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Chen wins "Millionaire Maker" title at WSOP

6 June 2013

The World Series of Poker's first “Millionaire Maker” tournament exceeded even the most optimistic hopes and projections, drawing 6,343 entries, a record for a live tournament that did not have flights starting on multiple days.

It also turned into a dream come true for Benny Chen, a 32-year-old restaurant manager from Stratford, Prince Edward Island. He earned a whopping $1,199,104 for first place and collected his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Chen works and manages his family restaurant, which is owned by his brother – called Wayne's Take-Out.

“I play poker recreationally and for fun. I help him out when I can,” Chen said. “But after this, we'll have to see about that.”

The enormous rewards were a fitting reflection of the initial task at hand, which must have seemed insurmountable. Chen had to overcome a record field size for a non-Main Event tourney over a grueling four-day period at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

It was Chen's first live tournament victory. He certainly picked an optimal event to make a personal breakthrough. Chen also picked up a bonus of sorts, since the initial top prize was expected to be “only” $1 million.

The huge turnout pumped up the prize pool significantly higher, increasing the winners share by nearly $200,000. In fact, all nine players who made the final table collected at least six figures.

But in the end, one player made seven figures – Benny Chen, the first-ever “Millionaire Maker” champion.

Chen defeated Michael Bennington for the title. Bennington took home $741,902 for second place, more than anyone other than Chen has won so far at this year's WSOP.

Jonathan Gray finished third for $534,505, Justin Liberto was fourth for $400,408, Dan Kelly was fifth for $302,104, Christopher Hunichen was sixth for $229,575, Upsehka Desilva was seventh for $174,713, Robert McVeigh finished eighth for $135,467, and Theron Eichenberger was ninth for $105,154.

Tournament story modified from notes provided by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, originally posted on, reprinted by permission.

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