2024 WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship Attracts Record Field

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship

The most recent World Poker Tour (WPT) Prime stop at The Star Gold Coast in Australia raised the bar and set a new attendance record for the mid-stakes series in the Asia-Pacific region. In it’s flagship AUD $2,000 Championship Event, a field of 1,395 entries surpassed the attendance record from Taiwan in 2023 and also emerged as the biggest field with just three starting flights in the third year of the tour.

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship – Recap

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship

Each of the three starting days almost reached the top 12.5% of the field with the new WPT Prime Championship structure but the bubble only burst in the first level on Day 2. The top 177 finishers earned a portion of the AUD $2,511,000 (~USD $1,611,811) prize pool as three players split the min-cash. From there on, the chips were flying back and forth and the field was reduced all the way to just 14 hopefuls after eleven levels of 60 minutes each.

Asia Finishers

The vast majority of the field was representing either Australia or New Zealand, with some of the participants hailing from Asia but living Down Under for several years already. Lloyd Locson from the Philippines min-cashed in 160th place followed by Yoon  Kang, while Taiwan’s Zhong Chi He made the first pay jump.

Alex Lee at WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship
Alex Lee – Photo credit: WPT

Singapore’s Alex Lee crashed out in 130th place after losing a monster pot of four times the average with flopped trips jacks when Chin Yaw Chan rivered the last ace in the deck. Likewise, the river brought a tough beat on WPT anchor Lynn Gilmartin when her pocket queens were cracked by pocket tens to send the Australian out in 108th place.

Justin Chu at WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship
Justin Chu – Photo credit: WPT

Chi-Jen “Justin” Chu, runner-up in the 2022 WPT Prime Cambodia $1,100 Main Event, had another strong showing but bowed out in 68th place, followed by the likes of Hanna Azimai, Tetsuya Tsujisaka, Kahle Burns, Sean Ragozzini, and Billy “The Croc” Argyros.

Hiroyuki Noda at WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship
Hiroyuki Noda – Photo credit: WPT

Japan’s Hiroyuki Noda won the 41-entry strong Super High Roller during the festival and added a 26th place finish in the Championship Event to his resume for the trip to Australia, narrowly missing out on the final three tables. Likewise, fellow SHR finalist and Thai businessman Kannapong Thanarattrakul cemented his status as one of the up-and coming notables in Asia with a 19th place. His journey was followed by a camera team throughout the entire tournament with the footage to be released on YouTube later on.

John Perry at WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship
John Perry – Photo credit: WPT

John “Bert” Perry can be usually be found at most Asia stops and he reached the final day of the event. Coming into Day 3 as the shortest stack, he survived two orbits but then became the first casualty. China-born Garry Shu bowed out in 12th place and the final table was set with the elimination of Isaia Fetineiai.

Final Table

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship
Final table – Photo credit: WPT

Three players from outside of Australia were among the nine finalists and that also included Japan’s Rikiya Jibiki, who was eliminated in sixth place for AUD $85,250 (~USD $54,722) by Travis Endersby. The local player from Perth went on to finish in third place, which set up a short-lived heads-up duel between Andres Vasquez from Colombia and traveling cash game player Lorenz Schöllhorn from Switzerland.

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship

Schöllhorn had the chip advantage on his side while Vasquez was supported by a boisterous Spanish-speaking rail with several grinders from Mexico shouting for his run-good. But it only took nine hands to conclude the duel when Schöllhorn’s flush draw got there to beat the jacks for an overpair on a ten-high flop by Vasquez.

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship

WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship

Final Table Payouts

1st. Lorenz Schöllhorn – AUD $401,510 (~USD $257,729)
2nd. Andres Vasquez – AUD $267,615 (~USD $171,782)
3rd. Travis Endersby – AUD $198,120 (~USD $127,173)
4th. Michael Fraser – AUD $148,105 (~USD $95,069)
5th. Chin Yaw Chan – AUD $111,810 (~USD $71,771)
6th. Rikiya Jibiki – AUD $85,250 (~USD $54,722)
7th. Dylan Desmarchelier – AUD $65,650 (~USD $42,141)
8th. Marco Perri – AUD $51,075 (~USD $32,785)
9th. Martin Ward – AUD $40,140 (~USD $25,766)

Lorenz Schollhorn wins WPT Prime Gold Coast Championship

Schöllhorn now has a very unique but good problem to have: What to do with the large WPT Prime Championship trophy? He will be heading to Mexico next and it does not quite fit in a backpack for the flights. The victory came with a top prize of AUD $401,510 (~USD $257,729) and he also earned the USD $10,400 seat into the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

Festival Closing Results

During the entire series at The Star Gold Coast, players also earned points towards the Player of the Series leaderboard and Yuanting Wang topped it with 970 points. Wang had a mighty sweat with aforementioned Travis Endersby and Victor Shuchleib still in contention on the final day but both finished in third place. Wang earns a seat for the 2024 WPT Australia Main Event worth AUD $8,000 which takes place in September.

The vast tournament schedule included 21 trophy events and they were a thorough success. A total of 4,854 entries were recorded in these 21 tournaments and AUD $7,204,850 (~USD 4,700,000) in prize money was distributed.

WPT Prime Taiwan 2023

WPT Prime is heading to Montreal and Sanremo in the following two months and the next stop in Asia will be the WPT Prime Taiwan Championship in August. Once more, the series will be hosted by the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association at the new Asia Poker Arena in Taipei City. The chances are high that the marquee Championship Event with a buy-in of TWD 33,000 (~USD $1,010) will surpass the new headline figure once again.

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*All photos by WPT

*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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