Yong Kwon of New Jersey crowned WSOP Player of the Year

When it comes to poker grinders, it doesn’t get any better than Yong “LuckySpewy1” Kwon. That’s why Yong Kwon was named the 2020 WSOP.com Player of the Year. The New Jersey poker player walked away with $10,000 in cash prize money as part of his title alongside the highly coveted WSOP.com Player of the Year ring.

This isn’t Kwon’s first run-in with notoriety having been previously crowned the WSOP bracelet after his impressive performance during 2019’s online WSOP Event #7: $400 No-Limit Hold’em tournament. This win saw the New Jersey poker player walk away with a well-merited $165,263.

Apart from being a well-known name in the WSOP circuit, his name is just as recognizable on other platforms including PartyPoker, where the young maestro has also earned well-deserved titles. One of his most recent titles is the 2020 WPT Online Borgata Series Event #2.

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So what’s there to know about WSOP Champion Yong Kwon?

As far as online poker pros in the country go, Yong Kwon’s name is pretty popular. As one of the most talented and accomplished pros in the country, Yong Kwon has earned his stripes over the years to become the inspiration that he is today. Yong “LuckySpewy1” Kwon’s most recent accomplishment may have been the 2020 WSOP.com Player of the Year, but that’s not the end of the road for the young pro.

Kwon has worked tirelessly to become the revered poker professional that he is today. Even though the WSOP title is one of the most coveted ones in the country for a professional poker player, Kwon has reportedly admitted that it wasn’t something he was actively trying to attain. He was simply putting in the work required to make one a great poker player, which he normally does daily, WSOP title or no title.

Indeed, even after being crowned the Player of the Year and walking away with $10,000 in cash. Kwon was playing $10-$30 satellites the day after bagging the player of the year ring. Kwon has been reported saying” “I know that putting in volume/hours as a professional poker player is an essential part of success so I’m trying to play as many days as possible’’.

Among other titles that Kwon has been awarded include the 2019 WSOP Event #7: $400 NLH Online where the New Jersey poker pro topped a field of more than 2,800 entries. As a result, he collected $165,263 for his win. 

Kwon has also earned numerous award titles from PartyPoker US including the 2019’s WPT Online Borgata Series Event #2: $109 NLHE R+A $10,000 GTD. During this event, he won a cool $6,933. The NJ poker player also has 2 PokerStars NJCOOP titles an NJSCOOP title. In total, it is estimated that Kwon has made more than $3.8 million in online tournament earnings.

So where did he get his start? In New Jersey of course, where Kwon and his family settled after immigrating from South Korea when he was just 10. Kwon got interested in poker after watching an episode of High Stakes Poker, which led him onto WSOP on TV. 

But the dream of playing full-time professional poker was something that he always kept to himself. “When my parents saw me watching these shows, they always told me how they knew someone who lost everything gambling’’, he said in an interview. By the time Kwon had joined college though, he was already 24 tabling Full Tilt Poker $10-$25 SNGs from the secrecy of his college dorm room.

To appease his parents, Kwon came up with a plan that would allow him to graduate in the shortest time possible, which would then give him the space to pursue twenty-four-hour poker. Kwon achieved the impossible and managed to graduate after 3 years with an impeccable academic record. 

Today, he is a full-time professional poker player and is even married with a son. Kwon has played consistently for the past 6 years and he makes it a habit to play every day. He only takes part in pot-limit Omaha Cash, as well as NLHE/PLO MTTs. His effort paid off for the first time in 2019 when he beat all others to earn the WSOP gold in 2019.

It was the WSOP that introduced the poker pro to online bracelet events and he’s never looked back since. Unlike most professionals, Kwon dislikes the idea of live poker- he’s never really enjoyed it. So when he learned about online bracelets events, it was a match made in heaven. To fully immerse himself in the online poker tournament scene, Kwon started playing all the tournaments offered in the state regardless of their size and he’s never looked back since. 

Just 10 days after he won the WSOP bracelet, he continued putting in his volume and grinding. This resulted in his win for the WSOP.com $500 buy-in and the $300K GTD NLH. That means that Kwon made over $300K in the 10-day span. In the future, Kwon plans to get his feet wet as it regards stream poker.

 

Should poker pros like Kwon expect a WSOP tournament in 2021?

2020 may have looked grim for poker tournaments, but this year is proving to be different.  The WSOP will be held this year in a series of online circuits that will be held monthly. Only players from New Jersey and Nevada will be able to take part. There will be more than 180 gold rings that will be up for grabs during the monthly online circuit series, which will all be hosted on WSOP.com.

What about live tournaments? The rollout of the various vaccines available in the market is a sign of great things to come. As soon as large scale events become a reality again, then live poker should return. 

However, it will be some time before it can return to pre-pandemic poker. As such, poker players like Kwon will probably have to deal with the Plexiglas and 8 handed tables that has become the norm today amid pandemic restrictions and guidelines. 

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