David Leng won his fourth WSOPC ring recently along with $113,040. It joins the other three rings along with his WSOP bracelet in his trophy cabinet. But he almost didn’t play the event at all.
Leng wasn’t initially going to buy into the $525 World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event. But he’d busted out early in third place playing a pickleball tourney. He hadn’t showered or changed and the clock for late reg was running down as he drove home. On top of that, he hadn’t even thought about poker, let alone played it, in two months.
He said in a post-game interview that “after the online WSOP I decided to take a break from poker. I do this fairly often, once or twice a year.” He uses the time to “focus on non-poker things in my life, like health/fitness, or to experiment with other options for potential career paths.”
But there was a WSOPC ME to play, and he didn’t even need to turn up to the casino. So he pulled the car over to the side of the road, booted up the app, and registered with just a minute left on the clock.
His was one of the last $525 to go into the $471,000 prize pool.
A chip and a car seat
Coming in so late meant Leng was short-stacked from the offing. Looking to pick up chips he shoved early with T-T. Someone else called him off with aces, but his one time came in.
It took him less than an hour to get his stack up to ten times his buy-in. When the first break hit, he put the car in gear and hauled-it for home.
With muscles cramping from the exercise, he took his phone into the hot tub to play the rest of the tourney out. He held on in the tourney, gathering chips. Then he moved to his bed with toes wrinkled from the water and kept the game going.
“I almost fell asleep twice from 100 players left down to nine,” he said.
When it was clear he was going to the final table he dragged himself to the computer for the home stretch.
It was worth it. Leng was gonna be there until the end.
A bit of luck early on saw his pocket sevens beat out pocket nines, saving his tournament life and doubling him up. Another double, this time with A-A put him at the front of the pack.
The chips seemed drawn to his stack like the table was tilted. By the time they got down to three-handed play, he had a roughly 8-1 lead over both the other players.
A third of his stack went in to cover “Tango_Bravo”s pocket Kings. Leng had 7-3. So of course the board came down 7-7-K-x-7. The very next hand he was moving in again to cover the stack of “TheDinosaur”.
“TheDinosaur” went the way of — and Leng went to the winner’s circle.
Good thing for him that he’s not a better pickleball player.
Featured Image Source: Flickr