With a large contingent of Asian players pursuing their WSOP dreams, albeit winning a bracelet or just being part of the experience, many have already already tested the waters and have come up on the black in some events.
Asians at WSOP for the first time
Take Mike Takayama, one of the few representatives of the Philippines, he finished 32nd out of 5700 entries at the $1K NLH Double Stack event. Ranked third in his country, this was Takayama’s first trip to the WSOP, a trip he never imagined would ever happen.
Running better than Takayama at the same event was Hong Kong’s Jacky Wong finishing 4th for a huge score of nearly $220K. This was also Wong’s virgin visit to the big leagues.
Another player is Alan King Lun Lau, two-time winner of the Asia Player of the Year, he too is at the grand stage for the first time. Lau cashed in two events with a very deep 12th place run out of 1,712 entries at the $1K NLH 30-minute levels event.
Chris Chong scores largest-ever for Singapore in the Monster Stack
Then there are returning players seeking the dream once again, such as Chris Chong from Singapore. Chong tasted his first series cash in 2016. Two nights ago, Chong improved on his past run, landing his largest career cash of $354,903 at the $1500 NLH Monster Stack event. In fact, it was the largest-ever cash for anyone from Singapore. Chong finished 4th out of a massive 6,260 entries. USA’s Tommy Nguyen won the event and pocketed $1,037,451, his first seven-digit payday.
Other Asian players cashing at the Monster Stack event were Dean Zohar (24th), Aditya Agarwal (27th), Hang Li (42nd), Vivian Im (205th), Chia Hsu (213th), Vincent Li (246th), Yuki Toyoshima (302nd), Vivek Rughani (436th), Ho Bao Qiang (448th), Avi Cohen (542nd), Hui Chen-Kuo “Kitty” (595th), and Ke Chen (710th).
Returning Asian players taking it deep
At the $1500 Bounty with 1,983 entries, Pete Chen ran the deepest among the Asians with a 53rd finish. At the WPT Tournament of Champions, Chen told Somuchpoker that he would be mixing it up at the WSOP, participating in other events besides Hold’em. One of his cashes was an 18th place finish at the $1500 Seven Card Stud.
India’s Paawan Bansal earned his 4th cash at this event finishing in 73rd place. Bansal kicked off his series run with a very deep 13th place at the Colossus event that drew in a humongous 13,070 entries.
We will have more news for you on the progress of the Asian players as the WSOP approaches the $10,000 NLH Main Event – World Championship.
Article by Tricia David