Tang tops 123-entry field in Event #90 to claim Hong Kong's secoond-ever bracelet
10 July 2019 (Las Vegas) – Hong Kong's Danny Tang has earned his first-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet in winning Event #90 at the 2019 WSOP, $50,000 Final Fifty No-Limit Hold'em.
The 26-year-old Tang, booked the win in this special event that was a late addition to the 2019 WSOP slate, and emerged with a $1,608,406 payday that was the second largest of his live-event poker career. Tang has cashed for more than $4.4 million in international events, though his largest WSOP payday in 15 previous cashes was a $230,475 score in the 2018 Main Event.
Tang, who boasts dual Hong Kong and United Kingdom citizenship and currently lives in Macau, booked his own first WSOP win at a final loaded with previous bracelet winners. Among them was West Palm Beach, Florida's Sam Soverel, who was severely outchipped when heads-up play began and clawed back during heads-up play but couldn't fully overcome the deficit. Soverel earned $994,072 for the runner-up showing.
Australia's Michael Addamo navigated his way to a third-place finish. The two-time bracelet winner earned $697,375 in this event.
Start-of-day chipleader Brandon Adams, owner of one WSOP bracelet, finished in fourth for $500,282 after a major collision against Tang that appeared to decide the event before Soverel's late challenge. Fifth place and $233,888 went to Spain's Adrian Mateos, who was denied in his run for a fourth career bracelet win.
Tang began the day with just 15 big blinds but gained ground early to eventually move into a dominant lead following his elimination of then-second-place Adams in fourth. Addamo busted just one hand later, which left Tang with almost a 7:1 lead in chips over Soverel as their duel began.
Soverel, though, put up a spirited fight, doubling up once and taking down several smaller pots to move within striking distance, though he never moved into the lead. The end offered plenty of drama. Soverel, with less than 20 big blinds, moved all for 11.2 million from the small blind and Tang, still with a 2:1 edge in chips, called at once.
Tang led at that point with to Soverel's , and Tang stayed ahead on a flop. The turn, though, was the , giving Soverel two pair and the lead. Then the arrived on the river, with the two pair on board counterfeiting Soverel's treys and making Tang's jack the better kicker for the win.
Tang described how he reacted during the final hand: “Obviously I was disappointed to see the three, and I was saying to my rail, 'Let's get a five, chop it up, and continue. When the ace dropped on the river, I don't think many of us knew I won. We all paused for like two or three seconds before, 'Oh, yeah, I won!'” Then he and his rail erupted in one of the longer celebrations of the series to date.
Tang took up poker during his university years in Manchester, eventually turning pro and participating both live and online, though on the live scene, he's really broken through to a new level over the past two years. “After I graduated and decided to turn pro I moved back to Asia and met a load of good people. People who trusted me, people who were willing to invest in me, buy pieces – their support was just unreal.
“Without them investing, I would never have had the opportunity to move up in stakes eventually and play this tournament.” The win naturally means that Tang will be on the scene for many more high-roller events, including the $100,000 high roller Event #83 that begins tomorrow.
Tang and his rail's exuberant victory celebration had much to do with it being not only his victory, but also the second ever bracelet win for Hong Kong. “I'm relatively new to the [high stakes] community,” he noted.
Tang is fully mindful of his growing recognition as one of Hong Kong's leading poker stars. “Playing poker is my passion, and obviously it's helped me to where I'm at right now. I want to go down in the history book. I want to be remembered.... I'm only 26 or 27; I've got years ahead of me.”
Day three in the Final Fifty began with seven players remaining in the hunt for this last high-roller bracelet of the Series. Eighth-place finisher Seth Davies ($167,420) also made the official final table in this event.
Vancouver, Washington's Ali Imsirovic made it to Day 3 with the shortest stack, and his stay was brief. Just two hands in, he moved in for his last 830,000 with , and Adams called with . Both players caught a piece of the flop. Imsirovic stayed ahead on the turn, but a river gave Adams two pair and sent Imsirovic off to a $212,292 seventh-place payout.
Keith Tilston started the day almost as short as Imsirovic, and he didn't last much longer. Two hands later, Austin, Texas's Tilston moved all in with , but Mateos was waiting with . Mateos's kings held up easily on a runout, and Tilston was out in sixth place for $275,874.
Adams picked up another knockout when he bounced Spain's Adrian Mateos in fifth ($367,186). With increasing blinds coming into play, Mateos moved all in the small blind for 2,850,000 with . Adams had in the big blind and called, and his hand stayed ahead on a board to trim the final to four.
Then the big collision between Tang and Adams occurred. Tang moved all in from the button with and Adams, likely mindful of Tang's self-admitted ratcheting up of the pressure, called all-in with . Nothing over a nine appeared, the full board showing , and Adams was out in fourth place.
Adams' sudden exit meant a payday boost for Addamo, who sat behind just three big blinds when the big collision occurred. Addamo busted himself the very next hand when he made his last stand with after Tang moved all in for much more. Tang had a dominating , and that held up on a board that sealed Addamo's $697,375 payout and set up the final duel between Tang and Soverel.
Also cashing in this event were Seth Davies (eighth, $167,420), Elior Sion (ninth, $135,395), Ben Heath (10th, $135,395), Canay Ekmen (11th, $112,357), Cary Katz (12th, $112,357), Talal Shakerchi (13th, $95,740), Dan Smith (14th, $95,740), Sean Winter (15th, $83,830), Giuseppe Iadisernia (16th, $83,830), Ognjen Sekularac (17th, $75,483), Juan Pardo Dominguez (18th, $75,483), and Steffen Sontheimer (19th, $75,483).
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1st: Daniel Chi “Danny” Tang, $1,608,406
2nd: Sam Soverel, $994,072
3rd: Michael Addamo, $697,375
4th: Brandon Adams, $500,282
5th: Adrian Mateos, $367,186
6th: Keith Tilston, $275,874
7th: Ali Imsirovic, $212,292
8th: Seth Davies, $167,420