The Canadian poker player Jiachen Gong defeated his heads-up opponent Senthuran Vijayaratnam only to secure the first prize in Event #32 in the 2017 World Cup of Cards, and more precisely the $5,000 8-Max Re-Entry tournament. The newly-crowned Gong pocketed the solid amount of $80,000 thanks to his perfect strategy at the poker table. The event started on 12th September, and the name of the champion was announced on the next day, 13th September.
The event welcomed 40 poker enthusiasts of a different caliber from all over the world. They were competing for the biggest chunk of the $200,000 guaranteed prize pool, but only 1 player was about to grab the mammoth-big cash prize. Following the course of the game, it was the elimination of Erik Lemarquand, which gave the opening shot to the official final table. 9 players took their seats at the final table. Among all the poker survivors, it was impossible to overlook Samuel Chartier, who was buoying up the spirit of everyone.
Mark Radoja was the first to depart the final table, after being busted by Louis Boutin. One by one, the number of the poker survivors melted until 2 were left alive on the poker field. Here, it is important to remind that the event offered re-entries to the players and Gong’s heads-up opponent Senthuran Vijayaratnam needed to shoot his bullet earlier, as he was eliminated early on Day 1. But once he re-entered the poker battlefield, he started to grind other players’ stack of chips, building his own tower of chips.
The Clash of the Titans
Jiachen Gong and Senthuran Vijayaratnam were the players to enter the final two-handed action. Gong entered the heads-up duel with a bigger stack of chips, but his opponent Vijayaratnam was a fearful player as he demonstrated immaculate poker skills and strategy. The spectacular duel between the two poker heavyweights looked like it will last for long, but it happened just the opposite. By the time the final hand was dealt, Gong was holding [6c][6s] against Vijayaratnam’s [As][10c]. The dealer turned [Ac][6h][5d][Qc][Jh] on the board, giving Gong three of a kind on the flop. Vijayaratnam picked $48,000 for his runner-up finish.
Besides Gong and Vijayaratnam, the other players who managed to rank in the list of the first five are François Billard (in 5th place), Jonathan Karamalikis (in 4th place), Louis Boutin (in 3rd place). These were the only players, who managed to go back home with a cash prize, as the tournament awarded only the first five players. The player, who burst the money bubble for all the rest was Karim Abdelhamid, but he himself did not claim a cash prize.