The first event of Season XVI of the World Poker Tour wrapped up on Wednesday, with Pete Chen winning the WPT Beijing Main Event title for a score of CNY 2,063,454 ($299,485). Chen topped a field of 400 entries to earn the largest payday of his live poker career.
Chen entered the final table with more than half of the chips in play and rode his lead to victory, defeating Chen Ke in heads-up play. In fact, Chen never relinquished the lead.
Chen was never all that confident the title would be his, though, stating so throughout the event. With a career that boasted more than $700,000 in tournament earnings entering the event and the huge lead he had, Chen was the clear favorite to win.
As for his performance at the final table in Beijing, Chen says a lot of his success came from getting lucky, but he also played an aggressive brand of poker where he used his chip stack to put large amounts of pressure on his opponents.
WPT Beijing Final Table Results
1st place: Pete Yanhan Chen – CNY 2,063,454 ($299,485)*
2nd place: Chen Ke – CNY 1,373,026 ($199,278)
3rd place: Lu Yingqi – CNY 882,619 ($128,101)
4th place: Zhang Wenben – CNY 585,468 ($84,974)
5th place: Tan Yancheng – CNY 450,616 ($65,401)
6th place: Bryan Huang – CNY 373,218 ($54,168)
*First prizes includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
It took just 10 hands for Chen’s arguably most formidable competition, Bryan Huang, to exit in sixth place. The pro from Singapore came in as the short stack and took a stand with pocket deuces only to run into the pocket jacks of Zhang Wenbin.
Zhang knocked out another opponent just a short while later, slow-playing pocket aces against Tan Yancheng. Tan and Zhang got it all in on the flop with Tan holding a flush draw to Zhang’s pocket rockets. The aces held, and Zhang started to amass a stack to contend with Chen.
During a lengthy stretch of four-handed play, Zhang and the other two final table players, Lu Yingqi and Chen Ke, tried to pick up chips. Chen kept the pressure on, though, and his poker prowess was on full display.
Zhang chipped down, but managed to find a great spot to double through the chip leader Chen. It looked like he would do it again when he got it all in against Chen the very next hand holding pocket queens to Chen’s . Chen managed to flop a king, though, busting his biggest chip opponent to take the field to three.
Chen then disposed of Lu just seven hands later in third place, setting up a David-versus-Goliath battle. Chen held a roughly 5-1 chip lead over Ke. Ke tried to rally, but Chen’s chip lead was too much to overcome. In the end, Ke took a stand with queen high. Chen had him bested with king high and held up to win.
Chen has traveled to the US to play WPT events before, but this time he will be doing so take part in the WPT’s most prestigious event, the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. He has about a year to wait, but Chen is fine with that. He is content to go back to Macau and play poker every day, never resting on his laurels or his newly earned WPT title.
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