Wong Brushes Off Ivey Loss, Wins WSOP Bracelet

Brandon Wong
Brandon Wong playing Phil Ivey heads-up in Australia.

Three months ago in Australia Brandon Wong seemed a lock to win his first WSOP bracelet with a chip lead heads-up in the APAC $2,200 Mixed Event.

Then Phil Ivey happened.

Ivey stormed back in the heads-up match, dominated the 2-7 Triple Draw rounds and snatched the bracelet away from Wong.

It turns out that Wong didn’t have to wait that long to finally score that illusive first bracelet.

Last night Wong beat the 372-player field in Event 50 $2,500 10-Game Mix to score his first bracelet and $220,061 cash.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Wong. “I’m a cash-game player so you don’t get a lot of recognition.”

Wong, who lives in California, has been playing cash games in LA and Las Vegas for more than a decade.

Wong Overcomes U.K.'s Saffari in Extended Heads-Up Match

Brandon Wong
Brandon Wong seals it.

Despite a long heads-up battle against Brit Sebastian Saffari last night, Wong stayed the course and eventually grinded out the victory.

Wong maintains he learned a lot from playing Ivey in Australia.

“I saw the demeanor of Ivey when he was playing,” Wong said. “He never panicked. He just pulled out his apple and won every hand. He wasn’t even paying attention to me!”

While Wong is glowing about his WSOP victory he did say he’d always remember the time he went head-to-head with the best poker player in the world for a gold bracelet.

“I was kind of heartbroken,” he said. “I mean I’m never going to get the chance to beat Ivey for a bracelet again. It’s just not going to happen. That’s a poker player’s dream.”

Wong will have to be content with simply winning a WSOP bracelet and $220,061 in cash.

Here are the complete final-table payouts for Event 50:

  • 1st: Brandon Wong - $220,061
  • 2nd: Sebastian Saffari - $135,932
  • 3rd: Philip Sternheimer - $87,397
  • 4th: Christian George - $57,954
  • 5th: Scott Abrams - $39,564
  • 6th: Loren Klein - $27,792
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