Joseph Cheong Finishes Runner-Up in Event 6 of the 2012 WSOP
Cheong found himself once again starring down a WSOP bracelet in Event #6, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Mix-Maxed event. Cheong quickly eliminated Hugo Lemaire in their semifinal heads-up match, then hung around to sweat out the marathon match between Aubin Cazals and Warwick Mirzikinian, one of which was destined to become his final opponent.
When Cazal finally bested Mirzikinian, Cheong and Cazal decided they would prefer to play the final match on Tuesday because Cheong was still alive in Event #9 with a healthy stack. But tournament directors wouldn’t allow a schedule change, citing a conflict with the Nevada Gaming Commission involving sports wagers placed on the match. The players then decided to play Monday at 9am instead, but when Cheong busted early from Event #9, it became a non-issue and the players resumed heads-up play at the scheduled time of noon.
Heads up play started very deep with both players having roughly 3 million in chips, facing 4,000/8,000 blinds. After a few hours of feeling each other out, the match ended in dramatic fashion with Cheong once again making a courageous bluff. With blinds at 10,000/20,000, Cheong opened to 50,000 and Cazals three-bet to 130,000. After some thought, Cheong four-bet to 350,000 and Cazals fired back with the first five-bet of the match, making it 730,000 to go. Cheong then six-bet all-in for 2,936,000, an amount just covered by Cazals.
After checking his hole cards one final time, Cazals called and revealed KK as Cheong sheepishly showed pocket fours. A K73 flop left Cheong drawing dead to a runner-runner straight or runner-runner quads. A seven on the turn dashed Cheongs hopes of WSOP gold, sending him to the rail to collect $296,956 for his runner-up performance.