The Hong Kong Poker Players Association (HKPPA) Premier League series came and went last weekend running from April 4 to 7 in Taipei, Taiwan at the highly popular CTP Club – Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association. This was the first time HKPPA ventured outside of Hong Kong to host a full blown series with 8 events lined up. Uniquely, several of the events were named after a famous place in Hong Kong such as Mong Kok Cup, Kwun Tong Cup, Central Cup, and Wong Tai Sin Cup.
Over the course of the four days, the event drew 60 HKPPA members, some arriving just for the event and some staying on from the recently concluded J88Poker Tour festival. HKPPA Director, Stephen Lai shared,
“This is our baby. We are proud parents. In Hong Kong we can’t legally have any tournaments so our business model has always been play for fun. A social game offline. They don’t win anything. Over the past two years we’ve gathered over 4000 members. So when we were deciding where to host our first international tournament, it had to be Taipei. It is a good poker city. It doesn’t get too hot, it doesn’t get too cold. David Tai (CTP Club owner) was very generous giving us a prime weekend slot. It’s very much from home to home here. As in the culture – the Taiwanese culture and the Hong Kong culture – they are similar enough to be very comfortable for Hong Kong players to come here. Plane ticket is only around $200. It is perfect for Hong Kong players to come, play the event, go have some good food, and it is very safe. We wouldn’t want to put our members at risk, ever.”
Ultimately, the series was a big success. It drew nearly 1200 entries and paid out over NT$12.5 million (US$405,000) in prizes.
Super High Roller Invitational
The four-day series opened with the NT$100K (~US$3,200) buy-in No Limit Hold’em Sparrow 8-max Shot Clock Invitational. This was the only Super High Roller event offered. It produced a star-studded list of players such as Kitty Kuo, Russell Thomas, Mike Del Vecchio, Pete Chen, Alan Kinglune Lau, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, and the list goes on. A deal was struck at three-handed between Pete Chen, Daniel Tang, and the event namesake Sparrow Cheung, Tang went on to win it.
Prize pool: NT$2,736,300 (~US$88,800) – Buyin; NT$100,000 – Entries: 31
1st Daniel Tang – Hong Kong – NT$687,020 (deal made)
2nd Sparrow Park Yu Cheung – Hong Kong – NT$646,115 (deal made)
3rd Pete Chen – Taiwan – NT$801,605 (deal made)
4th Tetsuya Tsuchikawa – Japan – NT$257,850
5th Wayne Heung – Hong Kong – NT$193,700
6th Lee Wai Kiat – Malaysia – NT$150,000
NT$20K NL Hold’em Main Event
Opening day evening slot saw players file in for the highlighted tournament, the NT$20K NL Hold’em Main Event. The two starting days drew 256 entries for a very healthy prize pool of NT$4,469,700 (US$145,000). Outlasting the competition was Taiwan’s Zong He “ArTLess” denying Hong Kong’s Wai Choy the title. Not only did ArTLess claim a large chunk of the prize pool amounting to NT$1,203,700 (US$39,000), he also took home a 2019 WSOP Main Event ticket.
Final 9 payouts
Prize pool: NT$4,469,700 – Buyin: NT$20,000 – Entries: 256 – ITM: 44 places
1st Zong He – Taiwan – NT$1,203,700
2nd Wai Choy – Hong Kong – NT$615,200
3rd Chi Tsai – Taiwan – NT$393,100
4th Ruel Liang – Taiwan – NT$291,200
5th Hung Lo – Macau – NT$218,400
6th Philip Wang – Taiwan – NT$174,700
7th Tsui Hsiao – Taiwan – NT$145,600
8th Yu Lin – Taiwan – NT$116,500
9th King Lau – Hong Kong – NT$87,400
High Roller event
There was one other deep pocketed event offered, the NT$50K NL Hold’em High Roller Central Cup. It attracted 41 to the tables for a prize pool of NT$1,789,600 (US$58,000). This event closed the series with Malaysia’s Shyh Chyn Lim aka Simon “Happy River” Lim, shipping it in.
1st Shyh Chyn Lim – Malaysia – NT$578,400
2nd Sangjun Lee – Korea- NT$378,900
3rd Chi Sing Au – Taiwan – NT$294,800
4th Rex Clinkscales – USA – NT$304,200
5th Carson Ka Wong – Hong Kong – NT$133,300
6th Park Yu Cheung – Hong Kong – NT$100,000
Article by Tricia David