Joseph Cheong was eliminated in 3rd place from the WSOP Main Event. His play at the final table was considered the best, right up until the final thirty minutes of play where many questioned his 6bet shove against Jonathan Duhamel when holding just Ace Seven offsuit. Cheong came in as one of the middle stacks to the November Nine and eventually took a commanding chip stack lead with only five players remaining. At one point, Cheong and Duhamel had a near combined 200 million in chips while John Racener and Filippo Candio had around 50 million combined.
The hand where Cheong put Duhamel all-in crippled Cheong down to just around 4 million in chips with blinds at 1.5 million. Cheong had shoved his A7 right into Duhamel’s Pocket Queens, which held up to give Duhamel a massive chip lead in the game. Cheong started a valiant comeback and actually won the next three straight hands, with the final two of those being uncontested all-in preflop shoves. However, in the end, Cheong wasn’t able to get into the heads-up match and it was John Racener who sat idly by thanking his lucky stars that Duhamel and Cheong decided to take each other on, somewhat unnecessarily. Many pros were behind Cheong as he’s gained the reputation as being one of the best up and coming poker pros.
For his third place finish, Cheong takes home $4.1 million which puts him on the map in terms of all-time WSOP money winners. Many will wonder want Cheong was thinking by being so aggressive when play was three handed and Racener was riding a very short stack, given the $1.4 million jump in money between third and second place. However, there are many players that defended Cheong’s play, as Duhamel folds to that shove with a good portion of his range, which would have given Cheong a commanding lead. However, Duhamel wasn’t 5bet bluffing against Cheong, which many people believe Cheong should have read.
Regardless, at the post-game press conference interview, Cheong was proud of his play and looks forward to his poker playing future.