Epic turnout at China Poker Games 10th Year Anniversary; 4,406 Main Event entries for ~$6.5M prize pool

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For years, international poker organizations have tried to penetrate the massive Chinese market but due to strict government regulations, strides have been slim to none. That does not mean poker is dead in the country, quite the opposite. Much like the rest of Asia, poker is booming in mainland China with live festivals staged by numerous local brands throughout the year. The most highly revered is premier poker brand China Poker Games. 

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This year marks CPG’s tenth year in the business, and to celebrate the milestone, the brand is currently hosting its 10th Year Anniversary Celebration at the Howard Johnson Resort in Sanya Bay, Hainan Island, China. Ongoing since March 1, the event runs for ten days, concluding on March 10. The event has been nothing short of epic.

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Players were welcomed in with free buffet, entertainment activities, a special ceremony to commemorate the occasion, even a CPG mascot was seen greeting the players.

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Getting down to business, like previous, the daily lineup populated several rooms. In total there were 150+ poker tables in operation. The highlighted Main Event was a sight to remember, drawing a total of 4,406 entries over three starting days – Day 1A – 1,221, Day 1B – 1,660, Day 1C – 1,525. This was the largest tournament ever staged in Asia, beating its own previous record of 3,132 entries.

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To further emphasize the enormity of the field, it was repechage format, which meant no same day re-entry allowed. According to the organizers, the prize pool amounted to ~$6.5 Million with a massive CN¥ 4.4 Million (~US$ 630,000) awaiting the eventual champion. Among the attendees were WSOP double bracelet winner Wei Guo Liang and Taiwanese pro Chen An Lin. 

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Chen An Lin

Prior to the Main Event, an exclusive tournament was held called the Dragon King. This was an invitational comprising of past CPG Main Event champions and WSOP bracelet winners.

An opening ceremony took place to introduce both the event and the participants. 33 players joined. Buy in was free. No re-entry. The structure was similar to that of a single day high roller.

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Players were literally getting the “red carpet” treatment with interviews from the paparazzi. In the end it was 2021 CPG Master champion Zheng Tian Hao going the distance to lift the one-of-a-kind White Jade Dragon trophy.

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Zheng Tian Hao – Dragon King champion

Up next for CPG

At the conclusion of this epic celebration, players have another CPG event to look forward to. Every year, the brand draws thousands of players to its annual CPG Championships in Sanya Bay. In 2019, the year prior to the pandemic, the brand eclipsed $4.1 Million with 3,132 entries. Up until this week, it was the single largest tournament in Asia with the trajectory to rival the now defunct Aussie Millions.

CPG Featured Table
CPG Featured Table

The annual CPG Championships takes place from August 20 to 27, 2023 at the Howard Johnson Resort. At this time, it is still difficult to obtain a visa to China however efforts are being made to fully open to boost tourism in Hainan Island. International players interested in attending the upcoming annual event will have to secure visas unless they are already in the country or their nation has a border agreement with China. More updates to follow.

*All images courtesy of CPG

More on CPG:

10th Year Anniversary begins 
CPG Continues to Draw Massive Fields
CPG 2019 Main Event – 3,132 Entries, $4.1+ Million prize pool
CPG Revealed: Interview with Mr. Li – Hainan Poker Association

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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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