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History was in the making when Chino Rheem (cover image) claimed his third World Poker Tour (WPT) title at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $10,000 Finale for a princely sum of $705,885!
A year ago, Anthony Zinno, Carlos Mortensen and Gus Hansen had become a part of the WPT three-time champion club and now, Rheem joins the august list.
Rheem won his WPT first title at the 2008 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for more than $1.5 million and his second at the 2013 WPT World Championship for $1.15 million. With this latest win, he now has more than $8 million in live career tournament earnings.
Responding to a question on how he feels he has fared, Rheem responded, “Honestly, because of where I’m at in life, man, it’s probably number one right now.”
“With everything I’ve been through and where I’m at in life and where my head’s at, this probably would be the number one, even though it’s not even a million-dollar score. It’s the smallest one I’ve done of the big ones, but this ranks as being up there as far as timing and everything,” he added philosophically.
The man has been through a lot, with both successes in poker, as well as downslides that included a probation by the Epic Poker League after Rheem won its inaugural event for $1 million in 2011 and a lot of money problems.
Speaking about the past, Rheem ponders,”Amongst my peers, I just honestly want to be accepted as a good player, you know what I mean? That’s good enough for me. You’ll never hear me say I’m the best, and I know I’m not, but if my peers can say, ‘You know, Chino can play,’ then that’s good enough for me.”
The recent win came after a final hand where Rheem had the advantage against Aditya Prasetyo.
Rheem went all in from the button with . Prasetyo called with . The board rolled out and Rheem was the champion. Prasetyo made a runner-up finish for $484,130.
Continuing to talk candidly, Rheem says, “I don’t know, I don’t want to sit here and B.S. and say that I sit there and try and go in and play my best every tournament, that every buy-in doesn’t matter.”
He goes on to state that he is aware of reality and adds, “I keep it real. There’s some tournaments that are a $300 buy-ins with rebuys and I fire that shit in. I guess when it’s a bigger event and it’s a little more prestigious, I’ll admit that I try harder than I should. I should try my best in all of them, but I’ll admit that maybe I try harder in the bigger events. I don’t know, the higher the money, the more money you can win I guess, so the harder I try. I just keep it 100.“
Harking back on the bad days, Rheem adds, “The ones I owe money to are coming out of the woodwork, but these are good problems to have.”
Going on to talk about the WPT Tournament of Champions event, he says, “Tomorrow’s tournament is definitely not a soft field, it’s going to be tough. I just hope whatever run good I used in this I still have some left over, then I can carry it on to tomorrow.”
Clearly, here is a player not scared of challenges and one who emerges unscathed against all odds.
Besides WPT, Rheem has several noteworthy scores that include $1.8 million for a seventh place finish in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event.
1. Chino Rheem – $705,885
2. Aditya Prasetyo – $484,130
3. Richard Leger – $311,305
4. Adrian Mateos – $200,510
5. William Benson – $154,585
6. Bryan Piccioli – $127,905