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.
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)
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
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.
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 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.
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 with on a board of 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
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.
|6th||Jon Peter Rounce||700|
|8th||Jin Hoon Lee||675|
Up next: WPT Vietnam Passport to the World Championship
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.
Sign Up On WPT Global
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.
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