Thursday, June 13, 2019 5:24 PM Local Time
Stephen Song Battles To Capture First Bracelet and $341,854 in Event #28: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Stephen Song entered the day with nearly half the chips in play among the six remaining players at the beginning of Day 3 of the 2019 World Series of Poker Event #28: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em. His sights were set on the first place prize of $341,854 and the opportunity to earn his first career WSOP gold bracelet.
"It's surreal. I don't even know. The money's insane. WSOP summer is where you can actually make life-changing money. It's pretty unreal," Song stated in his interview after the tournament. The most recent bracelet winner is no stranger to the spotlight, with over $1.3 million in lifetime earnings after this score including a WSOP circuit ring and first place prize of $75,480 from January, 2019 in the High Roller event at WSOP Circuit – Thunder Valley. Other major final tables Song has reached include the 2018 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship (6th - $138,254), the 2018 WSOP Circuit – Hammond $5,300 High Roller (2nd - $73,539), and the 2018 WSOP Circuit – Lake Tahoe Main Event (4th - $49,392).
Finishing runner-up to Song was Scot Masters of Kenova, West Virginia, who bowed to Song after a short heads-up. Masters outlasted several notables including bracelet winner Ryan Laplante, who came in third for $154,268, and rising Brazilian star Renato Kaneoya who finished fourth ($113,712). The tournament attracted 2,479 participants and created a total prize pool of $2,229,300.
Final Table Results
|1||Stephen Song||United States||$341,854|
|2||Scot Masters||United States||$211,177|
|3||Ryan Laplante||United States||$154,268|
|5||Sevak Mikaiel||United States||$84,581|
|9||Yosef Lider||United States||$28,394|
It took around three and one-half hours of play and 110 hands today, 129 in total on the final table, for Song to emerge victorious. When asked about his strategy in a large-field tournament, he stated that his main focus was to go for chips and accumulate a stack from early on in the tournament.
The journey to victory wasn't all smooth sailing, however, for the Connecticut resident. On the tenth hand of the day, he found himself hit the second-nut flush on the turn only to run into the nut flush of Kaneoya. He still had a sizable chip lead, though he saw Kaneoya and WSOP bracelet winner Laplante consistently add to their stacks as the afternoon went on.
On Hand #55, Song found himself in a three-bet pot on the flop against Kaneoya. He barreled the turn and was unable to get Kaneoya off a better hand, resulting in a virtual tie atop the leaderboard. On the following hand (Hand #56), Song attempted a three-barrel bluff with king-nine offsuit that was picked off by Masters, sending Song into third place in chip counts for the time being.
The turning point of the tournament came on Hand #99, when Song defended his big blind against Laplante's raise from the button during three-handed play. There flop was two-tone with two aces and a queen on it and Song checked to Laplante, who made a continuation-bet of 400,000. Song then check-raised to 1,400,000 and was met with a three-bet to 5,750,000. With the decision effectively being one that would ultimately put Song to the test for his tournament life, he shoved all in and was quickly called. Song tabled a flush draw and was behind the trips of Laplante but improved to a flush on the turn and was able to hold and secure a double up while regaining a big chip lead.
Song ultimately knocked Laplante out in third place ($154,268) when his ace-jack suited held versus Laplante's ace-six suited in an all-in preflop situation. He was then heads up with around 80 percent of the chips in play, and the heads up match against Scot Masters (2nd place, $211,177) lasted just 10 hands, with the culmination being another all-in preflop situation between the pocket nines of Song and Masters' pocket fives. Song flopped a nine and had Masters drawing dead on the turn as the two shook hands while the dealer turned over the meaningless river card.
Moving forward, Song plans to invest a lot of his winnings. "Already I invest most of my winnings with my parents," said Song. "My dad's like the smartest guy I know." The money to be won in poker has always been a prime motivator for his success, though he does not plan to stop playing any time soon.
When asked if he will be playing this year's Main Event, he confirmed that he would be. "I will probably play in the Main Event hopefully every year for the rest of my life, but we'll see."
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:55 PM Local Time
Scot Masters Eliminated in 2nd Place ($211,177)
Hand #129: Stephen Song limped from the small blind. Scot Masters moved all in from the big blind and Song snap called.
Song could practically feel the bracelet around his wrist and Masters would need to get lucky as he was well behind.
The flop all but secured it for Song as it came the . The turn and the river ended Masters's tournament in an outstanding 2nd place finish.
|Stephen Song||49,540,000||8,300,000 |
|Scot Masters||0||-8,300,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:50 PM Local Time
Hands 127-128: Penultimate Hands
Hand #127: Walk for Scot Masters
Hand #128: Masters limped from the small blind and Stephen Song shoved all in, Masters folded.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:46 PM Local Time
Hands #120-126: Song's Lead Increases
Hand #120: Scot Masters completed from the small blind and Stephen Song checked his option. The flop came and both players checked. Song led out for 500,000 on the turn and Masters folded.
Hand #121: Scot Masters raised to 1,000,000 from the small blind and Stephen Song defended. The flop was and Masters check-called a continuation-bet of 1,200,000 from Song. The turn was and Masters again checked. Song fired a second barrel of 3,000,000 and Masters folded.
Hand #122: Scot Masters completed his small blind and Stephen Song raised to 1,300,000. Masters announced he was all in and Song quickly mucked.
Hand #123: Stephen Song limped the small blind and Scot Masters raised to 2,000,000 from the big blind, getting Song to fold.
Hand #124: Scot Masters folded, giving Stephen Song a walk.
Hand #125: Stephen Song completed from the small blind and Scot Masters checked his option. The flop came and Masters check-folded to a bet of 500,000 from Song.
Hand #126: Scot Masters raised to 1,500,000 from the small blind and Stephen Song called. The flop came and Song checked. Masters made a continuation-bet of 3,000,000 and Song folded.
|Stephen Song||41,240,000||1,950,000 |
|Scot Masters||8,300,000||-1,950,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:45 PM Local Time
Heads Up Chip Counts
The remaining two players are taking a five-minute break before commencing heads-up play.
|Stephen Song||39,290,000||550,000 |
|Scot Masters||10,250,000||-550,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:42 PM Local Time
Ryan Laplante Eliminated in 3rd place ($154,268)
Hand #119: From the button, Stephen Song raised to 1,000,000. Ryan Laplante moved all in from the small blind and got an immediate call from Song.
Laplante would need some help as he was dominated heading to the flop.
The flop did not give Laplante much as it came the . The turn gave him slight hope as the rolled off but the on the river sealed the WSOP bracelet winner's elimination in 3rd place.
|Stephen Song||38,740,000||9,100,000 |
|Ryan Laplante||0||-9,100,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:35 PM Local Time
Hands #111-118: Shoves and Folds
Hand #111: All three players saw a flop of . They checked it to the turn which was the and again all three checked. The river was the . Stephen Song bet 1,000,000 from the small blind and Ryan Laplante called. Song showed the for the winning hand.
Hand #112: Song shoved all in from the small blind which folded out the big blind.
Hand #113: Laplante limped, Scot Masters shoved all in and Laplante quickly folded.
Hand #114: Laplante moved all in from the button and got no callers.
Hand #115: Masters shoved his stack from the button and nobody called.
Hand #116: Laplante folded out the big when he shoved from the small blind.
Hand #117: Laplante shoved again to no calls.
Hand #118: Song moved all in from the small blind and folded out the big blind.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:28 PM Local Time
Level 36 started
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:28 PM Local Time
Hands #105-110: Song Ramping Up Aggression
Hand #105: Ryan Laplante limped from the button and Scot Masters announced he was all in from the small blind. Stephen Song folded his button and Laplante followed suit as Masters raked in the pot.
Hand #106: Scot Masters opened to 1,200,000 from the button and was three-bet to 3,700,000 by Stephen Song in the small blind. Ryan Laplante folded his big blind and Masters called. The flop came and Song made a continuation-bet of 2,700,000. Masters folded.
Hand #107: Stephen Song raised to 1,300,000 on the button and both remaining players folded.
Hand #108: Scot Masters limped from the small blind and Stephen Song checked his option. Masters bet 400,000 on a flop of and Song called. The turn was and Masters check-folded to Song's bet of 1,100,000.
Hand #109: Stephen Song completed his small blind and Ryan Laplante checked his option. The flop came and Song checked to Laplante, who bet 500,000, prompting a fold from Song.
Hand #110: Ryan Laplante limped his small blind and Scot Masters checked his option. The flop came and Laplante bet 400,000. Masters folded.
|Stephen Song||29,640,000||240,000 |
|Scot Masters||10,800,000||-5,225,000 |
|Ryan Laplante||9,100,000||4,600,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:28 PM Local Time
Hands #100-104: Laplante Doubles
Hand #100: Action folded to Stephen Song in the small blind, who put Ryan Laplante all in for his remaining 4,725,000. Laplante called.
Laplante doubled after a safe runout of .
Hand #101: Stephen Song raised from the button to 800,000 and was called by Scot Masters in the big blind. Song took down the pot with a continuation-bet of 650,000 on a flop of .
Hand #102: Action folded to Scot Masters, who completed his small blind. Stephen Song raised from the big blind to 1,400,000 and Masters called. The flop came and Masters check-called a bet of 1,000,000 from Song. The turn was and Masters checked. Song bet 1,800,000 and Masters folded.
Hand #103: Action folded to Stephen Song, who completed his small blind. Ryan Laplante checked his option from the big blind and both players checked the flop. The turn came and Song bet 400,000, getting a fold from Laplante.
Hand #104: Ryan Laplante raised to 1,200,000 in the small blind after action was folded to him. He took down the pot after Scot Masters folded in from the big blind.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:21 PM Local Time
Hand #99: Song Gets There
Hand #99: Ryan Laplante raised from the button and Stephen Song defended from the big blind.
The flop came the . Laplante bet 400,000 after it was checked to him and Song raised it to 1,400,000. Laplante announced raise and put out a stack of chips that totaled 5,750,000. Song thought for a couple of moments before shoving all in, which Laplante quickly called.
It was a huge moment as Laplante was head with the but Song had a lot of equity as he held the . The turn brought home that equity for Song when it came the . The river did not pair the board when the rolled off, to give Song the huge pot and put Laplante's stack in deep trouble.
|Stephen Song||29,400,000||11,900,000 |
|Scot Masters||16,025,000||2,000,000 |
|Ryan Laplante||4,500,000||-13,500,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:15 PM Local Time
Hands #96-98: Masters picks off Song
Hand #96: Ryan Laplante raised to 800,000 from the button and was three-bet to 2,600,000 by Stephen Song out of the big blind which forced Laplante to fold.
Hand #97: Song and Laplante saw a flop of . Song bet 400,000 from the small blind and Laplante called. The turn was the . Song bet 675,000 and Laplante called again. The river was the and the action went check-check. Song showed the winner.
Hand #98: Song raised to 900,000 on the button. Scot Masters defended from the big. The flop came the . Song bet 1,000,000 and Masters called. The turn was the . Both players checked. The river came the . Masters led out with a bet of 1,500,000 which Song pounced on with a raise to 4,500,000. Masters thought for a while before calling. Song showed the bluff with and Masters showed the winner the . "I need to stop bluffing you" said Song as Masters collected his chips.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:07 PM Local Time
Hands #93-95: Three-Handed Play
Hand #93: Ryan Laplante folded on the button and Scot Masters completed his small blind. Stephen Song checked his option in the big blind and the flop came . Both players checked to the turn and Masters bet 500,000. Song folded.
Hand #94: Scot Masters folded on the button and Stephen Song completed his small blind. Ryan Laplante was in the big blind and checked his option. The flop was and Song bet 500,000. Laplante called. The turn was and both players checked. The river came and Song checked to Laplante, who bet 2,775,000. Song folded.
Hand #95: A third consecutive blind-on-blind situation occurred to begin three-handed play, with Ryan Laplante raising to 1,200,000 from the small blind. Scot Masters folded and Laplante took down the pot preflop.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:04 PM Local Time
Renato Kaneoya Eliminated in 4th Place ($113,712)
Hand #92: Stephen Song folded his cutoff and action was on Ryan Laplante, who limped from the button. Renato Kaneoya announced he was all in for around 6,200,000 and Scot Masters folded in the big blind before Laplante quickly called and the two turned over their hands.
"I need to fade a ten," said Laplante as he walked over to a couple of his friends on the rail. There was a clean runout of and Laplante congratulated Kaneoya on a job well done, telling him that he had played great the entire tournament.
|Ryan Laplante||18,000,000||5,800,000 |
|Stephen Song||17,500,000||425,000 |
|Scot Masters||14,025,000||575,000 |
|Renato Kaneoya||0||-10,000,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:00 PM Local Time
Hand #91: Flop Fold for Kaneoya
Hand #91: Action folded to Ryan Laplante in the small blind, who completed. Renato Kaneoya checked his option and the two saw a flop. Laplante bet 400,000 and Kaneoya folded.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 2:56 PM Local Time
Level 35 started
Thursday, June 13, 2019 2:55 PM Local Time
Hands #89-90: Finishing the Level
Hand #89: Scot Masters limp-called a raise to 1,100,000 from Stephen Song in a blind-on-blind situation. The flop came and Masters checked to Song, who made a continuation-bet of 800,000. Masters put in a check-raise to 4,500,000 and Song folded.
Hand #90: Stephen Song raised to 1,050,000 after it was folded to him in the small blind. Ryan Laplante defended his big blind, taking the two to a flop of . Song made a continuation-bet of 600,000 and Laplante called. The turn was and Song fired another barrel for 1,000,000. Laplante again called and the river came . Song studied his opponent before putting in a bet of 9,000,000 and Laplante thought for a bit before folding.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 2:54 PM Local Time
Hands 78-88: Laplante and Kaneoya Double
Hand 78: Stephen Song raised to 700,000 from the small blind, everyone folded.
Hand 79: Song moved all in from the button which folded the table out.
Hand 80: Song raised to 700,000 from under the gun, which was greeted by folds.
Hand 81: Ryan Laplante moved all in from under the gun and got no callers.
Hand 82: Song moved all in from the big blind after a limp and it folded out the limper.
Hand 83: Song pushed all in from the button, the blinds folded.
Hand 84: Laplante limped, Scot Masters checked from the big blind. The flop was the . Both players checked. The turn was the . Laplante put out a stack of chips and Masters quickly folded.
Hand 85: Walk for Song.
Hand 86: Masters raised to 700,000 from the button, Song shoved all in from the small blind, Laplante called from the big and Masters folded.
The board was dangerous for the kings but did not sink them when it ran out to give Laplante a double up
Hand 87: Song raised to 600,000 on the button, Renato Kaneoya raised all in from the big blind, Song got a count and then called.
The board ran out and Kaneoya got a double up.
Hand 88: Song raised to 700,000 under the gun. Masters called from the big blind. The flop came . Song bet 600,000 and Masters moved all in. "That's a big shove" said Song as he thought it over, but decided to fold after about thirty seconds of consideration.
|Stephen Song||17,075,000||-8,700,000 |
|Scot Masters||13,450,000||600,000 |
|Ryan Laplante||12,200,000||6,600,000 |
|Renato Kaneoya||10,000,000||4,700,000 |
Thursday, June 13, 2019 2:38 PM Local Time
Hands #76-77: Masters Wins Small Showdown
Hand #76: Ryan Laplante open-limped on the button and Scot Masters checked his option to take the pot heads up to a flop of . Masters checked to Laplante, who bet 300,000 and received a call. The turn came and both players checked. The river was and Masters bet 400,000. Laplante called.
Masters tabled for two pair, kings up and took down the pot when Laplante mucked.
Hand #77: Ryan Laplante shoved all in from the cutoff and everybody folded.
Thursday, June 13, 2019 2:35 PM Local Time
Hands #73-75: Masters Doubles
Hand #73: Stephen Song received a walk in the big blind.
Hand #74: Stephen Song saw action folded to him in the small blind and he raised to 1,050,000. Ryan Laplante folded his big blind and Song took down the pot.
Hand #75: Scot Masters opened from the cutoff to 700,000 and Stephen Song announced he was all in from the button. Both players in the blinds folded and Masters quickly called and tabled his hand.
Song picked up extra outs and gave Masters quite the sweat as the dealer turned over a flop of . Fortunately for Masters, the turn and river came and he was able to secure the double.
|Stephen Song||25,775,000||-5,700,000 |
|Scot Masters||12,850,000||5,000,000 |
|Ryan Laplante||5,600,000||-1,780,000 |
|Renato Kaneoya||5,300,000||1,800,000 |