After Losing Huge Lead, Red Hot Bin Weng Wins WPT SHR Poker Showdown
Another day, another tournament win for Bin Weng, who took down the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown on Thursday in Las Vegas for $1,128,250. And now he can go get some sleep and try to win yet another final table on Friday.
Weng, who lives in Pennsylvania, is on the heater of a lifetime and apparently cannot be stopped this year. The $3,500 buy-in tournament began in late April at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, where it played down to the final six. Play was paused for a few weeks and the remaining players traveled across the country to the Esports Arena at Luxor.
The champ can’t spend much time celebrating his big win because less than 20 hours after winning the SHRPS, he’ll return to the same venue to compete at the final table of the WPT Choctaw tournament, where he also holds the chip lead. First place in that event pays $400,740 and he could become the first player ever to win consecutive World Poker Tour events.
Weng Loses Lead, Rallies to Win
Weng entered the final table with larger than a 2-1 chip advantage over everyone else. Early on, he was pretty much unstoppable and quickly extended his lead.
The shortest stack entering the final table, Rafael Farah, was his first victim and went home in sixth place for $238,000. Jack Thu was next out the door in fifth place ($312,000) when he moved all in preflop with a weaker ace to that of Weng, who held on in the hand.
Weng won a race to eliminate David Mzareulov in fourth place ($550,000) and had over 70% of all chips in play at that point. Shortly after, he’d win a 60/40 to take out Mitch Garshofsky (third place for $745,000), which brought about heads-up play against Sridhar Sangannagari who’d never won a live poker tournament.
When heads-up play in the 612-player tournament began, Weng had more than a 4-1 chip advantage and seemed to be unstoppable. But the wheels would quickly come off when his opponent started to pick up a couple of small pots right off the bat, and then Sangannagari would continue to chip away at that lead.
Before long, the match was almost even, and then it turned completely around when Weng attempted a massive bluff with jack-high that didn’t get through against middle pair. All of a sudden, Sangannagari was in the lead by nearly 2-1 and had all the momentum on his side.
But Weng’s been on such a heater this year — two major tournament wins already in 2023 entering the SHRPS. The contest would turn back around in the red hot poker pro’s favor with 7♠7♣ on a flop of 8♠7♥2♠ when his opponent jammed all in with Q♦Q♣. There would be no two-outer on the turn or river and just like that, Weng was back out in front.
For more than a half hour following, the heads-up competitors would battle back and forth before Sangannagari went all in with top pair on the river only to find out Weng had rivered the nut straight. That left the player with the losing hand down to crumbs and would soon bow out in second place for $745,000.
Weng now has two seven-figure scores already this year. In January, he took down The Return, a $5,300 buy-in tournament at Borgata in Atlantic City, for $1,000,000.
He can’t win another million on Friday, but he can become a poker legend and pull off one of the most impressive accomplishments in poker history if he goes back-to-back at WPT Choctaw.
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table Results