The TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event has just come to a close, and local hero Jiachen Gong was able to overcome a field of 520 players over 4 days of poker to emerge as the tournament champion!
Jiachen, better known as Jack here amongst friends at Playground Poker Club, came into this final 6-handed table as the chip leader, and although he gave up the lead to Jessie Wheatley in the early stages of the day, he jumped right back into the driver’s seat in no time. He delivered the knockout blow to both 6th place Danny Kalpakis and 5th place Jessie Wheatley, although in both cases most of the leg work was done beforehand, and then chipped his way up the leaderboard throughout 4-handed action. After the elimination of Maxime Lejeune Hebert in 4th place, Jack became the overwhelming chip leader, and never looked back after that.
Once he eliminated Grant Pazarka in 3rd place, he entered into heads-up play versus Will Molson with a 6-to-1 chip advantage. Will wasn’t going to make it easy for his opponent, and he almost instantly doubled up his short stack, becoming a potential threat given his expertise in the game. After several orbits of back and forth between the two, both players picked up an ace in the hole and the fireworks began. Jiachen min-raised his button, and Will quickly moved all-in for 3,425,000. Jiachen made the call, and found he needed some help if he wanted to win this pot.
The board was just what Jiachen ordered, and with the flopped two-pairs he was able to eliminate his opponent and claim victory in this Main Event, collecting a cool $100,000 in the process, as well as the TonyBet Winter Festival Champion’s Belt!
TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Champion: Jiachen Gong – $100,000.00
TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Runner-Up: Will Molson – $70,000.00
Last Hand of Play: