|Aug 30, 2020||
No Limit Hold'em Main Event (Event #77)
World Series of Poker, Online
– General Information –
Wenling Gao is a Chinese professional poker player.
She’s best known for finishing runner-up in the $5,000 WSOP Main Event in 2020. That event had the biggest prize pool in online poker history. Wenling won $2.750 million with her second place finish. She, too, made history that day – she got the highest place finish in the WSOP Main Event by any female player.
She’s a regular in the live Asian high stakes tournament circuit. She’s amassed $680,000 in live tournament earnings despite her young age.
Outside her poker tournament scores, no information is available about her publicly online. That includes her exact age, but she’s estimated to be in her mid-to late 20’s.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2014: She starts playing live tournaments in the Asia-Pacific region.
- 2016: She comes in first in the HK$11,000 No Limit Hold’em – Megastack at the Asia Championship of Poker in Macau for $154,832. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of her career to date.
- 2020: She comes in second in the $5,000 WSOP Main Event online on Natural8 – GGNetwork for $2.750 million.
– Wenling Gao’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Nothing is known about Wenling Gao’s life before poker.
All we know is that she started playing small buy-in live tournaments in Asia in July 2014, then slowly climbed up in stakes over the next few years.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Weinling’s profile on Hendon shows $680,113 in career cashes. She’s accumulated that sum by cashing in 37 different events over the course of 5 years. Most of her cashes come from events played in her home country of China.
Wenling’s first recorded cash is from July 2014. She finished 109th out of a field of 2,732 players in the ¥3,000 NLHE event at the Asia Pacific Poker Tour in Beijing, China. She got ¥15,000 (which equaled $2,431 at the time) for that showing.
The first time she made a live tournament score for over $10,000 was in August 2016. She came in 17th for $14,250 in the $ 1,600 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event at the CPG China Championship in Sanya Bay (also in China).
2018 was her breakout year on the live felt.
In March 2018, she made it to the final table in the HK$100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event at the Asia Pacific Poker Tour in Macau. The field in that event featured such world class poker pros as Justin Bonomo, Kristen Bicknell, or Stephen Chidwick. Wenling eventually busted in 5th place in that star-studded field and won $154,832. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of her career to date – not counting her online WSOP Main Event cash, evidently.
In December 2018, she came in 6th for $57,556 in the KRW12,000,000 NLHE High Roller event at the Jeju Red Dragon Series in South Korea. In May 2018, she finished 4th for $50,959 in the HK$100,000 High Roller event at the Oriental Poker Championship in Macau.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Wenling is yet to win her first WSOP gold bracelet. She hasn’t even cashed in any live WSOP events so far. However, she still made World Series history in 2020.
That year, all the events were forced to be played online because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The most prestigious poker tournament in the world, the WSOP Main Event, had a $5,000 buy-in instead of its usual $10,000. This was the first time since 1971 that the Main’s buy-in wasn’t $10,000. In 1971, the first time the Main Event had a tournament format, the buy-in was also $5,000, just like in 2020. In 1971, Johnny Moss won, while in 2020, Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev took down poker’s most coveted title.
Evidently, 2020 was the first time that the WSOP Main Event was played online. It had the biggest prize pool ever, a staggering $27.560 million, in online poker history.
Wenling Gao made this poker tournament historic for another reason – no woman has made it as far in the WSOP Main event as she did. Until now, that record belonged to the 3-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Barbara Enright from the USA who came in 5th for $114,180 in 1995.
Wenling, however, made it even further in a much larger field. She finished 2nd out of the 5,802 players entered and won $2.750 milloon. She eventually lost the heads-up battle for first place to Stoyan Madanzhiev.
In the last hand of the event, she unluckily got her Aces cracked against 7-6 off-suit. Madanzhiev turned a straight – on the river, all the chip went into the pot, which ended the duel for the 51st WSOP Main Event title.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Wenling hasn’t appeared on any TV show or internet live stream where she played live cash games publicly.
→ Online Poker ←
Wenling plays under the screen name “HappyDX” on Natural8 – GGNetwork.
– Wenling Gao on Social Media –