2021 World Series of Poker Europe
Event #4: $500 The Reunion No-Limit Hold'em
Days:

Event Info

Buy-in $500
Prize Pool $5,449,500
Players 12973

Level Info

Level 42
Blinds 2,500,000 / 5,000,000
Ante 5,000,000

Players Info - Day 3

Players Left 1
Entries 5
Event #4: $500 The Reunion No-Limit Hold'em
Day 3 completed

Long Ma Wins Event #4: $500 The Reunion No-Limit Hold'em ($513,604)

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante
Long Ma
Long Ma

The poker community was waiting with bated breath for the opening week of the 2021 World Series of Poker, and Event #4: $500 The Reunion No-Limit Hold’em did not disappoint.

It drew a massive field of 12,973 to create a prizepool of $5,448,660. And after three days of play, including an epic 17-hour Day 2, it all ended after a lightning quick final day that lasted barely over an hour and saw Long Ma crowned champion.

He took home his first WSOP Bracelet and a whopping grand prize of $513,604, an incredible 1,000% return from his buy-in amount.

The Reunion - Final Table Payouts

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Long MaUnited States$513,604
2Giuliano LentiniUnited States$317,352
3Max TavepholjalernUnited States$241,766
4Alex VazquezUnited States$185,281
5Michael EddyUnited States$142,847
6Anthony CassUnited States$110,794
7Jugal DateraoUnited States$86,462
8Derrick StoebeUnited States$67,886
9Adrian BuckleyUnited States$53,625

WSOP 2021: Who are the Defending Champions of the Championship Events


Winner's Reaction

Ma, who currently calls Dallas, TX home at 35 years old, has been playing poker for about twelve years.

“When I first started, I lost a lot of money on gambling. But then I won a tournament with 400 people and I started doing a bit better. But recently not too good.” He then mentioned that he had not cashed for two months before this huge breakthrough, which certainly breaks Ma out of his funk.

“I only play tournaments," added Ma. "It is really hard to be a professional with only tournaments.”

Ma’s two largest poker scores previous to this gargantuan win came in Daily Deepstack events during the 2018 WSOP in which he won over $60,000 in the span of three days.

When asked whether this win would mean seeing more of him in more tournaments for the rest of the WSOP he replied “Possibly. I still need to work!” referencing his main job as an operation and program manager for an electronic company.

Path to Bracelet

But the electronic company manager would take the poker world by storm, entering the final day with a massive chip lead. He would remain in control throughout, taking a hammer to his opponents and never giving any inclination that he was going to squander his chip lead.

Afterwards, he discussed his mindset during the final day. “With a big stack I needed to know from the first few hands whether they would be aggressive with me or slow down and from that I pretty much knew the table and could control my stack and play.”

One of the more prominent hands came after three-betting eventual runner-up Giuliano Lentini on the river after Lentini had raised him. Lentini folded, and Ma showed the bluff. From that point on, Ma took an even firmer control of the table and cruised to the bracelet.

“Almost 13,000 players. Lots of good players, some lucky players and maybe me the luckiest one” he said with a smile.


Related: Fan Nominations Open for 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Class


Final Day Action

The final day would start with only five players remaining. Michael Eddy starterd as a super short stack and busted within the first few hands of the day to finish in fifth place.

Alex Vazquez came in fourth after his stack went south quickly and never recovered, vanquished by Ma. Max Tavepholjalern positioned himself decently in the counts during the day but crashed out in third place, also a victim of Ma.

The second-place finisher was the aforementioned Lentini, who started the day well and upped his chip count by over 50% in the first part of the day. However, the key three-bet river hand against Ma would be his undoing, and he would never recover.

Entering heads-up play Ma had a 5:1 chip advantage and it would take exactly one hand of heads up for proceedings to end when Lentini jammed queen-jack from the small blind and could not chase down the ace-high of Ma.

Giuliano Lentini Eliminated in 2nd Place ($317,352)

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante
Giuliano Lentini
Giuliano Lentini

In the very first hand of heads-up play, Giuliano Lentini open-shoved from the small blind. Long Ma snap-called.

Giuliano Lentini: {q-Spades}{j-Clubs}
Long Ma: {a-Hearts}{7-Spades}

The board ran out {3-Diamonds}{k-Spades}{4-Hearts}{5-Spades}{5-Hearts}. Long Ma won the hand with ace high.

Ma astonishingly eliminated Micheal Eddy, Alex Vazquez, Max Tavepholjalern, and finally Giuliano Lentini to officially make him a World Series of Poker champion.

Long Ma us
Long Ma
us 648,750,000 128,750,000
Giuliano Lentini us
Giuliano Lentini
us Busted

Max Tavepholjalern Eliminated in 3rd Place ($241,766)

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante
Max Tavepholjalern
Max Tavepholjalern

Long Ma raised on the button to 20,000,000. The action folded to Max Tavepholjalern in the big blind who put in a three-bet to 76,000,000.

Ma put Tavepholjalern all-in and he didn't take very long to call.

Max Tavepholjalern: {k-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}
Long Ma: {4-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}

The board ran out {j-Spades}{5-Spades}{j-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}. Ma's pocket fours held and he got his third knockout of the day.

Long Ma us
Long Ma
us 520,000,000 125,000,000
Giuliano Lentini us
Giuliano Lentini
us 121,000,000 -24,000,000
Max Tavepholjalern us
Max Tavepholjalern
us Busted

Ma Three-Bet Buffs River

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante

Action was picked up as the board read {k-Spades}{4-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{7-Spades}{7-Diamonds} on the river with a pot of about 45,000 already in the middle.

Long Ma from the small blind put out a tiny 6,000,000 bet. Giuliano Lentini raised to 22,000,000. Ma snap three-bet by spiking a stack of chips in the middle for 111,000,000. Lentini shook his head, immediately displeased with his decision to raise.

He tanked for over a minute before folding the {9-Hearts}{7-Hearts} face up.

"You folded??" said Ma in surprise as he tabled the bluff with the {a-Clubs}{6-Spades} and took in the pot.

Long Ma us
Long Ma
us 395,000,000 65,000,000
Giuliano Lentini us
Giuliano Lentini
us 145,000,000 -80,000,000
Max Tavepholjalern us
Max Tavepholjalern
us 135,000,000 20,700,000

Tags: Giuliano LentiniLong Ma

Alex Vasquez Eliminated in 4th Place ($185,281)

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante
Alex Vazquez
Alex Vazquez

The action folded to Alex Vazquez in the small blind and he limped. Long Ma checked and they went heads-up to the flop.

The flop came {k-Hearts}{2-Spades}{5-Spades}. Vazquez led out for a bet of 5,000,000 and Ma made the call.

The turn was the {j-Diamonds} and Vazquez moved all-in for 51,000,000. Ma tanked for several minutes and made the call.

Alex Vasquez: {a-Spades}{q-Spades}
Long Ma: {q-Hearts}{j-Clubs}

The river card was the {8-Hearts}. Vasquez could not improve and Ma got another knockout with a pair of jacks.

Long Ma us
Long Ma
us 330,000,000 45,000,000
Alex Vazquez US
Alex Vazquez
US Busted

Lentini Outkicks Vazquez

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante

From the button Alex Vazquez raised to 10,000,000 and Giuliano Lentini defended the big blind.

The flop came {2-Spades}{a-Spades}{q-Diamonds}. Lentini check-called a bet of 12,000,000 from Vazquez.

The turn was the {6-Clubs}. Both players checked. The river came the {9-Hearts}. This time Lentini led for 23,000 and was quickly called by Vazquez.

Lentini tabled the {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} which was the winner as Vazquez flashed the {a-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} to show that he was out-kicked.

Giuliano Lentini us
Giuliano Lentini
us 225,000,000 91,100,000
Alex Vazquez US
Alex Vazquez
US 90,000,000 -24,600,000

Tags: Alex VazquezGiuliano Lentini

Michael Eddy Eliminated in 5th Place ($142,847)

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante
Michael Eddy
Michael Eddy

In the second hand of the level, Long Ma opened the action to 12,000,000. Michael Eddy moved all-in for 25,100,000. It folded back to Ma and he made the call.

Michael Eddy: {k-Clubs}{j-Spades}
Long Ma:{a-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}

The board ran out {3-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{a-Clubs}{5-Clubs}. Ma turned a pair of aces locking up the first knockout of the final five players. Eddy was sent to the payout line and Ma increased his already substantial chip lead.

Long Ma us
Long Ma
us 285,000,000 24,900,000
Micheal Eddy
Micheal Eddy
Busted

Shuffle Up and Deal

• Level 42: 2,500,000-5,000,000, 5,000,000 ante

The final five players begin their quest for the bracelet now as the dealer has just started to deal the first hand of the evening.