PokerStars Red Dragon returns: James Lee and Romain Arnaud claim titles

After a period of uncertainty, PokerStars have brought back the prestigious Red Dragon series, with the latest edition being hosted in Jeju, Korea. Events are already under way and winners have been crowned, but there is plenty more poker yet to be played. The series kicked off with the Baby Dragon event and will continue through to the conclusion of the Main Event on December 9th.

James Won Lee wins Baby Dragon

James Won Lee
James Won Lee – Photo PokerStars

The ₩1,200,000 million (US$1,081) Baby Dragon event got the series rolling, with 298 players buying in, generating a prize pool of ₩312,900,000 (US$281,745). 32 players went on to reach the money and there was a strong Chinese contingent still in the running as the final table was assembled. Regardless, an opening event Chinese victory was not to be. The two surviving Taiwanese players, Chi Ying Tsai and Wei Cheng Yin put in creditable performances, taking 4th and 3rd place respectively, leaving China’s Dong Chen and James Won Lee to duel for the top prize. No deal was made and the players went head to head for the title. Lee rode his luck during the confrontation, winning a flip before rivering a wheel with a small ace when up against the AT of Chen. Once he had grabbed the initiative he kept pressing and was able to grind his opponent down and win his second career PokerStars Live title. Lee picked up ₩74,310,000 (US$66,911) for his win.

The final 9 payouts are as follows:

1st – James Won Lee – ₩74,310,000 (US$66,327)
2nd – Dong Chen – ₩47,717,000 (US$42,966)
3rd – Wei Cheng Yin – ₩30,508,000 (US$27,470)
4th – Chi Ying Tsai – ₩24,250,000 (US$21,835)
5th – Ye Wei Tang – ₩18,305,000 (US$16,482)
6th – Weiwen Zheng – ₩14,863,000 (US$13,383)
7th – Hui Wang – ₩11,734,000 (US$10,566)
8th – Xiao Zhu – ₩9,387,000 (US$8,452)
9th Yue Liu – ₩7,510,000 (US$6,762)

Romain Arnaud takes down Super Highroller

Romain Arnaud

The Super Highroller event saw 44 total entries, with 31 individual players taking part. There was an exciting guarantee of ₩1,000,000,000 (US$900,430) on the event which was totally obliterated, with each player paying ₩60,000,000 (US$54,026) to enter. The final prize pool eventually ballooned to ₩2,508,000,000 (US$2,258,278). This made it the richest prize pool ever contested in a PokerStars tournament in Korea. Only 6 players were to see a return on their investment, with the minimum cash set at ₩175,560,000 (US$158,079). The final table was decorated with talent, as the likes of Michael Soyza, Ivan Seng Yee Leow, Wai Yong and Rui Cao all made the money. Each of these players boasts live career cashes totalling over $3,000,000. Michael Soyza was able to take 3rd place for ₩376,200,000 (US$338,742), leaving two French players to contest the top prize. Rui Cao and Romain Arnaud opted not to fight it out though, instead sharing the money through an ICM chop.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Romain Arnaud – ₩748,000,000 (US$673,522)
2nd – Rui Cao – ₩694,100,000 (US$624,988)
3rd – Michael Soyza – ₩376,200,000 (US$338,742)
4th – Ivan Seng Yee Leow – ₩288,420,000 (US$259,702)
5th – Wai Kin – ₩225,720,000 (US$203,245)
6th – Shunu Zang – ₩175,560,000 (US$159,079)

Guo Feng Wang wins High Roller Short-Deck Ante

Guo Feng Wang
Guo Feng Wang

The Short-Deck Ante Only event was the first of its kind in a Red Dragon series, with a strong turnout of 30 players and 55 total entries. This helped to bring the total prize pool up to ₩775,500,000 (US$698,500). Only 7 players collected prize money, with Romain Arnaud reaching the final table immediately after winning the Super High Roller. Back to back titles was not on the cards for the French cash game specialist however, and he eventually exited in 5th place. When play reached heads-up, it was Malaysian Jun Yah Wap who had a slight chip lead over China’s Guo Feng Wang. The advantage would not last however, with Wang soon taking command of proceedings. It did not take long for him to finish the task after that point, and he was soon holding the 1st place prize of ₩244,270,000 (US$219,948), securing his first ever live tournament win in the process.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Guo Feng Wang – ₩244,270,000 (US$219,948)
2nd – Jun Wah Yap – ₩176,430,000 (US$158,863)
3rd – Wei Hsiang Yeu – ₩112,450,000 (US$101,253)
4th – Tian Le Wang – ₩85,310,000 (US$76,816)
5th – Romain Arnaud – ₩65,920,000 (US$59,356)
6th – Wai Kin Yong – ₩50,410,000 (US$45,391)
7th – Nan Wei – ₩40,710,000 (US$36,657)

Chen An Lin among the other winners

Chen An Lin
Chen An Lin – Photo PokerStars

Taiwanese star Chen An Lin has added his eighth career PokerStars Live title by taking down the ₩400,000 (US$360) Knockout event. He overcame a field of 145 players, of which 15 were able to win some prize money. The lion’s share of the ₩36,250,000 (US$32,641) prize pool belonged to Lin though, as he demolished the final table and defeated Bold Buyanjargal heads-up to win the title and take home ₩9,415,000 (US$8,478). This brings his lifetime career cashes up into seven figures, with that number now standing at over US$1,100,000. The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Chen An Lin – ₩9,415,000 (US$8,478)
2nd – Bold Buyanjargal – ₩6,345,000 (US$5,713)
3rd – Xing Long Huang – ₩4,170,000 (US$3,755)
4th – Xiaqing Ji – ₩3,265,000 (US$2,940)
5th – Yifan Zhang – ₩2,540,000 (US$2,287)
6th – Jun Wang – ₩2,175,000 (US$1,958)
7th – Yi Kun Feng – ₩1,810,000 (US$1,630)
8th – Guoliang Wei – ₩1,450,000 (US$1,306)
9th – Qi Xie – ₩1,090,000 (US$981)

Article by Craig Bradshaw