Cincinnati’s Kenny Hsiung earned $165,205 for winning the $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em event #48 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas.
It took more than 14 hours’ play on Day 3, which included a two-hour heads-up encounter with New Jersey’s Robert ‘Action Bob’ Hwang, before 29-year-old Hsiung emerged victorious for his first WSOP bracelet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Hsiung started his heads-up encounter with Hwang holding a massive chip lead of 1,725,000 over 500,000, although the latter battled back to even up the match as the next two hours saw the lead exchanged numerous times – before Hsiung started to pull away.
Champ Overcomes Robert Hwang
The final hand saw Hsiung, on the button, raise and Hwang call to see of a flop of J♦ 7♥ 8♣. Hwang then checked, Hsiung made a bet and Hwang raised. Hsiung then re-raised and Hwang made the call to see the Q♥ arrive as the turn.
That’s when the rest of the chips hit the middle of the table as Hwang showed 6♠ 5♥ for an open-ended straight draw, while Hsiung revealed K♣ 9♣ for a king high. The Q♣ river paired the board to ensure that Hsiung was crowned the champion and Hwang picked up $102,118 as runner-up.
The tournament started with 247 players, but just 20 made it into Day 3 as several big-name pros cashed but failed to make the final table, including Vladimir Shchmelev (20th for $5,799), Justin Bonomo (19th for $5,799), Brandon Young (18th for $7,303), Jonathan Duhamel (17th for $7,303), Joseph Kuether (16th for $7,303) and Chad Brown (14th for $9,272).
Cary Marshall Exits in 13th
Paul Berende, of the Netherlands, started the day as chip leader, while Hsiung, John Virtue and Cary Marshall were close by. However, Alaska’s Marshall failed to make the final table, falling in 13th place for $9,272.
Shchmelev and Bonomo were eliminated pretty quickly, but play slowed down somewhat thereafter – only for the survivors to be chopped back from 18 to 11 within an hour of level 19 starting. Then, just six minutes into level 20, the nine-handed final table had been reached when Arizona’s Jason Manger exited in 10th place for $11,780.
California’s Stephen Hung was the first to leave the final table in ninth place for $15,098 when his ace-ten lost out to the pocket nines of Mitchell Davis on a board of K♠ 7♥ 3♦ K♥ 9♠.
John Myung Out in Eighth
John Myung, of Virginia, was the next to hit the rail in eighth place for $19,474, followed by the initial final table chip leader, Davis, in seventh for $25,266. California’s Davis had taken a few hits to his stack – including a massive pot to Dwyte Pilgrim – before busting out to new chip leader Hsiung.
Matthew Woodward, of Maine, and Brooklyn’s Pilgrim were next to hit the rail in sixth and fifth respectively for $32,994 and $43,345. Guyana-born Pilgrim, who had been as low as just a single big blind on Day 2, managed to climb into the chip lead during the final table but bust out to Berende.
Dutchman Eliminated in Fourth
The Dutch player was still short-stacked, however, and just couldn’t get going when play became four-handed, with Hwang sending him to the rail in fourth place for $57,310.
Hwang showed A♣ 4♦ to face Berende’s K♣ 2♦ on a A♦ 3♦ 10♠ flop. The 2♣ turn handed Berende some outs, but the 9♣ river saw him eliminated from the tournament.
Hsiung started to move away just as California’s John Virtue began to sink, with the latter being left crippled after Hsiung turned a flush to beat the flopped set of Virtue. The next hand saw Virtue eliminated in third for $76,244.
Jesse Martin is Bubble Boy
Day 2 had seen 126 players take their seats in the Rio, with Jesse Martin, of Massachusetts, burst the bubble in 28th place after hand-for-hand play lasted 80 minutes or 24 hands.
Of course, some big-name pros failed to cash, including Day 2 chip leader Sam Barnhart, Jimmy Fricke, Jerrod Ankenman, Dutch Boyd, Todd Brunson, Humberto Brenes, Jingjing Liu, Ronnie Bardah, Alex Dovzhenko, Shawn Keller, Aubin Cazals, Leonid Bilokur, Jarred Solomon, Al Barbieri and Daniel Negreanu.
While those pros crashed out without picking up a penny, several others made the money but failed to last into Day 3, including David Steicke (26th), Maria Ho (25th), Yakov Kirsch (24th), Jeramy Govert (23rd) and Jeff Shulman (21st) – all for $5,799.
WSOP 2012 Event #48 Top 10 Payouts
- Kenny Hsiung (USA) – $165,205
- Robert Hwang (USA) – $102,118
- John Virtue (USA) – $76,244
- Paul Berende (Netherlands) – $57,310
- Dwyte Pilgrim (USA) – $43,345
- Matthew Woodward (USA) – $32,994
- Mitchell Davis (USA) – $25,266
- John Myung (USA) – $19,474
- Stephen Hung (USA) – $15,098
- Jason Manger (USA) – $11,780