Anson Tsang Wins WSOPE €2,200 PLO (€91,730)
Seven out of 10 events of the 2018 World Series of Poker Europe have now awarded the coveted gold bracelet in Europe's biggest poker arena at the King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. After a brief and very intense final day, it was Hong Kong's Anson Tsang who defeated Ilya Bulychev to claim his maiden bracelet in Event #7: €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed. For his win, Tsang took home €91,730, Bulychev had to settle for a payday of €56,684.
It was certainly no surprise to see Tsang and Bulychev in heads up as they were first and second in chips after Day 1 and Day 2, respectively, in the 187-player field. Down to the last four players, Tsang regained the lead once more and never put his foot from the pedal to dominate the late stages with sheer aggression. This past summer, he already had a shot at a pot-limit Omaha bracelet and finished 10th in $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship for $67,210.
"Actually, I play hold'em, PLO and all the mixed games, but the mixed games was the first time that I played in Las Vegas," Tsang said. "PLO and hold'em tournaments I play quite a lot."
While many others may have considered independent chip model (ICM) on the final table of this buy-in, for Tsang it was all about the victory and the gold bracelet that he had previously missed out on.
"Yes, I always play for the win. I think there is an edge for me, because some players may be very concerned about ICM."
As for his most dangerous opponents on the final table, Tsang singled out countryman Hokyiu Lee and Swedish foes Alexander Norden and Ludvig Sterner.
The day is not over yet for the first WSOP bracelet winner from Hong Kong, as he plans to jump into the €25,500 Super High Roller for another shot at glory.
"Yeah I am going to play the 25k later. I was planning to play the event actually, so no matter if I got the bracelet or not I was still going to play."
Many Asian players made the trip to Rozvadov to take part in the 2018 WSOPE and have been thriving in the last two yxears. A few of them are poised to win their own maiden bracelet according to Tsang:
"To be honest, you can see that the results of the Asian players are really good in the past two years. Asia has a lot of good poker players, and they start to travel around for poker tournaments. I am happy to be with them together. A lot of them are really good. Danny Tang, Michael Soyza and Pete Chen are very good and I think more bracelets are coming for the Asian players.
Tsang currently sits in fourth place in the Hong Kong all-time money list with more than $2.4 million in cashes, but he is the first to win a WSOP bracelet.
2018 WSOPE Event #7: €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Results
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in EUR)||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Anson Tsang||Hong Kong||€91,730||$105,167|
|3||Jason Gray||United Kingdom||€39,508||$45,295|
|6||Hokyiu Lee||Hong Kong||€15,134||$17,351|
Action of the Final Day
It only took eight hands to reduce the final table from eight to the last six hopefuls. Pot-limit Omaha online high stakes cash game player Norden was the first to depart. The Swede three-bet preflop with pocket aces and got his stack in after a king-queen-queen flop only to see Ilya Bulychev snap-call with the flopped full house.
Gisle Olsen fell victim to Tsang when his kings were outflopped by the eventual champ with trips fours.
Quan Zhou doubled through Bulychev to claim the lead, but the Russian jumped back into the top spot after doubling through Lee soon after. Just one hand later, Lee was forced all in from the big blind and Zhou dealt the final blow.
One hour later Sterner became the second Swede to run dry on chips. The PLO cash game regular never got much going and eventually ended up all in and at risk when defending his big blind and flopping the nut straight. Jason Gray held the nut flush draw and immediately got there on the turn to leave Sterner drawing dead.
That reduced the field to the final four and Tsang ramped up the aggression, assuming control with a very aggressive playing style. Tsang four-bet shoved with king-jack-ten-ten double suited into Ilya Bulychev's cold-call and the three-bet of Zhou, who had a suited ace-king and forfeited almost half of his remaining stack.
Tsang called it a "key hand."
"Actually, my equity was quite good," he said.
Zhou never recovered from that final blow and eventually ended up all in with fewer than two big blinds. It was Tsang who finished off the job he previously started and the top set on the flop was more than enough to reduce the field to the last three.
Jason Gray, since 2012 a member of the Aussie Poker Hall of Fame, patiently nursed a shorter stack for most of the final table and even took over the lead for a short time. However, Gray was grinded back down by the aggression of Tsang and ran with an ace-king-ten-deuce double suited into the aces of Bulychev. Gray turned two pair, but Bulychev rivered the flush.
In heads up, Tsang had a comfortable lead over Bulychev and needed a mere 20 minutes to emerge victorious. After turning the nut straight and jamming into his opponent, Tsang held a commanding lead and the duo clashed again the very next hand. This time, Bulychev had the best of it on the flop with the nut straight, while Tsang held bottom set. Instead of the full house, running hearts gave Tsang the winning flush and that sealed his victory.
Another three gold bracelets are up for grabs during the 2018 WSOPE and the PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor until the conclusion of the WSOPE Main Event on Nov. 2. Head over to the live reporting landing page for continued coverage, highlighted on Thursday by the €25K High Roller.