A total of 346 entries were made in 2023 The World Series of Poker at the Poker Gardens The Hold’em Main Event is priced at $5,250, building a total prize pool of nearly $1.7 million. After two trekking starts and four more days of work, that field of hundreds has been reduced to just one player in Ky Nguyen.
The 37-year-old Los Angeles native known in the cash gaming circles as “Suited Superman” just came out with his first game WPT title and first prize of $357,380. It was his biggest tournament score ever, as he squandered the $53,303 he earned as the winner of a $240 buy-in event during 2016. Liz Flynt Fall Poker Classic.
“I’ve tried to play many tournaments and I’ve finally gotten this far,” said Nguyen. WPT correspondents. “I am overwhelmed with joy.”
Nguyen now has over $700,000 in tournament winnings registered to his name. This last run also saw it receive a 960 card player Player of the Year points. He now sits inside the top 150 in 2023 POY Race order, which is provided by Global Poker.
While the event was up and running at The Gardens Casino in the Los Angeles area, the final table was recorded and broadcast live from the HyperX Arena located at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The final six are decided on Thursday, May 25th. They then traveled to Las Vegas, with work resuming on Saturday, May 27.
When the Cards were back in the air, Ryan Salonga took the lead and Nguyen was fourth
chip position. Josh Lachman made it to the final table with only three big starts in his collection. On the second day of the day, he called everything from the big blind with an 8-3 fit and was against Salonga’s A-9 fit. Neither player improved and Lachman was sent home $71,200 for his efforts.
It took a few more orbits for the second takedown hand to arrive. Like Lachman, Joey Deluca was very short on the day. He eventually called it all with J-10 fitting out of the big curtain, only to find himself in rough shape facing Chris Lee’s bracelet winner’s pocket jacks. The big pair held out, losing DeLuca to fifth ($94,000).
WPT Ambassador Brad Owen was next in the fall. The popular poker vlogger and host of The Encounters was down to 15 big blinds when he picked the right K-6 on the button. It all moved and he ended up facing AJ of Nguyen. An ace at the turn left Owen drawing dead, and he was sent to the rails with $125,000 for his fourth-place appearance. It was the biggest tournament result to date for cash gaming-focused Owen, who is 35 and resides in Las Vegas. He now has approximately $493,000 in winnings recorded on the track.
With that, Nguyen settled into second place behind Salonga. Lee was the shortest stack at the table, until he won it all with A-4 edging pocket scores from Nguyen to create a virtual tie for the second time. After a few hands on Lee, Nguyen picked up a big multi-trick from Salunga to take the lead.
A few hands later, Lee was again with an A-4 against the pocket pair of Nguyen, who this time was dealt a two-cap. Lee hit four on the flop, but came out to finish third for $169,000. He now has over $1.5 million in lifetime tournament earnings after this recent deep run.
The head-to-head game started with Nguyen having 10,350,000 to Salunga’s 7,050,000. After a few small bowls to start, Nguyen won a big bout with the top pair against Salunga’s high king to take over 3.5:1. He kept pressing his advantage to the point where he still held more than 5:1 even after Salonga took a double.
On the final hand, Nguyen pushed off the button with a Q8 Salonga called out the all-in-ten big blinds with J10. Board ran out 88462 Nguyen’s eight trip secured her the bowl and the title. Salunga earned $230,000 as runner-up.
Here is a look at payments and POY Points awarded at the final table:
|2||Ryan Salonga||230 thousand dollars||800|
Image credits: WPT / Drew Amato.