China comes out in force at WPT Korea with 31 advancing to Day 2 of the opener; Zhao Wei and Haobo Zhu top last two flights


Chinese players arrived in droves to Jeju Island with more expected for the special ten-day festival hosted by the prestigious World Poker Tour (WPT). The games kicked off on July 15, 2023 at Jeju Shinhwa World resort and will run until July 24, 2023. Over the past two days, turnout was tremendous as players filled the tables for the WPT Korea Opener.

wpt korea room
WPT Korea Opener

After three flights, an impressive 353 lit up the felt with 44 reaching the money round. Of that survivor list,  31 were from China led by online grinder Zhao Wei who topped Day 1B. This put Zhao second in the overall chip counts, just behind the Day 1A leader, Kataoka Toshio from Japan. Helping Zhao zoom to the top was 9s9d spiking the two-outer to crush Luo Shuang’s KhKs.

zhao wei 2

Other notable players present were 2022 WPT Prime Vietnam Main Event champion David Erquiaga, 2019 WPTDS Vietnam Main Event champion Vincent Chauve, and 2012 WPT Denmark Main Event champion Steve O’Dwyer. Of that tight crew, only Erquiaga found chips to bag.

dave erquiaga
David Erquiaga

In addition,  New Zealander Tae Hoon Han and Vietnamese pro Cao Ngoc Anh made the cut to Day 2. Similar to Zhao’s takedown, Cao cracked Wai Lun William’s KhKd when his JdJc rivered a set for a huge double up.

Action resumes on July 17 at 1pm. Everyone is guaranteed a minimum KR₩ 1,510,000 (~USD 1,190). For the champion, a sizable KR₩ 54,223,650 (~USD 42,700) awaits. Scroll down for the payouts.

Date: July 15 to 17, 2023
Buy in: KR₩ 850,000 (~USD 670)
Entries: 353
Prize pool: KR₩ 260,433,650 (~USD 205,170)
ITM: 45 players

Day 1 results

Day 1A: 103 entries / 13 survivors
Day 1B: 195 entries / 25 survivors
Day 1C: 55 entries / 7 survivors

Day 2 qualifiers

# Player Flag Stack
1 Kataoka Toshio Japan 576,000
2 Zhao Wei China 448,000
3 Zhang Yang China 396,000
4 Haobo Zhu China 387,000
5 Liu Yin China 361,000
6 Hong Paul New Zealand 358,000
7 Fugang Cui China 353,000
8 Cao Ngoc Anh Vietnam 340,000
9 Wang Yujia China 337,000
10 Zhihao Wang China 270,000
11 Cangsheng Ni China 260,000
12 Pak Valeriy Uzbekistan 253,000
13 Chen Ronghui Australia 250,000
14 Wang Zhong China 236,000
15 Xin Yuan China 218,000
16 Han Tae Hoon New Zealand 210,000
17 Xiang Yufeng China 203,000
18 Guo Meng China 200,000
19 Dianlei Zhang China 192,000
20 Stewart Alexander Eliott USA 189,000
21 Lei Sun China 176,000
22 Suzuki Yuto Japan 174,000
23 Hu Jin Long China 170,000
24 Chen Xiangzhi China 160,000
25 Alick Justin Hameed Italy 153,000
26 Liu Yuan China 145,000
27 Nan Zhao China 141,000
28 Chen Yufei China 130,000
29 Yang Renjun China 130,000
30 He Xin Yan China 128,000
31 Ho Shen-Syu China 128,000
32 Yang Lei China 123,000
33 Yang Lifeng China 120,000
34 Waki Yasuhiro Japan 120,000
35 Yue Shan China 113,000
36 Yu Yi Xing China 108,000
37 Moran Graham John Ireland 96,000
38 David Erquiaga Philippines 91,000
39 Huang Xing Long China 77,000
40 Tan Win Meng Malaysia 69,000
41 Son Duncan Canada 67,000
42 Wai Lun William China 59,000
43 Zhehong Ye China 49,000
44 Liu Xiang China 35,000
45 Zhang Fangxiao China 30,000


1 54,223,650
2 36,070,000
3 26,510,000
4 19,680,000
5 14,760,000
6 11,180,000
7 8,550,000
8 6,600,000
9-10 5,150,000
11-12 4,150,000
13-14 3,400,000
15-16 2,830,000
17-20 2,400,000
21-24 2,080,000
25-32 1,830,000
33-40 1,650,000
41-45 1,510,000

Key Events of WPT Korea

Three key events are coming up. First up is the WPT Korea Main Event, highlighted by its jaw-dropping KR₩ 2,000,000,000 (~USD 1,575,600) guarantee. This is the largest guarantee ever offered by the WPT in Asia. It runs from July 17 to 21. As added bonus, the final table will be livestreamed.

Everything on the Main Event KR₩ 2 BN guaranteed

Event Guarantee in KR₩ Date
Buy in KR₩
WPT Korea Main Event 2,000,000,000 July 17 to 21 3,400,000
WPT Alpha 8 One Drop Korea
July 21 to 22 170,000,000
WPT Korea High Roller
July 23 to 24 17,000,000

The stakes climb higher with the WPT Alpha8 One Drop Korea charity event which features a buy-in of $133,930. A portion of the buy-in goes to the One Drop foundation to help bring access to water to communities in need of clean water.

wpt korea jeju 3

To complete the key three is the WPT Korea High Roller with a buy in of KRW 17,000,000 (~USD 13,400). Expect elite players from the region to populate the tables. A large contingent of players from Japan and China are expected to attend.

Getting to Jeju Shinhwa Landing Resort

jeju shinhwa world landing resort
Jeju Shinhwa World Landing Resort

For arriving players, getting to the venue couldn’t be any easier. Just look for the WPT Korea banner with the bus schedule and hop in once it arrives. It takes approximately one hour to get to the venue. The bus runs daily on a two hour schedule starting at 6am. The last bus to the venue is at 10pm.


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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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