While the entire poker playing community of Asia would rejoice at the sight of an Asian player making a final table, or even winning a bracelet at the WSOP 2016, so far, that hasn’t come to pass. There is still cause for hope however, as many Asian players are making deep runs, and there are plenty of events still to play. There are certainly many talented prospects from countries in Asia, some of whom are professionals with experience under the bright lights of the WSOP.
Of the Asian players who have reached the latter stages this year, none have yet made the final table. Keep an eye out for the following names however, as they may yet reach the elusive goal of a WSOP final table in the weeks to come. Quan Zhu, from China managed to cash the Collossus event, finishing in 2,292nd place for $974. Taiwanese national, Carlos Chang cashed the same event for $1,329 when he finished in 1,442nd .
The Millionaire Maker event saw Terry Fan cash for $4,400 when he placed in 393rd out of the 7,190 entrants. Mayumi Kaneko, from Japan also cashed in 508th , taking home $3,551. Hong Kong player, Hon Cheong Lee also cashed the same event in 769th for $2,531. Well known pro Sparrow Cheung, who is Chairman of the Hong Kong Poker Players Association, also made the money, banking $2,250 for 1,037th place.
Naoya Kihara chasing a 2nd bracelet
One Japanese player who has experienced the glory of winning gold at the WSOP is Naoya Kihara. This year has seen him steadily make deep runs, and he has picked up three cashes this year already. Kihara took 2,375th in the Collossus, 48th in the $1,500 HORSE, and 21st in the $3,000 HORSE.
A large contingent of Indian players
Aditya Agarwal had an exceptionally deep run in the biggest event of all in 2015, as he finished in 71st place in the Main Event, picking up almost $100,000 in prize money. Local online poker rooms in India have sponsored talented pros this year, many of whom will be grinding multiple events as the series unfolds. Agarwal has already been seen on the payout list at the 2016 WSOP, finishing 228th in the Millionaire Maker event for $5,702. Fellow countryman Nipun Java took home $3,221 for placing 547th in the same event. The $1,500 No Limit Holdem event early in the series saw two more cashes for India, as Sumit Sapra took 93rd for $3,655 and Raghav Bansal finished 250th for $2,361.
More players on the way
Dhaval Mudgal is an Indian pro who hasn’t yet landed in Las Vegas, but is expected to participate in a number of events, as part of Team Thrill. The same can be said of PKC sponsored pro and newly crowned PKC Main Event champion Jason Lo, who should be involved in the action very soon.
Better than last year?
Naoya Kihara will always hold the distinction of being the first Japanese player ever to win a WSOP bracelet, but last year saw another Japanese player, Takahiro Nakai join the bracelet holders club. He bested a field of 2,497 to win $399,000 in a $1,000 No Limit Holdem event.
Terry Fan also had a good year in 2015, coming extremely close to winning a WSOP bracelet. He took 5th place in a $3,000 No Limit Holdem event for $113,452. He cashed a total of six times during the series.