Richard Lee wins WPT Australia for AUD $854,890 (~$550K); festival amasses over AUD $12.56M (~$8M); largest Asian turnout in Australia

wpt australia 2
Photo by WPT

With record breaking prize pools anticipated, poker players from across the globe gathered in Queensland, Australia, as the World Poker Tour (WPT) made its return to the land down under. Running from September 14 to 27, 2023 at The Star Gold Coast, it more than delivered. The festival drew 6,825 total entries and amassed a grand prize pool of AUD $12,569,950 which was approximately US$ 8,015,000! This marked the second Main Tour festival hosted in Australia.

richard lee wpt 2
Richard Lee – Photo by WPT

The largest chunk was generated at the headliner WPT Australia, drawing a 600 strong entry field for a new record prize pool of AUD $4.5 Million (~US$ 2.9 Million). USA’s Richard Lee emerged as champion to capture the AUD $854,890 (~US $550,267) top prize (inclusive of a 2023 WPT World Championship Package worth US$ 10,400). In addition, Lee’s name was added to the prestigious Mike Sexton Champions Cup. 

Buy in: AUD $8,000 (~US$ 5,100)
Entries: 600
Prize pool: AUD $4,500,000 (~US$ 2,900,000)
ITM: 76 places

Final table payouts

1 Richard Lee AUD $854,890
2 Martin Kozlov AUD $559,672
3 Nino Marotta AUD $413,873
4 Gary Lin AUD $308,499
5 Romain Morvan AUD $232,720
6 Ken Demlakian AUD $177,566

Read up on WPT Australia via the Live Updates.

Other events with large prize pools and entries

Event 1 Opening Event AUD $837,750 625 entries
Event 2 Mystery Bounty AUD $982,760 658 entries
Event 3 $5K 8 Max Action Clock AUD $394,839 84 entries
Event 7 $675 PLO Action Clock AUD $233,984 389 entries
Event 8 $880 Bonza Bounty AUD $384,000 480 entries
Event 10 Super High Roller AUD $1,557,000 83 entries
Event 12 Mini Main Event  AUD $742,800 416 entries
Event 13 World Champs Warm Up AUD $1,064,800 84 entries
Event 15 $5K High Roller PLO AUD $752,000 96 entries

Asian contingents at WPT Australia festival

yuto suzuki
Yuto Suzuki (7th place) – Photo by WPT

Aside from the immense local force that descended upon the WPT Australia festival, the largest Asian contingent hailed from Japan with around 30 players making the trip. Yuto Suzuki and Hirokazu Kobayashi came close to the official final table with 7th and 8th place finishes.

shiina okamoto
Shiina Okamoto (30th place) – Photo by WPT

Renowned pro / WSOP bracelet winner Motoyoshi Okamura nearly reached the final table, finishing in 13th place; Shiina Okamoto was the last woman in the field finishing in 30th place. Other well known Japanese attendees were highly decorated Nozomu Shimizu and poker vlogger Masato Yokosawa who missed the money at the headliner but finished 4th at the Mini Main Event.

India represented
Photo by Poker Media Australia

India was also represented by some of its nation’s strongest players. Pros Abhinav Iyer and Paawan Bansal cashed in 48th place and 63rd place. Early in the festival, Ankit Ahuja and Gaurav Sood were in the upper ranks of the Player of the Festival leader board. Ahuja locked up two final table finishes – 2nd place at AUD $5K 8-Max Action Clock and 5th place at the Outback Survivor event – and Sood finished 2nd at the Outback Survivor.

namhyung kim
Nam Hyung Kim – Photo by WPT

One Asian making headlines was South Korea’s Nam Hyung Kim for his victory at the Super High Roller event. Kim was a wrecking ball at the final table, racking up an enormous stack that he brought all the way to the finish line. At heads up, Kim cracked AdAc with Kd5c on a board of 7hAh6c8h9h to claim his first WPT title, first WPT boomerang trophy, and a massive payout of AUD $ 459,002 (~US$ 292,680).

Also seated at the SHR table were Chinese pro / WSOP bracelet winner Weiran Pu who finished in 3rd place and Taiwanese pro Ting Yi Tsai who placed 8th.

Daniel Hachem wins Player of the Festival

daniel hachem
Photo by WPT

It was down to the final day to determine the WPT Australia Player of the Festival winner. WPT Australia champion Richard Lee surged to the top after his victory, however, a few side events were still running where players could steal the win… and that’s exactly what happened. Daniel Hachem finished 2nd at Event 15: $5K PLO High Roller to pick up 500 points for a total of 1,025 points accrued. Earlier in the festival, Hachem finished 2nd at Event 1: Opening Event to earn 525 points. For his achievement, Hachem was awarded a 5K WPT Passport to any Main Tour for Season XXI.

1st Daniel Hachem 1025
2nd Richard Lee 815
3rd Trayner Malcolm 775
4th Namhyung Kim 700
5th Adam Thaggard 700
6th Jon Peter Rounce 700
7th Ankit Ahuja 675
8th Jin Hoon Lee 675
9th Jason Gilbert 650
10th Ethan Yau 650

Up next: WPT Vietnam Passport to the World Championship

wpt vietnam passport

With the WPT World Championship $40 Million guaranteed coming up fast, players can secure their seat in various ways. For players in Asia and Pacific, the way to go is WPT Vietnam in Hanoi from October 6 to 16, 2023 at the Crown Poker Club. A total of 10 packages will be awarded.

Read up on all the details via the link provided below.

World Poker Tour announces unprecedented USD 40M guarantee for WPT World Championship! Win your way via WPT Vietnam in October

Sign Up On WPT Global

wpt global 3
Photo by WPT

Did you know that WPT brand launched WPT Global? WPT Global is one of the fastest growing rooms, has a soft field, and offers action in every limit.

Released earlier today, you can also win your way to the WPT World Championship via WPT Global. The year-ender will be the biggest and richest festival by the WPT. This is one event that must not be missed.

Read our WPT Global review or register here:

WPT Global Review by Somuchpoker

Or contact us for any questions.

Avatar photo

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Special EmailTwitterFacebookFlickrYouTube