Win for “subiime” in Event #34 worth $687,772 to boost lifetime WSOP earnings over $7 million

19 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Joe “subiime” Cheong has earned the first World Series of Poker gold bracelet of his career by triumphing in Event #34 of the 2019 WSOP, $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em.

Cheong, a Las Vegas-based poker pro who has also won three WSOP Circuit rings, collected $687,772 for the win in this massive 6,214-entry event. The payday swelled the 33-year-old Cheong's earnings to $7,038,517.

Cheong arrived with the lead at the start of an originally unscheduled Day 5, then closed out the win in a little over two hours of play. Cheong held off a brief challenge from Florida's David Ivers to secure the title.

Ivers, 30, from Holiday, Florida, pocketed a lifetime best $424,791 as this event's runner-up. Third place in Event #34 went to Weihai, China's Zinan “Jason” Xu, who couldn't improve on his start-of-day position before being eliminated by Cheong. Xu's extended run here was worth a career best $314,876.

The six-player Day 5 in Event #34 was rounded out by Italy's Andrea Buonocore (fourth, $235,099), Las Vegas's Arianna Son (fifth, $176,820), and southern Florida's Ido Ashkenazi (sixth, $133,970).

Cheong has seen a lot in his decade-plus as a top pro, now adding this win to his three Circuit rings and his most famous poker accomplishment, that third-place run in the 2010 Main Event.

“I feel pretty good,” he said, understating the moment in typical Joe Cheong fashion. Cheong is always friendly and upbeat but rarely shows much emotion, as here, when he just modestly accepted congratulations from his large rail of fellow poker pros.

To Cheong, winning the long-sought first bracelet was “definitely less exciting” than his Main Event run nine years ago. “I've played poker so long, it was just another day at work,” he said. And indeed, moments after his post-victory celebration, he was off to register another event and immediately continue his grind at the tables. “Just a bathroom break,” he said. “And maybe grab a beer.”

Cheong also doesn't feel he had any sort of special edge in a big-field event such as this. “Small buy-ins are usually softer, definitely ending with a lot of chips. Definitely longer than I wanted it to be, but in the end I don't care too much” – a nod that a two-thirds-of-a-million-dollars payday is well worth an extra day of play.

When asked how he prepared for the Day 5 finale, he admitted it was less than intense. “Me and my friends, we shared a bottle of wine, slept real late. That's it!” He arrived just minutes before play began, but ultimately had little trouble in closing out the win.

Cheong had plenty of respect for his final-table foes despite his own healthy lead. “I think [Ivers] was probably the toughest player at the final table, though [Jason Xu] played a little different from most grinders. That threw me off some; he was probably the most dangerous to me.” Xu, though, was unable to pull in enough chips to seriously challenge Cheong's or Ivers' much deeper stacks.

Six players returned for an extra fifth day of action in Event #34 on Wednesday after being unable to complete the event on Tuesday night. David Guay (7th, $102,258), three-time International Circuit ring winner Ivan Deyra (8th, $78,638), and Brock Wilson (9th, $60,930) all made the final table but were eliminated late on Day 4.

Florida's Ido Ashkenazi found his Day 5 experience a brief one. On the day's first hand he moved all in for 11.7 million with   , but Cheong had    and called. Cheong's jacks held up as the board brought        , sending Ashkenazi off to a $133,970 sixth-place payday.

Just five hands later, Arianna Son busted in fifth for $176,820. Son began the day with just five big blinds and managed one double-up, but she busted while defending her big blind with    against Ivers, who tried to steal from the small blind with   . Ivers spiked a nine on the     flop, then stayed ahead through the   turn and   river for the knockout.

Only one hand later, and in just the seventh hand of Day 5 overall, Italy's Andrea Buonocore busted in fourth for $235,099. Buonocore was the last of the three short-stacked players to make an early stand, but he fared no better, losing his last 14.5 million in chips when he defended his big blind against another jam from Ivers. Buonocore had    and needed help against Ivers'   , but the         board gave Ivers back-to-back knockouts and closer to Cheong's leading stack.

With the shortest stacks bounce, action settled down, and it was over 40 hands later that China's Xu busted in third to Cheong, in a hand where all three players stayed in through the turn, with the board showing      . Xu bet 10.3 million, Ivers folded, but Cheong called after a few moments of thought. The river was the  , Xu checked, Cheong moved all in, and Xu called off his last chips. Cheong had    to river two pair, making Xu's   , and he wa off to the cashier for a $314,875 payout.

That gave Cheong a healthy lead against Ivers, and though Ivers managed one double-up, their duel was brief. In the final hand, Cheong moved all in from the big blind with   , while Ivers gave it some thought, then called for his last 24 million. Ivers was ahead with his   , but the board went Cheong's way, eventually showing         to give Cheong top pair and the win.

Event #34, $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em, drew 16,214 entries and built a $1,146,800 prize pool. 932 players cashed and a min-cash was worth $1,499.

Others making the money in Event #34, $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold'em , included Jack Sinclair (27th, $23,701), Denis Timofeev (49th, $12,670), Timur Margolin (50th, $12,670), Alexander Ziskin (59th, $12,447), Alan Cutler (76th, $7,278), Marcel Vonk (81st, $7,278), Steve van Zadelhoff (92nd, $5,240), and Tyler Patterson (102nd, $4,501).

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Final-Table Payouts:

1st: Joseph Cheong, $687,772
2nd: David Ivers, $424,791
3rd: Zinan Xu, $314,876
4th: Andrea Buonocore, $235,099
5th: Arianna Son, $176,820
6th: Ido Ashkenazi, $133,970
7th: David Guay, $102,258
8th: Ivan Deyra, $78,638
9th: Brock Wilson, $60,930