Ace Poker League concludes first series of 2023, pays out KR₩ 1,854,000,000 (~$1.42M); Hyunsup Kim bags the Main Event


In mid-May, the highly anticipated Ace Poker League (APL) City Series 2023 unfolded at the Swiss Grand Hotel in Seoul, South Korea with games taking place for five days from May 10 to 14, 2023.

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The exciting series boasted a festival prize pool of KR₩ 1,854,000,000, which translated to an impressive 1.42 Million USD, across eleven thrilling events. For the first time in APL history, nearly all the events broadcasted live, allowing poker fans around the world to witness the booming poker action in the country. The Main Event saw the largest viewership of 7,500 online spectators. Here are some of the highlights and results from the APL Series 2023.

For those that missed out, APL has stated that the next festival to look forward to is in September. Stay tuned for all the details.


HYUNSUP KIM wins the Main Event

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The star of the festival was none other than the Main Event which came loaded with a KR₩ 1,100,000,000 (~US$ 842,830) prize pool. Many of the region’s most well known and decorated players were among the 1,385 entries, and many made their presence felt by running deep into the money round. Among them were Sung Joo Hyun (44th), Sim Jae Kyung (22nd), Gab Yong Kim (15th), and Steve Yea who just missed the final table in 11th place. 

With word out that APL produces the biggest events in Korea, it was just a matter of time before international players tried to win their share. 2022 WPT Prime Taiwan champion Marc Inizan from the UK was one of them, he placed 41st. Taiwan’s Hsing Hsiung Tai aka David Tai (CTP / Asia Poker Arena founder) placed 38th, and a Frenchman named Antoine found his way to the final table, finishing in 8th place. 

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At four-handed, the players opted to split the money evenly and Hyunsup “Dipper” Kim went on to become the champion. This was Kim’s first ever APL victory and his eighth title for the year. Prior to this win, he championed the Super High Roller title at the Crown Poker Series in Da Nang, Vietnam hosted by Korea’s Lucky Poker organization. Kim is one of the hottest running players from Korea today with US$ 328K in live earnings accumulated this year alone.

Buy in: KR₩ 1,000,000 (~US$ 765)
Prize pool:  KR₩ 1,100,000,000 (~US$ 842,830)

Entries: 1,385
ITM: 150 places

Final 9 payouts in KR₩

1 Hyunsup “Dipper” Kim Korea 132,500,000*
2 Yang Yo Hwan Korea 132,500,000*
3 Park Chang Geun Korea 132,500,000*
4 Jeonghyun “Ghosty” Kim Korea 132,500,000*
5 Dohyeong Kim Korea 52,000,000
6 Cho Dongyeol Korea 38,000,000
7 Lee Sunghak Korea 28,000,000
8 Antoine France 20,000,000
9 Kim Hwang Bae Korea 15,000,000

*Four-way even chop

YOU HYUN KIM wins the Mystery Bounty, Kyung Moon draws largest bounty

Undoubtedly the most popular bounty event worldwide is the Mystery Bounty and at the APL City Series 2023, it was no different with the 450 seats grabbed quick. The event guaranteed KR₩ 180,000,000 (~US$ 137,920) with 50 players reaching the money and the bounty round.

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Drawing the largest bounty of US$ 20,000 was Kyung Moon, who eventually finished in 18th place for KR₩ 860,000 (~US$ 660), which was a far cry from his bounty reward. Claiming the win and the trophy was You Hyun Kim after defeating Jun Gi Lee at heads up. 

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Buy in: KR₩ 500,000 (~US$ 383)
Prize pool:  KR₩ 180,000,000 (~US$ 137,92)

Entries: 450
ITM: 50 places

Final 9 payouts in KR₩ (does not include bounties)

1 You Hyun Kim Korea 19,500,000
2 Jun Gi Lee Korea 13,500,000
3 Dong Jae Lee Korea 10,000,000
4 Chang Sub Chung Korea 7,000,000
5 Jae Hoon Jung Korea 5,000,000
6 Ko JEong Hwan Korea 3,600,000
7 Ji Mung Kim Korea 2,750,000
8 Ju Young Shin Korea 2,100,000
9 Sang Yoon Kim Korea 1,650,000

HYEONGJAE HAM clinches the Super High Roller

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85 of the creme de la creme of poker in Korea came out for the Super High Roller event with players Soo Jo Kim and Jae Ho Lee reaching the final table. However, their hunt was not as successful as Hyeong Jae Ham who struck a deal at heads up then went on to claim the win. This was Ham’s career second title of the year and largest score of KR₩ 49,000,000 (~US$ 36,500).

For runner up Min Kyun Kim it was another strong finish at the APL. Last year, Min Kyu placed 2nd at the APL High Roller in Dongnam, Korea for a score of KR₩ 73.7M. 

Buy in: KR₩ 3,000,000 (~US$ 2,300)
Prize pool: KR₩ 210,000,000 (~US$ 160,900)
Entries: 85
ITM: 11 places

Payouts in KR₩

1 Hyeong Jae Ham Korea 49,000,000
2 Min Kyun Kim Korea 49,000,000
3 Dong Hyun Kim Korea 28,000,000
4 Seung Hyeon Son Korea 21,000,000
5 Keun Woo Lee Korea 16,000,000
6 Jae Ho Lee Korea 12,500,000
7 Soo Jo Kim Korea 10,000,000
8 Huang Hua Korea 8,000,000
9 In Seok Yang Korea 6,500,000
10 Kim Ji Soo Korea 5,000,000
11 Sun Ho Yoo Korea 5,000,000

KWON SUHWAN ships the Super Stack

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Crowd favorite Super Stack event saw registration close fairly quick with the 360 seats snatched in a snap. The players battled for a portion of the KR₩ 170,000,000 (~US$ 130,255) guarantee with the top 40 earning a cut. After an even chop at heads up, Kwon Suhwan went on to be crowned the champion for his first ever live title. Kwon is an emerging young gun whose live stats only began last year. Out of his 12 cashes (including this win), eight of them were final table finishes. 

Buy in: KR₩ 600,000 (~US$ 460)
Prize pool: KR₩ 170,000,000 (~US$ 130,255)
Entries: 360
ITM: 40 places

Payouts in KR₩

1 Kwon Suhwan Korea 33,000,000
2 Park Jun Sik Korea 33,000,000
3 Youngseok Lee Korea 17,000,000
4 Kwon Hye Seong Korea 13,000,000
5 Jaehyung Äce”Park Korea 10,000,000
6 Kim Min Kyu Korea 7,500,000
7 Lee Sung Jun Korea 5,600,000
8 Kim Seong Young Korea 4,200,000
9 Pak Si Won Korea 3,200,000

KIM JIN HWA tops the Queens Event

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The Queens Event has grown in size at the APL with this edition seeing 85 take to the felt for a piece of the KR₩ 20,000,000 (~US$ 15,325) guarantee. Out of the top 9 that earned a share, Kim Jin Hwa outshined to lift the trophy and the KR₩ 6,000,000 (~US$ 4,600) winner’s prize. Impressively, this was Kim’s first ever live cash. 

Buy in: KR₩ 300,000 (~US$ 230)
Prize pool: KR₩ 20,000,000 (~US$ 15,325)
Entries: 82
ITM: 9 places

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Payouts in KR₩

1 Jin Hwa Kim Korea 6,000,000
2 Hyun Hung Kim Korea 4,000,000
3 Ha Kyung Sung Korea 2,700,000
4 Ji Eun Park Korea 2,000,000
5 Soo Rin Park Korea 1,600,000
6 Young Ran Gong Korea 1,200,000
7 Jo Sook Kim Korea 1,000,000
8 Sylwia Swiec Poland 800,000
9 Joo Yeon Kim Korea 700,000

Event 11: War of the Poker Gods Ragnarok Invitational

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To close out the festival, South Korean online poker platform – 2Ace – and parent company of the Ace Poker League, hosted a freeroll invitational in honor of last year’s Ragnarok, the War of the Poker Gods. The show, which aired on national cable TV, was highly praised by Korean poker fans. The Freeroll featured many Korean YouTubers and celebrities. The event fielded 152 players. After a heads up even chop, Song Yunkyoung went on to claim the trophy. 

Other Events

Event 3: Pot Limit Omaha

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Buy in: KR₩ 400,000 (~US$ 230)
Prize pool: KR₩ 24,000,000 (~US$ 18,390)
Entries: 100
ITM: 9 places
Winner: JUNYEOB SONG – KR₩ 5,200,000 (~US$ 3,985)
*Three-way even chop

Event 4: Charity Event

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Buy in: KR₩ 400,000 (~US$ 307)
Prize pool: KR₩ 40,000,000 (~US$ 30,650)
Entries: 125
ITM: 15 places
Winner: JINHOON LEE – KR₩ 11,000,000 (~US$ 8,430)

Event 8: Late Night Madness

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Buy in: KR₩ 300,000 (~US$ 307)
Prize pool: KR₩ 25,000,000 (~US$ 19,155)
Entries: 75
ITM: 9 places
Winner: TAEHO KANG – KR₩ 6,000,000 (~US$ 4,600)

Event 9: The End Game

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Buy in: KR₩ 500,000 (~US$ 383)
Prize pool: KR₩ 55,000,000 (~US$ 42,140)
Entries: 140
ITM: 15 places
Winner: SE HOON JIN – KR₩ 14,500,000 (~US$ 11,110)

Event 10: Team Event

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Buy in: KR₩ 800,000 (~US$ 613)
Prize pool: KR₩ 30,000,000 (~US$ 22,990)
Teams: 30
ITM: 3 places
Winner: SLAM CHECK – KR₩ 15,000,000 (~US$ 11,490)

*All photos provided by APL 

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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