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Chris Leong Wins 2016 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open

New York Native Tops Field of 1,171 Entries To Win First WPT Title and $816,246


The 2016 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event drew 1,171 total entries to smash the $3 million guarantee, building a total prize pool of $3,748,371. In the end the largest chunk of that was awarded to Chris Leong, who topped a tough final table to win his first WPT title and the first-place prize of $816,246.

Leong came into the final day with the shortest stack among the six remaining players, with the likes of reigning World Series of Poker main event champion Joe McKeehen and 2009 WPT Championship winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko to contend with along the way. Despite those tough circumstances Leong was able to survive to heads-up play against Rafael Yaraliyev, who began the final showdown with 21.7 million in chips to Leong’s 14.3 million. The two duked it out for 106 hands, more than it took to narrow the field from six down to two.

By the time the final hand arose Leong had battled back to take a commanding lead. With blinds of 400,000 – 800,000 and antes of 100,000 Leong moved all-in from the button and Yaraliyev quickly called for his last 10 million with the QHeart SuitQClub Suit. Leong was behind with the AClub Suit8Spade Suit but quickly caught up when the board ran out ADiamond Suit6Diamond Suit4Spade SuitJDiamond Suit5Club Suit, pairing Leong’s ace to give him the superior pair and send Yaraliyev to the rail as the runner-up with $487,288.

In addition to the title and the top prize Leong also earned 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was enough to send him flying up the leaderboard, landing in eighth place in the overall standings. Fourth-place finisher Joe McKeehen climbed to 10th in the rankings after notching his third final table of the year already, while Yaraliyev jumped to 15th place.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Christopher Leong $816,246 1440
2 Rafael Yaraliyev $487,288 1200
3 Liam He $297,995 960
4 Joseph Mckeehen $249,267 720
5 Yevgeniy Timoshenko $206,160 600
6 Matthew Wantman $166,803 480
7 Keith Morrow $131,193 360
8 Jeffrey Yanchek $97,458 240
9 Michael Judge $68,783 120

Winner photo courtesy of WPT / Joe Giron.