The smoke has cleared from the riveting action that went down in Day 1A of the Main Event with 173 runners still in the hunt for the title as they successfully navigated their way to Day 2 of World Poker Tour (WPT) Sanya at the posh MGM Grand Hotel here.
The 6th edition of the festival
With the sixth staging of this prestigious poker event well underway, WPT Sanya once again remains as one of the most popular undertakings in the calendar as this was the tournament that truly kicked off China’s love for the game way back in 2012.
429 players took to the felt—composed mostly local aspirants who had qualified online via the Ourgame poker engine PokerWorld—with some finding it challenging to adapt to the longer live structure coming from the faster blinds on the site for the satellites. However, once they adjusted, they engaged each other with incredible bluffs and even more amazing calls; proving once again that the Chinese poker player has made tremendous inroads over the last half decade.
Local icons such as WPT Beijing champion Pete Chen, Pau Jun (who claimed victory in the Booya Poker Tour), Team Ourgame’s Raymond Wu and Nicky Tao Jin were among those who brandished their fierce brand of play early along with the stunning lady pro Gao Wen Ling and Zhou Quan—who is presently ranked fifth all-time in Hendon Mob’s list for China (and the legendary “bubble boy” in this year’s WSOP Main Event).
Tao Jin and Zhou live to fight another as they joined those who advanced to Day 2.
Hong Xue Chun emerged as Day 1A’s top dog with 247,600 in chips.
In the Side Events, Zhang Li Min came away with the title in the 8-Max PLO while Zhai Hong Liang took home the championship in the NLHE Win the Button Turbo.
Day 1B is set to go for later (November 17th) at twelve high noon with more international players such as WPT Cambodia titlist Benjamin Gonzva of France, American champions Sam Panzica (two-time WPT Champion) and Daniel Weiman (WPT Tournament of Champions Champion), Gen Nose of Japan and Frenchman Vincent Chauve among those who will be taking to the felt.
Article by Noel Zarate,