Stephen Song is Now the #1 Ranked Poker Player in the World
27-year-old Korean American Stephen Song has won the 2022 World Poker Tour Prime Championship in Las Vegas, a win that has pushed him to the top of the global poker rankings. He defeated runner-up Lara Eisenberg, a radiologist from Maryland, while another Korean American, Young Eum, a former software engineer from Los Angeles, came in third place.
This win launches Song into becoming the Global Poker Index’s #1 ranked Player of the Year (PoY) for 2022. (GPI tracks over 450,000 players worldwide.) Song had a career-high payday of $712,650, beating out a huge field of 5,430 entrants who each paid $1,100 to buy into the tournament. He capped off an incredible year on the circuit winning his second title of 2022. (Eisenberg won $481,500 and Eum took away $354,000 in winnings from the Championship.)
The young professional poker player from Greenwich, Connecticut, won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in 2019 winning $341,854, but this was his largest win yet. Song’s previous top payday came earlier this year when he won $476,990 finishing as the runner-up in a WSOP $5,000 buy-in event.
In an interview shortly after his win Song said, “It’s just incredible. I’ve had a dream year and this is just the cherry on top. Words can’t really explain how I’m feeling; just so blessed. Obviously ran like a god. You have to to beat 5,400 people. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repeat a run like this but it feels really good for sure.”
An avid chess player from a young age, Stephen Song graduated from Greenwich High School before deciding to devote himself to becoming a professional poker player.
This has been a red-hot year for Song. He has made 51 cashes to date, with 16 final-table finishes and two titles won along the way. All told, he has cashed for $2,389,405 in 2022, according to Card Player Media.
The Final Hand and a Big Finish
In the final hand, Eisenberg had a Q Heart and an 8 Spade while Song had a 6 Spade and 4 Diamond. The flop showed a Q Spade, 8 Heart, and 5 Spade, leaving Eisenberg with a pair of Queens. A 7 Heart on the turn completed Song’s eight-high straight giving Song the edge. Song checked and Eisenberg bet 8,000,000. Song check-raised to 22,000,000. Eisenberg moved all-in for 53,600,000. The last card drawn was a 2 Spade locking up the victory for Song.
Congratulations to Stephen Song as he celebrates his view from the top of the world poker rankings and continues to build his career as a talented and dominant player in the world of professional poker.