From Low Stakes to $50K Champ: Phil Hui Wins WSOP Poker Players Championship

July 1st, 2019 | by Jason Reynolds

Phil Hui has mixed it up with the game’s elite and won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship (PPC).

Phil Hui WSOP winner

Phil Hui has defeated an all-star line-up to win the $50,000 WSOP Poker Players Championship. (Image: WSOP)

Despite being outclassed on paper, the American pro proved that anyone can earn their moment in the spotlight.

Having been a regular in local $150 tournaments last year, Hui completed a meteoric rise by topping the 74-player field.

Hui Sneaks in to Win

At the start of the WSOP PPC, Phil Ivey was the man to watch. Always a favorite whenever he plays, many thought the mixed game format would suit the high stakes pro.

However, with the Tiger Woods of Poker falling just short of the final table, it was the game’s younger stars that took centerstage.

Despite being known as a heads-up Hold’em specialist, Dan Cates was in a strong position alongside Shaun Deeb. However, when the cards started to fly it was Hui and veteran pro Josh Arieh who enjoyed the run of the cards.

Indeed, although the former would ultimately take home the $1 million+ top prize, the latter had his slice of luck.

After Cates and Deeb were eliminated, Bryce Yockey got it in with an almost unbeatable hand. At the time, the players were playing 2-7 Triple Draw.

Bad Beat Rocks Finale

The aim of the game in 2-7 Triple Draw is to make the worst hand and Yockey was dealt 2, 3, 5, 6, 7.

With the nuts being 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, Yockey was an overwhelming favorite throughout the hand. However, after third and final draw, disaster struck.

Despite starting with a six, Arieh was able to discard it (a move that prevented him from making a losing straight) and draw perfect cards.

In the video clip below, you can see how he managed to overcome a 99.84% disadvantage to win the hand and eliminate Yockey in fourth.

Down to three, Arieh had the momentum and used it to take out John Esposito in third. That scalp gave the American just over three times the chips of Hui.

However, with the prospect of a WSOP bracelet on the line, Hui fought back. Capturing and then losing the lead, the once small stake grinder eventually got the job done with a nine-low.

Unlike Yockey, Hui was able to avoid a tough beat during another 2-7 Triple Draw round. Standing pat with 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, the eventual winner was hoping Arieh would hit a high card.

His prayers were answered when an ace on the river gave Arieh 2, 3, 5, 6, A.

WSOP Event #58 Poker Players Championship Result

1 – Phil Hui – $1,099,311

2 – Josh Arieh – $679,246

3 – John Esposito – $466,407

4 – Bryce Yockey – $325,989

5 – Shaun Deeb – $232,058

6 – Dan Cates – $168,305

As the final pot slid his way, a jubilant Hui said it was a surreal achievement and better than winning the WSOP Main Event.


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