Chris Leong emerged victorious at the WPT Winter Poker Open Championship, beating a field of 1,171 players for a $816,246 payday.
The $3,500 buy-in WPT Winter Poker Open Championship, held at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, saw a pool worth $3,748,371 being created.
Leong played solid poker for six days to take home the coveted WPT title.
The New York resident has been a regular on the poker circuit since 2010, but this latest triumph was the biggest score of his career, which boasts of $1,194,968 in lifetime earnings.
Some of the notable players that managed to earn a return on their investment during the World Poker Tour’s stop at the Borgata Hotel included Mukul Pahuja in 24th ($16,868), Aaron Mermelstein in 19th ($16,868), Kane Kalas in 17th ($20,054), Kou Vang in 15th ($29,987), Aaron Overton in 11th ($44,793), and Keith Morrow in 7th ($131,193).
Interestingly, Chris was the shortest stack on the final day of the event that had players likes 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, and 2009 WPT winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko.
Six players made it to the final table and after a series of eliminations, it was left for Chris and Rafael to fight it out for the title.
At the heads up, Yaraliyev held a 21.7m to 14.3m chip advantage over Leong. But the later emerged on top for 106 hands. The final hand of the game was played when Leong (A-8) went all-in preflop. Yaraliyev called with pocket queens. The board ran A-6-4-J-5 to consign Rafael Yaraliyev to a runner-up finish for $487,288, while Leong scripted a memorable win.
Final Table Results:
1 Chris Leong $816,246
2 Rafael Yaraliyev $487,288
3 Liam He $297,995
4 Joe McKeehen $249,267
5 Yevgeniy Timoshekno $206,160
6 Matthew Wantman $166,803
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