Asian Players Find Success At Other Las Vegas Festivals

Summer in Las Vegas brings a lot of action with all the poker rooms at the biggest casinos throwing huge poker events. It may not bring bracelet winners, but each festival still produces champions who compete at a world-class level. Listed below are several Asia player success stories around Sin City.

2024 Aria Poker Classic

The annual Aria Poker Classic at the Aria Resort & Casino is one of the more popular mid-tier events running alongside the WSOP. Taking place from May 29 to July 13, its friendly buy-ins attracts hundreds. Among the winners to date are five Asian players – China’s Jaisheng Ding, Japan’s Ayaka Muraishi, Daisuke Ogita, Tomoyuki Yoshimiya, and Philippines’ Euryd Rivera.

Career First Victory For Jaisheng Ding

Jaisheng Ding at 2024 Aria
Jaisheng Ding – Photo by Aria

Early in the festival, China’s Jaisheng Ding captured a career first live victory at the $600 No Limit Hold’em event along with a best score of $24,800. Ding waded through a field of 365 to claim the lion’s share of the $186,150 prize pool. Also doing well was South Korea’s Sean An with an 11th place finish.

Three Wins For Japan

Ayaka Muraishi at 2024 Aria
Ayaka Muraishi – Photo by Aria

Japanese players have been a strong a presence at the Aria Poker Classic with three players bagging wins. First one crowned was Japan’s Ayaka Muraishi for her first title outside of home soil. Muraishi won the $500 No Limit Hold’em Ladies tournament, topping a field of 351 entries to win a career high $30,219. The event paid out $147,420 across 46 players. Among them was recent WSOP bracelet winner Shiina Okamoto in 19th place. Okamoto notably won her bracelet the very next day in the $1K Ladies Championship, where she had finished as runner-up the previous year.

Daisuke Ogita at 2024 Aria
Daisuke Ogita – Photo by Aria

One of Japan’s most decorated players, Daisuke Ogita, added another victory to his impressive portfolio after rising above the 880 entry field of the $1600 PLO Championship. Ogita collected a hefty payout of $220,214, boosting his total live earnings past the $2 Million marker.

Tomoyuki Yoshimiya at 2024 Aria
Tomoyuki Yoshimiya – Photo by Aria

Also locking up a win was Tomoyuki Yoshimiya at the $800 No Limit Hold’em. Yoshimiya outlasted the 742-entry field for a career high payout of $94,005. The win came two weeks after Yoshimiya placed 7th at the $800 No Limit Hold’em.

Euryd Rivera’s Vegas Debut Brings Glory

Euryd Rivera at 2024 Aria
Euryd Rivera – Photo by Aria

On his first trip to Sin City, Philippines’ Euryd Rivera prevailed at the $800 Pot Limit Omaha. Rivera topped the 338 entry field for a payday of $23,780 sending his total live earnings into the $200K mark. Rivera is mainly a cash game player making this win all the more special.

The Wynn Summer Classic

Another popular festival is The Wynn Summer Classic held annually at The Wynn Las Vegas. This year’s games kicked off on May 22 and will run until July 18. With slightly higher buy-ins than Aria, turnouts were similar. Although no Asians have yet claimed a title, some have gone quite deep.

Filipinos Go Deep

James Mendoza at WPT Cambodia
James Mendoza

Among the more popular events was the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em which featured at $2 Million guarantee. With 2,532 turning up, the prize pool surged over $2.4 Million. A long list of Asian were among those that earned a piece such as India’s Ashish Munot (26th) and South Korea’s Steve Yea (15th). Going the deepest was Philippines’ James Mendoza with a 5th place finish to collect a handsome six figure payout of $118,062.

Marc Rivera aka Chief
Marc Rivera

Hendon Mob’s top-ranked player from the Philippines, Marc Rivera, also had a fantastic run at The Wynn. Rivera finished 3rd at the $10K No Limit Hold’em Seniors Classic on a field of 109 entries. From the $1.3 Million prize pool, Rivera pocketed a cool $128,920.

Other deep runs were by Philippines’ Florencio Campomanes and David Erquiaga. Campomanes was the first to nearly get the paparazzi treatment, finishing 2nd out of a field of 290 entries at the $600 No Limit Hold’em  for a payout of $20,048. For Erquiaga, grinding it out in Sin City since the end of May produced a 4th place out of 330 entries at the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Turbo for $35,081.

Bracelet Winner Qiang Xu Reaches Two Final Tables

Qiang Xu at APPT Manila
Qiang Xu

Alongside the hunt for a second gold strap, Chinese bracelet winner Qiang Xu has reached a couple of final tables at The Wynn Summer Classic. Xu placed 3rd at the $1,600 No Limit Hold’em – Century PKO out of a huge field of 2,034 entries. He earned a six figure payout of $160,193 from the $2.9 Million prize pool. Two weeks later, Xu placed 6th at the $1,100 No Limit Hold’em, turning his buy-in into $20,465.

Xu has had a busy summer so far, recording nine cashes this summer on USA soil, joining events at the 2024 WSOP, the Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza II and The Wynn Summer Classic

Taiwan’s Nevan Yu-Chung Chang Runs Hot In Vegas

Nevan Yu Chung Chang
Nevan Chang

Taiwanese player Yu Chung Chang nicknamed Nevan Chang, stormed into Las Vegas and nearly won a bracelet at the 2024 WSOP $1K NLH Super Turbo Bounty, finishing in 3rd place. Following that impressive start, Chang reached two final tables at The Wynn.

At the $3K No Limit Hold’em 6-Max event, Chang placed 2nd out of 284 entries to collect a career high score of $107,553. Two days later, Chang finished 3rd at the $1,100 NLH Turbo for a payout of $16,914. To date, Chang has earned $265K in winnings this summer at Sin City.

Other Near Wins

Hyunsup Kim – South Korea – 2nd at $1,100 NLH Turbo for $31,639
Sooah Kim – South Korea – 2nd at $1,100 NLH Turbo for $28,660
Yuta Yoshida – Japan – 2nd at $1,100 NLH for $51,097

Venetian Deepstack Championship MSPT

The Venetian Deepstack Championship Mid-States Poker Tour is another summer event in Las Vegas that offers mid-tier buy in tournaments. The festival runs from May 20 to July 31. Once again, Asian players have yet to outshine at any of the events however several have gone deep.

Tony Tran With Two Final Tables

Vietnam’s Tony Tran who resides in the USA was one of the more successful Asian players with two final table finishes for a combined payout over $40K. Tran finished 3rd at the $1,100 NLH Ultimate Stack for a payout of $17,744. Then two weeks later, he finished 5th at a much larger field of the $1,100 NLH Ultimate Stack to pocket $23,164.

Bracelet Winner Guo Liang Wei Goes Deep At Seniors Events

Wei Guo Liang
Wei Guo Liang

Chinese bracelet holder Guo Liang Wei picked up a nice chunk of cash at the $1,100 NLH Seniors Event. He finished 4th for $30,520. One week later, Guo took on the $800 NLH Seniors Event at the Aria Poker Classic and once again reached the final table. He placed 6th out of 688 entries for a sweeter payout of $42,622.

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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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