold’em of the 50th Annual World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Cheong takes home the first-place prize of $687,782 for his victory after defeating a four-figure field of 6,214 players, putting him at over $6,300,000 in total earnings at the World Series of Poker.
With multiple previous victories including a third place finish in the 2010 WSOP Main Event for over four million, today was just a regular day for Cheong.
“I have been playing poker for so long, it was just another day at work.”
Cheong had a decent stack during most of the tournament and managed to get closer to the top of the leaderboard when things mattered most, eventually bagging a massive chip lead for the final day with 100 big blinds in the bag. He was responsible for four eliminations at the final table.
With tons of experience, multiple final tables, three Circuit rings, and a massive chip lead, Cheong didn’t need much preparation for the final day.
“Me and my friends shared a bottle of wine, I slept really late, yep, that was my preparation.”
Day 5 started with 6 players returning to the felt and within the first eight hands, only 3 players were left standing.
Soon after, Cheong eliminated Xu and found himself heads-up against David Ivers. Both of his opponents played their best game and the chip lead was going back and forth between the two of them during most of Day 4. Indeed, Ivers started the official final table as the chip leader.
“I think David (Ivers) was probably the toughest opponent on the table, but Zinan (Xu) played a little different from most grinders, which kinda threw me off a lot. So, he was probably the most dangerous opponent for me,” Cheong said.
When the heads-up portion of play started, Cheong had over a 3 to 1 chip lead. He didn’t waste time and quickly started applying pressure, soon extending his lead to an 8 to 1 chip advantage. Ivers managed to find a double when he was down to 18 bigs with tens against Cheon’s sixes in an all-in preflop situation to get the stacks back to the starting point. However, that didn’t last long as Cheong quickly won his chips back and it was all over when Cheong moved all with king-jack and Ivers made the call with ace-three for his last 15 blinds. Cheong flopped a king and that was it for Ivers' tournament life.
As for Cheong, he doesn't plan on taking a break. Indeed, he's going straight back to the grind.
“I am jumping into the bounty tournament immediately, okay, maybe a bathroom break and a beer before I’ll jump in.”
Final Table Results
|1||Joseph Cheong||United States||$687,782|
|2||David Ivers||United States||$424,791|
|5||Arianna Son||United States||$176,820|
|6||Ido Ashkenazi||United States||$133,970|
|7||David Guay||United States||$102,258|
|9||Brock Wilson||United States||$60,930|
Final Table Action
Brock Wilson was the first casualty of the final table when David Ivers jammed on the cutoff with jack-seven and Wilson made the call with his last twelve bigs with ace-queen. The flop brought a jack and that was it for Wilson’s fantastic run.
Ivan Deyra was next to go when he three-bet shoved his last twelve bigs from the big blind with sixes and got called by Cheong with king queen. Cheong flopped a king and Deyra couldn’t recover and headed to the rail instead in 8th place.
He was followed to the rail by David Guay in 7th place. David Guay was extremely short. He shoved his last 4 blinds with after flopping bottom pair from the big blind only to be snap-called by David Ivers who held jacks. The turn and river bricked and that was the end of Guay’s tournament life.
Ido Ashkenazi was eliminated on the very first of the final day. He jammed his last twelve bigs with ace-jac from the hijack and got snap-called by Cheong who held jacks. The board was of no help to him and he was eliminated in 6th place.
Arianna Son headed to the exit in 5th place. She was all in for her last 7 big blinds with queen-jack suited against David Ivers’ nine-deuce. Ivers hit a nine on the flop and Son couldn’t recover.
The very next hand, Andrea Buonocore became Iver’s next victim. Buonocore called a shove from Ivers with queen-ten against Iver’s king-jack. The flop was jack-high and this ended the italian’s deep run.
Zinan Xu was sent to the payout desk in 3rd place. Xu was the shortest stack during the three-handed portion of play and put up a strong fight. However, it all ended for him in a post-flop situation when he called a shove from Cheong on the river with top pair only to see Cheong’s two pair.
With Cheong holding more than a 3 to 1 chip advantage against David Ivers, the heads-up portion of play only lasted an hour. Cheong kept chipping up and although Ivers found a double up at some point, Cheong quickly gained his chips back and Ivers chipped down to 15 big blinds. He put his last chips at risk with ace-three after calling a shove from Cheong with king-jack. Cheong flopped a pair of kings and the turn and river bricked for Ivers and he was sent home as the runner-up as Cheong claimed the title.
Other notables to cash include Jack Sinclair (27th place - $23,701), Denis Timofeev ($12,760), Timur Margolin ($12,760), Alexander Ziksin ($10,447) and Marcel Vonk ($7,278).