What a final day here in the Pavilion Room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. After building a big stack on Day 2 and challenging for the lead for much of the day, then grabbing the advantage during the final table, Yen Dang has emerged from a field of 936 as this year's Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Champion!
Debbie Pechac, Candida Ross-Powers, and Dang began with the big stacks, and ultimately two of those three would play down to the tourney's final hand. Meanwhile a few players — including Angela Prada-Moed, Jan Howard, and Rosemary Lawrence — returned to relative short stacks.. And in the early going, Rae Rocco would find her stack depleted as well, all of which led to a lot of all-in shoves in the early going.
As it happened, Sweden's Ida Lundholm would be the first to fall in ninth not long after Jan Howard doubled through her to leave Lundholm on a short stack. Rosemary Lawrence would follow Howard to the rail shortly thereafter in eighth when her failed to improve against Candida Ross-Powers's .
Two more eliminations came shortly after Lawrence's. First Lesley Amos was ousted in seventh after flopping two pair with but running into Yen Dang's Broadway straight. Then Rae Rocco hit the rail in sixth when her pocket tens failed to hold against the of Debbie Pechac.
Pechac began today with the chip lead, and became the first player to 1 million chips shortly after knocking out Rocco. Pechac maintained her lead as she watched Yen Dang knock out Candida Ross-Powers in fifth when the latter's failed hold against Dang's .
Pechac's fortunes would soon change, however, after a hand versus Jan Howard in which the latter pulled into a virtual tie with Pechac for first. Then a huge hand developed between Pechac and Dang in which Dang was all in before the flop with versus Pechac's , and when the board brought two aces Dang suddenly had more than 1.5 million while Pechac had slipped below 200,000.
The bustouts slowed at that point, with the final four battling for some time before a short-stacked Angela Prada-Moed shoved with pocket nines, but unfortunately ran into Dang's to go out in fourth. Three-handed play again saw the pace slow, with Jan Howard's stack gradually getting whittled down before she'd lose an all-in with versus Dang's pocket nines to finish third.
Heads-up play between Pechac and Dang would then last about a dozen hands, with Dang enjoying the advantage throughout. Finally, after Dang flopped a pair versus Pechac's open-ended straight draw, the latter's chips went all in and Dang's hand held to give her the title.
Dang is giving interviews at the moment, describing her journey from being a law student to learning the game to achieving one of the most desired milestones in all of poker — to win a WSOP bracelet!
Thanks for following our coverage of Event 51: $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship, and be sure to stick with PokerNews for coverage of every WSOP event down to the Main Event — starting in less than a week!