Chiab Saechao Wins WSOP 2012 Opening Event

Chiab Saechao Wins WSOP 2012 Opening Event Chiab Saechao has won the opening event of WSOP 2012, after taking down the non-braceleted $500 Casino Employees World Championship for a $70,859 payday.
Saechao’s victory marks the first time the blackjack dealer from California has ever cashed in at a tournament but the signs have been good since he first picked up the game two years ago. As the 35 year old explains:
“The first time I entered a tournament I won a World Series of Poker Main Event seat. The year after that I won another one, so I’m like ‘Hm, maybe I can play this game.’ I started playing a lot last year, basically just small games [and] small tournaments, but nothing like this.”
As the final table of nine got underway, Chiab Saechao was sitting on a short stack in 8th spot, but managed a quick double-up after a squeeze play (K-Q) which was called by Georgi Ivanov with K-J. By the time the game reached five-handed play, Saechao was a short stack once more but put himself back in contention holding Q-J to Ray Pulford’s pocket sixes, before going on a heater to take the chip lead.
Nicolas Vaca-Rondon then pushed his pocket sevens into the pocket rockets of Chiab Saechao to exit in 5th ($15,359), before Saechao dispatched James Routos in 3rd ($28,206) to get the heads-up phase of the competition underway against female player Trish Baker.
From the start, Saechao had a 3 to 1 chip advantage over his opponent and a short time later it was all over on a Td-7h-2d-6s-6d board, with Baker’s straight (8c-9c) losing to Saechao’s rivered flush (Jd-4d). Despite finishing runner-up, Trish Baker was happy with her $43,754 winnings, commenting:
“I couldn’t have made this much money dealing but I’m still going to work on Thursday.”
The final table payouts were as follows:
Chiab Saechao- $70,859
Trish Baker – $43,754
James Routos – $28,206
Ray Pulford – $20,663
Nicolas Vaca-Rondon – $15,359
Jay Pinkussohn – $11,571
Steven Phan – $8,824
Matthew Wilmot – $6,808
Georgi Ivanov – $5,309

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