WPT: Ren Lin bounces from the ME into the Alpha8, wins it for $1m

Adam Hampton
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Posted on: December 22, 2023 9:43 pm EST

When you’ve got the third biggest stack after four days of competition, you’ve earned the right to start dreaming of winning the thing. That’s where Ren Lin’s mind was at when Day 5 of the WPT World Championship dawned, and he wasn’t going to let the fact he was starting to feel unwell derail his plans. He took some medicine to help with his symptoms, and got back to the tables.

Just one problem: it was the wrong medicine.

As Lin told the WPT, “With 33 players left, I still had two times the average chips…but I ate the wrong medicine – nighttime instead of daytime, and it made me sleepy all day.” Despite the adrenaline of a deep run, Lin couldn’t hold on much longer, getting knocked out in 20th place for a decent, if not career-best, $236,300.

So what did he do next? He got himself together and regged the $50k Alpha8. And then he went and won it.

WPT Alpha8 victory caps a strong year for Lin

If that all sounds a little easy, take a quick look down below at the names who made the final table. Just as the Main Event ended up with a ridiculously talented final group, with any one of them worthy of the win, so too the Alpha8 saw the cream rise to the top.

Poker high roller Jason Koon plays the WPT Alpha8 in Las Vegas 2023
Jason Koon had to settle for 2nd place

Outmaneuvering any one of the likes of Justin Bonomo, Isaac Haxton, Brad Owen, Martin Kabrhel or Jason Koon is a tough task. Navigating a final table in which they’re all fighting for the $1m+ up top? That’s in its own league of difficulty.

But navigate it Lin did, eventually defeating high roller ‘end boss’ Jason Koon heads-up to take the title and the big bucks.

Those who have followed Lin’s career during 2023 won’t have been overly shocked, though. 12 of his 13 best results have come in the past year, and have included 3 WSOP final tables, plus wins on the PokerGO and WPT tours – all six-figure paydays.

With $1,045,781 in prize money for his latest result, Lin now has a seven-figure score to add to his resume. And to the field of stars he left dazed and confused on his way to the title, we’d suggest asking Lin for something to help with the inevitable headache. Just remember: always read the label.

Ren Lin and Jason Koon shake hands after Lin wins the WPT Alpha8 Las Vegas tournament, 2023
Koon, left, congratulates Lin on his first seven-figure score

Final table results

PositionPlayerPrize Money
1Ren Lin$1,045,781
2Jason Koon$669,300
3Martin Kabrhel$468,510
4Biao Ding$334,650
5Seth Davies $249,314
6Nikita Kuznetsov$192,424
7Brad Owen$152,266
8Isaac Haxton$125,494
9Justin Bonomo$108,761

Images courtesy of the WPT