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Texan busts final table to win 1st WSOP bracelet, $514K

After two marathon days, Long Ma made short work of his opponents at the final table to claim his first World Series of Poker bracelet.

Ma, a 35-year-old from Dallas, cut through his final four foes in about an hour Tuesday at the Rio to win the $500 buy-in The Reunion No-limit Hold’em event for $514,604. Ma said he was “a little bit tired” for the final table after playing 15 hours on the first day and 17 hours on the second as the field of 12,973 entries in Event 4 of the WSOP was culled.

“Lots of good players, lucky players. I think I am the luckiest one,” Ma said with a laugh.

Ma came into the day with the chip lead, then eliminated all four of his opponents at the final table.

In the final hand, Giuliano Lentini went all-in before the flop with queen-jack, and Ma called with ace-seven. The board helped neither player, and Ma won with ace high to collect the bracelet and his first six-figure score in a poker tournament. (The WSOP awards trophy bracelets for tournament victories.)

Lentini got $317,352 for second.

Ma had only one cash for $1,751 in WSOP events before Tuesday. He said he might play some more WSOP events, but that depended on getting more time off work from his job as a manager at an electronic company.

In an early gauge of interest in this year’s WSOP, The Reunion exceeded the $5 million guaranteed prize pool by more than $400,000. The WSOP is being held under a coronavirus vaccine mandate that is leaving out some U.S. players, and international attendance could be affected by travel restrictions related to the virus.

Here are the other bracelet winners from the first week of the WSOP:

— James Barnett, a poker dealer at Caesars Palace, won Event 1, the $500 Casino Employees No-limit Hold’em, for $39,013 and his first bracelet, beating a field of 420 entries.

— Jesse Klein won Event 2, the $25,000 HORSE, for $552,182 and his first bracelet (78 entries).

— Jeremy Ausmus claimed his second bracelet, winning Event 3, the $1,000 COVID-19 No-limit Hold’em charity event, for $48,687 (260 entries).

— Connor Drinan claimed his second bracelet, winning Event 5, the $1,500 Omaha High-Low, for $163,252 (607 entries).

— Tyler Cornell won Event 6, the $25,000 High Roller No-limit Hold’em, for $833,289 and his first bracelet (135 entries).

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

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