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Dong Chen Takes Down WSOP Paradise $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em Event

Chinese Player Overcomes 169-Entry Field To Capture First Bracelet and $411,659 In Prize Money


Dong Chen is the latest champion to have been crowned at the 2023 World Series of Poker Paradise festival in the Bahamas. The Chinese player outlasted 169 entries in the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em six-max event, earning $411,659 and his first bracelet for the win.

Chen now has more than $1.1 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name, with this being his largest payday yet. His previous best showing in a bracelet event saw him place fifth in this same event at the Las Vegas WSOP back in 2015.

This event was scheduled to conclude after two days of play at the Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas, but an extra day was ultimately required. The top 26 finishers made the money, but just four returned for day 3 with a shot at the bracelet. Among those who ran deep but fell short of day 3 were bracelet winner Webster Lim (14th), reigning WSOP $25,000 heads-up championship winner Chanracy Khun (13th), bracelet winner Pieter Aerts (11th), high-stakes regular Sergi Reixach (8th), and Roman Hrabec (7th).

Canadian poker pro Mike Watson was the shortest stack heading into day 3, with Chen in the lead. The first deal of the day saw Watson run K-J into the pocket kings of Thomas Santerne. Watson found no help on an eight-high runout and the World Poker Tour champion and two-time European Poker Tour main event winner was eliminated in fourth place ($132,800). He now has more than $22 million in career cashes to his name.

This was Watson’s 12th final table of the year, with four titles won and 5,502 Card Player Player of the Year points accrued along the way. As a result, Watson has laid claim to the 15th-place spot in the 2023 POY standings presented by Global Poker. Chen also secured 412 PokerGO Tour points for the win, enough to move into a tie for 129th place on the PGT leaderboard.

French businessman and frequent high-stakes tournament player Jean-Noel Thorel was the next to fall, with his K-10 running into the pocket aces of Chen. Thorel picked up outs to a gutshot on the turn but was ultimately unable to beat the flopped top set of Chen. Thorel earned $182,188 as the third-place finisher, increasing his career earnings to more than $15.5 million.

Chen took a sizable chip lead into heads-up play against Santerne, with 9,130,000 to the Frenchman’s 1,040,000. Santerne managed one double-up but was soon all-in again with middle pair against the top pair of Chen. The turn improved Chen to trips to leave Santerne drawing dead. He earned a career-best payout of $254,417 for his runner-up finish.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Dong Chen $411,659 780 412
2 Thomas Santerne $254,417 650 254
3 Jean Noel Thorel $182,188 520 182
4 Michael Watson $132,800 390 133
5 Jin Hoon Lee $98,564 325 99
6 Zhewen Hu $74,512 260 75

Photo credit: WSOP / Tomas Stacha.