The most expensive event of the 2019 World Series of Poker has come to a conclusion and it was James Chen that lifted the coveted gold bracelet for the winner shots in Europe's biggest poker arena at the King's Casino and Resort in Rozvadov. Event #4: €250,000 Super High Roller No-Limit Hold'em attracted a field of 30 entries including eight re-entries and the top five spots took home a portion of the €7,125,000 prize pool.
For cash-game specialist Chen it was redemption after he came agonizingly close to his first gold bracelet in Las Vegas and eventually had to settle for a runner-up finish against Stephen Chidwick, who himself captured the maiden bracelet in Event #45 $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha. Back then, Chen scored his biggest live MTT cash of $1,000,253, which he now obliterated by claiming a payday of $3,142,848 for his first WSOP victory.
It was also the first gold bracelet for his home country of Taiwan and he has taken over the number one spot of Taiwan's all-time money list. In order to do so, Chen had to defeat a tough competition on the final day and came out on top of a heads-up battle with Malaysia's Chin Wei Lim.
“What can I say, it feels great to be the first from Taiwan to win a bracelet and hopefully this will inspire other players to try and keep improving their game and reach their own dreams,” Chen said in the winner interview and added the following.
“It's definitely nice to win a bracelet, it is a big reason why I am here. I wouldn't say that winning a bracelet necessarily means you are a good player or not but when I was a beginner in poker it was always just a dream of mine to win one.”
Super High Roller regular Christoph Vogelsang finished third, while Tony G recorded his biggest live-cash to date in fourth place. Cary Katz was the first to bust in the money while Ryan Riess became the bubble boy. For four-time WSOP bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche it was a rather disappointing day at the tables as he went from chip leader to the first casualty in the first hour of play.
Event #4: €250,000 Super High Roller Results
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in EUR)||Prize (in USD)|
|2||Chin Wei Lim||Malaysia||€1,757,857||$1,951,221|
|5||Cary Katz||United States||€538,722||$597,981|
Chen switched from cash games to tournaments a few years ago and most of his early cashes were from Macau, but especially since 2018 that has changed and he has already scored his 20th WSOP result since 2014. A six-figure buy-in was not new to Chen either, who is used to playing higher stakes at the cash game tables for some time.
"I think this may be the highest buy-in I played, but I have played the 2 Million HKD Triton Main Event, so I played similar stakes before and in cash I have played bigger before and am used to the stakes," Chen said when asked about the extraordinary buy-in amount for the Super High Roller.
At the end of Day 1, Chen won three big flips in quick succession to become the chip leader but headed into the seven-handed final day as shortest stack when he lost a big pot to Nitsche and doubled Tony G just shy of bagging on Day 2.
"I would adapt a bit to the table, but I generally didn't change my game plan much. Right from the beginning, I was going for first. My friends know me. If I play a tournament, it is just to try and win it. I didn't really have a set strategy, I just tried to play the best I could each day and win chips from my opponents."
After making it through the top of the leaderboard once more, he became the short stack after the bubble had burst and needed to win another two flips as the average stack had gone below 20 big blinds.
"That's why I prefer to play cash because it is generally deeper stacked and you get to play a lot more. You don't need to get it in as light. Most of the time you get to play post-flop, turn, and river. Tournaments are a different kind of fun. In tournaments, there are different stack sizes and people tend to change strategies."
Besides that, Chen won most of his chips with an aggressive style on a topsy-turvy final table and ultimately came out on top.
"It is mostly how I play. I do adapt to the table but in general, I play very aggressively. It can work both ways like you have seen on the stream. Sometimes it can backfire. I bluffed into Dominik when he had the nut flush and I bluffed into Christoph when he had aces. It is a double-edged sword, you win a lot of pots without necessarily having to have a big hand as well. They also get you paid when you have a big hand because people know you are capable of a big bluff."
The said hand against Vogelsang knocked Chen down to just a few big blinds, but he doubled right after and won another two flips to get back into contention and mount an impressive comeback on his road to victory. He was railed by Julien Martini and James Romero, and their support was an important factor as Chen pointed out.
“It sounds maybe cliché to say this, but it feels like I couldn't have done it without them. On break we would talk, they would give me support and just watching the stream and sending me hands, I really appreciate that they were here.”
While Chen had reason to celebrate, Nitsche and Riess missed out on the money. A rough first hour saw Nitsche lose twice with ace-queen against kings before bowing out in a flip with ace-king versus queens. The self-proclaimed table captain, Tony G, took over the vocal action after bursting the bubble against Riess with ace-queen versus ace-jack.
Many double-ups followed and the eventual outcome was in the air as the lead changed several times. Katz would lose the fight with his short stack and ultimately Tony G came up short against Chen with an open-ended straight draw versus two pair. By then, Chen had become the dominating chip leader three-handed, but he traded double-ups with Vogelsang before defeating Chin Wei Lim in heads-up.
That concludes the PokerNews live reporting of the Event #4: €250,000 Super High Roller but more golden bracelets will be awarded in the days and weeks to come. Stay tuned for all the poker action from Rozvadov as the 2019 WSOPE gears up for the €10,300 Main Event.