The Wynn Summer Classic $3,500 No-Limit Hold'em Championship had 1,428 entrants who created a $4,605,300 prize pool. But only 24 players returned on Day 3, June 28th, each of them being determined to win the $696,011 first-place cash prize. Jinho Hong beat Andrew Moreno, the 2021 Wynn Millions champion, in a heads-up action and won the championship.
Hong said that he felt great when he won the event as he had traveled to Vegas thrice and finally managed to get encouraging results. Even so, the championship wasn't his main purpose for visiting Vegas, as he has loftier goals and hopes to win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
The champion attributed his latest poker success to his gaming experience, especially in StarCraft. He stated that his gaming prowess helps him multi-task at star-studded tables. Also, he mentioned Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, another poker pro who often played StarCraft before switching to poker.
The Championship's Final Table Results
- Jinho Hong from South Korea – $696,011
- Andrew Moreno from the U.S. – $460,529
- Diego Sanchez from Mexico – $316,407
- Ankush Mandavia from the U.S. – $224,508
- Arsenii Karmatckii from Russia – $165,791
- James Romero from the U.S. – $129,041
- Stephan Nussrallah from the U.S. – $103,850
- Daniel Smilkovic from Germany – $86,119
- Jampa Dothar from the U.S. – $72,764
There were several short stacks early in the day. It started with the fast elimination of Michael Rossitto in 22nd place, Terence Reid in 16th place, and Nicolas Noguera in the 15th position. The stacks flattened out after a short while, and players started considering pay jumps hence slowing the action's pace.
Even so, the nine-handed final table was formed before the dinner break. Yuki Kashihara staked his stack against Hong's ace but didn't improve and left the championship in 10th place with $61,950.
Action at the Final Table
Jampa Dothar was among the short stacks as he advanced to the final table. But Hong's cowboys beat his ace-jack and ended his run in ninth place.
Daniel Smilikovic followed him after losing most of his chips in a blind-on-blind action when James Romero's pocket tens beat his pocket threes. He left the table in eighth place after Diego Sanchez's rockets defeated his remaining hands.
Stephan Nussrallah exited the tournament in seventh place after several hands and losing a flip to Moreno. His elimination prompted the remaining six finalists to discuss a deal. Yet, play continued after they failed to reach a consensus.
A huge turning point at the table took place when Hong and Romero staked their stacks in a preflop. Hong's ladies held Romero's Big Slick, thus giving him a huge lead as he sent Romero packing in sixth place. Moreno rivered Arsenii Karmatckii after the confrontation and eliminated him in fifth place.
Moreno's Spirited Fight
Ankush Mandavia had a short stack, and he followed Karmatckii in fourth place after he placed a huge chunk of his stack with pocket sixes in a preflop against Moreno's ace-ten. But a full house turned and sent him home.
Sanchez was the short stack in the three-handed play and got several chances to continue playing, such as when his ace-six beat Hong's pocket tens. Unfortunately, Moreno beat him in a flip for his remaining chips and eliminated him in third place.
The move gave Moreno a 2:1 stack lead as he got in heads-up play with Hong. Both of them exchanged many small pots, and Moreno used a bottom pair to get his remaining chips on a flop that Hong turned over pocket kings. The kings held and gave Hong the victory hence forcing Moreno to settle in the runners-up position with $460,529.