Arne Kern wins WSOP Millionaire Maker; Sam Razavi runner-up; deep runs by Asian players

The 2018 World Series of Poker concluded one of the largest events the festival has seen thus far, the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em MILLIONAIRE MAKER event, with Germany’s Arne Kern capturing his first WSOP gold bracelet. This was a huge achievement for Kern who had to navigate the massive 7,361 field, and overcome some of the toughest players in the world including two highly decorated players at three-handed, UK pro / Philippine resident Samad Razavi and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Joe McKeehen. Kern became an instant millionaire, earning himself the sweetest payday of his young live tournament poker career of $1,173,223.

Arne Kern 1
Arne Kern – Photo

For poker fans in Asia, many were tracking the progress of the Millionaire Maker event due to one man, Sam Razavi. Razavi is a very familiar face in the Asian circuit; he won the Asian Poker Tour Player of the Year title four consecutive years, 2012 – 2015, and has a long list of achievements as far back as 2009.

Razavi finished 2nd at the 2018 WSOP Millionaire Maker earning himself a hefty $724,756, his largest live win to date and his closest to reaching the shiny merchandise. He bested his performance in 2015 where he placed 4th at the WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold’em event, and surpassed his 2012 ANZPT Main Event victory earning of $339,745. Razavi also cashed at the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em 6 – Handed event for 83rd place. He now has over $2.4 Million in total live earnings.

As for USA’s Joe McKeehen, it was another 3rd place berth. He finished 3rd at the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout event and just prior to the WSOP, he placed 3rd at the $10,000 WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic championed by Darren Elias. Despite missing out on some major victories this year, McKeehen is going strong with over $1.5M in live earning accrued in 2018 alone. He is just shy of $15.5M in earnings and is ranked 19th in the USA.

Asian players in the money

The Millionaire Maker drew many Asian nationals to the felt. The idea of turning $1,500 to a million dollars was good value and a great challenge. Listed below are several notable Asian players that managed to earn a profit in this event.

21st: Raghav Bansal – India – $40,898: Bansal has been attending the WSOP for several years and while this result is not his deepest, it is his largest single score of the series.

70th: Victor Chong – Malaysia – $14,944: This was Chong’s second-ever WSOP payout of his career having also cashed at the Colossus event for 271st place a week prior.

Other notable players were China’s Yunsheng Sun (185th), Malaysia’s Michael Soyza (287th), Natalie The (529th), Taiwan’s Pete Chen (663rd), Hong Kong’s Park Yu Sparrow Cheung (748th), and Raiden Kan (943rd).

Pros in the money

Also included in the long list of names were world renowned pros JC Tran (42nd), Team  pro 888poker Chris Moorman (91st), and Phil Ivey (1,024th).

Article by Tricia David

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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