After six narrow misses in bracelet events that left him claiming either silver or bronze, Yueqi Zhu closed one out for the gold. The Chinese poker ambassador ran up an impressive stack at the final table of Event #35: $1,500 Mixed Omaha, but he had to return for an unscheduled fourth day on Tuesday to make it official.
Zhu returned with nearly 80 percent of all the chips in play three-handed, and it didn’t take long to seal the deal. Bracelet winner Carol Fuchs, L.A.-based producer and screenwriter who crushes mixed game tournaments in her free time, was the third-place finisher, despite an early double-up of her short stack to enter the final day.
Fuchs eventually got it in against chip leader Zhu with a six-high straight and six-five low, only to be up against Zhu’s slightly better seven-high straight and better six-five low.
Heads up against Gabriel Ramos didn’t last long — Zhu starting out with a more than 10-1 chip advantage. Ramos got it in with top set of queens in PLO-8 on a flop, but couldn’t hold against Zhu’s wrap that made a straight on the river.
Ramos had to settle for runner-up and $130,850, his fifth WSOP cash, and by far his best to date. Zhu, on the other hand, had a whopping 70 WSOP cashes with no bracelet in his 12-plus years of grinding World Series of Poker events coming into this final. Twelve years after finishing second in a $3,000 Limit Hold'em event for $184,409, Zhu grabs the elusive gold, along with a payday of $211,781.
Official Event #35 Final Table Payouts
|2||Gabriel Ramos||United States||$130,850|
|3||Carol Fuchs||United States||$89,488|
|4||Matthew Gregoire||United States||$62,226|
|5||Jon Turner||United States||$44,007|
|6||Peter Neff||United States||$31,662|
|7||Ryan Hughes||United States||$23,182|
The field was no cakewalk, and 116 players eventually collected a piece of the $1,043,550 prize pool. The 773 total entries marks the largest-ever mixed Omaha field at the Rio as the structure allowed for a single reentry through the first eight levels of play.
Among the cashers who fell short of the final table were bracelet winners Andrew Barber, Max Pescatori, Barry Greenstein, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and Robert Mizrachi. With the eliminations of Chip Jett in ninth place ($13,114) and bracelet winner Nathan Gamble in eighth ($17,279), the official final table was set.
Fuchs was the lone bracelet winner among them, all the rest looking for bracelet numero uno. Before the end of Day 3, though, that dream fell short for Ryan Hughes, Peter Neff, Jon Turner, and Matthew Gregoire before the final three had to call it a night and return Tuesday to finish it out.
While that concludes the coverage of Event #35, more World Series of Poker coverage can be found via PokerNews live reporting throughout the series, so keep it here to keep up with all the action.