The native of Taiwan netted $82,559 after defeating a 1,023-entry field to earn his first WSOP bracelet. While Chen plays most of his tournament volume online, he is an accomplished live pro with $3.1 million in live tournament earnings. Outside of a runner-up finish in the $5,000 no-limit hold’em at the 2017 WSOP, most of Chen’s live tournament scores came in Asia.
He bested a final table that featured online legend Amit Makhija. Despite more than $3 million in live earnings, Makhija was also searching for his first WSOP bracelet, but busted in eighth place for $8,305.
Chen came into the final table in the middle of the pack and stayed alive while a few players hit the rail. Stephen Wieczorek was the short stack and eliminated by Melody Mckee. McKee raised from early position and Wieczorek moved all in from middle position. Mckee called with QQ and was in great shape against Wieczorek’s 77.
Mckee’s queens held up and Wieczorek was out in ninth. Just a couple minutes later, Makhija followed him to the virtual rail. But in the few hundred seconds in between those bustouts, Chen doubled up and moved into the chip lead.
His heater continued when he eliminated Robert Thomas in seventh. Chen raised from early position and Thomas moved all in from the big blind. The shove was called by Chen with AQ and was in the lead against Thomas’ K8.
The board ran out 1062A5 and Chen won the pot to extend his chip lead, which he wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the tournament.
Eventual runner-up Tzur Levy eliminated Kari Johnson in sixth with A-K against Johnson’s A-Q and then knocked out Dustin Bush in fifth to pull him close to the chip lead, but Chen dominated four-handed play, eliminating the final three players in a span of 15 minutes to secure the title.
In a battle of the blinds, Chen drilled a three-outer with Ad5h against Mckee’s AK to eliminate her in fourth for $26,624. Chen kept up the run good when his Q8 bested Todd Rodenborn’s A6 to send him to the rail in third and take a more than 2-to-1 chip lead into heads-up play against Levy.
Just a few hands into heads-up play, Levy limped in on the button and eventually called a shove from Chen out of the big blind. Chen showed AJ and was in a dominating spot against Levy’s A4.
The flop was KQ4 and Levy took the lead with an opportunity to basically flip the chip counts. The 7 came on the turn, leaving Chen dead to a jack or a 10 on the river. The J came on the river, which gave Chen a bigger pair, the pot and his first bracelet.
Final Table Results: