Asian players head to Las Vegas for 2018 WSOP campaign

Asian players begin their WSOP journey!

The great migration has started once again. Players from all around the world have been arriving in Las Vegas these last few days to begin their challenge for coveted WSOP bracelets.

Asian players may not be filling up the registration lists for events just yet, but significant numbers are in action, playing other festivals in different venues around Vegas. An increasing number of Asian players are expected to filter into the Rio and pull up chairs in WSOP events over the coming weeks, with some having already dived into the action.

Top Taiwanese talents already in action

James Chen Joe Giron
James Chen – Photo Joe Giron Courtesy of

Taiwan’s James Chen seems to have a very ambitious WSOP schedule for 2018. He has been seen playing in plenty of WSOP events already. He has also come within sight of a final table, taking 23rd place in the $ 1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event #4) for $ 6,764. He also entered the prestigious $10,000 Heads-Up event, unfortunately falling short of the money.

Also, from Taiwan and in action during this series is Kitty Kuo, who recently finished runner up in the $9,600 + 400 No Limit Hold’em – WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic event. She took home $248,380 for 2nd place.

Two others top Taiwanese talents have also been spotted in Vegas this summer – Pete Chen and Terry Fan.

First Cashes for Team Malaysia

Victor Chong
Victor Chong – ITM in the Colossus

Victor Chong, who had a very strong start to the year on the Asian Circuit made his first cash of the series in the $565 Colossus event, picking up $4,024 in prize money, having fired three bullets in total.

Hong Kong’s Raiden Kan also made it to the Final Table of the same event, eventually falling at 15th for $ 35,087.

Japanese chances

When it comes to Asian nations, Japan is always in with a serious chance of bracelets. Last year over fifty Japanese players entered the Main Event. Bracelet holder Naoya Kihara is one of the strongest Japanese hopes every year, but our team hasn’t spotted him in the Rio just yet.

But, Somuchpoker spoke with Iori Yogo, another Japanese talent who has strong ambitions for this series. He is already in Vegas, having arrived a few weeks ago, and is planning to stay until the end of the series.

According to Hendonmob, Iori Yogo has already cashed several times in events hosted outside the Rio. These results include four cashes at the Deepstack Championship Poker Series, ranging between $633 and $2,151.

While all cashes are a plus, Iori certainly has bracelet ambitions too. He is playing in the smaller field mixed game events as well as Hold’em ones, and cashed for $2,608 in the $1,500 HORSE event yesterday after finishing 69th.

Phillipines: Takayama and Edoc in action!

Only a small number of players from the Philippines make the trip to Vegas each summer. The most recent of those players to make an impact is Andrew Gaw. Back in 2015 he came very close to a bracelet, finishing 3rd in the $1,500 NLH Mix Max event for $109,015.

This year, two of the finest prospects from the Philippines are already in the US and will compete in the series. Lester Edoc and Mike Takayama have both had an exceptional start to the year, each picking up a PokerStars Platinum Pass. They will undoubtedly both be hoping to make history as the first ever bracelet holder from the Philippines.

Aditaya Agarwal and the hopes for India

With 3 WSOP bracelets and a growing number of participants making the trip to the US every year, India has serious reason to feel excited about this series. Aditya Agarwal cashed 11 times during the 2017 WSOP, and has already made the money this series, finishing 77th in event 13, the $1,500 NLH event, picking up $3,715 along the way.

Nipun Java and Aditya Sushant managed to pick up the tag team bracelet last year, in what was a stellar performance that saw them bring home the first bracelet of their careers.

This year Nipun Java has already managed to cash in the $365 Online Event.

Somuchpoker will be bringing you more updates throughout the series, so stay tuned.

Article by Craig Bradshaw