Reiji Kono entered the final table wedged in the middle of the pack then seven hours later he was hoisting up the WPT Main Event trophy. Kono outdueled hot running Vietnamese player Bien Mai at heads up with full house over trips to claim his first WPT major and first ever six figure score of US$ 121,331. In addition. Kono was awarded entry to the WPT World Championship worth US$ 10,400 plus airfare and accommodations.
Congratulations to the newest WPT Main Event champion!
In a short interview with Kono, he expressed,
“It’s a dream to win the Main Event overseas. I am extremely happy to take down the WPT title. I was very nervous. The Main Event is not something that can be repeated many times so I did my best to win it.”
“There we many difficult situations in the first half but I needed to be conscious of the ICM, improve my ranking one by one. When I reached heads up against Bien, I had already been playing with him since Day 2. He is highly aggressive and has a tough image. I used to be a heads up player so no matter the situation, I try to play as calm as possible. I felt the best way to win was to play many hands against him so I increased my speed of play. I’m glad I won it in just 20 hands.”
The Main Event ran from May 16 to 20 at the Grand Ballroom of NagaWorld Integrated Resorts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 1,011 entered over three starting days for a prize pool of US$ 980,670. Each starting day played down to ITM. 128 players advanced to Day 2 which completed with the Final 9 players led by Taiwan’s I-Chun Chiu.
You can read up on the live action via the WPT Live Updates.
Chiu went on to finish in fourth place leaving the battle for the title fought among Matthieu Lamagnere, Bien Mai, and Rieji Kono. The trio struck an ICM deal, each one earning six figures, then played on for the coveted title, trophy ,and WPT World Championship entry worth US$ 10,400.
Leading up to Kono’s win, the chip lead switched multiple times that a runaway winner was clearly not to be. Lamagnere doubled through Mai with over to jump to a big lead. With Mai down to 13 bb, he risked it with pocket Sevens and survived then landed another double up on a bluff by Kono to zoom to the top spot. On the flip side, Lamagnere couldn’t handle the pressure to send his short stack plunging into 3rd place.
Heads up kicked off with Mai ahead 67 bb to Kono’s 33 bb, despite this, it was Kono on the attack to pick up multiple pots and switch them up. On just the 20th heads up hand, it was all over. On a board , Mai shoved all in with trips, Kono had better, full house.
Buy in: US$ 1,100
Guarantee: US$ 500,000
Prize pool: US$ 980,670
ITM: 128 players
Final table payouts / POF points
|7||Feng Ji Chua||$26,510||200|
*Three-way ICM deal; top prize includes WPT World Championship entry worth $10,400. WPT value adds airfare and accommodations.
Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you updates of WPT Prime Cambodia from start to finish