Saturday, June 27, 2015 1:05 AM Local Time
2015 World Series of Poker
Event #49: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low
Prize Pool: $1,100,250
Places Paid: 90
First Place Prize: $231,102 + WSOP Gold Bracelet
Wednesday, June 24 - Friday, June 26
YOUNG JI SCOOPS THE PLO HI-LOW BRACELET, POCKETS $231K
Alaska resident and business owner earns first gold bracelet following $1,500 PLO hi-low victory.
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET WINNER:
Name: Young Ji
Residence: Anchorage, Alaska
Birthplace: Inchon, South Korea
Occupation: Business owner
Number of WSOP Cashes: 7
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 16th ($1,500 pot-limit Omaha, $10,264)
Total WSOP Earnings: $307,494
The above stats include Ji’s Event #49 victory
Las Vegas (June 26, 2015) — Young Ji of Anchorage, Alaska. is the most recent World Series of Poker champion following a victory in Event #49, a $1,500 pot-limit Omaha hi-low tournament, Friday night at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Ji, a 52-year-old business owner, pocketed the lion’s share of the prize pool — $231,102 — along with his first gold bracelet in what impressively marked just his first WSOP final table.
“[There are] no words. I’m really happy — too excited,” Ji said of the moment. “The way the game was going I had some faith I was going to win. I had a really good, positive feeling that it was coming my way once we got down to heads up.”
The victory marks Ji’s seventh WSOP cash and comes on the heels of a Circuit gold ring victory he carded late last year. Making his Friday night feat more special, though, is the caliber of field Ji overcame to achieve it. In addition to 2014 WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer, who graced the final table before finishing eighth, eight-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel finished 14th, three-time winners Vanessa Selbst 17th and “Miami” John Cernuto 29th, Erik Baldwin 27th and Thor Hansen 29th. The list goes on from there. In the end, it was Ji’s headline for the taking. He masterfully maneuvered his way through the final table in about eight hours and ultimately claimed poker’s top prize — a gold bracelet.
“[My confidence comes from] putting in a lot of hours [of mixed games] over a 25-year period,” Ji said. “As far as Alaska, I’ve lived there for 25 years. We have long winters and everybody finds indoor entertainment. One of them is poker. I did put in a lot of hours the last 25 years […] When I face a stronger player, it gives me the extra motivation to play better. If I’m playing with a worse player than me, I tend to slack off. Every single time I went outside on break or even used the restroom, I was brainwashing myself subconsciously. Telling myself, focus. I was constantly in battle within myself to go through all these pros.”
Despite the plethora of talent that hit the rail prior to Ji, his most difficult test proved to be runner-up Mark Dube. Like Ji, Dube laid claim to a handful of previous WSOP successes. He lead the way during many of the late stages of play and not much changed as heads-up play began. After the better part of four hours of back-and-forth poker, the match was anyone’s for the taking. It wasn’t until Ji hit runner-runner two pair to scoop the pot that he was able to put the finishing touches on what marked his crowning poker achievement. For the runner-up finish, Dube earned $142,449.
Ji was born in Inchon, South Korea and began playing poker 30 years ago with friends. As mentioned above, he resides in Alaska where he owns a business. He contributes his poker success to the long winters of his home state which provide the much-needed time that poker requires to master.
Event #49 was the 49th of 68 events on the 2015 WSOP schedule. The $1,500 pot-limit Omaha hi-low tournament drew a field of 815 players generating a $1,100,250 prize pool. Each of the top 90 finishers received prize money with a min-cash awarding $2,475. Notable in-the-money finishers included Galen Hall (13th, $10,969), Chris Bjorin (37th, $5,061), John Monnette (44th, $5,061), Bart Hanson (47th, $4,268), Jamie Kerstetter (51st, $4,268), Scott Clements (52nd, $4,268), Randy Ohel (66th, $3,080) and Phil Hui (73rd, $2,728).
The event played out over a three-day stretch beginning Wednesday, June 24 and concluding late Friday, June 26.
Here’s a look at the tournament’s final table results:
1st: Young Ji - $231,102 + WSOP gold bracelet
2nd: Mark Dube - $142,449
3rd: Alex Dovzhenko - $92,310
4th: Connor Drinan - $67,555
5th: Bryce Yockey - $50,171
6th: Nick Polydoros - $37,760
7th: Prince of Docness - $28,771
8th: George Danzer - $22,181
9th: Joseph Haddad - $17,284
EVENT FUN FACTS:
The 815-player field was made up of 779 males and 36 females
The average age of participants was 41 years, nine months old
The field was made up of players from 28 different countries (659 from the U.S. and 156 international players
Saturday, June 27, 2015 12:09 AM Local Time
Young Ji opens the button to 240,000 and Mark Dube defends his big blind.
Dube checks the flop and Ji bets the pot, 480,000. Dube then check-raises another pot-sized bet, falling just short of 2,000,000.
That puts Dube all-in and Ji calls, quickly tabling .
Dube turns over for two pair.
The fall on the turn, giving Ji a pair and the on the river gives him two pair, which gives him the entire pot.
At first, Ji doesn't realize it, calling out "chop". But, after reevaluating the board and his hand, he notices his two pair and the fact the he's a World Series of Poker champion.
Young Ji stands from the table and shouts to his rail, screaming "907 Poker represent!", referencing his hometown poker club from Anchorage, Alaska.
After some quick hugs with friends and family, he graciously congratulates Mark Dube on his runner up finish, with Dube taking home just over $140,000 for his efforts.
Ji will make just over $230,000 and is now a WSOP gold bracelet winner.
A complete list of the entire Event #49 results can be found on the above 'Results' tab.
Saturday, June 27, 2015 12:01 AM Local Time
Mark Dube opens the button to 240,000 and Young Ji calls in the big blind.
Both players check to the river on a board of .
Ji bets 200,000 and Dube, after a few moments of thought, announces a pot-sized raise to just over 1,000,000.
Ji looks interested but after he goes into the tank, he throws over face up, folding a turned full house to Dube's river raise.
Dube takes in the pot and gains a little ground as he's back up to 2,000,000.
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:54 PM Local Time
Young Ji limps the button and Mark Dube checks his option in the big blind.
They check to a showdown on a board of and Ji tables for a straight and a scoop.
Ji is now playing 4,200,000 to Dube's 1,800,000.
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:50 PM Local Time
It looked like Mark Dube had finally stopped Young Ji's reign of terror but in actuality, he may have only slowed it.
After winning a small pot, Young Ji has taken down the last three hands, all with pot-sized bets pre flop or on the flop.
Those victories have been small but with Dube working with a less than average stack, the small victories will likely add up over time and put even more pressure on Mark Dube.
Young Ji is now playing just under 4,200,000.
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:46 PM Local Time
Young Ji opens the button to 240,000 and Mark Dube defends his big blind.
Both players check the flop.
The falls on the turn and Dube check-folds to a 175,000 chip bet from Ji.
Young Ji has now eclipsed the 4,000,000 chip mark and Mark Dube is now playing just over 20 big blinds.
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:41 PM Local Time
Mark Dube makes it 200,000 from the button and Young Ji defends his big blind to see a flop of .
Both players check to see the fall on the turn. Ji leads for 150,000 and Dube calls.
The completes the board and both players check it down, with Ji tabling .
It's good enough to scoop the pot and Ji is now playing just under 4,000,000.
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:37 PM Local Time
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:32 PM Local Time
Young Ji limps on the button. Mark Dube raises to 180,000, Ji calls.
The flop is and Dube bets 275,000. Ji calls. The turn is the and Dube bets pot. Instantly, Ji says all in. He can't get all the chips in, but that doesn't matter when Dube decides to go all in and Ji calls.
Ji is freerolling for the nut low, Dube has a pair of queens.
The river is the and it's a chopped pot.
The players are on a 20 minute break after this hand,
Young Ji - 3,500,000
Mark Dube - 2,800,000
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:16 PM Local Time
Mark Dube opens the button to 120,000 and Young Ji calls in the big blind.
Ji leads for a pot sized bet on the flop and Mark Dube, after a few moments of thought, pots to 1,450,000.
Young Ji doesn't need much time to think though, as he quickly announces a pot-sized raise of his own, putting himself all-in.
Dube calls and tables for a flopped set. Ji turns over and has both flush, straight and low draws.
The falls on the turn, giving Ji a low and he's freerolling for a flush on the river to scoop the pot and score a massive double up.
The keeps Ji honest though, chopping the pot as Dube's set takes the high and Ji takes the low.
Both players pull back their bets and Ji says, "I had a feeling this might be the one."
It wasn't and there are now 5 minutes remaining in Level 28.
Friday, June 26, 2015 11:11 PM Local Time
Young Ji raises to 150,000 from the button and Mark Dube defends his big blind.
Both players check the flop with Dube checking for a second time after the falls on the turn.
Ji then continues his pre flop aggression, pushing out a bet of 225,000. Dube takes a few moments to think before check-raising to 575,000. Ji calls to see the river.
The completes the board and both players quickly check, with Dube tabling .
"Nice catch on that river." Ji says while smiling and fanning out his own .
The river did in fact save Dube half the pot and he's now playing close to 3,300,000 while Ji is hovering near 2,700,000.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:59 PM Local Time
Young Ji raises from the button to 150,000 and Mark Dube calls.
The flop is and both players check. The turn is the 8d and Mark Dube bets 225,000, Ji calls. The river is the and Dube bets 350,000, Ji calls. He has four eights with a deuce three low, but Dube has an ace three low for a chopped pot.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:48 PM Local Time
The players entered this heads up battle with a relatively fast pace of play but that early action has subsided considerably over the lsat few hands.
While the pots are all being contested to the turn and river, the chips don't seem to be making their way into the pot that often, with the majority of hands being checked down with a maximum of one street of betting per encounter.
Both players have chopped pots but Mark Dube just broke that trend with a scoop, in a checked down pot on a board of with Dube holding two pair to take it all.
It was obviously a small pot but perhaps the scoop will inject some action into this heads up battle, as there is just over half hour remaining in Level 33 with the chip stacks remaining close.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:37 PM Local Time
Mark Dube calls the button and Young Ji checks his option.
The flop comes and Ji bets 125,000. Dube calls. The turn is the and both players check. The river is the and Ji checks to Dube, who bets the pot. Ji folds.
"You can have this one," Ji says.
Dube shows a bluff with ten high and a counterfeited low draw .
The bluff seems to make Ji smile, "Now we're playing the game," he says.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:29 PM Local Time
Young Ji opens the button to 100,000 and Mark Dube defends his big blind.
Dube checks flop and Ji continues for 125,000. Dube then check-raises to 375,000 and Ji calls.
The falls on the turn and Dube leads for 500,000. Instantly, Ji announces, "I raise the pot." to which the dealer replies with a number of nearly 2,500,000.
"Well I guess I'm all-in then?" says Ji, before he calmly leans back in his chair while Dube mulls over his decision.
After close to a minute of thought, he folds and Ji's rail cheers as he takes over the chip lead for the first time in this event, as he's now playing just under 3,300,000.
Mark Dube has been cut down to just over 2,700,000.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:22 PM Local Time
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:21 PM Local Time
Young Ji raises on the button to 125,000. Mark Dube calls. The flop is and both players check. They both check when the hits the turn and when the comes on the river Dube bets out 150,000. Ji reraises to 450,000.
While Dube is weighing his decision, Ji is just looking at him, but after a few minutes he pushes the bracelet towards Dube. This prompts Dube to fold pretty quickly and Ji shows a bluff with jack high.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:17 PM Local Time
When heads up play began, Young Ji moved to the opposite side of the table as Mark Dube, changing from Seat 7 to Seat 8.
His wife warned him against it, calling Seat 7 his 'lucky seat', and it seems like she was right.
Ji hasn't won a pot since the seat change, as Mark Dube has been able to apply pressure on nearly every street and crucial situation over the last half dozen hands, increasing his chip stack to near the 3,800,000 mark in the process.
The shorter stack is hoping to regain the mojo he had through the later parts of this final table, as he just hopped back into Seat 7 and will hopefully have some better luck.
There are also just under 5 minutes remaining in Level 27.
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:09 PM Local Time
Mark Dube raises to 150,000 from the button and Young Ji calls. The flop is
and Ji bets 100,000, Dube calls. The turn is the
and both players check. They both check when the
hits the river as well. Dube wins the pot with
Friday, June 26, 2015 10:05 PM Local Time
Mark Dube and Young Ji have returned from a short break and are now ready to play for the Event #49 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better title.
The players chip counts are extremely close, as Mark Dube is playing 3,200,000 and Young Ji is playing 2,800,000.
With both players working extremely deep stacks, this could be a grueling heads up battle. Regardless of it's length, WSOP.com will bring you all the updates as another World Series of Poker bracelet will be awarded tonight.