Zhen Cai Dominates a Quick Final Table and Wins a Trophy For His Son

2023 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 18
$1,100 Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha 8 (Single Re-Entry)
Entries:  94
Prize Pool:  $91,180
January 17-18, 2023

Zhen Cai
Event 18 Champion Zhen Cai

“I haven’t won a trophy in a while, so it’s nice to finally bring one home.”

The last time Zhen Cai won a poker trophy, it was 2018, and his son was only three years old. But now his son is seven and understands what Cai does for a living.

“Every time I go play cards, he asks me if I win,” said Cai. “So it’s nice to finally come back and say, ‘I won something this time.'”

Event #18 (Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha 8) was a two-day event with 94 entries, and by the time they reached the seven-handed final table at the end of Day 1, the average chip stack was only 17 big blinds. Cai was the big stack with 38 big blinds, followed by Sean Troha with 31. (Nobody else had more than 15.)

Cai and Troha remained the big stacks as the final table lost four players in the first 45 minutes, which included a 10-minute break to color up chips.

During three-handed play, Cai increased his lead quite a bit, putting him in a pretty dominating position over Troha and Danny Chang.

When Cai eventually knocked out Chang in third place (details here), he held a 6-to-1 chip lead over Troha, who wasn’t able to bounce back. Heads-up play only lasted about 13 minutes before Cai sealed his victory with a king-high flush (details here).

Cai plans to take a couple days off, and then return to play in the $3,500 Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship, which begins with starting flights on Friday and Saturday.

Cai’s last trophy here came during the 2018 Lucky Hearts Poker Open, when he won a $2,200 PLO event. So what keeps him coming back to Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood?

“The Hard Rock is great,” said Cai. “It’s comfortable, it’s roomy, and it’s a close drive for me. It’s like my home casino.”

PlaceFirst NameLast NamePrize Amount