Bask to Business: Late Re-Entry Propels Joseph Cheong at WPT Gardens

Jan 12, 2020

Joseph Cheong

By Sean Chaffin

What do you do when booking an airline ticket for a flight home and the price goes up after only a few minutes? For Joseph Cheong that meant firing a third bullet in the WPT Gardens Poker Championship before registration closed on Day 2. For Cheong, that turned out to be a wise decision and he entered Sunday’s Day 3 action second in chips with 451,000.

“It feels good,” he said at the conclusion of Day 2. “The day didn’t go too well. I was in for three bullets after today, one I bagged and then two more so it was going awful. I was booking my flight out and then I was like, ‘I’ll play one more.’ And then I bagged near the chip lead.

“It took off when JetBlue increased prices $100 in the 10 minutes. I was tanking on whether I should go home, so I was like, ‘I’ll stay.’ And then I bought in and doubled up immediately.”

Cheong had even more chips earlier in the day, but one late hand dropped his stack down a bit.

“It was a gradual climb, but I lost a big one at the end – Ace-King to Kings for over 100,000 each,” he said. “I had over 500,000 so I’m feeling pretty negative right now.”

Negative feelings aside, Cheong has a deep poker resumé and is tough to deal with at the tables. He’s a regular on the WPT with 11 cashes for just over $1 million. His best came in November at WPT Montreal, where he took third for $179,126. In total, Cheong has $14.5 million in live tournament winnings including finishing third at the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event.

Last year was particularly nice for Cheong. Along with several nice finishes and scores, he added his first WSOP bracelet by winning the $1,000 Double Stack for $687,782. In November, he also finished runner-up in a $1,100 partypoker MILLIONS event in the Bahamas for $110,000. He’s hoping that good run of cards and stellar play continues into the new year.

Despite losing a big hand to end the day on Saturday, Cheong sits on a nice stack with 48 players returning to the action at the Gardens. How did he feel heading into Sunday?

“Pretty good,” he said. “I hope I cash. It’s been a while since I cashed a 10K, so it would be great. I’m good at punting stacks off though, so we’ll see what happens.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.

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