Brandon Wong was so close to a bracelet this past April at the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific he could taste it. Wong outlasted a stacked field in a $2,200 Mixed event and found himself at the final table with the current WSOP Player of the Year points leader Daniel Negreanu and nine-time gold bracelet champion Phil Ivey.
Negreanu hit the rail, but Wong couldn’t best Ivey, who sent him home in second place, just shy of his first gold bracelet.
Wong headed back to the states and came to the 44th Annual World Series of Poker more determined than ever. He got himself in position again, first working his way through the start-studded field of Event 50, a $2,500 10-Game Mix Six-Handed tournament, then outlasting player after player at the final table until he was heads-up with England’s Sebastian Saffari.
Saffari didn’t get the best of him, and Wong won the prestigious event, earning $220,061 and finally claiming the elusive gold bracelet. He is a 38-year-old poker professional from Fresno, Calif.
The 10-Game Mix Six-Handed tournament (Event 50) drew 372 entrants generating a prize pool of $846,300. Each of the top 42 in-the-money finishers received a pay day of at least $4,189. Gold bracelet winners Scott Fischman (38th), Freddy Deeb (31st), Gavin Smith (28th), Scotty Nguyen (21st), Konstantin Puchkob (18th), Robert Williamson III (17th) and Greg Raymer (11th) were among those to finish in the money.
Others to cash, but fall short of the final table include Dan O’Brien (36th), Marcel Luske (30th) and Shawn Buchanan (25th). The defending champion, Vanessa Selbst, was unable to repeat as victor, finishing short of the money.
The tournament was decided over a 10-game mix of No-Limit Hold’em, Razz, Limit Hold’em, Badugi, Stud, No-Limit 2-7 Draw, Omaha 8, Pot-Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw and Stud 8.
The lack of bracelet winners at the final table wasn’t telling of the talent to comprise the late stages of play. Of the last six players, four boasted WSOP earnings of more than $300,000. Most notably, the $644,794 of Scott Abrams and the $493,361 of Wong. Christopher George became the 29th player to make multiple final table appearances at the 2013 WSOP, finishing fourth.
Here’s a look at the final table results from the six-handed event:
1st: Brandon Wong – $220,061
2nd: Sebastian Saffari – $135,932
3rd: Philip Sternheimer – $87,397
4th: Christian George – $57,954
5th: Scott Abrams – $39,564
6th: Loren Klein – $27,792