Christopher Leong Wins Second Gold Ring This Week at Caesars Atlantic City
Gold Ring Winners Finish 1-2-3
Latest Winner Takes Casino Champion Point Lead
Atlantic City, NJ (March 7, 2013) – It's said that cream rises to the top. That certainly happened in the most recent WSOP Circuit event, which just concluded early this morning at Caesars Atlantic City.
The top three finishers were all previous gold ring winners. Christopher Leong finished first. Robert Panitch finished second. And, Cory Waaland took third.
Indeed, the player at the top of this golden pyramid was also the champion of Event 2 – which drew the monster-sized 809-player field last weekend. Any player that could conquer something of that size would certainly be a force in this tournament, as well.
Yet Leong's biggest challenges here in Atlantic City this past week weren't so much his opponents, but himself.
“I had a really terrible year, in 2012,” Leong said after his latest victory. “I had a losing year, so it was very tough.”
Two things are remarkable about that statement. First, Leong's honesty is refreshing. Second, he had enough faith in himself to stick it out and expect a turnaround.
“I really did not change the way I played. I didn't alter my game,” said Leong. “I knew it would turn around and I has this feeling it would happen (here at Caesars Atlantic City). Now, my goal is to try and win a third. That would be a record, right?”
Yes indeed – a third victory by Leong within the next six events (two have already started) would put him in exalted territory. He'd likely reach an unbreakable plateau under the current format of “12 gold ring in 12 days.” Winning two gold rings is phenomenal and has been accomplished perhaps no more than about 20 times in nine seasons. But winning a third victory at a single series would be unprecedented.
Leong is a 24-year-old poker pro from New York City. He graduated from Prestigious Baruch College a few years ago. He says he'd like to go into business for himself at some point. But given his results and the way he's now playing, perhaps those plans will be postponed a bit longer.
Leong collected $22,776 plus his second gold ring. He's also now the leader in the Casino Champion race.
Among the other notable finishers was Robert Panitch, who previously won a gold ring. The heads-up match between the two finalists ran an astounding five hours. Panitch took second place.
Also worthy of mention was Cory Waaland's third-place finish. With his current point total, another deep run in one of the final events could catapult him into the leader in the Casino Champion race.
NYC-based writer Rachel Krantz took fifth place.
The Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em tournament attracted a nice-sized field totaling 292 players and was played over a two-day period. The top 30 finishers collected prize money. The final table finishers were as follows:
1 Christopher Leong NEW YORK, NY, US $22,776
2 Robert Panitch NORTHBROOK, IL, US $14,074
3 Cory Waaland GREENVILLE, NC, US $9,771
4 Justin Liberto FALLSTON, MD, US $6,856
5 Rachel Kranz NEW YORK, NY, US $4,862
6 Edward Steitz SEA GIRT, NJ, US $3,485