Ryan Leng Wins Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed for $137,969
Ryan Leng didn’t consider himself among the best players in this star-studded field, or even when they got down to the final table of six. But, in the end, it was the Wheeling, Indiana, native who walked away with the bracelet in Event #23: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix.
Leng defeated Connor Drinan after a long heads-up match that featured many reversals of fortune to become a three-time WSOP bracelet winner. Both of his previous wins came in No-Limit Hold’em Events: the $1,500 Bounty No-Limit Hold’em in 2018, and the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout on WSOP.com this summer.
Event #23: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix Final Table Results
|1||Ryan Leng||United States||$137,969|
|2||Connor Drinan||United States||$85,273|
|3||Brett Shaffer||United States||$56,839|
|4||Daniel Zack||United States||$38,752|
|5||Schuyler Thornton||United States||$27,038|
|6||Ryan Hughes||United States||$19,317|
This event, though, was different. It had 484 of the best mixed-game specialists in the poker world, and Leng had to use every bit of the work he’s put in to prevail. “It was a lot tougher,” Leng said, comparing his previous bracelet wins to this one.
“I’ve been studying mixed games lately. I definitely think the final table, the final two tables, I was certainly nowhere near the best player left in the field. I ran really hot.”
During heads-up play, Leng fell down 10-to-1 against Drinan and was all in for his tournament life with against . Leng hit a seven on the flop to double up and didn’t look back from there, grinding down Drinan before taking the chip lead and knocking out the two-time bracelet winner with a 7-6 in 2-7 Triple Draw. But for Leng, just playing against a player he grew up in the game watching was special.
“He’s the best. I used to play low-stakes online and I would pull up his tables on PokerStars and just sweat him,” Leng said. “Playing him heads-up was just a freeroll for me. If I lost, I lost to one of the best. And if I ran well and won, then great.
Taking his place behind the stacks of chips and the gold bracelet, Leng was surrounded by his family and friends who were on the rail cheering him on throughout the final table. His girlfriend, Nicky, and her mother were here, just as they were for his previous two wins. Having that support behind him, with friends who are accomplished players on their own, means everything to Leng.
“It’s amazing. It would mean nothing without them. My rail is amazing,” he said. “They all have success in their own right. I love seeing them have success. We love seeing each other have success. We push each other, we study together.”
Leng isn’t concerned about whether the poker world will start recognizing him more for his all-around abilities and not just as a No-Limit Hold’em player. He’s not playing for the adulation that comes with that recognition. He’s focused more on the people around him and what they think.
“It feels good because of the work that I’ve put in. I appreciate the respect of my peers," he said. "But, aside from that, I’m not doing it for what people think about me or my mixed games. I’m doing it for me, my friends, my family.”
The Eight-Game Mix tested each player’s ability in a variety of games, including No-Limit Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud and Hi-Lo, and 2-7 Triple Draw. Leng admits he’s not the best in all those games, but he tried to play to his strengths and avoid big pots in games he wasn’t as comfortable in.
He’s now a two-time bracelet winner this year, adding on to his victory in the WSOP Online in July. There is still one goal he has in mind, though.
“My biggest long-term goal is to win Player of the Year at the World Series,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of work to do the rest of the series to make that happen. But I’m going to try to make that happen.”
He’s already proven he can handle the best players in the world in any game the WSOP has to offer.
In this Series
- 1 Caesars Palace Dealer Jimmy Barnett Crowned Casino Employees Champion
- 2 Jesse Klein Tilts Hellmuth on Way to 2021 WSOP $25K H.O.R.S.E. Win for $552,182
- 3 Jeremy Ausmus Wins First Gold Bracelet of the 2021 World Series of Poker
- 4 Long Ma Tops Near 13,000-Player Field to Win The Reunion and First WSOP Bracelet
- 5 Connor Drinan Wins Second Bracelet in Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
- 6 Tyler Cornell Gets Signature Victory in 2021 WSOP Event #6: $25,000 High Roller ($833,289)
- 7 Jaswinder "Jesse" Lally Wins 2021 WSOP Event #7: $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed ($97,915)
- 8 Aces in the Final Hand as Zhi Wu Wins Event #8: $600 Deepstack ($281,604)
- 9 Ari Engel Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Championship; Hellmuth Fifth
- 10 Michael Perrone Wins 2021 WSOP Event #10: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em ($152,173)
- 11 Jason Koon Wins Maiden WSOP Bracelet in Event #11: $25K Heads-Up Championship ($243,981)
- 12 Yuval Bronshtein Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold'em
- 13 Harvey Mathews Wins Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em ($371,914)
- 14 Lebron Captures Gold; Wins 2021 WSOP Event #14: $1,500 7-Card Stud
- 15 Bradley Jansen Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #15: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em ($313,403)
- 16 John Monnette Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet in Event #16: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship ($245,680)
- 17 Vladimir Peck Wins 2021 WSOP Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($134,390)
- 18 DJ Alexander Captures 1st WSOP Bracelet in Event #20: GGPoker Flip & Go ($180,665)
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Denied 16th Bracelet as Anthony Zinno Wins His 3rd in the $10K Stud Championship
- 20 Dylan Linde Wins His First WSOP Bracelet in Event #21: $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo ($170,269)
- 21 Michael Prendergast Wins Maiden Bracelet in Event #24: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack ($127,428)
- 22 Ryan Leng Wins Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed for $137,969
- 23 Daniel Lazrus Wins 2021 WSOP Millionaire Maker for 2nd Bracelet ($1,000,000)
- 24 Lara Eisenberg wins 2021 World Series of Poker Ladies NLHE Championship
- 25 Czech Pro Dalibor Dula Becomes First European Bracelet Winner at the 2021 WSOP
- 26 Anthony Zinno Wins Fourth Gold Bracelet in Event #27 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
- 27 Scott Ball Celebrates First WSOP Bracelet in Event #25: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
- 28 Dylan Weisman Wins WSOP Event #28: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha for First Bracelet ($166,461)
- 29 Chance Kornuth Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Event #29: $10,000 Short Deck ($194,670)
- 30 Phil Hellmuth Wins Record 16th World Series of Poker (WSOP) Gold Bracelet
- 31 Jim Collopy Wins 2021 WSOP Event #32: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. for Second Gold Bracelet ($172,823)
- 32 Michael Noori Captures First WSOP Bracelet and $610,437 in the Monster Stack
- 33 Ran Koller Wins WSOP Event #33: $800 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold'em Deep Stack ($269,478)
- 34 David "Bakes" Baker Wins Third WSOP Title in Event #34: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw
- 35 Anthony Koutsos Wins First WSOP Bracelet In Event #35: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em ($167,272)
- 36 Adam Friedman Defeats Phil Hellmuth to Win WSOP $10k Dealer's Choice for Third Straight Year
- 37 Karolis Sereika Wins First WSOP Bracelet in Event #37: $1,500 Super Turbo ($195,310)
- 38 Michael Addamo Wins Third WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #38: $50K High Roller ($1,132,968)
- 39 Josh Arieh Wins Third Bracelet in Event #39: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha ($204,766)
- 40 Kevin Gerhart Wins Third Career Bracelet in Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
- 41 "Hobby Player" Carlos Chang Wins First Bracelet in $2,500 NLHE Freezeout