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Kim wins WSOP's annual Ladies Event

24 June 2019

Jiyoung Kim

Jiyoung Kim (photo by WSOP)

Name: Jiyoung Kim
Nationality: South Korean
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Current Residence: Gimhae, South Korea
Age: 47
Profession: Coffeeshop owner
Number of WSOP Cashes: 1
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: None
Total WSOP Earnings: $167,308

Gimhai, South Korea's Jiyoung Kim has triumphed in the 2019 World Series of Poker's traditional $1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em event.

Kim's victory in Event #49 on the 2019 WSOP was worth $167,308 and marked her first-ever WSOP cash, along with the champion's gold bracelet in this event.

Kim finished off the win by eliminating Santa Monica, California's Nancy Matson following a 90-minute heads-up battle. The runner-up finish for Matson, a prior Circuit ring winner, was worth $103,350. Sandrine Phan, from Brou-sur-Chantereine, France, logged a third-place effort worth $116,236.

Canada's Stephanie Dao finished in fourth for $52,007, Seattle-area player Lyly Vo took fifth for $37,654, and well-known New York player Lexy Gavin finished sixth for $27,643 to round out Day 4's final six in this event.

All six women who made it to Sunday's live-streamed finale ended up posting a WSOP career-best cash, led by Kim's $103,350 winner's payday.

Kim, 47, owns a small coffeeshop in South Korea while also participating in poker events in Pacific Rim series. That includes this, her third trip to Las Vegas and the Rio. She entered two events earlier this summer but didn't cash in either one until her first-ever Series cash today.

“It's a dream come true for me,” Kim told the WSOP through an intrpreter moments after her win. Kim was in or near the lead throught the entire Day 4 conclusion, but she didn't try to bully the table, instead selecting spots where she could press her edge.

“I would take it slow, take it normal,” she said about her final table plans. “This,” meaning the WSOP, “is the home of poker. I woudn't want to underestimate these other players.” Kim also claimed to have been the beneficiary of plenty of good luck, noting that the players she faced in the Ladies Event were significantly tougher than those she's faced in Asian poker events.

That said, her foes might disagree. Kim ran into runner-up Matson in an Amazon hallway a short while after her win, and the two again exchanged congratulations. “You played great. You deserved it!” said Matson to this year's winner.

Kim will take a shot at at least a couple of more events during the remainder of this summer's series. That may include a much-dreamed-about shot at the Main Event, though it's likely she'll try to satellite in rather than buying in directly.

As for the life-changing payday, Kim said she'll give most or all of it to her mother in South Korea. “My mom's always worried about me going overseas to play poker tournaments. I feel for her, and that's why I want to give her all the money.”

Six players returned on Sunday for the live-streamed finale in this year's Ladies Event, led by Dao's 5,420,000 stack. Three other players made this event's final table but were eliminated late on Day 3. Those three were Raylene Celaya (seventh for $20,582), Stephanie Hubbard (eighth for $15,544), and Barbara Blechinger (ninth for $11,911).

New York's Lexy Gavin made it to Day 4 but with the second-shortest stack, and she busted early when her hand went down to Matson's on the runout. Gavin's effort was worth $27,643.

Vo's exit came next. Down to just 600,000, Vo made her last stand, but she was up against Kim. Vo, from Federal Way, Washington, earned $37,654 for fifth.

Canada's Stephanie Dao busted in fourth two hours later, collecting $52,007. Dao moved all in from the small blind over a Matson button raise, then saw Sandrine Phan, from the big blind, move all in as well while having Dao covered. Matson folded, leaving Dao to square off against Phan. Dao needed an ace or multi-card help to stay alive, but she found neither to trim the final to three.

Three became two roughly an hour later when France's Phan, her own stack short, moved in for 1.9 million but was called by Kim. Kim moved way ahead on the flop, and though Phan had outs, the board did not help. Phan headed for the cashier for her $72,821 payout.

That left Kim and Matson to battle for the bracelet, with Kim holding roughly a 3:2 edge as their duel began. Kim steadily chipped awy at Matson's stack, and though Matson doubled up once to stay alive, she couldn't do it twice. Matson was down to 2.9 million when she re-raised all in, and Kim called. Neither player connected as the board ran out, which ended Matson's challenge and gave Kim the win.

Event #47, $1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em, attracted 968 entries to create an $871,200 prize pool. 146 players cashed, with a min-cash worth $1,496.

Among those who cashed in Event #47 were Vanessa Kade (14th, $7,311), Rebecca Campbell (18th,$5,858), Jackie Glazier (29th, $3,940), Kathy Liebert (35th, $3,940), Maria Lampropoulos (44th, $3,309), Kindah Sakkal (45th, $3,309), Amanda Baker (47th, $2,824), Marsha Wolak (61st, $2,450), Erica Lindgren (71st, $2,161), and Nadja Magnus (81st, $1,938).

Final table payouts:
1st: Jiyoung Kim, $167,308
2nd: Nancy Matson, $103,350
3rd: Sandrine Phan, $72,821
4th: Stephanie Dao, $52,007
5th: Lyly Vo, $37,654
6th: Lexy Gavin, $27,643
7th: Raylene Celaya, $20,582
8th: Stephanie Hubbard, $15,544
9th: Barbara Blechinger, $11,911

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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