Poker pro Brian Yoon earned his third World Series of Poker gold bracelet, along with the massive first-place prize of $1,094,349, in Event #47: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MONSTER STACK on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
This four-day event attracted 6,717 players to create a prize pool worth $9,066,600. It was only fitting that the 'MONSTER STACK' ended up with just over 100,000,000 chips in play, boasting over a million dollars for first place.
Yoon defeated a worthy competitor in Ihar Soika, who pocketed $675,995 for his runner-up finish. Soika busted the first five players at the final table, and Yoon took over to bust the next four before clinching the title. In the final hand, Yoon raised it up on the button, as he had clearly been doing as often as possible to push the action, and Soika moved all in for his last 19,800,000. Yoon asked for a count and eventually called. Soika put himself at risk with ace-eight of spades, up against king-ten of hearts for Yoon. Soika flopped a spade draw, taking away some of Yoon's outs to pair up and improve. The turn was a brick, but the river was a magical off-suit ten to give Yoon his third bracelet.
A 27-year-old professional poker player from Torrance, California, Yoon has now amassed over $4.2 million in earnings, and can say this is his biggest career cash. Today's win is also his fifth cash of the summer, and his fifth career win.
"My skills and style of play are really well-suited for this type of tournament."
One of the highlights of the final tables was when Yoon busted Yuliyan Kolev (5th place - $281,800) and Ryan Mcknight (4th place - $374,515) in a double knockout hand. He shoved from the cutoff and both Kolev and Mcknight called from the small and big blinds, respectively. Kolev had king-jack, Mcknight had ace-queen and Yoon had ace-eight. Yoon flopped an eight and held on to bring the field down to three. When asked about that scenario he said, "I put a lot of pressure on the blinds. Got a lucky flop."
Yoon's first bracelet came in the $1,111 No Limit Hold'em Little One Drop, topping a field of 4,756 entries. When he was asked about his success in large fields he responded that his skills and style of play are "really well-suited for this type of tournament." Yoon continued that he felt this bracelet means much more than his first two, because it came a few years after his last win. He also took the last nine months off because he didn't feel like playing, so it's extra special. Yoon says he's quite a boring guy, so he will likely put a lot of this money in investments, and is unsure if he will continue to play after the series is over.
Soika is a well-respected professional from Belarus, with $2,590,020 career earnings. He may not have a gold bracelet just yet, but he does hold a European Poker Tour title after defeating Jason Mercier and winning the 2014 €10,300 No Limit Hold'em High Roller event for 989,263 USD, which remains his top score for now.
Final Table Results
|Place||Player Name||Country||Prize (USD)|
|1||Brian Yoon||United States||$1,094,349|
|3||Stanley Lee||United States||$501,353|
|4||Ryan Mcknight||United States||$374,515|
|6||Maurice Hawkins||United States||$213,591|
|7||Thomas Ryan||United States||$163,087|
|8||Richard Ma||United States||$125,451|
|9||Will Failla||United States||$97,223|
Stanley Lee booked a career-best cash for just over half a million dollars for third place, but that isn't really the most impressive part about his career. He has now gone deep in four tournaments in a row where the first-place prize is guaranteed to pay out at least a million dollars. In the Millionaire Maker, he finished 24th ($45,275) in 2015, final-tabled in 2016 for a ninth place cash worth $96,091, and came in 39th place this year for $28,160. He has now added today's cash in the Monster Stack, so he will certainly be one to watch as he continues to gun for his first bracelet.
Final Table Action
The unofficial table began at the beginning of Level 36 and it didn't take long before Soika eliminated Salvatore DiCarlo (10th place - $75,915). DiCarlo had pocket queens against Soika's ace-king and Soika hit a king on the river. Soika was running wild at the final table as he eliminated Will Failla (9th place - $97,223) on just the 14th hand. Soika had pocket jacks and Failla held but couldn't find any help.
Richard Ma (8th place - $125,451) was at risk in the first hand back from dinner break with pocket jacks but ran into the pocket aces of, who else but, Soika. The board ran out eight high and they were down to seven. Seven-handed play lasted the longest with many of the short stacks findind numerous double-ups. Eventually Thomas Ryan (7th place - $162,087) was all-in in a dominated position against Soika. Ryan wasn't able to connect with the board and Soika eliminated yet another opponent.
Lee found himself very short, but managed to find several double-ups to spin his stack up to something that was workable. He first got it in with king-jack off suit and beat out Maurice Hawkins' ace-jack, and then won a flip with king-queen to beat Yoon's jacks. He managed to lock up another pay jump after Hawkins was left with crumbs after committing most of his stack in a hand against Soika, but decided to fold and leave himself with two big blinds. Soika showed a bluff, and Hawkins was forced to put his chips in the middle with jack-ten, up against Soika's seven-five of diamonds. Soika turned trips and it was all over for the ten-time WSOP circuit champion. He took home $213,591 for his deep run in sixth place.
In the very next hand, Yoon moved all in from the cutoff, clearly applying pressure on the Kolev and Mcknight's short stacks. As it turns out, both players called and Yoon was slightly ahead of Kolev but looked like he was going to double Mcknight up. Kolev held king-jack, Mcknight had ace-queen and Yoon had ace-eight. The flop brought an eight, and Yoon managed to hold to bust Kolev in fifth place ($281,800) and Mcknight in fourth ($374,515).
Three-handed play began with Yoon holding the chip lead, but Soika was close behind in second. Lee was very short, but found a double up with ace-king of diamonds, beating out Soika's ace-jack of offsuit. Soika flopped two pair, but Lee turned a flush draw and rivered bigger two pair to stay alive. It was just a few short hands later when Lee would get it in with pocket sixes, flipping for his tournament life against Yoon's ace-king off suit. The flop brought both an ace and a king and Yoon was able to hold, sending Lee home in third for $501,353.
Heads-up play lasted just 28 hands, with Yoon starting the match with a two-to-one lead. Soika managed to bring things to even, but Yoon turned up the heat and took his lead back. He continued to apply pressure and eventually got it in with king-ten of hearts to river a ten against Soika's ace high, locking up his third WSOP title.