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Henry Zou Wins 2018 Western New York Poker Challenge Main Event

Henry Zou
  • Saginaw, Michigan's Henry Zou wins a career-best $66,736 at the WNYPC.

Saginaw, Michigan's Henry Zou is the 2018 Western New York Poker Challenge (WNYPC) Main Event champion. Zou topped a record-setting field of 315 at the Seneca Niagara poker room, defeating Matt Marcinkiewicz heads up to claim a top prize of $66,736.

Zou came into the final table sitting in the middle of the pack but found an early double up through then chip leader, Patrick Tighe, with pocket aces. Zou cruised from there only relinquishing the chip lead for a brief spell.

The win is a massive boost to Zou's career earnings which previously sat at $39,736. In fact, Zou's previous best cash was for just $8,599 which came way back in 2014. With the money, Zou plans on playing the Main Event at the upcoming World Series of Poker.

Final Table Results:

1Henry ZouUnited States$66,736
2Matt MarcinkiewiczUnited States$40,484
3Andrew MillerUnited States$27,110
4Jeff MahoneyUnited States$18,907
5Mike LaTourUnited States$14,181
6Patrick TigheUnited States$11,956
7Victor SmithUnited States$9,398
8Scott MurawaUnited States$7,785
9Jeff HobreckerUnited States$6,673
WNYPC Final Table
WNYPC Final Table

Jeff Hobrecker entered the final table as the shortest stack and was the first player to put himself at risk. Hobrecker's stack had slid to just four big blinds and got he got two callers when he moved in, one of which was Zou. Zou would make two pair, and Hobrecker fell in ninth.

An unfortunate cooler sent Scott Murawa home in eighth place when he called off a three-bet shove from Marcinkiewicz with pocket queens, only to see Marcinkiewicz show up with pocket kings.

Not too much longer after that, Marcinkiewicz picked up kings again and once again was up against pocket queens, not only knocking out Victor Smith in seventh but he doubled through Mike LaTour as well to take a big chip lead.

Zou had a monster lead against Marcinkiewicz and Miller at the final three and turned down the possibility of a chop immediately.

Patrick Tighe began to roll over the table and got the chip lead for himself not long after, but before the next break he had doubled up both Zou and LaTour to fall to the position of the shortest stack. Tighe was the next to fall, getting his last five big blinds in against Jeff Mahoney, and couldn't make a pair with seven-six losing to king-four.

Departing the final table in fifth was Mike LaTour. LaTour open-jammed on the button and found himself snapped-off and dominated by Zou. Just a couple hands later, after battling the short stack for most of the final table, Jeff Mahoney lost his last race with king-queen to Marcinkiewicz's pocket tens.

Zou had a monster lead against Marcinkiewicz and Miller at the final three and turned down the possibility of a chop immediately. Three-handed play went on for the better part of two levels as Miller and Marcinkiewicz chipped away at Zou, eventually dethroning him. Marcinkiewicz grabbed a slight lead over Miller with Zou bringing up the rear.

Zou would narrow the gap and eventually retake the chip lead after knocking out the start of day chip leader Andrew Miller. Miller shoved with ace-nine in the small blind and Zou had him dominated with ace-jack in the big. Unable to improve, Miller was out in third.

Zou had the slightest of advantages against Marcinkiewicz when heads-up play began, both having about 60 big blinds. The heads-up battle did not last long, though. Zou took a big pot just a couple hands in and on the very next hand, Marcinkiewicz bluff-shoved with just ace high on the flop of a four-four-nine board. Zou was waiting with a four in his hand, called, and saw his hand held up.

That's a wrap for the PokerNews coverage of the 2018 WNYPC. Congratulations to all the winners and to the staff of the Seneca Niagara poker room for a well-run series and breaking their $1,000 Main Event attendance record.

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