2024 APT Jeju Stop Enters Hot Stages With Strong Start in the Main Event


The 2024 Asian Poker Tour stop in Jeju Island, South Korea has already ensured a new attendance record for the flagship Main Event with just one of the four starting days concluded so far. That may not come as a surprise with the huge guarantee but the marquee tournament of the series is nonetheless off to a great start.

APT Jeju 2024

It was just one of 12 tournaments running on the fourth day of the series at Landing Casino, Jeju Shinhwa Resort and the room was buzzing with live poker action in every corner. Eight pewter lion trophies were awarded with Taiwan more than doubling their overall tally with three victories, while China, the UK and Singapore also notched up wins as well.

However, all eyes were set on two particular headline events with the first of four flights in the highly anticipated 2024 APT Jeju Main Event and Day 1 of the Superstar Challenge also kicked off as well.

APT Jeju – Main Event Day 1A

With a price tag of KR₩ 2.5 Million (~USD 1,820) and a massive KR₩ 2 Billion (~USD 1.5 Million) guarantee for APT Jeju Main Event, expectations are high and Day 1A certainly didn’t disappoint. The only flight with a 60 minute level duration attracted a field of 285 entries (229 unique players) and was whittled down to 97 survivors upon completion of ten levels.

Chao Xi at APT Jeju
Chao Xi

Leading the way is China’s Chao Xi, who turned his starting stack of 40,000 into 389,200. Nan Chen from the USA finished in second place with 333,500 followed by Tian Ke (326,100), also from China. Notables with big stacks include Xixiang Luo (272,500), Tae Hoon Han (261,100), Ivan Hon Cheong Lee (228,400) and Hua Wei Lin (190,000).

Xixiang Luo at APT Jeju
Xixiang Luo

Rising Thai star Punnat Punsri, who came out on top of a huge 1,434-entry strong field in the 2023 APTTaipei Main Event, also advanced with a healthy stack of 135,100. He is joined in the list by three-time WSOP bracelet winner Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang (95,900), Daniel Lee (80,000), Zong Chi He (67,200), Carlos Chang (59,900), Teddy Pham (54,800), and Manig Loeser (48,300).

Another three starting days remain in the following two days and all Day 1 survivors then play down to the money and beyond on May 2, 2024. Once the money bubble has burst, they will be joined by up to fifteen online qualifiers from GGPoker and Natural8 in case they made the trip to Jeju island.

Superstar Challenge First Day Summary

Concurrently, Day 1 of Event #27 Superstar Challenge took place as well and a total of 36 entries coughed up the KR₩ 30 Million buy-in, which equals to approximately USD 21,834. Only seven players remain after Day 1 and just five spots will be awarded a portion of the KR₩ 1,012,680,000 (~USD 735,655) prize pool in the richest high-stakes event of the APT in the host country.

Same of those who came and left without anything to show for but an expensive tournament entry slip were Manig Loeser, Phanlert Sukonthachartnant, Anson Eng Siang Ewe, Yuzhu Wang, Zhendong Li, Calvin Lee, Kosei Ichinose, Daniel Smiljkovic, and APT Incheon 2023 Superstar Challenge winner Jun Hao Wu.

Tianyuan Tang at APT Jeju
Tianyuan Tang

Leading the way is China’s Terry Tianyuan Tang with 2,580,000 and New Zealander Thomas Ward follows in second place with 1,805,000, while American poker pro Joseph Cheong (1,540,000) is narrowly ahead of 2024 APT Taipei Main Event winner Daisuke Ogita (1,505,000). The three short stacks are all well-known pros in Asia as well: Justin Chi Jen Chu (750,000), Pete Yen Han Chen (495,000) and Danny Tang (325,000).

Two of the seven finalists will have to leave without anything to show for with a payday of at least KR₩ 96,200,000 (~USD 69,875) reserved for the top five. The winner can look forward to a top prize of KR₩ 374,700,000 (~USD 272,160), which is an APT country record for this event in South Korea.

Side Event Winners on Day 4

Asa Smith at APT Jeju
Asa Smith

There were a total of 21 entries in Event #29 Single Day High Roller, which came with a buy-in of KR₩ 4.5 Million (~USD 3,275). The UK’s Asa Smith walked away with the far biggest prize of four players in the money thanks to the Mystery Bounty format, as he earned KR₩ 51,008,500 (~USD 36,950) in total. Jieming Xu (KR₩ 19,340,000), Edward Yam (KR₩ 7,290,000) and Sam Chen Yu Hung (KR₩ 4,860,000) also earned a slice of the pie as well.

Taiwan Takes Three

Teng Kuei Hsu at APT Jeju
Teng Kuei Hsu

The first of three Taiwanese winners on Day 4 was Teng Kuei Hsu in Event #30 NL Hold’em Freezeout (KR₩ 1 Million / ~USD 728). Out of an 119 entry strong field, Hsu claimed the top prize of KR₩ 26,137,000 after overcoming Zifan Wu (KRW 17,660,000) and Ryosuke Watanabe (KRW 11,480,000) in the final stages. Hsu joins the multi-winners club having won his first trophy at the Teams Event. 

Yu Sheng Lin at APT Jeju
Yu Sheng Lin

Yu Sheng Lin took down Event #33 Turbo NL Omaha High Double Board, which attracted 51 entries for the KRW 400,000 (~USD 291) buy-in. Notable finisher in the top seven spots in the money was China’s WSOP bracelet winner Guo Liang Wei (KRW 1,940,000).

Wei Cheng Yin at APT Jeju
Wei Cheng Yin

Wei Cheng Yin then made it three winners from Taiwan on the same day when he topped 123 entries in Event #34 Hyper Turbo. That came with a top prize of KR₩ 13,332,950 while aforementioned Edward Yam finished as the runner-up for KR₩ 9,030,000, missing out on the trophy by a very small margin again.

Three Trophies For China

Yin Gui Li at APT Jeju
Yin Gui Li

Event #35 Hyper Turbo NL 8 Game was won by China’s Yin Gui Li while the action was even faster-paced in Event #36 Super Hyper Turbo Super Hold’em. Both events came with a bargain buy-in of KR₩ 300,000 (~USD 218) and it was Singapore’s Jia Long Ho to claim the trophy in an 89-entry strong field for KR₩ 5,991,120.

Zhongxian Li at APT Jeju
Zhongxian Li at APT Jeju

Zhongxian Li took down Event #28 Omaha Masters PLO High, which featured a buy-in of KR₩ 1.5 Million (~USD 1,092). There were 71 entries and the top nine spots were paid. The top four finishers hailed from Taiwan and China with Li earning KR₩ 27,104,500.

Chang Liang Sun at APT Jeju
Chang Liang Sun

Last but not least, Changliang Sun joined Li in the winner’s circle with his victory in Event #32 Turbo High Roller (KR₩ 1,100,000 / ~USD 801). Another solid turnout of 98 entries saw the top 13 spots paid with Wing Po Liu and Jun Hao Wu bowing out in 9th and 8th place respectively. Jeffrey Lo finished second for KR₩ 17,320,000 and Sun earned the largest cash prize of KR₩ 24,699,400.

Up Next

Day 5 features almost one dozen trophy events and the second starting day of the 2024 APT Jeju Main Event with a level duration of 45 minutes. Another strong turnout is expected ahead of the final two flights on May 1 the day after.

2024 APT Jeju Main Event KR₩ 2 Billion (~$1.5M) Guaranteed Kicks Off Today in Korea – April 29 to May 5

*All photos by APT

*Article by Christian Zetzsche

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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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