Event #1 Casino Employees Event in the Books at 2012 WSOPTuesday, May 29th, 2012 by Ryan
The 2012 World Series of Poker is off with a bang, and the first event is officially in the books as the Casino Employees No Limit Hold’em event came down to its eventual winner, and it was the same player who began Day 2 as the chip leader who took down the bracelet. It wasn’t the easiest of roads for the eventual winner though, as by the time they were down to nine handed play, Chiab “Chip” Saechao had dropped to the second shortest stack going into the final table. The event began with a solid 732 players, but when we were down to only nine Saechao had less than ten big blinds to work with. His play was impressive though and he began to make noise, which is where we will pick up the action below.
It only took 15 minutes into the final table action for Saechao to show that he was still alive and kicking with a nic double up through Georgi Ivanov leaving him with about 190k in chips. He didn’t do much for a while after that, simply sitting on his stack and waiting for a spot to pick up another big pot, which he did a bit later. He called a pre-flop raise from James Routos, and the flop came down with two Jacks and a five. Saechao bet out 35k and Routos called, which led to a King falling on the turn. Saechao then check-called a 60k chip bet when another King fell on the river. Both players checked the river, and Saechao turned over K-Q for a full house, obviously hoping to get a bet from Routos on that river. He won the pot and was holding 320k chips at that point.
He then dropped all the way back down to 200k over the next few hours, but pulled out another sweet double up with Q-J against the pocket sixes of Ray Pulford. He flopped a Queen and it held, giving him a solid stack. He doubled up AGAIN just after that though through Patricia Baker when his pocket tens nearly sent him packing against her A-Q when she flopped a Queen, but he was able to hit a ten on the turn. After that Saechao kept his hot streak going when his pocket Aces sent home Nicolas Vaca-Rondon in 5th place, and a few hands later he found himself over the million chip mark. He sent home Routos in 3rd place as well, sending him into the heads up match against the previously mentioned Baker with a 1.6 million to 600k chip lead.
Saechao handled business quickly as he sent Baker home within about 20 minutes when he was able to river a flush and get it all in at that point dominating the straight of Baker. This meant that the 35 year old Blackjack dealer from Lemoore, California had his first live poker tournament cash and had also taken home a nice payday of $70,859 for his impressive run.