Je Ho Lee wins the Suncity Cup 2017, Sparrow finishes runner up

Now that the lights have dimmed and the tables have been emptied, the Poker King Club’s biggest event of the year – the Suncity Cup 2017 HKD 8 Million Guaranteed – has come to a close. The massive event that took place from November 23 – December 2 at the Venetian Macau wrapped up last night with Korea’s Je Ho Lee etching his name in history as the first player to win this coveted inaugural title.

 Je Ho Lee - Photo PKC
Je Ho Lee – Photo PKC

On our recent publication of this event, we focused on the sheer magnitude that this event has generated. There were 928 entries in total – 172 produced from regional legs – to break past the advertised guarantee for an HK$8,008,300 prize pool. Out of that monstrous pot, Je Ho Lee was awarded HK$1,605,472 (~US$205,500), making this his largest live tournament payout.

More: An overview of the massive Suncity Cup 2017 event by the numbers

Final table 

For a review on Lee’s impressive performance, his rise began in Day 2b, ending the heat running 2nd in chips. His consistency continued, entering the final table 3rd in chips. Joining him were a few highly decorated pros Kosei Ichinose, Danny Tang, and Park Yu Sparrow Cheung. Other strong contenders were Taipei leg qualifier Sahashi Hideki – overall chip leader entering Day 2 -, final table chip leader Lim Chin Wei, Chien Jenyen – one of Taiwan’s rising young players, and Eugene Co one of the Philippines hottest running players this year.

Final Table Suncity Cup 2017 - Photo PKC
Final Table Suncity Cup 2017 – Photo PKC

After the fall of Hideki (8th), Ichinose (7th), and Jenyen (6th), Lee proceeded to claim his first two victims, Co (5th) and Lim (4th), to amass a wide lead over his remaining opponents, Tang and Sparrow. Tang couldn’t get past Lee’s momentum and settled for 3rd place.

Entering the heads up round, Sparrow and Lee agreed on an ICM deal that guaranteed Lee HK$1,605,472 and Sparrow HK$1,445,528. This then led to the battle for the title. Despite Sparrow’s experience and valiant efforts, despite him taking the chip lead for a brief moment, Lee was able to tighten up and claim the coveted title. If Je Ho Lee wasn’t a familiar name in the circuit before, then this victory will surely turn that a full 180 degrees.

Notables in the money

To many players’ delight, the Suncity Cup 2017 began paying out HK$6,000 to all players that qualified into Day 2. To get to the next money tier, players need to reach the minimum of 35th place. Among the notables that made it through were Chen An Lin (9th), Linh Tran (12th), Albert Paik (14th), Canlin Chen (16th), Wai Kiat Lee (18th), Michael Soyza (25th), Victor Chong (26th), and Xixiang Luo (33rd). Mexico’s highest ranked pro JC Alvarado also ran it deep for a 20th place finish.

Another incredible year for Sparrow Cheung

Photo PKC
Photo PKC

For Hong Kong’s 10th ranked pro Sparrow Cheung, his incredible run may have ended in 2nd place however it still paid him a handsome HK$1,445,528 (US$185,000) making this his largest live tournament career score. This is a fantastic achievement to cap another stellar year that was once again filled with numerous cashes and deep runs totaling 63.

Just before this runner-up berth, his largest payout was earned in February 2017 at the Macau Poker Cup 26 HKD 50,000 entry event. He shipped in US$126,503 for his victory. That’s makes it two six-figures earned this year alone. Sparrow also vied for the Asia Player of the Year award but fell short in a respectable 2nd place to fellow countryman Alan Lau. To-date, Sparrow has accumulated over US$1.2M in earnings.

Final Table payouts

1st Je Ho Lee – Korea – HK$1,605,472 (US$205,500) – deal made
2nd Park Yu Sparrow Cheung – Hong Kong – HK$1,445,228 (US$185,000) – deal made
3rd Dany Tang – Hong Kong – HK$642,900
4th Lim Chin Wei – Malaysia – HK$494,000
5th Eugene Co – Philippines – HK$421,400
6th Chien Jenyen – Chinese Taipei – HK$348,700
7th Kosei Ichinose – Japan – HK$261,500
8th Sahashi Hideki – Japan – HK$174,400

Article by Triccia David

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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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