[3 of 4] Top live poker achievements by Asia players in 2023


The year 2023 may well have been the busiest year of live poker for Asian players. While many outshined, Somuchpoker has picked 20 players for our top performers list. We previously posted the first ten. Here is the third batch of Asian aces.

Nam Hyung Kim – South Korea

Nam Hyung Kim, the South Korean poker sensation, has carved an indelible mark on the global poker scene with his strategic prowess and unflappable demeanor at the tables. 

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Nam Hyung Kim

The powerhouse rose to prominence after tearing the felt in Cambodia in 2022 and dominating international games in 2023. Kim booked over USD 960,000 in winnings, primarily on high-roller events like the WPC Hanoi Super High Roller (1st place), APT Taipei Single Day High Roller (2nd place), and WPT Australia Super High Roller (1st place), during which he experienced his most significant payout to date (USD 295,765).

Also in 2023, Nam Hyung blasted through 12 final table finishes in mid and large-sized field events, including the WSOP Europe Pot Limit Omaha (2nd place, non-bracelet) and the USOP Danang Billionaire Club Challenge (2nd place, on a deal).

Chia Yun Wu – Taiwan

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Chia Yun Wu

A regular within Taiwan’s poker circle, Chia Yun Wu proved himself the one to beat, cashing in so many times locally. Chia was an undeniable trailblazer at the Taiwan Millions Tournament Main Event in 2023, winning 1st place and turning a mere USD 265 buy-in into a shocking USD 114,900 win—his first time to breach six figures.

Chia also dominated other Taiwan-based festivals, earning 1st place at the All Japan Poker Championship Main Event and APT Kickoff. Chia has a long history of success in Taiwan, having bagged the top spot at the APT Finale Taiwan in 2019. 

James Mendoza – Philippines/USA

Photo by WSOP/Pokernews

James Mendoza, the Filipino-American poker virtuoso, has captivated the poker world with his magnetic presence at the tables and remarkable strategic finesse. Renowned for his adaptable and versatile playing style, Mendoza navigates the game’s complexities with a rare combination of intuition and calculated precision. 

2023 was a big year for Mendoza, as he made his way from 11th place at the PCA Main Event (winning USD 300,100) to 3rd place at the WSOP NLH Freezeout (winning USD 303,884 and almost snatching a gold bracelet – his most outstanding win to date).

Mendoza is among the top ten players in the Philippines.

Wu Peng Sen – Taiwan

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Peng Sen Wu

Wu Peng Sen from Taiwan has already racked up over USD 300,000 in his breakout year. He kicked off 2023 at the Taiwan Millions Tournament Main Event, nabbing 3rd place. Following his debut, Wu placed 3rd of 66 at the USOP Taiwan High Roller. 

The Taiwan native started making a name at the WPT Prime Taiwan, winning his first-ever WPT trophy during the 8 Max Championship leg. He took home a generous prize pool of USD 34,900.

Wu also won 1st place at the Poker Dream Taiwan Main Event, cashing in his first six-figure payout of USD 151,061. 

Santhosh Suvarna – India

Champion Santhosh Suvarna 2023 Triton Cyprus SHRS EV01 25K GG Millions Live Final Table Giron 7JG5348
Santhosh Suvarna, Photo Credit – Triton Poker

Recently, poker player Santhosh Suvarna has become India’s new high-roller superstar. His poker roots trace back to 2017 when he finished 7th in the No-Limit Hold’em High Roller at the Deltin Poker Tournament in Goa. In late-October this year, Suvarna earned an enormous USD 1.772 million for 3rd place at the Triton Super High Roller Series Main Event. 

Suvarna is the definition of an underdog, winning a renowned golden bracelet in November 2023 at WSOP Europe after finishing in 11th place at the WSOP 2023 High Roller. He became the 6th player from India to lock up a coveted gold. Suvarna wrapped his professional year with USD 6.2 million in winnings. 

*Article by Zoe Alcazaren


[1 of 4] Top live poker achievements by Asia players in 2023 – five of 20 players

[2 of 4] Top live poker achievements by Asia players in 2023

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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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