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Aces at right time power Kim to 1st WSOP bracelet

Updated July 8, 2020 - 1:03 pm

Pocket aces paved Joon Kim’s path to his first World Series of Poker bracelet early Wednesday.

Kim (screen name jykpoker) took a massive chip lead into heads-up play after his big hand with aces and went on to win WSOP Online Event 7 on WSOP.com, an $800 No-limit Hold’em knockout tournament, earning $103,126.98.

Kim had only four cashes in WSOP events for $13,155 before Wednesday’s victory.

He defeated Stephen McManus (screen name bunsamillion) heads-up, but the real fireworks came three-handed against two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (CircleBall), who has more than $2.3 million in career WSOP earnings.

Kim raised on the button, and Baldwin went all-in from the small blind for more than 10 million in chips with pocket sevens. Kim quickly called, his hand held up, and he entered heads-up play with a chip lead of about 25 million to 4.7 million. He then clinched the bracelet after a short battle.

The event attracted 989 players, creating a main prize pool of $534,060. In the knockout format, $200 from each player’s buy-in went toward a bounty pool totaling $197,800. Players received $200 for each player they eliminated.

The flagship WSOP that is normally held every summer at the Rio Convention Center has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. leg of the WSOP Online includes one event every day through July 31. Players must be physically located in Nevada or New Jersey to play.

Event 8, a $500 buy-in No-limit Hold’em freezeout, starts at 3 p.m. Wednesday and is expected to end early Thursday. Event 9 is a $1,000 No-limit Hold’em six-handed tournament that starts at 3 p.m. Thursday.

A series for players who live outside the U.S. — or Americans who can travel out of the country — will be held July 19 to Sept. 6 on GGPoker.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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