The Year of Bin Weng began at the Borgata

Paul Oresteen
Posted on: January 07, 2024 11:20 PST

Poker will remember 2023 as the year of Bin Weng. He came from out of nowhere racking up six wins, 55 cashes and bookended the year with million-dollar wins while winning GPI and WPT Player of the Year honors. His first million came at Borgata’s “The Return” event a year ago that drew 1,142 entries.

The second came from a $25,000 high roller event – a community he’s growing in comfort playing against. “I play almost all the stakes – except the super high rollers – I’m comfortable playing anywhere between $400 and $25,000,” he said. “But between $1,000 - $10,000 is my comfort zone.”

Moving up the ranks

Graduating from $400 events a couple of years ago to winning poker’s prestigious POY titles isn’t lost on him. “It’s something I never imagined,” Weng said. “Winning World Poker Tour Player of the Year is something I would dream about when I first started playing.“

“I was most happy to tell my wife when GPI said I won,” he added. “I sent her a picture of the announcement – she’s supported me from the very beginning. Without her, I could never go this far.”

Bin Weng ALICIA SKILLMAN

Would the 2018 version of Weng believe the story about his 2023? “No, never – no. Not even when… no…” he said struggling for words. “I told my wife on the phone the other day that I was at another final table. She was like, ‘How do you go this far so often?’ She still thinks it’s unreal.”

Weng topped Nacho Barbero, Ike Haxton and Daniel Tang on the GPI list and Dan Sepiol, Calvin Anderson and Jared Jaffee for the WPT nod.

Throwing darts at a map

Weng averaged better than a cash a week; a schedule that didn’t leave much time off. “I do take some days off – not many, but I do,” he insisted.

“I really don’t plan where to play three to six months ahead of time. I see where there’s a series I like and I’ll go play,” Weng said. “The Borgata is my favorite spot to play. It’s close to home – only an hour and a half away.”

Born to compete

The drive to compete takes up nearly all of Weng’s bandwidth. When he’s not on the felt, he finds action elsewhere. “I play quite a few video games. Not crazy video games, but mobile games on my phone,” he said. “I like chess and Chinese chess – I just love to compete at any game. It’s my personality.”

Even though he outperformed every tournament player last year and travels like his hair is on fire, a part of Weng still remains a poker fan. “I don’t like playing cash games anymore, but if I could pick a lineup to compete against it would have to be against Chance Kornuth, Alex Foxen and Daniel Negreanu.”

Can Weng do it all again in 2024? He made a deep run in the Kick Off event at this year's Borgata Winter Poker Open, and is piloting a sizeable stack in Day 1A of the Almighty Million. As he looks towards a repeat year, another win at the Borgata would be the perfect steppingstone. “I’m going to try to win here,” he said. “It’s my home casino and would be great.”

All photos by 8131 Media - Alicia Skillman