By Sean Chaffin
Grab the chip lead and just run the table. That’s the experience of newly-crowned ClubWPT $100K Diamond Championship winner Dennis “ceszone” Wong. After months of qualifiers, the 30-year-old native of Bronx, New York, turned his love of poker into a $25,000 score.
ClubWPT is the WPT’s sweepstakes subscription poker site and his win becomes the largest cash prize in the platform’s history. A site member for the last seven years, Wong has won some cash and prizes here and there. He regularly finishes in the black for the year on the site.
The ClubWPT $100K Diamond Championship score is at another level, however, and he had to qualify through other events, topping thousands of other players along the way. At the final table, Wong took his play to another level as well.
“It was all a roller coaster ride,” he remembers about the final tournament. “You’re going to be a short stack and a big stack at some point.”
That may have been the case, but Wong was more of a bullet train at the final table.
“I was chip leader the whole way – literally from the beginning to the end,” he remembers. “I just maintained my chip stack. That’s all you have to do is maintain the chip lead as much as you can. Then that’s when you start playing like an animal. That’s the best way to do it.”
The plan certainly worked out for Wong. Second-place meant a score of only $10,000, so taking home the title added quite a bit extra to his bankroll. Another nice perk for his win is an appearance on the WPT television show highlighting his accomplishment.
“They’re going to show that you can literally sign up for a little bit of money and win all these big prizes,” he says.
Wong knows that first hand and says he enjoys ClubWPT for the convenience and being able to play from anywhere at any time he wants, including on his mobile phone. He also likes that with subscription levels like ClubWPT Diamond, the prizes and cash available has gotten even bigger.
“It’s affordable, it’s easy to play, and there are always tournaments,” he says about his favorite place to play.
Growing up, televised poker captivated Wong and he’s been playing for years including on the Internet during the poker boom. He also regularly visits casinos to play some live poker, but in recent months the COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to that.
That hasn’t dampened his passion for the game, however, and ClubWPT has offered a way to get back to the tables – returning to his days playing online. Wong loves the site and was happy to move up to the Diamond tier when it became available in June. His skills at the live tables have translated well so far.
Single with no children, Wong’s family owns gift shops and stores in New York and he works in the family business. Some occasional travel includes hitting the poker tables.
“Anywhere I go and there’s a resort nearby and they’re offering poker, I’ll go to that resort and play some tournaments,” he says.
When not at the tables, working out and anything fitness-related is a big part of his life. He also enjoys traveling and seeing “different people, different states, and different energy.” His last outing involved some camping with friends in New Hampshire.
One other hobby might be fitting for his recent success. Wong enjoys shooting off fireworks. After his run at the ClubWPT tables, a few bottle rockets and another celebration with friends might just be in order.
With his new winnings coming right before the Christmas holiday, Wong says his shopping funds are also now in place. He’s planning on making it an extra special December and a bigger buy-in WPT event might also be in his future as well.
“A lot of gifts, a lot of parties,” he says of the upcoming holiday season. “I’m just going to live it up. And I’m going to play a lot more poker of course.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.