Every year the World Series of Poker drags in players from all around the globe each one aspiring to become a world champion and bring home one of the iconic gold bracelets. This year, a large contingent from Asia sought that dream. Many ran well however only four players reached stardom. Here are the top highlights of the Asian contingent at the WSOP.
Daniel Tang wins the WSOP 50K NLH High Roller
A tremendous series to match an already incredible year for Hong Kong pro Daniel Tang. In just seven months, Tang has accrued over US$ 4 Million in live tournament earnings. He won nearly US$ 1.8M at the Triton Montenegro HK$ 1M buy-in Main Event for his 2nd place finish. Two months later, he took on the WSOP where he cashed in five events. His performance at the US$ 50K No Limit Hold’em High Roller stole headlines after he seized the title, US$ 1.6M, and the first gold for Hong Kong in Las Vegas. Another deep run was a 10th place finish at the US$ 100K No Limit Hold’em High Roller for US$ 230,801. Tang is now ranked 2nd in the Hong Kong All Time Money List.
Abhinav Iyer makes India proud at The Closer Event
For a third consecutive year, India was under the glorious WSOP spotlight. Raising up the coveted WSOP gold merch was Abhinav Iyer, one of India’s rising young players. Iyer overcame a tremendous 2800 field at the US$ 1500 NLH The Closer Event to ship his first WSOP victory and largest payday of US$ 565,346.
This has been quite a breakthrough year for Iyer. Back in January, he championed the APT Kickoff Vietnam Main Event for his first-ever career title and (at the time) his largest payout sum of US$ 98,055. At the WSOP, Iyer had six light cashes before landing the big win. This catapulted him to 5th rank in India’s All Time Money List.
A colossal victory for Sejin Park
Before the WSOP, Korea’s Sejin Park was sitting on US$ 20K in live earnings and 7 light cashes. After his visit to the world stage, he had over half a million dollars and an enviable gold bracelet. Park made out very well at the series turning US$ 400 into a life-changing US$ 451,272. He triumphed over the massive 13,109 entry field of the Colossus Event to capture his first major victory. Several days later, he placed 119th at the Main Event to pocket another US$ 59,295. This sent him storming from 146th rank to 8th rank in Korea’s All Time Money List.
Jiyoung Kim wins the Ladies Event
In 2016, Korea’s Jiyoung Kim missed her first major career title falling in 2nd place at the APT Cebu Main Event. Fast forward three years, Kim is now a WSOP champion. She navigated through a field of 968 runners at the US$ 1000 buy-in Ladies Event to bring home US$ 167,308 and capture one of the poker’s emblematic gold bracelets.
James Chen banks over US$ 1.2M at the series
Not every big-earner at the series was a champion. For Taiwanese high roller, James Chen, this was his most profitable WSOP year. He collected a combined US$ 1.2M over four events. Chen’s largest payout was a jaw-dropping US$ 1,000,253 at the US$ 25K Pot Limit Omaha High Roller 8-Handed where he finished 2nd out of 278 runners. He also pocketed US$ 230,801 at the US$ 100K No Limit Hold’em High Roller for finishing in 9th place.
Pete Chen and Quan Zhou with double digit cashes
Out of 90 events offered at the World Series, two Asian pros managed to squeeze into the money round on numerous events. Taiwan’s Pete Yen Han Chen cashed in 14 events, five of which were WSOP.com online games, for a total of US$ 80K. Chen’s largest take was US$ 21,812 at the US$5,000 No Limit Hold’em for 11th place. The other player was China’s Quan Zhou who posted 13 live cashes for a combined US$ 88k in winnings. He ran deep at the US$ 10K Main Event finishing 256th for US$ 43,935 and finished 14th at the US$ 1000 No Limit Hold’em for US$ 17,409.
Article by Tricia David