Christopher Leong Wins Caesars Atlantic City Casino Championship
Atlantic City, NJ (March 14, 2013) – Christopher Leong all but wrapped up the Casino Champion race at Caesars Atlantic City half way into the series.
By the time the sixth (of 12) gold ring events had been awarded at the most recent WSOP Circuit stop, Leong already had two victories and 100 points in the Casino Champion race. By contrast, his closest rival ranked 20 points behind.
The race tightened just a bit on the final day of the nearly two-week series, but Leong never faced a serious challenge in his pursuit of winning the Casino Championship. According to the final tabulations, the closest challengers were Cory Waaland (80 points), Dave Fox (70 points), and Jeffrey Gurfinkel (60 points).
Leong's good fortune started early. It also took place in the most challenging events – at least according to attendance. Leong topped the largest tournament size of the entire series, conquering a field of 809 in Event #2. Three days later, Leong came out on top again in Event #6, this time against 292 players. His final cash winnings amounted to $71,316.
Given the course of events leading up to the Caesars Atlantic City series, few could have predicted Leong would be the overall point winner. Fact is, he went through a tough stretch during the many months leading up to early March, when things turned around dramatically.
“I had a really terrible year, in 2012,” Leong said when interviewed after his second gold ring victory. “I had a losing year, so it was very tough.”
In retrospect, 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 that a turnaround would come.
“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 had this feeling it would happen (here at Caesars Atlantic City).”
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 recent results and the way he's playing, perhaps those plans will be postponed just a bit longer.
Up next for Leong will be at least upcoming WSOP Circuit stops – specifically those to be held at Foxwoods and Harrah's Philadelphia, but his real chance to shine comes in May, in New Orleans.
Leong's Casino Champion victory awards him an automatic seat into the WSOP National Championship presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof, scheduled to take place May 22-24 at Harrah's New Orleans. Leong joins all the other Casino Champion winners from around the country, in addition to each of the Main Event winners at each WSOP Circuit stop. There will also be 60 at-large qualifiers. Moreover, the top 100 Player of the Year finishers from the last two years at the WSOP will also be eligible to compete and can buy into the event for $10,000.