2024 WSOP Update: Close Calls For Asia Continue as Yuichi Kanai, Robert Natividad finish second

2024 World Series of Poker - 2024 WSOP
World Series of Poker – 2024 WSOP – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

The second week of the 2024 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is drawing to an end and in the latest batch of tournament results, two players from Asia finished in second place. Two close calls but one spot away from the elusive victory as the waiting game continues. Below is a recap of the latest winners and deep runs by Asian poker players at the Horseshoe and Paris Casino Las Vegas.

2024 WSOP Latest Winners

Make it two PLO Bracelets for Dylan Weisman!

Dylan Weisman at 2024 WSOP
Dylan Weisman – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

Fresh off a massive score at the Triton Super High Roller Series in Montenegro, American Pot-Limit Omaha specialist Dylan Weisman has also doubled his tally when it comes to WSOP gold bracelets. Out of a field of 1,469 entries in Event #18: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, Weisman walked away with the biggest slice of the $1,961,115 prize pool after defeating Chino Rheem in heads-up to claim the top prize of $294,311.

A total of 221 players earned at least $3,004 in this event and Eugene Co from the Philippines earned that amount for 148th place. The search on the leaderboard shows Quan Zhou next, who finished in 66th place for $4,498 while Taiwan’s James Chen made it to 35th place for $8,230. Aussie Jarryd Godena made the next pay jump to $9,936 for 31st place but that turned out to be the last hope of the Asia-Pacific poker community this time.

Big international names such as Richard Ashby and Daniel Zack busted just before the final table, after which old school legend Steve Zolotow bowed out in third place for $140,077. Rheem’s wait for a maiden bracelet continues as he settled for a runner-up prize of $196,191.

John Racener Joins Two-Time Winner’s Circle

John Racener at 2024 WSOP
John Racener – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

To cut a long story short, none of the top 20 finishers inside of the money in Event #19: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship (8-Handed) were hailing from Asia. Yan Shing “Anson” Tsang was eliminated in 25th place prior to the three table redraw and defending champion Josh Arieh bubbled, which locked up a min-cash of $20,945 for everyone thereafter.

Among others, Maria Ho, Dustin Dirksen, Dan Shak and Nick Schulman cashed but bowed out prior to the final table, as did Juha Helppi. Another six WSOP bracelet winners were vying to improve their record. Marco Johnson finished in third place for $142,245 and that left Chad Eveslage in heads-up against John Racener. The former WSOP Main Event runner-up came out on top for his second bracelet and $308,930 while Eveslage was denied a fourth title to settle for $205,954.

Masashi Oya Finishes Sixth in High-Stakes Contest; Brek Shutten scores big

Brek Shutten at 2024 WSOP
Brek Shutten – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

The first High Roller Event of the 2024 WSOP brought some of the biggest names in the world of poker to the tables to compete for gold in Event #21: $25,000 High Roller Six Handed No-Limit Hold’em. A tremendous turnout of 272 entries boosted the prize pool to $6,392,000 and the top 41 spots were paid at least $50,936 with several Asia-Pacific players earning a payout slip.

Aussie player Warwick Mirzikinian earned the min-cash and so did James Chen while Ren Lin’s 25th place came with a pay jump to $53,483. Another three hopefuls were in the mix on the final three tables and Indian businessman Santhosh Suvarna missed out on a second bracelet after bowing out in 13th place for $79,084. The departure of China’s Chongxian Yang in 8th for $128,604 sep up the unofficial final table on which Ognyan Dimov was the first to fall.

Masashi Oya at 2024 WSOP
Masashi Oya – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

Masashi Oya had previously proven his skills in high-stakes tournaments and did so again with sixth place for $229,002. Only American players were left in the mix thereafter with 2023 WSOP Europe Main Event finalist Michael Rocco unlocking his biggest score to date for third, as he collected $639,620 for his efforts. In heads-up, Tyler Stafman came up short of victory ($938,775) and Brek Shutten earned his first bracelet as well as a huge payday of $1,405,641.

Yuichi Kanai Cannot Prevail in Heads-Up as the Wait for Asia Continues

Aaron Cummings at WSOP
Aaron Cummings – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

Mixed game specialists from all over the world were called upon to showcase their talents in a less common poker variant. A total of 574 of them entered Event #22: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw (6-Handed) and 87 of them earned at least $3,000 of the $766,290 prize pool. Naoya Kihara, for example, survived the bubble with a single chip and prospect of being forced all-in out of the big blind next to earn the min-cash.

Yueqi “Rich” Zhu collected the same amount while a Yun Choi listed from the United Kingdom cashed for $3,821 in 38th place. Three players from Japan were still in by then with Kenta Shimotsu (27th place) and Ryutaro Suzuki (24th place) both collecting $5,042. In between, Aussie Ashish Gupta also headed to the payout desk as well.

Yuichi Kanai at 2024 WSOP
Yuichi Kanai – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

The 2019 WSOP Dealer of the Year Heather Alcorn made it all the way to fourth place, which came with a payday of $43,984. Alexander Wilkinson was the next to bust for $64,256 and Yuichi Kanai was left to battle for glory and gold against Aaron “AJ” Cummings. A roller coaster ride eventually ended in second place for the Japanese player and he received the handsome amount of $95,981, while Cummings posed for the winner shots and notched up the top prize of $145,516.

Daniel Sepiol Adds Bracelet to Collection, Filipino Robert Natividad runner-up

Daniel Sepiol at 2024 WSOP
Daniel Sepiol – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

Another unusual tournament format to mostly appear during the WSOP in Sin City played out in Event #23: $1,500 SHOOTOUT No-Limit Hold’em. Win your first table to finish in the money, win the second table and have a decent shot at the WSOP gold bracelet. The tournament produced a prize pool of $2,047,890 thanks to 1,534 entries and overcoming the first hurdle ensured a min-cash of $6,243.

Asian players Steve Yea, Didier Guerin, Hang Xu, Guoliang Wei, Dicky Tsang and Justin Chan all won their initial table but couldn’t repeat the victory thereafter. The same applied for WPT Prime Cambodia winner Reiji Kono, Min Zhang, Dong Chen, Akinobu Maeda and Sriharsha Doddapaneni with the latter being ranked in 26th place.

Sixteen players won both tables to advance to the final stage, which was played in a regular tournament format until the end. Recent Heads-Up Championship winner Darius Samual bowed out in 10th place for $22,750 while the Asia-Pacific hopes were on Aussie Sean Ragozzini. He never really gained any momentum with a short stack on the final table and ultimately finished in seventh place for $46,948.

Robert Natividad at 2024 WSOP
Robert Natividad- Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

Six-time WSOP winner Jeremy Ausmus was first to earn a six-figure amount worth $109,071 while the heads-up featured 2023 WPT World Championship Main Event winner Daniel Sepiol and Filipino Robert Natividad. Natividad finished as the runner-up for $203,889 to leap above $1.2 million in live cashes for tenth place on the Philippines country ranking as per The Hendon Mob database. However, it was Sepiol who unlocked another trademark victory with bracelet number one and a top prize of $305,849.

Sean Troha on the Throne for a Third Year in a Row

Sean Troha at 2024 WSOP
Sean Troha – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

Taking down one WSOP gold bracelet is an impressive feat, adding a second further boasts the resume. Winning three of them in three consecutive years make it a rare occasion and that’s what American Pot-Limit Omaha specialist Sean Troha has achieved in Event #24: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship (8-Handed).

The tournament drew a field of 259 entries for a prize pool of $2,408,700 and two Aussies as well as one player from China cashed. Jarred Graham was the first to visit the payout desk to collect $20,394 and James Obst earned a slightly bigger payout of $21,413 for his 27th place. Yingui Li earned another cash during the ongoing series with $24,557 for 18th place.

Four-card sharks such as Viktor Blom, Sean Winter, Luis Velador and Brad Ruben all came up short of the WSOP gold bracelet. Brazil had two hopes in the mix with Yuri Dzivielevski (4th for $175,321) and Joao Simao (3rd for $247,874) coming up just shy of a repeat win. The same applied for Tyler Brown, who lost the heads-up duel against Troha despite starting it with a large chip lead. Brown earned a consolation prize of $357,807 while Troha improved to three bracelets along with a top prize of $536,713.

David Vampan Takes Down First Bracelet

David Vampan at 2024 WSOP
David Vampan – Photo by WSOP / Pokernews

The latest WSOP gold bracelet to be awarded came in Event #25: $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Max, which drew a moderate field of 248 entries for a prize pool of $662,160. Only 38 players cashed for at least $6,024 with Yueqi “Rich” Zhu among those to min-cash for $6,024.

Phil Hellmuth made his first deep run of the live series with a 23rd place for $6,326 but bracelet number 18 will have to wait for now. No other Asia-Pacific player had a shot at glory in this event with international known pros such as Dustin Dirksen, Jim Collopy, Jorge Ufano, and Alex Keating exiting prior to the final table. Best-placed woman in the field was Yi Klassen in 8th place for $13,276.

Long-time American grinder Roland Israelashvili recently surpassed more than 500 WSOP cashes but still has no bracelet to his name. This time, he made it to fifth place for $33,387. The UK’s Robert Wells finished as the runner-up for $99,578 while last year’s WSOP Main Event 24th place finisher David Vampan claimed his first gold bracelet and top prize of $148,635.

Among the next notable events to conclude the bracelet hunt in Las Vegas are the $300 Gladiators of Poker No-Limit Hold’em, the $25,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (8-Handed), and the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship (6-Handed).

Stay tuned for more news about the Asia-pacific players at the 2024 WSOP in the days and weeks to come!

Links to 2024 WSOP News

Complete Guide to Attending the 2024 World Series of Poker


*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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