From last to first. Not a bad way to kick off the year, eh?
New Jersey's Chris Leong took down the WPT Borgata Casino in his backyard of Atlantic City for a swanky $816K score. Not too bad of an ROI for a $3,500 investment. Leong also picked up a free seat into the WPT “Championship” at the end of the season.
When the final table began, Chris Leong was last in chips. That hinderence was short-lived. After two quick bustouts including Yevgeniy Timoshenko in fifth place, Leong was all of a sudden in the final four.
With four to go, Rafael Yaraliyev held 50% of the chips in play. WSOP champ Joe McKeehen went out in fourth and Leong made it to the final three.
Although it looked like Rafael Yaraliyev was going to run away with it, Leong took out Liam He in third place. When heads-up began Chris Leong only trailed Rafael Yaraliyev by 21M-14M.
The tedious heads-up slug-fest lasted over 100 hands. The lead bounced back and forth with each player unable to deliver a knockout blow in the first two hours. When heads-up hit its third hour, Chris Leong finally put Rafael Yaraliyev away to win the Borgata Winter Poker Open Main Event.
First place paid out over $816K plus a seat in the WPT Tournament of Champions at the end of the season.
2016 Borgata Winter Poker Open – Main Event
The next stop for the WPT will be the Falls View Classic in Niagara Falls, Canada. At the end of the month, the tour heads west for the L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.