Shanghai, China's Guoliang Wei rivers a straight flush in last hand to seal $559,332 payday
12 July 2018 (Las Vegas) – Shanghai, China's Guoliang Wei has won the 2018 World Series of Poker's Event #68, The Little One for One Drop - $1,000 +111 No-Limit Hold'em, in exciting fashion, making a straight flush in the event's final hand to win $559,332 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
Wei caught the on the river in a hand against the eventual runner-up, France's Francois Tosques. Tosques moved all in on the turn after flopping a set of jacks, while Wei had flopped an open-ended straight-flush draw, the queen through the nine of spades. Both players' loud rails urged for a favorable river, and Wei caught the most favorable of all, theat spade king, for the win.
For Wei, who has participated in numerous East Asian poker events, the triumph was just his second WSOP cash, as he'd made it into the money in a no-limit event in 2016. This time he collected the title and coveted bracelet, which in addition to attracting a huge field and offering big prizes, also generates funds for the One Drop Foundation, funding global clean-water initiatives.
France's Tosques began heads-up play nearly even against Wei, but the heads-up battle went virtually all Wei's way. Tosques, though, still earned an impressive $345,415 in the “Little One” event.
Christopher Staats of Oklahoma City, OK, took third place in Thursday's finale. Staats, a WSOP Circuit regular with three ring-event wins to his credit, pocketed a lifetime-best $254,580 for the deep run.
South Korea's Sung Joo Hyun finished fourth, earning $189,098. Midland, MI's Richard Douglas, in his first-ever WSOP cash, collected $141,565 for fifth.
Through an interpreter, Wei said he sensed the rivered straight flush in advance. “I felt it, the king of spades, before it fell.”
Wei stressed how important the win was for the growth of poker in China, despite some recent legal setbacks on that front. “Poker is growing in China,” he said. “There are large numbers of people watching this, though only a few of us can be here to compete. It's our dream to come here and win bracelets. That's the only goal.”
Wei also undertook some extra effort to participate in this year's WSOP. He and his wife, Du Yan, entrusted their six-month-old baby to a trusted sitter in order to be able to travel to Vegas compete.
He also tried the Main Event, but busted out late on Day 2, which made the Little One for One Drop event an inviting backup plan.
The Little One's official final table of nine was set earlier in the day when Mason, OH's Richard Cox busted in tenth. Cox was soon followed to the cashier's window by the Philippines' Lester Edoc, who became the first to exit the final, just nine hands in. Edoc completed the small blind while holding , inducing big blind Tosques to move all in with . Edoc quickly called, but the plan to double blew up when the flop paired Tosques's king. The turn and river were no help, and Edoc collected $48,157 for ninth.
Fifty hands then passed before France's Erwann Pecheux busted in eighth. Pecheux also busted to Tosques, getting the last of his chips in with , then seeing Tosques move all in for more and eventually show . The kings held up on an runout, leaving Pecheux to collect a $62,299 payday.
Brazil's Renato Kaneoya departed next, earning $81,251 for seventh. Kaneoya shoved all in for 2.8 million from the cutoff, but in the next seat, Staats found and called. Staats moved further ahead on the flop. The turn offered Kaneoya outs to the flush, but the river came instead, leaving six to battle for the win.
That number was cut to five when Westlake, OH's Jon Hoellein exited. Hoellein was extremely short on chips, and found a spot to take a shot at a near triple-up with his , facing Tosques. Tosques turned up a dominating , but Hoellein caught a flush draw on the flop. The turn and river were blanks, however, meaning Hoellein earned $106,822 for his efforts.
Tosques notched another knockout when he sent Michigan's Douglas to the rail a short while later. Douglas moved all in for nearly six million over Tosques's 825,000 open, and when Tosques called, Douglas was in a bad spot with to Tosques's . Douglas never improved as the board brought , and he settled for a $151,565 payday in his first-ever WSOP cash.
That left four, and it quickly became three when South Korea's Sung Joo Hyun busted as well. Hyun pocketed $189,098 when he moved his last two million in chips with , and Tosques called with . The flop gave Hyun a diamond-flush draw, but it never got there as the turn and river completed the hand.
The cumulative knockouts helped give Tosques roughly 65% of the chips in play at this point, but his lead slipped away. Wei doubled once, and then, in the second-biggest hand of the final, spiked an ace while all in against Tosques's pocket sevens.
Tosques pulled back into a virtual tie with Wei when he picked up one last knockout, that of Staats in third. Staats was down to 3.25 million when he moved all in with , and Tosques called and showed . One more time the board ran Tosques's way, bringing and sealing Staats's $254,580 payday.
The knockout brought on the stunning finale, which ended with Wei's rivered straight flush for the title.
Event #68, The Little One for One Drop - $1,000 +111 No-Limit Hold'em, pulled in 4,732 entries, producing a prize pool of $4,258,800. 710 players cashed, with each of them winning at least $1,500.
Among those cashing in The Little One for One Drop were Justin Liberto (14th, $24,490), Christian Pham (19th, $18,669), Dietrich Fast (21st, $18,669), Jeremy Joseph (28th, $15,042), James Calderaro (56th, $8,284), Benjamin Moon (57th, $8,284), Alexandru Papazian (61st, $8,284), Jeff Gross (88th, $4,935), and Dominik Nitsche (91st, $4,227).
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Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):
1st: Guoliang Wei, $559,332 (1,198.53)
2nd: Francois Tosques, $345,415 (599.27)
3rd: Christopher Staats, $254,580 (539.34)
4th: Sung Joo Hyun, $189,098 (479.41)
5th: Richard Douglas, $141,565 (449.45)
6th: Jon Hoellein, $106,822 (419.49)
7th: Renato Kaneoya, $81,251 (359.56)
8th: Erwann Pecheux, $62,299 (329.60)
9th: Lester Edoc, $48,157 (299.63)