Good news on the Asia live front with land based festivals alive and well in China, Vietnam, and Korea. Last week, the China Poker Games (CPG) concluded its first satellite event of the year in Fuzhou; in Korea, the J88 Poker Tour (J88PT) Spring Festival completed two of its 8 Main Event starting days; and in just a few days, the Asia Poker League (APL) returns to Hanoi for a nine day series. We’ve got those stories for you down below.
CPG Fuzhou recap and upcoming events
The month of March was very busy for poker players in China with multiple events taking place across the mainland. Cities such as Shanghai, Lijiang, and Jinan were among the hotspots including Fuzhou where the highly popular China Poker Games (CPG) held their first satellite for the upcoming 2021 CPG Sanya Championships.
Returning for its third year in Fuzhou, the CPG Satellite event ran from March 20 to 24 at the Sheraton Hotel. Over the five days, it pulled in thousands of entries for a grand prize pool in excess of US$ 2 million. The bulk of the pot was of course supplied by the Main Event (repechage) with 1,187 participants amounting to over US$ 1.2 million. In addition to cash prizes, each of the 135 payouts received packages to the 2021 CPG Sanya Championships Main Event. The champion Lin Wei was further awarded the Silver Dragon Trophy, a package to CPG Masters, and US$ 200,000.
Main Event (repechage)
Date: March 20 to 24
Venue: Sheraton Hotel
Buy in: US$ 950
Prize pool: ~US$ 1.2 million
ITM: 135 places
For those that missed the mark or were unable to attend, three more CPG Satellites are planned. The next stop will likely be held in Jinan at the end of May. If it pushes through, it will be the CPG’s first visit to that city. Following that event are two confirmed stops, Taiyuan and Shanghai, both taking place in June. For Taiyuan, it will also be the group’s first visit. Games are scheduled for the first week of the month. For Shanghai, this is a regular stop, and usually draws the largest crowd of all the satellites. The satellite will run during the last week of June. We will have the official schedule posted once it becomes available.
To give readers an idea of the weight of the CPG Satellites, this year’s CPG Sanya Championships Main Event will be richer than ever with buy in at a shocking US$ 15,000 and an estimated US$ 5.5 million prize pool. This is ten times more than the past years entry fee. To date, the biggest Main Event attendance and pot was in 2019 with 3,132 entries at US$ 1,500 buy in each for over US$ 4.1 million. The champion Shen Chao pocketed a monster payout of ~US$ 600K. The 2021 CPG Sanya Championships is scheduled for August 20 to 27 at the Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay.
APL Trilogy – Enter the Dragon in Hanoi from April 3 to 11
Back in August 2019, the Asia Poker League (APL) was the first poker organization to host an event in Hanoi, Vietnam. The series was a massive success, paying out an enormous VNđ 22.2 billion (~US$ 965,300) across 20 events. The following year, the brand announced its return to Hanoi with two events scheduled, one in May and another in September. However, due to the global health crisis, the events were postponed with no dates released until a few weeks ago.
After nearly a one year delay, the APL will finally be back in the capital city with a fully loaded schedule running from April 3 to 11. The nine day event will once again take place at the Loyal Poker Club. 17 varied games will be offered with buy ins from VNđ 2.1 million (~US$ 91) to VNđ 55 million (~US$ 2,385), and an overall festival guarantee of VNđ 6.6 billion (~US$ 286,200).
Headlining the series is the VNđ 3 Billion (~US$ 130,100) guaranteed Main Event which runs from April 7 to 10. Players have four opportunities to qualify into Day 2. Buy in is VNđ 11 million (~US$ 477). Other events advertising a guarantee are listed below:
Event #1: Kick – Off Event – April 3 to 6 – VNđ 6.6M buy in – VNđ 1.5B gtd (~US$ 65,000)
Event #7: Monster Stack – April 6 – VNđ 6.6M buy in – VNđ 600M gtd (~US$ 26,000)
Event #15: High Roller – April 10 to 11 – VNđ 33M buy in – VNđ 1B gtd (~US$ 43,365)
Event #17: The Closer – April 11 – VNđ 6.6M buy in – VNđ 500M gtd (~US$ 21,680)
In addition, the lineup includes the Super Stars Challenge, Charity Event, Heads Up Event, High Roller Club Event, and Short Deck.
J88PT Korea Spring Main Event underway; more festivals announced
Setting the Korean felt ablaze once again is Korea-based brand J88PT with the 2021 Spring Festival pre games underway. The past two weekends saw the Main Event complete two of its 8 starting days. Day 1A ran simultaneously at two poker pubs on March 21, Count Lounge and K Arena; Day 1B took place on March 28 at the Monster Holdem pub. Both heats drew a combined 246 entries with 54 players advancing to Day 2. Six entry days remain. Buy in is KR₩ 550,000 (~US$ 485). Remaining Main Event starting days are listed below:
Day 1C: Sunday, April 4
Day 1D: Sunday, April 11
Day 1E: Saturday, April 17
Day 1F: Sunday, April 18
Day 1G: Saturday, April 24
Day 1H: Sunday, April 25
The 2021 J88PT Korea Spring Festival marks the brand’s third ever live event in Korea with the first two held in June and October of last year. The first showing was a big success that for the second event, the festival guarantee was raised from KR₩ 500 million to KR₩ 880 million. The gamble paid off. Players came in droves to pump up the Main Event entries from 800 to 1500.
For the third edition, the festival officially starts once all the Main Event starting days complete. A lineup of tournaments run from April 30 to May 2 at the Grand Cheongju Plaza Hotel in Cheongju, South Korea. In store is a sizable KR₩ 880,000,000 (~US$ 775,000) in guaranteed prizes. The Main Event delivers the bulk of KR₩ 500,000,000 (~US$ 440,300).
Recently announced, after this event, the tour has three more planned in Korea for the year, the Summer, Autumn, and Winter editions. While the first two will continue to see a generous festival guarantee of KR₩ 880,000,000 (~US$ 775,000), the Winter edition boasts of a KR₩ 1 billion (~US$ 881,600) guarantee.
2021 J88PT Korea Summer Festival KR₩ 880,000,000 gtd – July 9 to 11
2021 J88PT Korea Autumn Festival KR₩ 880,000,000 gtd – September 10 to 12
2021 J88PT Korea Winter Festival KR₩ 1,000,000,000 gtd – November 26 to 28