Alexander Yen came into the final six at the World Poker Tour Luck Hearts Poker Open with a solid chip lead. His stack contained 27.6 million in big 500k plaques and smaller 25k and 100k chips. The next biggest stacks at the table were Joshua Kay with 18.1 million and Anton Wigg with 17.0 million. The other three players had another 17 million split between them.
Yen was in a good spot to take it down. But it wasn’t his first time at a final table with an edge that failed to turn into a trophy.
Yen’s Hendon Mob page listed $391,224 in winnings before this final table. The lions share of that number came from six final tables, over the course of about six years, with all of them finishing in the top six. n two of them, Yen went to heads-up play. However, none of them were first-place finishes.
“My friends make fun of me all the time, saying I must have chopped it with your opponent both times because I played so bad,” Yen said in his post-game interview. “I had that monkey on my back and had to get it off, really prove myself.”
If he was going to do it, this was the time and place. 1,982 players ponied up $3,500 to play in the Lucky Hearts event. That put $975,240 up top if he could take it down.
Among the 248 players who cashed were names like Chad Eveslage (241st – $6,275), Ali Imsirovic (238th – $6,275), Jeff Platt (216th – $6,275), Chris Moorman (183rd – $6,615), Erik Seidel (128th – $7,815), Shannon Shorr (35th – $23,360), Cherish Andrews (25th – $27,810), and the TV bubble boy, Jeremy Ausmus (7th – $160,095).
They were all out of the game now. There were only five players left to beat.
Final table action
It took about four hours of play for Yen to get that monkey off his back. One by one his opponents fell until it was just him and Anton Wigg for all the potatoes.
“He is an incredible player,” Yen said of Wigg. “I really felt like the king-queen vs. ace-ten hand, I was going to give it away to him.”
Instead, the cards went Yen’s way. A few hands after the KQ v. AT hance, Yen flopped a straight with the 9♣7♣ on a T♦8♣6♣ flop. Yen called Wigg’s bet on the flop and his all-in on the turn of 6♦.
Wigg turned over the Q♣Q♦ and when the river was a blank, Yen’s name was etched into the Mike Sexton Cup.
Wigg won $650,180 for his second-place finish.
“Welcome to the Champions Club, Alex Yen!!” the WPT tweeted. “Yen bested a field of 1,982 entries and conquered the final table at #WPTLHPO, going wire to wire with the chip lead to lock up the $975,240 prize. Yen also adds his name to the Mike Sexton Champions Cup and earns his first WPT title.”
World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open complete final table results