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Steve Jun Wins 2018 Card Player Poker Tour

The Bicycle Hotel & Casino Main Event 34-Year-Old Poker Pro Defeats Field of 524 Entries To Win $149,735

by Erik Fast |  Published: Dec 05, 2018

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The Card Player Poker Tour returned to the legendary The Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Los Angeles this October for the latest running of The Bike’s Big Poker Oktober series. The centerpiece of the whole affair was the 2018 CPPT The Bicycle Hotel & Casino $500,000 guaranteed, $1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The event featured three starting flights from Oct. 17-19, which collectively drew 478 entries.

Players also had the option to take advantage of the event’s Quantum structure and buy directly into day 2 for $4,300. A total of 46 direct buy-ins were made, bringing the final number of entrants for the event to 524. As a result of the strong turnout the prize pool blew away the $500,000 guarantee, ending with $642,140 up for grabs.

After five full days of exciting tournament action it was 34-year-old poker pro Steve Jun from Torrance, California that emerged victorious with the title, the trophy and the top prize of $149,733.

“I was hoping to win, but I didn’t really expect that I would. I almost didn’t play this tournament because I was tired at the time,” said Jun. “My realistic goal coming into the final day was to just try to make the top nine, but I just ran really well. Probably a once-in-a-lifetime run.”

Jun came into the fifth and final day of this event in ninth chip position with 16 players remaining. He simply survived to the unofficial ten-handed final table, outlasting a number of highly accomplished tournament pros along the way including Jordan Cristos (15th – $6,355) and Mike Eskandari (11th – $7,615).

Jun got his momentum going at this point in the day, kick starting his run to the title by eliminating seasoned tournament professional Adam Geyer in 10th place (10th – $7,615). This knockout was enough to see him move into the middle of the pack by the time the nine-handed final table moved into the Live At The Bike! studio to be live streamed. Jun’s next victim was Eric Jeffries, who ran pocket eights into Jun’s pocket aces and failed to come from behind. The recent fifth-place finisher in a $245 buy-in $500,000 guaranteed event here at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino earned $13,680 for his deep run, while Jun shot up the leaderboard.

Jun was able to steadily build up his stack as the final table continued, but he ultimately took control in what was arguably the key hand of the entire tournament. 2013 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific pot-limit Omaha bracelet winner Jim Collopy raised to 250,000 and Steve Jun three-bet to 950,000. Collopy called and the flop fell AHeart Suit 8Spade Suit 6Heart Suit.

Jun bet 675,000 and Collopy called. The turn was the AClub Suit and both players checked. The river was the 4♦ and Jun moved all in. Collopy quickly called with ADiamond Suit QDiamond Suit for trip aces, but Jun had him outkicked with ASpade Suit KHeart Suit. Jun just had Collopy covered. He was sent to the rail in fifth place, earning $29,640 for his strong showing in this event.

With that Jun took a dominant chip lead into four handed play, which he only increased by knocking out Said El Harrak. Jun picked up pocket aces again and got all-in preflop against El Harrak’s KClub Suit QClub Suit. El Harrak made two pair on the turn when the board brought the QSpade Suit 6Heart Suit 4Heart Suit KHeart Suit, but the AClub Suit on the river gave Jun trips to win the pot and send El Harrak home with $52,080 for his fourth-place showing.

Jun had nearly four times as many chips as either of his two remaining opponents in Brandon Zuidema and Duey Duong. The three discussed making a deal before they all decided to play on. Duong ultimately eliminated Zuidema in third place, beating his KClub Suit JDiamond Suit with the ASpade Suit QHeart Suit. Zuidema was awarded $52,080 for finishing third.

With that Duong closed the gap somewhat, but he was still at worse than a 2:1 chip disadvantage. Duong achieved an incredible feat simply by making it this far in the event, though. He had finished third in this very tournament back in 2015 for $50,000 and then placed fifth in the 2017 running of this event, adding another $31,075. Now Duong had guaranteed himself an even higher finish after having made the final table of this event for the third time in four years. Duong and Jun cut a small deal to rearrange the remaining payouts and then began heads-up play.

It didn’t take long for Jun to convert his lead into a win. Jun raised to 260,000 on the button with KSpade Suit KClub Suit and Duong picked up the ADiamond Suit JClub Suit. He three-bet to 625,000, only to have Jun four-bet to 1,450,000. Duong moved all-in for 5,525,000 and Jun snap called with his big pair. The board fell JSpade Suit 8Diamond Suit 2Heart Suit QDiamond Suit 2Spade Suit and Jun’s hand held up to earn him the pot and the title. Duong earned $97,000 as the runner-up finisher.

“I think that this event was great. It was very well run,” said Jun after the win.

When asked if he had anybody supporting him on his run to the title that he wanted to thank, Jun responded, “I’m always thankful for my wife. I love my family, my son — he’s probably watching now on the live stream and not understanding what’s really going on at all. I’m thankful for them, and also my parents. My Dad isn’t necessarily in favor of me playing poker, but maybe when he founds out how much I won today it will change his mind.”

Here is a look at the payouts and _Card Player_ Player of the Year points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Steve Jun $149,735 840
2 Duey Duong $97,000 700
3 Brandon Zuidema $52,080 560
4 Said El Harrak $39,235 420
5 Jim Collopy $29,640 350
6 Michael Wasserman $22,475 280
7 Beau Winn $17,530 210
8 Eric Jeffries $13,680 140
9 Derek Kwan $10,465 70

Other notable poker pros who finished in the money included Jesse Yaginuma (27th – $3,690), Mohsin Charania (29th – $3,255), Anthony Spinella (32nd – $3,255), 2017 runner-up in this event Goswin Siemsen (45th – $2,850), MMA announcer Bruce Buffer (48th – $2,500), Joe Serock (63rd – $2,190), Amnon Filippi (68th – $1,905) and Sean H. Yu (72nd – $1,905).

About The Bicycle Hotel & Casino

The Bicycle Hotel & Casino re-opened its doors to the public less than three years ago with a brand-new $50 million seven-story hotel. The 117,907 square-foot addition boasts 99 rooms, including 29 suites, as well as a multitude of amenities including the all-new Bike Brewery, full spa and elevated outdoor pool deck with private cabanas.

The 29 luxury suites will range from the Classic Suite (648 sq. ft.), the signature Bike Suite (904 sq. ft.), the Governor’s Suite (1,359 sq. ft.) and a Presidential Suite (2,007 sq. ft.). The Presidential Suite has two bedrooms, a formal living room and a Jacuzzi tub.

Built by R.D. Olson Construction and Lee & Sakahara Architects, and designed by Hager Design International, the hotel transforms the already massive 185-table gaming property into a space that caters to everyone. A floor design of overlapping circles, inspired by a bicycle wheel, winds its way to a variety of amenities, including dining, a coffee house, a gift shop, entry to the casino concourse and an Asia-theme VIP gaming area. The second floor has a state-of-the-art fitness center, the outdoor pool deck and the hotel spa and sauna. There is also 8,000 square-feet of multi-purpose event and private meeting space. The 28-screen Bike Brewery features 28 beers on tap.

For more information about the legendary Bicycle Hotel & Casino visit the casino homepage at www.thebike.com. ♠