2024 APT Jeju Day 5: Main Event More Than Doubles Attendance; Joseph Cheong Wins Superstar Challenge


On Day 5 of the ongoing 2024 APT Jeju stop at the Landing Casino, Jeju Shinhwa World Resort, the Main Event went from strength to strength and a winner was crowned in the most expensive tournament on the schedule. Former WSOP Main Event finalist Joseph Cheong triumphed in the Superstar Challenge. Here are the highlights.

Another Strong APT Jeju Main Event Flight

The second out of four starting days in the 2024 APT Jeju Main Event brought the marquee tournament of the series closer to meeting and surpassing the KR₩ 2 Billion Guarantee (~USD 1.5 Million).

Adding to the 289 entries of Day 1A one day prior, the second flight attracted a field of 289 entries including 233 unique players. A higher percantage of the field advanced to Day 2 due to the shortened level duration of 45 minutes each and 130 players bagged up chips for the night.

Norihide Tanaka at APT Jeju
Norihide Tanaka

Japan’s Norihide Tanaka ended up with the largest pile and turned his 40,000 starting stack into 261,000 upon completion of level ten. That is well ahead of Hao-Ting Chao’s 230,800, who himself has put some distance to third-placed Haisheng Bi (197,000). Hiroyuki Noda just had a deep run in the record-breaking 2024 WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event and coasted to the fourth biggest tally of 196,300.

The Thai pros Phanlert Sukonthachartnant (175,000) and Phachara Wongwichit (162,800) were also among the bigger stacks at the end of Day 1b as well, with other notables such as Daniel Lee, Thomas Ward, Benjamin Jacobs, Zhongxian Li, Bo Li, Feng Zhao and Alan “King Lun” Lau all advancing, too.

So far, the Main Event boosts 575 entries across the first two flights and 227 players secured a stack for the race towards the money bubble in the live starting days so far. There are an additional 15 players who have already secured a min-cash thanks to their efforts in the three Onlive heats on GGPoker and Natural8.

Joseph Cheong Wins Superstar Challenge

Joseph Cheong
Joseph Cheong

Speaking of New Zealand’s Thomas Ward, he was also among the seven players to return to action for the final day of Event #27 Superstar Challenge. The most expensive tournament on the schedule cost KR₩ 30 Million (~USD 21,834) to enter and had produce 36 entries (including 28 unique players) for a prize pool of KR₩ 1,012,680,000 (~USD 735,655).

Only the top five spots were paid and that meant two of the finalists had to leave empty-handed without anything to show for. WSOP bracelet winner Danny Tang had won the APT All-Star Showdown but couldn’t run up his ten big blinds to bow out first.

Fellow bracelet winner and Natural8 ambassador Pete Yen Han Chen then became the bubble boy. He first doubled via flip against Joseph Cheong before losing most chips to Ward, then couldn’t prevail once more versus Cheong to exit on the money bubble.

APT Main Event champion Daisuke Ogita was the first casualty in the money (KR₩ 96,200,000 / ~USD 69,875) followed by Ward (KR₩ 118,990,000 / ~USD). Taiwan’s Justin Chi-Jen Chu was among the shorter stacks returning for the final day and doubled several times to stay afloat. He eventually hit the rail in third place for KR₩ 165,560,000 (~USD 119,530), his third-biggest cash on the live poker circuit and third six-figure USD score in the past three years.

Joseph Cheong Comes From Behind

Cheong entered heads-up with a massive chip deficit against China’s Terry Tianyuan Tang, trailing by one to five and soon falling further behind according to the APT live updates. However, in the span of 54 hands, he doubled three times and overcame Tang for his second APT trophy a whole 11 years since the previous triumph.

Tang had to settle for KR₩ 258,230,000 (~USD 187,560) while Cheong walked away with the top prize of KR₩ 374,700,000 (~USD 272,160). During the 2013 APT Manila Millions, Cheong had topped 18 entries in a HK$ 1,000,000 buy-in event for HK$ 10,428,000 (~USD 1,343,370 back then).

Notable Side Event Winners on Day 5

JIngyao Yan
JIngyao Yan

The batch of higher-stakes Single Day High Roller tournaments continued with Event #37, which cost KR₩ 4 Million to enter (~USD 2,911). This time, a field of 91 entries generated a prize pool of KR₩ 317,772,000. Notable finalists among the 13 players who cashed were Kevin Weiran Pu, Chih Wei Fan as well as Ivan Hon Cheong Lee. They were all long gone by the time Jingyao Yan from China defeated Jitrada Boonak of Thailand to claim the top prize of KR₩ 83,412,000.

Masayuki Imuta
Masayuki Imuta

Japan earned their titles number four and five during the series as Shinya Nakai took down Event #39 NLHE Single Re-Entry for KR₩ 21,755,000. That was shortly before Masayuki Imuta triumphed in a field of 206 entries in Event #43 Turbo, which came with a payday of KR₩ 27,896,600.

Edward Yam finally took down his first trophy after two previous close calls when he was the last man standing in Event #91 Short Deck Triple Chance, a tournament that was added to the schedule on short notice. The player from Hong Kong topped 52 entries and walked away with the golden APT trophy as well as KR₩ 14,306,000.

A much smaller top prize was reserved for fellow Hong Kong player Colin Tsang in Event #44 Hyper Turbo – NL Single Draw Mix. The 46-entry strong field generated a prize pool of KRW 11,779,680 of which Tsang collected KR₩ 3,451,840.

Sananthachat Thanapatpisal
Sananthachat Thanapatpisal

Last but not least, Event #40 Women’s Event drew 51 entries for the KRW 600,000 (~USD 437) buy-in. The KR₩ 26,713,800 prize pool was distributed among the top seven finishers with Taiwan’s Maggie Chien-Chih Wenga first to cash for KR₩ 1.4 Million. Nicole Lee finished in fourth and Carman Tam third before China’s Di Lu fell in heads-up to Thailand’s Sananthachat Thanapatpisal with the latter earning KR₩ 8,413,800.

Up Next

Day 6 of the 2024 APT Jeju stop features the final two starting days for the Main Event on May 1 – Labour Day – along with ten other trophy events and two Natural8 influencer showdowns.

*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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