Las Vegas's Longsheng Tan tops 1,351-entry field to win $373,472 in best showing of poker career

8 July 2018 (Las Vegas) – Alhambra, California's Longsheng Tan has earned his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet by winning Event #66 of the 2018 WSOP, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em.

The victory by Tan, 34, came on an extra fourth day of play in this no-limit hold'em event, which concluded early Sunday evening. Tan, a native of Nanning, China now living in Las Vegas, collected $373,472 for the victory. The big payday is more than ten times what he's earned at the WSOP in 10 previous WSOP and Circuit cashes over the past year.

Tan finished off Venice, California's Lanny Levine to seal the title in this event. Levine, 67, a native of Akron, Ohio now living in Venice, California, posted his own WSOP-best by earning $199,862 for second.

Florida's Jayaram Kovoorchathoth pocketed $142,785 for finishing third, while Macomb, Mississippi's Trey Brabham nursed a day-long short stack to a fourth-place finish, worth $103,212.

Tan led throughout the entirety of Day 4 play, though his challengers drew close on a couple of occasions, including once by Levine during their brief heads-up duel. Tan had reassumed nearly a 2:1 edge before the last hand played out, which began with Tan raising to 200,000 from the button and Levine calling.

Both players checked the     flop, and an   turn brought a 175,000 bet from Tan, which Levine also called. The river was the  , giving both players trips. Levine bet 400,000, Tan made it 1.4 million, Levine shoved for his entire stack (about three million in total), and Tan called. Levine showed   , but Tan had    for the better kicker and the win.

It's the latest in a recent run of success for Tan, who immigrated to the US from Nanning, China about ten years ago and has worked in the Alhambra area as a real-estate agent for several years. He recently moved to Las Vegas, however, in part to play more poker, meaning that he's now juggling two nearly full-time careers. “Pretty much,” admitted Tan, when asked about the twin careers. “[Since coming to Vegas], I get to play poker a lot.” Tan logged a six-figure payday in another Vegas tourney earlier this summer, and this was his third cash of the WSOP this year, though nothing else has come close to today's $323,472 win.

Despite Tan coming into the final table with the lead and holding it throughout the day, he didn't admit to a specific plan of attack. “I just tried my best. As long as I play my best, I'll take whatever result comes. I just stayed calm.

“At one point, my chips were going down, to where everybody had almost the same, about two million or something. So at that time I told myself, 'Calm down, play my hands, try to play my best.' I was a little tilted. Still, I calmed down and had a good run.

Six players returned for an extra fourth day of action in Event #66, after play moved inside the official nine-player final on Saturday evening. John Pannucci (seventh, $41,884), Georgios Angelo Tavoularis (eighth, $31,775), and Jason Paradis (ninth, $24,409) all logged official final-table appearances but busted before reaching Sunday's streamed finale.

New Orleans, LA's Stephen Bierman busted first from the finale about an hour into the day's action. Bierman started the day with over a million in chips but had been whittled down to about 350,000 when he moved all in from the button with   , and Kovoorchathoth called from the small blind with   . Kovoorchathoth's ten kicker played as the board ran out        , sending Bierman off to a $55,892, sixth-place payout.

This final featured two prior WSOP Circuit ring winners, and they busted consecutively in fifth and fourth spots. Fargo, ND's Adam Laskey, who won a Circuit event in St. Louis in 2012, busted in a big battle of the blinds against Tan. Tan limped in from the small blind with    and Laskey checked with   , and they saw a     flop. Tan led for 50,000, Laskey raised to 150,000, Tan re-raised back to 400,000 and Laskey called. Tan bet out again on the   turn, and Laskey called again. The   river gave Tan a full house and Laskey two pair; Tan then moved all in, having Laskey covered, and Laskey called off his last 550,000 but ended up on the losing end. Laskey's run was still worth $75,497, while the deep-stacked Tan stretched his lead over the remaining players.

Brabham's ouster came next. Macomb, MS's Brabham, who won a Circuit ring in 2013 at Harrah's New Orleans, collected a $103,212 payout after busting to Kovoorchathoth in what started as a three-way pot. Brabham was down to just 120,000 when he moved all in, and Tan and Kovoorchathoth both called. The two live players checked through the     flop and  , but Kovoorchathoth bet 100,000 on the   river and Tan folded. Kovoorchathoth showed his    for the turned flush, while Brabham's    had been before the river, sending him to the rail.

Three-way action stretched another hour before Kovoorchathoth busted in third, earning $142,785. Florida's Kovoorchathoth busted in a hand against the other short stack, owned by Lanny Levine, with Kovoorchathoth check-raising all in after a     flop. Levine called and showed    to Kovoorchathoth's   , but Levine spiked the   turn for the higher pair and the   river sealed Kovoorchathoth's exit.

Kovoorchathoth' bustout brought on the start of heads-up action between Tan and Levine, which began with Tan holding roughly a 3:2 edge. Levine drew closer over the first couple of hands before Tan went on a closing rush to take down the title.

Event #66, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, attracted 1,351 entrants, building a $1,823,850. 203 players cashed, with a min-cash worth $2,231.

Other Notables:
Among those cashing in Event #66 were Timur Margolin (17th, $11,942), Rex Clinkscales (21st, $9,657), Daniel Weinman (23rd, $9,657), Gaelle Baumann (30th, $7,915), Brock Parker (37th, $6,574), Kenny Haellert (38th, $6,574), TK Miles (44th, $6,574), and Mark Radoja (45th, $6,574).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #66.

Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):

1st: Longsheng Tan, $323,472 (1,078.01)
2nd: Lanny Levine, $199,862 (539.01)
3rd: Jayaram Kovoorchathoth, $142,785 (488.11)
4th: Trey Brabham, $103,212 (431.20)
5th: Adam Laskey, $75,497 (404.25)
6th: Stephen Bierman, $55,892 (377.30)
7th: John Pannucci, $41,884 (323.40)
8th: Georgios Angelo Tavoularis, $31,775 (296.45)
9th: Jason Paradis, $24,409 (269.50)