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Leong Fends Off McKeehen, Timoshenko at WPT Borgata for $816k
It's not every day you'll get the chance to sit down at a WPT final table with the current WSOP Main Event champion and former WPT World Champion and play for almost $1m
It's even rarer you'll be the last one standing when it's all over.
That's how it happened on Friday for New York poker pro Chris Leong, however, as he outlasted both Joe McKeehen and Yevgeniy Timoshenko to get heads-up with Rafael Yaraliyev before claiming his first career WPT title.
The $816,246 prize is by far his biggest career score and bumps his career earnings up over $1m.
Epic Heads Up Goes 100 Hands
It wasn't easy any step of the way for Leong who came into the final six as the shortest stack.
His first big one came fairly early as he busted Timoshenko in fifth place when his QQ topped Yevgeniy's fours.
McKeehen dropped out in fourth and Liam He in third before Leong grabbed the chip lead from Yaraliyev by winning a 20m chip pot on the second hand of heads-up.
A back-and-forth heads-up battle ensued over 100 hands before Leong finally sealed the deal with his A-8 beating Yaraliyev's QQ.
Along with the $816k Leong also wins a seat in the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions and gets his name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup.
WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Final Table Results:
1: Chris Leong – $816,246
2: Rafael Yaraliyev – $487,288
3: Liam He – $297,995
4: Joe McKeehen – $249,267
5: Yevgeniy Timoshenko – $206,160
6: Matthew Wantman – $166,803
Revisit all the action from the final table in the WPT Live Updates. Hear from the champ himself after his win below: