William Hung Bangs to 3rd Place in Deepstacks Event

5 years ago
American Idol star records biggest live cash of career
18:31
29 Jun

After capturing the hearts of many with his humble, yet off-key audition on American Idol in 2004, William Hung has been capturing something else of late - final table prize money at live poker tournaments.

The affable Asian, who swatted away stinging criticism from judge Simon Cowell to become American Idol's biggest star that never made it past the initial audition, has gone beyond the audition stage at the poker tables by finishing in 3rd place at the Rio Daily Deepstacks for a payday of $17,856.

That marked Hung's fourth career final table appearance out of six cashes in events with buy-ins of just a couple hundred dollars or so, including a championship last December at the Aria in a $125 Nightly event. Hung's recent third place finish came among a field of 1,122 who each put up $235, with the crooner landing behind champion Avner Levy Salah ($38,895) and runner-up Nadim Medlege ($24,030).

Hung's career earnings have now reached $24,457, according to the Hendon Mob. Not a fortune by any means, but perhaps the start of a new career with a bankroll that will allow the 32-year-old to compete in events with larger entry fees.

Cowell may have told Hung on American Idol's third season that he can't sing or dance, but based on his recent performances on the felt, Hung certainly can play poker. And with a singing career behind him that included the release of three albums and a bunch of talk show appearances that even a Kardashian would envy, we may see Hung's name among those finishing in-the-money at more poker events in the future.

Incidentally, American Idol will pull the plug after just one more season in 2016, its 15th. Declining ratings are the reason, as well as the fact that the show has not produced a bonafide superstar since Carrie Underwood in Season 4.

Hung recently told People that he was sad to hear that the show will be gone after 2016, but admitted to watching less due to other commitments such as studying for his MBA. It's likely that Hung's appearances at final tables have also cut into his TV watching time.


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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more

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