J88PT Korea: Je Ho Lee wins Main Event, Soo Jo Kim ships two Super events, Kim Young Do bags the High Roller

Amid the current global health crisis, J88PT held a live poker event in June at the Grand Plaza Cheongju Hotel in Cheongju, South Korea. This was the first time the brand hosted an event in the country, and it was the first live poker festival wherein Koreans were allowed to participate. In the aftermath, the ambitious series smashed all expectations, attracting 1,309 entries across five events for a grand prize pool of KR₩ 430,800,000 (~US$ 383,700). To comply with the Covid 19 restrictions, the Main Event played out its five starting days at several local pubs.

Due to its tremendous success, a second edition took place on October 4 to November 1 at the same venue. The series guarantee was bumped up to a large KR₩ 850,000,000 (~US$ 757,000) which was almost double the inaugural festival’s total pot. Overall, 2,107 entered and KR₩ 882,000,000 (~US$ 785,500) paid out across six events. Many well known Korean pros were among those that came out for the challenge. Je Ho Lee shipped the Main Event to become the richest of the series. Other big winners were Soo Jo Kim (multi event winner – Super High Roller and Super Deep Stack), and newcomer Kim Young Do (High Roller champion). See below on all the festival final table results and player reviews on select events.

Main Event: JE HO LEE – KR₩ 150,000,000 (~US$ 133,600)

The Main Event was the tournament to conquer with its featured KR₩ 500,000,000 (~US$ 445,300) guarantee and a minimum KR₩ 150,000,000 (~US$ 133,600) payout to the champion. To comply with COVID safety protocols, seven starting days were spread out across the month of October at various poker pubs. A cumulative 1,500 entered to nearly double the previous Main Event attendance of 800 entries. 320 players qualified to Day 2 then 31 into Day 3, leading to the final table where Korean player Je Ho Lee emerged victorious for his second ever Main Event title, and first on home soil.

j88pt main event
J88PT Main Event champion Je Ho Lee. Credit: J88PT Facebook

Based on The Hendon Mob, Je Ho Lee has only cashed eight times on the live stage, most of which were quite substantial. In 2017, Lee finished 1st for his maiden victory at the Suncity Cup HK$ 8 Million Guaranteed event. This earned him his first ever six-figure payout of HK$ 1.6 million (~US$ 205,000). He followed it up with a strong 9th place finish at the 2018 Poker King Cup Macau Main Event for US$ 18,800. Then in 2019, Lee finished 7th at the CPG China Championship Main Event in Sanya for roughly US$ 106,500. Combined with his latest win, Lee bumped up his total live earnings to US$ 485K.

In addition to the champion were notable players running deep both at this Main Event and at the inaugural J88PT Korea Main Event. For runner up Sun Ho Yoo, he improved on his 5th place finish, Jae Wook Shin “Justin” took 5th which was just two spots below his previous run, and defending champion Daewoong Song cashed in 18th place. Other players in the money were Gyeong Byeong Lee, Gab Yong Kim, and Sunny Jung.

Buy in: KR₩ 550,000 (~US$ 490)
Guarantee: KR₩ 500,000,000 (~US$ 445,300)
Entries: 1,500
Prize pool: KR₩ 500,000,000 (~US$ 445,300)
ITM: 150 places

Final table payouts

1st Je Ho Lee – Korea – KR₩ 150,000,000
2nd Sun Ho Yoo – Korea – KR₩ 60,000,000
3rd Ku Yun – Korea – KR₩ 36,000,000
4th Ji Woon Kim – Korea – KR₩ 20,000,000
5th Jae Wook Shin – Korea – KR₩ 13,000,000
6th Park Jun – Korea – KR₩ 10,000,000
7th Kim Hoon – Korea – KR₩ 8,000,000
8th Jun Yeob Song – Korea – KR₩ 6,000,000
9th Jeong Yeol Yu – Korea – KR₩ 4,500,000

SOO JO KIM wins two Super events – KR₩ 70,000,000 (~US$ 62,300)

Soo Jo Kim, one of Korea’s highly decorated live tournament pros, displayed prowess at the games by locking up two events. Kim shipped the Super High Roller Freezeout and the Super Deep Stack Turbo. This earned him a combined KR₩ 70,000,000 (~US$ 62,300), becoming the second largest earner of the entire event.

Having played poker all around Asia, these wins were likely very special to the pro as they were his first on home soil. Throughout his decade long live career, Kim has accumulated a long list of cashes and victories. His stats include numerous High Roller wins and one APT Main Event title for US$ 83,400. Kim’s largest score was back in 2014 at the Macau Poker Cup, pocketing over US$ 100K at the No Limit Hold’em II. To date, Kim has nearly one million dollars in live tournament earnings. Recapped below are his latest wins.

No Limit Hold’em – Super High Roller Freezeout

j88pt highroller
Soo Jo Kim. Credit: J88PT Facebook

The Super High Roller Freezeout attracted 52 players with only the top 9 earning a cut of the KR₩ 165,000,000 prize pool. Soo Jo Kim was the most accomplished player at the final nine as nearly everyone was on their first live payout or largest live cash. The exceptions were 2019 WSOP bracelet winner Jiyoung Kim who finished 9th and USA’s Antonio Llevano (6th). Kim shipped KR₩ 63,000,000 (~US$ 56,100) for his victory.

Buy in: KR₩ 4,400,000 (~US$ 3,900)
Guarantee: KR₩ 150,000,000 (~US$ 133,600)
Entries: 52 players
Prize pool: KR₩ 165,000,000 (~US$ 147,000)
ITM: 9 places


1st Soo Jo Kim – Korea – KR₩ 63,000,000
2nd Lim Soon – Korea – KR₩ 31,000,000
3rd Byung Kim – Korea – KR₩ 22,000,000
4th Jun Min Park – Korea – KR₩ 16,000,000
5th Yi Hyung – Korea – KR₩ 10,000,000
6th Antonio Llevano – USA – KR₩ 7,500,000
7th Han Hyuk – Korea – KR₩ 6,000,000
8th Yoon Ho – Korea – KR₩ 5,000,000
9th Jiyoung Kim – Korea – KR₩ 4,500,000

No Limit Hold’em – Super Deep Stack Turbo

After shipping the Super High Roller Freezeout, Kim proceeded to close out the show with a win at the Super Deep Stack Turbo. He triumphed over 91 entries to add another KR₩ 7,000,000 (~US$ 6,200) to his previous win.

Buy in: KR₩ 330,000 (~US$ 300)
Entries: 91
Prize pool: KR₩ 30,000,000 (~US$ 26,700)
ITM: 18 places

Final table payouts

1st Soo Jo Kim – Korea – KR₩ 7,000,000
2nd Son Hwan – Korea – KR₩ 4,500,000
3rd Jae Jung – Korea – KR₩ 3,500,000
4th Seong Jun Park – Korea – KR₩ 3,000,000
5th Jun Seok Lee – Korea – KR₩ 2,500,000
6th Jeong Young – Korea – KR₩ 2,000,000
7th Lee Crab – Korea – KR₩ 1,600,000
8th Seoung Choi – Korea – KR₩ 1,200,000
9th Kwon Sub – Korea – KR₩ 800,000

No Limit Hold’em – High Roller – KIM YOUNG DO – KR₩ 30,000,000 (~US$ 26,700)

j88pt winner
Kim Young Do. Credit: J88PT Facebook

Kim Young Do made his presence felt by snatching the High Roller title for a cool KR₩ 30,000,000 (~US$ 26,700) payday. With no prior live stats on The Hendon Mob, this may well be Do’s first live score. Also reaching the money was well known Korean / American pro Jae Chul Chang in 6th place.

Buy in: KR₩ 1,100,000 (~US$ 980)
Guarantee: KR₩ 100,000,000 (~US$ 89,000)
Entries: 144
Prize pool: KR₩ 100,000,000 (~US$ 89,000)
ITM: 16 places

Final table payouts

1st Kim Young Do – Korea – KR₩ 30,000,000
2nd Heon Wook Jeong – Korea – KR₩ 15,000,000
3rd Jehun Hong – Korea – KR₩ 10,000,000
4th Kim Jung – Korea – KR₩ 8,000,000
5th Seung Yeol Kim – Korea – KR₩ 7,000,000
6th Jae Chul Chang – Korea – KR₩ 6,000,000
7th Park Hoon – Korea – KR₩ 5,000,000
8th Tae Kim – Korea – KR₩ 4,000,000
9th Ji Won Park – Korea – KR₩ 3,000,000

No Limit Hold’em – Opening Event KO Bounty – KIM TAESONG – KR₩ 2,600,000 (~US$ 2,300)

Buy in: KR₩ 330,000 (~US$ 300)
Entries: 128
Prize pool: KR₩ 17,000,000 (~US$ 15,100)
ITM: 15 places

Final table payouts

1st Kim Taesong – Korea – KR₩ 2,600,000 – heads up deal
2nd Hwigon Park – Korea – KR₩ 3,700,000 – heads up deal
3rd Ju Yuk Park – Korea – KR₩ 2,300,000
4th Lim Jun – Korea – KR₩ 1,800,000
5th Hwang Jung – Korea – KR₩ 1,500,000
6th Lee Ho – Korea – KR₩ 1,200,000
7th Yoo Sin Kang – Korea – KR₩ 900,000
8th Park Young – Korea – KR₩ 700,000
9th Jun Yeob Song – Korea – KR₩ 500,000

No Limit Hold’em – Monster Stack – KIM HWAN – KR₩ 18,800,000 (~US$ 16,700)

Buy in: KR₩ 550,000 (~US$ 490)
Entries: 192
Prize pool: KR₩ 70,000,000
ITM: 27 places

Final table payouts

1st Kim Hwan – Korea – KR₩ 18,800,000
2nd Jae Kyung Sim “Simba” – Korea – KR₩ 10,000,000
3rd Lee Jung – Korea – KR₩ 6,700,000
4th Kim Ok – Korea – KR₩ 5,000,000
5th Ki Oh Ahn – Korea – KR₩ 4,000,000
6th Choi Dongho – Korea – KR₩ 3,000,000
7th Park Daeil – Korea – KR₩ 2,400,000
8th Kang Hae – Korea – KR₩ 1,800,000
9th Kong Chisung – Korea – KR₩ 1,500,000


Triccia David

Triccia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits. She spent a year working part time with Poker Portal Asia and later became the editor and 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 blogger for several other major events in the Philippines. Currently, she is in charge of events reporting for Somuchpoker.

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