2019 WSOP Player of the Week: Hong Kong’s Danny Tang
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You will sometimes reach a crossroads in life where you have a decision to make that could alter your life in almost unimaginable ways. Danny Tang, our Global Poker-sponsored WSOP Player of the Week, hit one of these junctions when he decided to move to Hong Kong after graduating from the University of Manchester.
Tang discovered poker while at university, and he became a regular feature in the various Manchester casinos and at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn. After several deep runs, Tang banked a £32,400 score ($49,657) in Jun. 2015 when he finished second in a £550 buy-in event.
Less than a year later, Tang enjoyed his first six-figure prize when he was the runner-up in a $1,100 buy-in World Poker Tour National event in Nottingham. Shortly after this impressive result, Tang began playing live events in Korea and Macau with decent success, but it is the last two years that have seen Tang explode on the live circuit in Asia.
Exploding on the Asian poker scene
A $130,704 score for a third-place finish in the Asia Championship of Poker Macau Mini High Roller was followed by an $82,302 prize in Macau a month later. Tang then triumphed in a €10,300 High Roller at EPT Prague for €381,000 ($448,732) and put together a deep run in the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, busting in 31st place for $230,475.
This year has been Tang’s breakout year. He enjoyed fifteen cashes prior to the 2019 WSOP, including a career-best $1,796,498 for being the runner-up in a Triton Poker Super High Roller Series event in Montenegro that Bryn Kenney won.
Four WSOP cashes later, Tang was full of confidence and bought into the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final Fifty High Roller event. While a great player in his own right, you would be forgiven for overlooking Tang’s name in a field that saw the likes of Steffen Sonthemer, Dan Smith, Ben Heath, Seth Davies, Almedin Imsirovic, Keith Tilston, Adrian Mateos, Brandon Adams and Michael Addamo all enter and reach the money places.
Being a relative unknown in these Super High Roller circles did not faze Tang; in fact, it seems he almost thrived under the pressure of being the perceived underdog. Here was Tang, who four years earlier was playing in tournaments with buy-ins 100 times less than this one, sending Brandon Adams home and leading the way and climbing to the top of the chip counts.
"It's a dream come true"
Tang sent Michael Addamo back to Australia with his tail between his legs before despatching Sam Soverel heads-up to win his first bracelet. It was Hong Kong’s second-ever bracelet and the county’s first in a Hold’em event; Tang’s close friend Anson Tsang won a bracelet in a PLO event at the 2018 WSOP Europe festival.
After being crowned champion, Tang described the experience as a dream come true. “I think in general in the high stakes community, a lot of people have won a bunch of stuff, whereas I am relatively new to the community and it's the first No-Limit Hold'em bracelet for Hong Kong. It's a dream come true.”
"I am relatively new to the community and it's the first No-Limit Hold'em bracelet for Hong Kong. It's a dream come true.”
Despite winning $1,608,406, Tang was not done with the 2019 WSOP, not by a long shot. He was among the 99 entries in the $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller where he fell in tenth place for $230,801 after his ace-three could not come from behind to beat the dominating ace-ten in the hand of 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche, who himself has four WSOP bracelets.
One final throw of the dice saw Tang bust 77th in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $7,798, meaning he banked a cool $1,847,005 and a gold WSOP bracelet in an enjoyable seven day period.
Tang has his sights set on glory
We will see Tang at the WSOP again – we would be shocked if he is not in Rozvadov for the 2019 WSOP Europe festival – as he has his sights set on more poker jewelry, more winnings and overtaking Stanley Choi in the Hong Kong all-time money listings.
“Playing poker obviously is my passion, and financially has helped me where I'm at right now. I want to go down in the history books. I just want to be remembered. When I'm older I can tell my kids, and generations and generations after me when they talk about poker, 'Oh yeah, Danny Tang,' so I will be aiming for that number one spot eventually, and I'm only 26/27, so I have years ahead of me. I'm confident.”
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