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Last week, the partypoker WPT500 at Aria crowned its champion when Dusk Till Dawn regular Andreas Olympios topped a field of 3,956 to get his hands on the winner’s trophy and $260,000.

Making it through to the latter stages of the tournament was one of our online qualifiers, Canadian Ashley Cheung, who we had everything crossed in an attempt to will him across the finish line. Unfortunately for Cheung, his heroic run came to an end in 25th place when his failed to get there against Jonathan Opas’ dominating .

It was a finish that was bittersweet for Cheung. On one hand he had turned his $565 entry – which cost much less thanks to qualifying online at partypoker – into $10,000 but he was only a couple of tables away from a potentially life-changing score.

Even though he was busy enjoying Las Vegas, Ashley was kind enough to answer a few questions about his trip, and you can read the full interview below.

How did you qualify for the 2016 partypoker WPT500 at Aria?

It was the second last online qualifier on partypoker I believe. I wasn’t really playing much poker, instead enjoying the nice weather in Toronto, but wasn’t doing anything so I decided to just play it.

What was your first reaction when you won your way to Las Vegas? Who was the first person you told about winning?

I wasn’t planning to go to Vegas this year even though I have gone at least once a year for the past 10 years or so, so my reaction was “Well I guess I’m going to Vegas again!” I’m part of a poker chat group with a few friends so they were the first to hear. They knew I hadn’t played poker for many weeks so they were like “Ash takes a break, shows up, wins a 5k Vegas package, easy game!”

How did the WPT500 tournament go? What was the standard of play like, any memorable or key hands that you played?

Day 1 went really well, I built up a huge stack with some good bet sizing and had a good idea where I stood in most pots. A key hand I played was on the exact money bubble versus a player with a decent stack. I had been winning pots rather easily close to the bubble and put him to the test for his tournament life. He later told me he folded his flush on a paired board.

What has been your favourite part of the trip?

Just the fact that I cashed in the two tournaments I played on this trip. It’s not fun coming to Vegas and going home stuck.

Your exit hand was “standard,” what was the first emotion that ran over you when you saw your A-T was dominated?

I was fine, I cheated death a couple times before. Also lost to a good guy who I wanted to win the tournament if it wasn’t myself at that point. Jon Opas went on to finish fourth.

Have you any plans for the $10,000 you won?
What I want to say, I’d get in trouble if it was printed, so let’s just say it will be put towards fun!
Any plans to stay in Las Vegas and play more poker, or attend a few parties?

No after watching the final table of the WPT500, that was enough poker for me. I’ll come back later with friends to party.

What would you say to anyone thinking about playing satellites at partypoker but are a little undecided about doing so?

Well put it this way, because of partypoker satellite packages I have won online packages for Vegas x5, Montreal x3, Niagara Falls x2, Atlantic City which have resulted in mid five-figure earnings. I’ll probably try to get into both the Canadian Grand Prix in my favourite place to play poker, Playground Poker in Montreal, as well as the Caribbean Poker Party in the Dominican.

Finally, it would be really great to hear your views of the event.

Event was run great as usual, I have played it all three years it has run, and actually my second deep run in it now. I would change the Day 2 structure to one-hour blinds though as when it got deep everyone was too shallow.

Qualify For Major Live Tournaments at partypoker

Like Ashley, you can qualify for major live poker tournaments at partypoker. Head to the Live Events tab in the partypoker software to find satellites to such events as the Grand Prix Poker Tour, Caribbean Poker Party, World Poker Tour, and the Canadian Grand Prix, all starting from a single cent!

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