It may come as a surprise to many players that the biggest live poker tournament in Asia is currently taking place in Sanya, Hainan Island, China.
For the past three days , the 2019 China Poker Games Championship has been nothing short of monumental. The Main Event witnessed a staggering 3,132 turnout, and with each entry costing RMB 10,000 (~US$ 1,400), it produced a head-turning prize pool roughly around RMB 30,000,000 (~US$ 4.1 Million). Somuchpoker is very thrilled to be on-site for this historic moment.
This article will be the first of a series documenting the event, its history, success, and the easy steps for non-Chinese players to participate in the future.
The 2019 CPG Championship is an eight-day festival held at the Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay running from August 23 to 30. A total of 20 events fill the schedule, highlighted by the RMB 10,000,000 (~US$ 1,400,000) Guaranteed Main Event. For avid tournament players just getting wind of this festival, the structure offered was very attractive. Players began with a deep 25,000 stack equivalent to 250 times the opening big blind. Antes kicked in at Level 3 and everyone ante’d up. Day 1 and Day 2 had blinds go up every 60 minutes, extended to 75 minutes for Day 3 and Day 4, then 90 minutes on Day 5 for the final table.
Ever since the brand’s first championship event in 2013, the Main Event has been delivering seven-figure prize pools. Last year set new heights with 1,926 entries for a pot over US$ 2.26 million. Yesterday, it tore through new territory once again with the prize pool ballooning to an estimated US$ 4.1 million. Out of that enormous pie, 324 will dip in the money jar with the eventual champion looking at around RMB 4.4 million (~US$ 614,000). Here’s a breakdown of the daily numbers:
Day 1A: 538 entries
Day 1B: 1,198 entries
Day 1C: 1,396 entries
Total entrants: 3,132
Putting those numbers in perspective, players were only allowed to enter once per starting day and multiple stacks were prohibited. With that said, Day 1C gathered up the single largest Main Event field in Asia history of similar buy-in. To further impress, the opening level of that flight saw the allotted 100 tables up and running with 1000 players quickly filling seats. It was truly a sight to see. No other event in Asia compared. By the looks of it, the festival’s fast-rising popularity has every potential to match up to the Aussie Millions Main Event numbers coming 2020.
At the time of publishing, 1,050 players were back on the felt for Day 2. As bonus, all qualifiers were automatically given a free night’s hotel stay for reaching the next stage of the race. This also applies for players that qualify on the ensuing days. Bringing in one of the largest stacks today was Qiao Lin who topped Day 1A. Lin was awarded her ticket to this event via the CPG Guangzhou Satellite competition which she won on June 26th. Other Chinese nationals in action today were pros Dong Guo, Chen Hao, and Jin Tian.
Although the field is populated with nearly 99% Chinese nationals, there were international players in the mix. This year has seen an increase from single digits to nearly 50 in attendance. The Australian Poker Tour brought in a large crew of 36 players with some of them through to Day 2. Among the other international players at the scene were Ashish Gupta, Alex Wei Xiang Lee, Mark Gruendemann, and Si Yang Phua,
After Day 2, there are two more stages to plow through before reaching Day 5 – The Final Table Day – the day the enviable champion will be crowned. What everyone will be eyeing is the strikingly magnificent Golden Dragon Trophy and of course the ~RMB 4.4 million first prize.
More to come on the CPG Championship so make sure to stick with Somuchpoker for the latest stories.
Article by Tricia David