Event #9 Headlines

  1. “Twin” Wins $2,000 Buy-In No-Limit Hold’em Event at Chicago’s WSOP Circuit
  2. Tuyen “Twin” Ngo Achieves First WSOP Circuit Victory
  3. Horseshoe Casino (Chicagoland) Continues to Draw Big Fields – Attendance Up 11 Percent Over Last Year Through First Ten Events


Event #9 Champion (Tuyen “Twin” Ngo)

  • The 2009 World Series of Poker Circuit champion of Event #9 held at the Horseshoe Casino (Chicagoland) is Tuyen “Twin” Ngo, from McHenry, IL. 
  • Ngo is a 32-year-old professional poker player. He mostly plays in local games around the Chicago area.
  • Ngo was born in Vietnam. He immigrated to the United States nearly 30 years ago.
  • Ngo collected $56,126 in prize money, plus the coveted gold ring which is presented to all WSOP Circuit winners. This was his first gold ring.

The Final Table / In-the-Money Finishers

  • When final table began, Drew Youngblood and Gary Datro were neck a neck for the chip lead. Eventual winner “Twin” Ngo was in third place when the action started on Day Two.
  • The final table included Will Durkee, a former WSOP gold bracelet winner. Durkee won $566,919 in the $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event held in 2007. Durkee has seven WSOP cashes, and more than $700,000 in total WSOP earnings.
  • There were no former WSOP Circuit gold ring winners in the final group of nine, which guaranteed a first-time winner.
  • The ninth-place finisher was Michael Johnson, from Bartlett, IL. He is a 43-year-old salesman. Johnson earned $5,813.
  • The eighth-place finisher was Will Durkee, from Chicago, IL. Oddly enough – despite achieving much success at the WSOP in Las Vegas – this marked Durkee’s first time ever to cash in a WSOP Circuit event. He collected $6,815. 
  • The seventh-place finisher was Susie Zhao, from Chicago, IL. She is a 22-year-old student attending Northwestern University. Zhao is quite accomplished as an online player. She was recently ranked 17th online in SNG tournaments. Zhao was the highest female finisher in an open event so far at this year’s Chicago Circuit. She received $8,018 in prize money. 
  • The sixth-place finisher was Gary Datro, from Chicago, IL. He is a 41-year-old cable TV contractor, who is also an avid sports fan (favorite teams – Bears and Bulls). Datro picked up $9,822 in prize money for sixth place.
  • The fifth-place finisher was Chad Freid, from Northbrook, IL. He is a 37-year-old real estate builder. Freid has previously cashed two times in the WSOP Main Event, in 2006 and 2008 – which includes more than $70,000 in earnings. Freid received $12,427 for fifth place in this tournament.
  • The fourth-place finisher was Ray Wu, from Chicago, IL. He is a 32-year-old entrepreneur. This marked Wu’s best WSOP Circuit finish, which paid $17,438.
  • The third-place finisher was Steffan Naas, from Chicago, IL. He received $24,053.
  • When heads-up play began, Drew Youngblood enjoyed about a 3 to 2 chip lead over Tuyen “Twin Ngo. The battle picked up some extra spice when the two surviving players were unable to reach a deal (despite a break and some negotiation). Once “chop talk” broke down, Youngblood seemed even more determined to win the top prize outright. A few dozen evenly-divided spectators hollering their support only added to emotions. Youngblood and Ngo were involved in several big hands which swung the momentum back and forth during the final 45 minutes of play. 
  • The first key hand took place when Ngo doubled up holding A-10 versus Youngblood’s A-5. Both players caught an ace on the flop and the 10-kicker ended up playing in Ngo’s favor. 
  • Youngblood regained the edge when he took A-8 up against Ngo’s A-J. All the chips went into the pot after an ace flopped, but Youngblood actually had two pair (aces and eights), which held up.
  • The third and decisive confrontation took place when Ngo had his opponent all in with A-Q versus Youngblood’s A-6. Neither player made a pair, so the A-Q played, which gave Ngo the victory.
  • The runner up was Drew Youngblood, from Dearborn, MI. He had previously made final tables at the WSOP and WSOP Circuit. As the runner up, Youngblood received $36,079.
  • The winner was Tuyen “Twin” Ngo, who collected $58,126 and his first WSOP Circuit gold ring.