"I was one of the chip leaders in Day 1," said Ken. "I'd made it through the horrible mess at the beginning of Event #3, and I wished I would have made it further."
Originally from Vancouver, this USC grad now has played poker full-time for the last eighteen months. His venue of choice is Commerce. "I think Commerce is the toughest training ground in poker," he said. "It is more action than you would find elsewhere. I've played at the Venetian, and there were just no action monkeys, just a bunch of steady local grinders. The Bellagio is a little softer than Commerce, and there are a lot of people playing in Bellagio tournaments. I now play in the $400 NLH game at Commerce, up from the $200 game."
Ken was here with several friends playing in the event. He had a novel way of getting his seat. "We came the day before the event started, and the lines were totally crazy. We came back at 2:30AM, and there was still a three hour wait, so I paid someone $100 near the front of the line just to let us sneak in with him. It saved us a lot of time." He was afraid his first WSOP experience would end before it even began. "I was an alternate, and we played in the Rio Poker Room. This was their live room here at the Rio, and I was afraid that I'd bust out before I even got into the main room. I was there for the first four levels, and it was definitely a disadvantage. There were no screens there to let you know how much time there was before the next level, nothing like that."
"My friend played with Erik Lindgren, and I got to talk to him. I told him I'd learned a lot from his book, and I was a big believer in his advice. I went out just short of the money, but I play to win. I'd won coin flips to accumulate chips but then went on a really bad run where I basically kept doubling up short stacks. AK vs JJ, QQ vs AA, overcards and a flush draw vs. pocket pair, Ax vs KJ where I lost to runner-runner straight. It was a disappointing run."
As the planed rose into the late night desert sky, you could still make out the faint sun far to the West. As Ken Leung closed his eyes, he was confident that the sun hadn't set on his drive for WSOP glory.