We will ride back to another summer and this time to the 2014 Ladies Championship hosted in our all time favourite spot, Las Vegas. It was 29 June, when California’s poker pro easily fooled a field of 900+ entries to dominate the day and take home her first ever World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet.
Gone are the days when the mind sport was played solely by men, the ladies have arrived taking over the poker world by their skill! Grabbing a World Series bracelet in not an easy task and that was a memorable day for Haixia Zhang. “I’m in complete awe. It’s unreal,” she said moments afterwards, “I’m just glad to be here, let alone win it.”
Actually, Zhang entered the 2014 festival to play Monster Stack which drew an enormous 7,862 entries but everything went wrong after busting the first day itself. Fortunately, Zhang got a few days off and decided to “go for it”. Three days later, she entered Event #53: $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em and earned $153,470 as top prize. Well, she admits to play poker for fun!
Before the tournament win, the mother of two kids had total live winnings just over $25K, including her biggest cash for finishing sixth for 7k in a $235 Rio Daily Deepstacks Event. When the event got to heads-up, it was Zhang against Mikiyo Aoki, Zhang with just a slight chip edge, 1.2 million to 1.1 million. The final eleven hands was pretty much all Zhang. On the final hand, Aoki moved all-in pre-flop with J 7 and Zhang made the call with A 6. And the latter’s Ace-high held up, allowing her to take down the pot and win the gold piece!
Final Table Payouts:
After the match, the champion added, “The whole time as I walking into the game today I was shivering. Really tried to put a calm face. It’s surreal. I really enjoyed the event. The people were friendly. We shared poker strategies at the table.”
Today, Zhang’s live earnings exceeds $551K, having entered live poker arena in 2010 only to finish 4th in WSOP Circuit Evening event. In 2020 itself, she cashed in two WSOP Circuit events. Running deep in 2019 WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em, the player secured $5,512 finishing 9th. For more stories on WSOP, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com and stay tuned!