Live poker in China continues despite online ban; Ri Yue Tan Cup draws massive 1105 entries

Two months ago, poker players in China were delivered gut-punching news that all online poker apps would be banned starting June 1, 2018. With poker organizers highly reliant on online poker apps to fuel their live events in China, this led to the uncertainty of poker’s future in the country.

But all hope is not lost. Despite the challenges, the Ri Yue Tan Cup proceeded as planned at Beijing Poker Club from June 5 – 12, 2018. The event was a huge success with 1105 entries. This was the first known live event of its size held in Mainland China since the ban.

Ri Yue Tan Cup review

Cheng Bei Li & Tang Ying

For a brief review of the Ri Yue Tan Cup, the Main Event drew in 1105 entries, and at CNY 5500 (US$855) each, this drove the prize pool to a hefty CNY 5,350,000 (~US$831,100). Among the many players that came out to support were Yuguang Li, Sixiao Li, Chen Canlin, and Alex Lee.

Sixiao Li

According to Beijing Poker Club Tournament Director, Zhang Meng,

“This event sends a message for everyone who still loves poker in China and who still want to work in the poker industry. We are still capable. If you keep working hard at it here, you will be successful in the future.”

The event closed out with Cheng Bei Li defeating his girlfriend, Tang Ying, for the title. According to our news source, the heads up action was fierce with both players hungry for the win. In the end, Ying fell in 2nd place and was highly disappointed at having missed her chance at a first major career victory. Ying also came close last year finishing 5th at WPT Sanya.

Heads up Play

As for the champion Cheng Bei Li, interestingly he was also at the final table with Ying at WPT Sanya. He finished in 3rd place however his closest – prior to this recent victory – was a 2nd place finish at the Asia Poker League (APL) Main Event in April 2017. With this win, Cheng now has a title under his belt plus an added CNY 1,038,000 (~US$161,300), his largest live tournament score to-date.

Top 9 payouts
Prize Pool: CNY 5,350,000 – 1105 entries – Buyin: 5500 – ITM: 108 players
1st Cheng Bei Li – CNY 1,038,000
2nd Tang Ying – CNY 582,000
3rd Ye Xin – CNY 388,000
4th Zhu Xu – CNY 278,000
5th He Ming – CNY 220,000
6th Zhao Zhengyi – CNY 173,000
7th Jin Tian – CNY 138,000
8th Qui Huaqin – CNY 108,000
9th Wang Xiangwei – CNY 80,000

Future events at the Beijing Poker Club

The next event lined up at the Beijing Poker Club will be hosted by the Asia Poker League in August. This will be the third event held by APL at the same venue. Last year saw 911 entries to the APL Main Event with Ruigang Yao capturing the win for CNY 800,000 (US$116,219).

Article by Tricia David

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