Chris Leong Outlasts Big Names for WPT Borgata Crown, $816K
The New York-based poker pro had several smaller results on his resume but took it to the next level at Borgata by outlasting two of the best players on the tournament circuit.
World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe McKeehen and former WPT World Champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko were also at the final table but neither could beat Leong to the crown.
Even more impressively Leong came back from being the shortstack at the final table to win his first major title.
Heads-Up Battle with Yaraliyev goes 100 Hands
With Timoshenko going out fifth and McKeehen fourth the two surprising heads-up opponents were Leong and Rafael Yaraliyev, who came into the final table with a massive chip lead.
He held on to a 2-1 advantage over Leong heading into the heads-up showdown but that disappeared quickly when Leong won a 20m-chip pot on the second hand.
Still it took 100 more hands of an up-and-down struggle for Leong to finally overcome and claim the WPT Borgata WInter Poker Open crown.
Leong also earned a seat in the end-of-season WPT Championship. Complete WPT Borgata final-table results and payouts:
1. Chris Leong – $816,246
2. Rafael Yaraliyev – $487,288
3. Liam He – $297,995
4. Joe McKeehen – $249,267
5. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $206,160
6. Matthew Wantman – $166,803