Hyeon Ho Shin For the Win: Dream Big, Win Big


The poker scene in Korea is reaching new heights and in a pack of fast climbers, 23-year-old Hyeon Ho Shin is one to keep an eye on. Since his December debut win at the 2022 UPP Daegu City Tour Main Event, Shin was burning the felt the following year.

It was a memorable 2023 for the young rising star, working the poker scene in South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. By mid-year, Shin had snatched the last High Roller event at the 2023 mid year UPP Daegu City Tour. That momentum carried on to an historic championship at the inaugural Top Joy Poker Korea event in Seoul.

Hyeon Ho Shin

Shin impressed the crowd at the 5-day tournament besting a top-ranked field from China, Japan, and his own country including seasoned players Gab Yong Kim and WPT Australia Super High Roller champion, Nam Hyung Kim. Shin cleaned up the tables not only for a career highlight win but to snatch his biggest paycheck to date at 261 Million Won (~$ 192,900). He carried his luck and hot hands to year-end wins in Manila.

In the Ace Poker League’s return to the Philippines after several years, Shin captured the last APL trophy at the Mini High Roller. He then hopped across the city to take Event 9 of the Manila Megastack 17 at the PokerStars hub in Okada Manila Resort & Casino. Shin bagged the Freezeout Challenge with a PHP 340,000 (~USD 6,140) payout. 

Shin Hyeonho
Shin Hyeonho

In an interview during the fan-favorite Manila Super Series, Shin revealed, “I was debating between the nearby Philippines or Vietnam, but my grades were better in the Philippines and I liked the Filipino people, so I decided on the Philippines.”

It seems that he made the right choice. Shin confessed that there was more volatility in Korea with many “hot players” but nonetheless, the level of competition in Manila was just as intense.

Looking back, he says that his first major win at the TJPK was most special: “At the time, I felt nothing but joy and that I had won, but after receiving the money and spending it, I realized again that it was a lot of money.”

Shin admits that the huge pay-off in Seoul is added motivation: “I can make a lot of money for my age, and I like the way this game is played, based on my judgment and a little luck.” That motivation has seen him zoom in the All-Time Money list and now ranks 53rd in the South Korea tally. Not bad showing for this Zennial’s budding career.


Shin reveals that he plans to work harder next year and try out more tournaments in the region and in Europe. The high stakes game seems to suit Shin who remains focused on his goal of having a career total winnings of $10 million. It seems like an audacious mission, but time is on his side and Shin likes the pressure.

Like many a young poker player, Shin says “my dream is to win the WSOP and sing the national anthem.” There’s pride in Shin’s words as he rides the wave of next generation South Korean players itching to get a share of the spotlight and the guaranteed pots. You can be sure Hyeon Ho Shin will come out with guns blazing in 2024 and that’s no bluff.

*Article by Mike Alcazaren

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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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