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Four years ago, Kenny Huynh decided to celebrate his 21st birthday by taking a trip to Philadelphia to try his hand at live poker. "I played a morning event at Harrah's in Philly, I busted that one, but then I ended up playing at the SugarHouse at 7:00 PM, just regular daily and I ended up cashing that. It was like $100 buy in, cashed it for like $600," Huynh said. "It was small at the time, but I didn't know what to expect and then after that day I was like, wow, this is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be." Huynh, who won Event #19 ($400 NLHE) of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online on Sunday night, started playing poker at 14 years old with some friends. Once he was old enough to play in casinos, he dabbled in lower buy-in tournaments picking up a cash her and there. In 2019, Huynh took a shot in a satellite at the Borgata with the intention of selling the seat if he won. "It was actually a funny story. I was planning on selling my seat, but the Borgata didn't let me at the time, so it forced me to play it and magically, I ended up final tabling that event," Huynh said of his fifth place finish in the $2,700 Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship for $69,801.. "It kind of just boosted my confidence that what I was doing was working and ever since then, it's been just been riding the wave." That wave carried him until February, when he finished second out of 1,496 entries in a $550 buy-in Parx Big Stax XXXII Big Stax 500. He earned $80,298 for that performance and knew right then and there that he'd be heading to Las Vegas in the summer to take a stab at the WSOP. "That same day, after a 19 hour day, I had to attend another Day 2 and I ended up final tabling that, just barely final tabling and getting knocked out tenth, but I was really confident at the time," Huynh said. "I was booking flights already, planning my schedule for the year and then Corona happened and they canceled all that. It felt like I stopped my momentum, but apparently not." Huynh is a No Limit cash game regular at Parx Casino in Philadelphia. His normal game is anywhere from $2/$5 to $5/$10 and he's not afraid to take the occasional shot at $10/$20. That's not quite where his heart is however. "Tournaments are definitely where my heart's at, live. I was never really an online player much, but due to what we have to deal with, with Corona this year and everything, it's kind of forced me to play more online and luckily I found success in that," Huynh said. Having cut his teeth in those cash games, which often don't play with a full nine players, Huynh got the final table on Sunday night and felt like he had an edge over the other five players. "Once the table hit six handed, I really felt comfortable because I just feel really confident in my game, six handed or less," Huynh said. "Thanks to all the cash games I've been able to play online, those games usually are shorthanded, I shouldn't say I felt really experienced, but it just felt comfortable playing since all the cash games I've been playing a lot and have been shorthanded." It wasn't quite 6 AM when Huynh wrapped up his bracelet win. Having grinded through most of the field while his housemates were fast asleep, Huynh's excitement bubbled over and made for an early wake up call. "I woke up everyone in the house at six in the morning, I was so ecstatic. I couldn't believe it, because I had played the $3,200 and I was really unmotivated after busting that one," Huynh said. "I was talking to my poker buddies, telling them like, 'Oh, I think I'm just going to rebuild the loss in cash games' and my poker buddy was like, 'You can't not play the rest of this year. This is going to be your best opportunity to win a bracelet and it might be the only time you can win one in like 12 hours' and three days later it happened. So it's pretty surreal." With one WSOP bracelet already to his name, Huynh plans to grind the rest of the WSOP.com events before heading down to Mexico to gets started on the GGPoker events.
New Jersey's own Kenny 'Chopuh' Huynh outlasted 2,544 other entries in Event #19 ($400 NLHE) of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online to win his first career bracelet and a career-high $133,857 score. Huynh came to the final table sitting in the middle of the pack and eliminated three opponents before overcoming a chip deficit heads up to earn the victory. Down to less than five big blinds, Paul 'Debt2Me' Gunness moved all in from UTG+1 with [poker card="as"][poker card="4s"] and 'namhtiw1' called from the cutoff with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. The board ran out [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="6d"] to eliminate Gunness in ninth place. Five minutes later, 'namhtiw1' eliminated another opponent. Action folded to 'namhtiw1' in middle position and they raised to 320,000 before Michael 'vapor098' Federico moved all in for 860,509 from the hijack. 'namhtiw1' called and showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"] which dominated Federico's [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"][poker card="3d"] flop left Federico drawing to runner straight cards but the [poker card="6s"] turn was the death blow. The meaningless [poker card="7d"] river made Federico's eight place finish official. Seven-handed play last 20 minutes before Huynh picked up his first victim of the night. From UTG+1, 'namhtiw1' raised to 480,000 before Huynh re-raised to 1,627,500. 'namhtiw1' moved all in for 5,560,940 and Huynh called. 'namhtiw1' showed [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] and found out he was racing when Huynh tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="jd"][poker card="th"] flop gave Huynh Broadway and the [poker card="ks"] turn left 'namhtiw1' drawing to a chop. The [poker card="7d"] river was a brick and 'namhtiw1' was eliminated in seventh. Ten minutes later Huynh sent another player to the rail. Huynh raised to 480,000 from the cutoff and Hunter 'Hunt_Dizzle' Frey called from the big blind. After the [poker card="jd"][poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] flop Frey checked and then called when Huynh bet 480,000. The turn was the [poker card="ad"] and Frey checked to Huynh who moved all in for 15,566,772 and Frey called all in. Huynh showed [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"] for flush and straight draws while Frey was ahead with [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"] for trip jacks. The [poker card="6d"] river filled Huynh's flush draw and gave Frey a sixth place finish. A battle of the blinds resulted in the end of the night for one player six minutes later. Kenneth 'KBconcepts' Phillips moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="tc"] and Vincent 'meatball' Ablahani called from the big blind with [poker card="7c"][poker card="7s"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="jh"][poker card="5h"][poker card="ks"][poker card="8s"] board gave Phillips a sweat after the flop but never made his to end his night in fifth. A couple of minutes later Huynh was back to his old ways. Huynh raised to 560,000 from the button with [poker card="ac"][poker card="kc"] and Sang 'youngkoi' Lee shipped his last4,180,714 all in with [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"]. Huynh called and then connected with the [poker card="as"][poker card="8h"][poker card="6d"] flop. Lee got no assistance from the [poker card="5s"] turn or [poker card="6h"] river and was out in fourth place. It took five minutes of three-handed play to get the tournament to heads up. Vincent 'meatball44' Ablahani bet 560,000 from the button and '610610' and Huynh called from the small and big blinds respectively. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="6s"][poker card="2h"] flop got checks from both blinds and Ablahani bet 1,120,000. '610610' called and Huynh folded. The turn was the [poker card="qs"] and '610610 checked. Ablahani bet 2,572,500 and then called for his tournament life when '610610' moved all in. Ablahani showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="qc"] for top two but '610610' flipped over [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"] for a set. The [poker card="ts"] river failed to save Ablahani and he was eliminated in third. Thanks to that pot, '610610' started heads up play with a 2-1 chip lead over Huynh. It took just eight minutes for Huynh to reverse that lead and finish off his final opponent. Huynh raised to 610,000 from the button and '610610' called. The flop came [poker card="6c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4d"] and '610610' checked. Huynh bet 472,500 and '610610' called. The turn was the [poker card="6h"] and '610610' checked again. Huynh bet 1,181,250 before '610610' raised to 3,150,000 and Huyn called. The river was the [poker card="2s"] and '610610' checked and Huynh moved all in for 19,312,462. '610610' called and showed [poker card="9h"][poker card="6s"] for trip sixes only to have Huynh table [poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"] for a rivered straight to eliminate '610610' in second place and give Huynh the victory. Final Table Payouts Kenny 'Chopuh' Huynh - $133,857 '610610' - $82,733 Vincent 'meatball44' Ablahani - $60,744 Sang 'youngkoi' Lee - $44,985 Kenneth 'KBconcepts' Phillips - $33,625 Hunter 'Hunt_Dizzle' Frey - $25,287 'namhtiw1' - $19,149 Michael 'vapor098' Federico - $14,659 Paul 'Debt2Me' Gunness - $11,361 Faces in the Crowd The 371 players who made it into the money included 2018 WSOP $888 Crazy Eights winner Galen 'turkmalloy' Hall (25th place - $4,397.76), 2016 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown winner Justin 'tamaratibles' Young (30th - $3,481.56), 2013 WSOP Main Event champion Ryan 'bitc0in' Riess (70th - $1,649.16), as well as Matt 'Berkey11_S4Y' Berkey (75th - $1,465.92), Mike 'mouth123' Matusow (88th - $1,374.30), and Nick 'cashUSklay' Schulman (117th - $1,191.06) and Vanessa 'ContainsNuts' Kade (129th - $1,099.44).