Live poker alive and well in Taiwan with Global Poker League and Masters Poker Series

With many businesses forced to close temporarily and social distancing the current norm, live poker events in Asia are pretty much non existent, that is unless you are in Taiwan. This past weekend saw players take to the felt at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association aka CTP Poker Club in Taipei City for the Global Poker League Taiwan Tour and Master Poker Series.

With 300+ COVID 19 cases in the country, along with travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine in effect for incoming travelers, it is a wonder how these events can still take place. According to Global Poker Index Asia CEO, Raymond Wong

“We are well aware that with the current Covid-19 situation around the globe, it is not the best time to host any events, especially with the flight restriction and country lock down, however we thought that the show must go on with the support from the local poker community. We are expecting ZERO foreign players, and player numbers will definitely be low, but we are ready for any outcome.

The decision-making to run the festival is not just from MPS/GPL, but also our venue host CTP Poker Club – Mr. David Tai. Taiwan has been doing a great job keeping the people safe. Despite cases increasing everyday, the numbers are not critically high and most cases are from abroad. Taiwan’s CDC is keeping good eyes while arrivals in the airport and quarantine are taking place. The local community is also well in control.

Live poker Taiwan
Poker at CPT

Safety measures in place at the CTP Poker Club include daily temperature scan of all entering players, hand sanitizing, hypochlorous acid water machine installed, daily sanitation of all poker equipment, tables for each event are situated in stagger shape to ensure safe distance, and foreign players must present a passport and proof of arrival of more than 7 days in Taiwan. Players with temperature above 37.5° and/or exhibiting cough, cold, and other fever symptoms will not be permitted to enter. A limit of 100 persons maximum is allowed in the venue.  

With these guidelines, the GPL/MPS event kicked off confidently on March 28 to run until April 5. Both events earn players points towards the GPI Masterboard.

The GPL Taiwan Tour completed first with Team Tainan seizing the gold. At the MPS, four of its 22 game lineup also concluded. The featured MPS Challenge Event is on its final day and the MPS Main Event begins tomorrow. We’ve got all the early results below. 

Global Poker League Taiwan – Teams Event

In December 2018, GPL China was held in Taiwan for the first time. This was the second volume of the league with the first one concluding in Sanya, Hainan Island the year prior. The event ran in tandem with the newly created Master Poker Series

To adjust to the ongoing crisis, the recent GPL event was a Taiwan Tour with players encouraged to form teams representing their cities. From March 20 to 22, high interest drew 24 teams from Taipei, Zhongli, Hsinzhu, Tainan, Taichung and Gaoxiong with 14 making it through the selection round to compete at the CTP Poker Club for the title. After a grueling 15 hour battle on the final day, Team Tainan represented by Yu Shang Chen, Chun Kai Huang, Sheng Chi Huang, Hung Chun Chen prevailed to take the gold. 

1st Team Tainan

Date: March 28 – 29
Team Buy in: TW$ 18,000 (~US$ 600)
Entries: 14
Prize pool: TW$ 231,800 (~US$ 7,600)

Each team consisted of four players. The game format was 1v1, 2v2, 3v3v3. The top six teams in points advanced to the final day. On their return, they entered the semi final round. Team Tainan, Team Hsingzhu, and Team Taipei survived the semis and moved on to the finals where they were guaranteed a piece of the pot. 

The final round started with players allotted 2 Strategy Timeout Options of 3 minutes each. Team Taipei was bumped out first. When Team Tainan won 1v1 and 3v3v3 they tied with Team Hsingzhu which meant Team Taipei took the bronze. The top two teams opted to split the cash and the four CTP Championship Gold Passes worth NT$ 15,000 each, then played for the medals. Team Tainan went on to defeat Team Hsingzhu to grab the gold. 


1st GOLD – Team Tainan TW$ 93,100 (~US$ 3,100) + 2 CTP Championship Series Gold Pass
2nd SILVER – Team Hsingzhu – TW$ 93,100 (~US$ 3,100) + 2 CTP Championship Series Gold Pass
3rd BRONZE – Team Taipei – TW$ 46,600 (~US$ 1,540)

Master Poker Series results

MPS Trophy

The Master Poker Series makes up the bulk of the festival with 22 games offered. The featured events are the MPS Challenge Event and the MPS Main Event. At the time of writing, the MPS Challenge Event was on its final day with 19 players out of 63 entrants back in battle gear. The MPS Main Event starts on April 2 with two starting days to enter. 

Date: April 2 to 5
Buy In: TW$ 15,000 (~US$ 500)

*In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive a CTP Championship Platinum Pass worth TW$ 25,000 for the end of the year CTP Championship Series. 

Completed Events

Event 1: MPS Deep Stack

Winner: Chang Cheng Kuo
1st prize: TW$ 36,200 (~US$ 1,200)
Buy in: TW$ 3,500 (~US$ 115)
Entries: 29
Prize pool: TW$ 84,300 (~US$ 2,800)

Event 2: MPS Opening Event

Winner: Jui Wei Hsu
1st prize: TW$ 54,400 (~US$ 1,800)
Buy in: TW$ 3,500 (~US$ 115)
Entries: 65
Prize pool: TW$ 189,100 (~US$ 6,200)

Event 3: MPS NLH Deep Stack 

Winner: Chun Chieh Yang
1st prize: TW$ 48,800 (~US$ 1,600)
Buy in: TW$ 5,000 (~US$ 165)
Entries: 26
Prize pool: TW$ 113,500 (~US$ 3,700)

Event 5: MPS Deep Stack Turbo 

Winner: Ying Hsiang Liao
1st prize: TW$ 26,200 (~US$ 860)
Buy in: TW$ 3,500 (~US$ 115)
Entries: 18
Prize pool: TW$ 52,400 (~US$ 1,700)

Stick with us as we bring you all the results of the ongoing series.

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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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