The World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open Championship gave average joe Guo Liang Chen a place in the WPT Champions Club and almost $800,000 earlier this week. Chen beat a field of 1,132 for first-place, including poker giant Cliff Josephy, and the win marked his largest score to date.
He certainly wasn’t humble in victory, however, stating “I’m a very gifted player, so I definitely thought I could make it.”
The final table of six came together after the elimination of notable players like Scott Blumstein, Maurice Hawkins, and Steve Sung. Muarem Kica was the last person to hit the rail before the final table began.
Thomas Paul eliminated Kica, but lost most of his stack soon after when Chen challenged his Q♧-J♧ with pocket kings. A board of A♤-8♢-2♧-10♧-3♢ did nothing for Paul’s suited connectors and Chen’s kings stole the majority of Paul’s chips. Chen managed to finish him off shortly thereafter when his A-K paired on the river against an unmatched Q-7. Paul earned $161,247 for his sixth-place finish.
Josephy was next to find himself in a tough spot. He had just 14 big blinds left when he shoved with an A♢-3♡. Gregory Weber, a New Jersey native, called with Q♤-J♤ and paired his jack on the flop, eventually taking the hand and sending the former November Niner to the rail.
Matt Parry went home in fourth when he ran an A♢-Q♢ into Gergory Weber’s A♧-K♤. The board paired Weber’s king quickly, eliminating the New Yorker. The win of $240,965 pushed Parry’s lifetime earnings over the $1 million mark.
It took over 40 hands, but Chen finally got back in on the eliminations against Jia Liu when he held a K♡-Q♢ against Liu’s Q♧-J♧. After failing to seal the deal on several one-on-one hands against Lui, this one stuck and Chen sent the third-place player home with $288,071.
When heads-up play began, Chen had almost a two-to-one chip lead over Weber. He continued to build on his lead as the day went on, and he eventually finished Weber off with big slick. After Weber shoved with K♡-9♤, Chen snap-called with his A-K, and the ace-high held up when the board missed everything.
Final table results:
Chen’s winnings include a $15,000 Tournament of Champions seat.
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