Zhong Chen Wins WSOP International Circuit King's Resort €5,300 High Roller
In a single day, a champion was crowned in the WSOPC €5,300 High Roller, the biggest buy-in event of the 2019 World Series of Poker International Circuit King's Resort. The High Roller became prey for Zhong Chen, who topped a 28-entry field to claim the coveted WSOP Circuit ring and the first-place prize of €66,500 ($74,692).
Chen became the eleventh winner of the 2019 WSOP Circuit festival in King's Resort, Rozvadov. When asked if it was the biggest victory of his poker career, one in which Chen has now already amassed over $600,000, the Dutchman concurred.
"it's not about whether the ring or the money is nicer; they're both equally nice."
"Absolutely. But it's not about whether the ring or the money is nicer; they're both equally nice," he responded with a wide smile.
Chen, heralding from the northern Dutch province of Friesland, can be considered a true enthusiast of the game. No matter the buy-in, Chen can be spotted at poker tables around the world. The Dutchman is certainly lured by the higher priced tournaments on tap — he made two six-figure cashes in 10k events in Barcelona alone last year — but is also a common sight in one of the many affordable tournaments around in Rozvadov or his home country. The game itself, not the buy-in that accompanies it, is what motivates Chen.
Chen's drive was showing in full force last year when he made a serious attempt to become The Netherlands #1 ranked player on the 2018 GPI leaderboard. Ultimately, he narrowly lost the race to Tobias Peters, but Chen's second-place finish showed he packed quite the poker talent behind his friendly demeanor. Perhaps 2019 will be the year where he'll finally ascend the throne, and winning the WSOPC €5,300 High Roller will certainly be in his 2019 highlight reel if it comes to that.
2019 WSOP International Circuit King's Resort €5,300 High Roller Final Result
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Action of the Day
At 7 p.m. local time, cards went into the air for what would become a long one-day affair that would last until 5:15 in the morning. A total of 28 entries were made into the tournament. Reentries were allowed up until the end of the eight level, and Viktor Walter claimed the dubious honor of entering the most bullets into the pot. He fired three rounds from his chamber but came up short each time. Walter's third attempt brought him to the final table, but a sixth place wasn't netting him a cash.
With just three places worth some green, nearly everyone else missed out on the money as well, including King's high stakes stalwarts Martin Kabrhel and Michal Mrakes. Kabrhel went down early after losing jacks versus nines. Mrakes did make it to the final table but missed out on a money finish and finished in seventh place.
The Germans, as always a force to be reckoned with in pricier events, found themselves in prime shape to divide the lion's share of the prize money. No fewer than four Germans were among the final six players, but Walter, Fabian Gumz, and Jakob Miegel all went down before the money. Miegel, the eventual bubble boy, lost what was probably the biggest coin flip of the day when he went under with ace-queen versus Chen's pocket jacks for heaps.
Out of the four Germans, only Anton Morgenstern was able to leave with more than he came with. Morgenstern, fresh off a big victory at the 2019 Aussie Millions, held the chip lead throughout the majority of the day up until the final four. After losing ace-king versus Miegel's pocket nines, it was Blasko who followed up on it by running a daring bluff with ten-high on Morgenstern. The bluff got through, and Morgenstern busted not long after, an anti-climatic end to a strong showing throughout.
Perhaps emboldened by the ballsy play, Blasko moved chock-full of confidence into the heads-up phase with Chen. The Slovakian kept up the aggression, put Chen to the test multiple times, but every time at showdown, Chen was somehow able to find an escape. His friends on the rail started to jokingly name their friend "the cockroach" in response to yet another victorious all-in situation.
The Dutchman doubled three times in a row to work himself back from crumbs to even stacks, before moving into the lead by winning another showdown with ace-ten versus ten-nine. Shortly after, Chen won his fifth all in in a row with ace-king versus king-deuce, which finally forced Blasko to wave the white flag.
While the High Roller has wrapped up, there's plenty more coming from Rozvadov as the highly-anticipated WSOPC €1,700 Main Event kicks off its first of two starting days on Friday, March 29 at 2 p.m. PokerNews will be on the floor to cover the Main Event start-to-finish so make sure to check back regularly for all the latest news live out of King's Resort. All WSOPC Rozvadov Live Updates can be found in the PokerNews Live Reporting section.