WSOP: Yen Dang Wins $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold’em

Yen Dang wins the $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold'em. (Heather Borowinksi photo)

Yen Dang was the last woman standing in the $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold’em at the  2012 World Series of Poker after 935 women made their exits before her. Dang picked up her first WSOP bracelet, $170,587 and cemented her name on the list of winners of one of the WSOP’s long-standing traditional tournaments.

The former law student had played the Ladies event once before in 2005 when she was first learning poker, but did not cash. Dang said she came back in 2012 with one thing in mind.

“I had a mission to play this tournament and to win and it’s incredible when you set your mind to something and then you accomplish it,” she said.

Dang, having eliminated three players in a row, was pitted against Debbie Pechac, who was no stranger to the Ladies Event and had begun the final table as the chipleader, when heads-up play got underway. Dang and Pechac had each risen to the spot of chipleader at various points in Day 2, but during Level 22 at the final table Dang took the chip lead and never let it go.

The final hand of the 2012 Ladies Event began when Dang raised to 75,00 from the button. Pechac re-raised to 200,000 and Dang called to see a flop of K Q 8. Pechac moved all in and again, Dang made the call. Pechac showed J T for an opened-ended straight draw while Dang flipped over Q 7 for a pair of queens.  The dealer opened up the 4 on the turn, leaving Pechac drawing for an ace or a nine, but the J on the river ended Pechac’s race for the bracelet.  Pechac picked up her third WSOP Ladies Event cash and her highest tournament finish for second place and $105,586.

Sweden’s Ida Lundholm was the first make her exit. Lundholm was close to being eliminated after being crippled by Jan Howard and was down to her last 32,000 when she made her move holding Q Q. Rae Rocco made the call with 6 4 and Lundholm’s supporters moved to the edge of the stage. Lundholm’s queens held on a J J T 3 4 board for a double up. Still the short stack, Lundholm then raised all in pre-flop for 82,000 with 6 6 and action folded to Angela Prada-Moed who called with J J. Lundholm’s rail again gathered around the stage and television screens and yelled for a six to appear as the dealer fanned 9 4 2 Q T. No six appeared and both players picked up a flush, but Prada-Moed had the better and Lundholm was eliminated as the ninth place finisher for $12,156.

Soon after Lundholm’s elimination Candida Ross-Powers raised to 40,000 from middle position holding A J. Action folded around to Rosemary Lawrence who took one last look at the K Q in her hands before telling the table she was all in. The women flipped over their cards and the dealer opened up A T 2 giving Ross-Powers a pair of aces and leaving Lawrence drawing to a jack for a gut shot straight. But the 6 on the turn and T on the river sent Lawrence home as the eighth place finisher for $15,559.

Only a few hands were played before the seventh place finisher was determined to be Lesley Amos who, after seeing a flop of Q J K moved all-in with Q J. Dang snap called and showed A T for a flopped Broadway straight. The board finished 3 8 and Amos made her way to the cash cage for $20,184.

Amos had barely made it out of the Pavilion Room before Rocco made her exit as the sixth place finisher. Rocco, who had just taken a large pot off Pechac when her pocket jacks held against Pechac’s pocket nines, raised to 40,000 from under the gun. Action folded to Pechac who re-raised all in, Rocco called and the two women were facing off yet again. Pechac showed A Q and Rocco revealed T T for the better hand. But a finisher better than sixth was not in the cards for Rocco as Pechac hit the flop of A Q 8 and left Rocco needing a ten that would never appear. The board ran out 4 2 and Rocco made her way to collect $26,536.

Next to fall was Ross-Powers, who left the table as the fifth place finisher for $35,398. On the first hand after the first 20-minute break of the day Ross-Powers was dealt 8 8 and open shoved all in from under the gun. Dang, having sent Amos to the rail not long before, quickly called and flipped over A K. Dang picked up a pair of aces after a flop of A Q J and left Ross-Powers looking for at least one of the two remaining eights in the deck. The turn was the 3, leaving Ross-Powers only one more chance to find an eight. But it would never come. The dealer opened up the 5 on the river and Ross-Powers’ run the in Ladies Event was over.

With just four players remaining play slowed down considerably compared to the first five eliminations. A little over two hours would pass before Angela Prada-Moed became the fourth place finisher. Prada-Moed shoved her stack of 248,000 to the  middle of the table from under the gun. Dang called and the two women flipped over their cards. Prada-Moed held 9 9 but was dominated by Dang’s A A. A flop of K T 6 gave Prada-Moed some hope for a flush, but the board finished 4 2 and Dang’s aces held. Prada-Moed picked up $47,949 for her efforts.

Howard’s tournament run would also come to an end at the hands of Dang. Howard moved her stack of 305,000 to the middle of the table and Dang called her all in. Howard showed A 6 and Dang revealed a better hand of 9 9. Howard’s hand failed to improve on a J 8 4 Q 7 board and she made her exit as the third place finisher for $66,061.

Final table results:

  1. Yen Dang – $170,587
  2.  Debbie Pechac- $105,586
  3. Jan Howard – $66,061
  4. Angela Prada-Moed – $47,949
  5. Candida Ross-Powers – $35,398
  6. Rae Rocco – $26,536
  7. Lesley Amos – $20,184
  8. Rosemary Lawrence – $15,559
  9. Ida Lundholm – $12,156


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