March 8, 2023 Tournaments & Cash Games
Sheng Ye became the latest WPT Prime champion after defeating a record-breaking field at Star Gold Coast, Queensland, on Monday.
The Australian pro traveled from his native Sydney to ante up in the WPT’s second Prime event on the Gold Coast. Hundreds more did the same, which meant the AU$2,000 tournament moved into record-breaking territory after three starting flights.
After the final buy-in was collected, the total number of entries stood at 1,224. That figure surpasses the previous WPT Prime record of 1,071 entries, which was set in Paris at the start of 2023.
Another WPT Prime record falls in 2023
The record-breaking field meant Ye was playing for the lion’s share of a AU$2.2 million prizepool. That’s a lot of money to play for, but Ye had already notched up multiple deep runs at Star Gold Coast prior to Monday’s final table, so he probably wasn’t feeling the pressure.
In fact, he won a WSOP Circuit event there in November 2022. That high roller win was worth AU$156,211, so his latest deep run was another chance for to add a six-figure score to his career total
WPT Prime Gold Coast result
- Sheng Ye – AU$374,953*
- Ben Richardson – AU$238,978
- Mo Haidary – AU$176,753
- Josh Foster – AU$132,048
- Anita Savage – AU$99,654
- Gary Lin – AU$75,981
*First prize includes a winner’s package for the WPT World Championship.
That was incentive enough for Ye to put in a dominant performance. He started top of the chip counts with six remaining and never relinquished his position. Despite never slipping, Ye had to defend his position on multiple occasions.
One player who posed the biggest threat to Ye’s WPT title hopes was Ben Richardson. The Australia pro had over US$760,000 in live cashes prior to the WPT Prime Gold Coast main event, and almost added a major title to his record.
Richardson was strong but Ye gets its done
Richardson doubled up three times during his heads-up against Ye. However, try as he might, Richardson couldn’t gain enough momentum to get ahead. He remained the shortest stack throughout the final showdown and, eventually, put it all on the line with the far from weak poker hand, A♦ 5♦.
Ye took advantage of his stack and position by moving all-in from the button with Q♦ 2♥. Richardson made an easy call and found a pair on the J♦ 6♠ 5♣ flop. However, the hand was far from over and the advantage quickly swung in Ye’s favor after the Q♥ fell on the turn.
Richardson had outs with one card to come, but couldn’t get there. The 8♣ brought the hand, and the tournament, to a conclusion. Ye raked in the final pot and, with it, his first WPT Prime title. The Australian also picked up his biggest payout of his career.
With another record-breaking event in the books, the WPT Prime team is now heading to Cambodia. Action gets underway at Nagaworld Integrated Resort on March 9 ahead of the WPT Prime Cambodia main event, which starts on March 16.
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.
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