Nguyet “Kim” Dao Wins PNIA Choctaw for $286,402

Season 2 of the televised Poker Night in America (PNIA) tour recently pulled into the Choctaw Casino Resort in Oklahoma, with the casino’s 67 event schedule running from April 7th to 25th. The action subsequently culminated with the $1,620 Main Event, which attracted an impressive 1,064 runners, with the title, and a $286,402 first place prize eventually going to female player Nguyet “Kim” Dao.
The Main Event originally featured a $1 million guaranteed prize pool, which ultimately grew to more than $1.5 million after attracting the biggest field in PNIA history. Amongst the notable pros then seeing a return on their investments was Nick Pupillo (63rd), Tommy Vedes (56th), Matt Glantz (41st), Andy Hwang (39th), and Anthony Spinella (16th).
On Day 3, Kim Dao held the second biggest stack of the ten remaining competitors, with Hasan Haq ahead as the chip leader. Dao (A-A) then took care of Rob Shuptrine (Q-Q) in 10th, before doing likewise to Long Nguyen in 6th, and Gregg Merkow in 4th. In the meantime, Hasan Haq eliminated Andy Spears (9th), Brian Green (8th), Rich Dixon (5th), and David Morton (3th) to usher in the heads-up phase of the competition.
As the final battle got underway, Hasan Haq held a 13m to 8m chip advantage over Dao, and the two would subsequently duke it out for the next couple of hours, leading Nguyet Kim Dao at one stage to turn to the Tournament Director and ask him whether he had “ever seen such a boring final table?”
“It’s not boring, you guys are playing for a lot of money. You are just focused,”came his reply.
The deciding hand was then played after a short-stacked Haq moved all-in preflop holding 10h-9s. Kim Dao made the call with Qc-Js, and after the dealer laid out a Ks-Qs-2s-8s-3c board, Hasan Haq picked up $177,704 for his runner-up finish, while Kim Dao became the first female player ever to win a Choctaw Main Event. Previous to her remarkable victory, Dao had just $2,984 in career tournament winnings.
Final Table Results:
1: Kim Dao $286,402
2: Hasan Haq $177,704
3: David Morton $131,590
4: Gregg Merkow $98,925
5: Richard Dixon $75,223
6: Long Nguyen $57,869
7: Allen Baker $45,035
8: Brian Green $35,452
9: Andy Spears $28,238
10: Rob Shuptrine $22,757

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