Sparrow Cheung and Pete Chen top world ranking for most cashes in a single year

2017 is officially done and sitting atop the world ranking for the highest number of cashes are two Asian pros – Hong Kong’s Park Yu Sparrow Cheung and Chinese Taipei’s Pete Yen Han. Both players not only improved on their performance last year, but also now hold the best records for the highest in a single year. Both players broke USA’s John Zentner III’s record of 56 cashes set in 2013.

Sparrow Cheung claims the world record for highest number of cashes

Sparrow Cheung - Photo WSOP
Sparrow Cheung – Photo WSOP

Taking #1 in the ranking is a very well-known figure in the Asian circuit, Hong Kong’s Park Yu Cheung aka Sparrow. Cheung is the President of the Hong Kong Poker Players Association (HKPPA), an organization that actively promotes poker in the region. Cheung finished the year with a whopping 67 total cashes, which is 20 more than his previous year’s tally. Impressively, he also cashed every single month for his second consecutive year.

In addition to setting the new world record, Cheung also had a big year in earnings. From 2010 to 2016 he accumulated roughly around US$600K. In 2017, he doubled it and now has over US$1.2M. Helping him get there were a couple of very healthy pickups. In February, he won the Macau Poker Cup HK$50K event earning his first six-figure payday of US$126,503. In early December, he improved on this with a US$185,052 payout for finishing 2nd at the Sun City Cup HK$8M Guaranteed Main Event.

Pete Chen: runner up a second time

Pete Chen - Photo Drew Amato , Courtesy of WSOP
Pete Chen – Photo Drew Amato , Courtesy of WSOP

Last year, Chinese Taipei’s Pete Yen Han Chen closed out the year with 51 cashes. This tied him for 2nd place with USA’s James Petzing while on top was USA’s John Holley with 52 cashes. According to Chen, “There were a few tournaments that I cashed in over here in Asia that didn’t report (to,” he said. “I should have been number one.”

This year, he returned with the same fervor, and though he didn’t reach the heights of Sparrow Cheung’s numbers, he recorded an equally impressive 59 cashes placing him in second rank once again. Included in the long list of his accomplishments was his first major victory. In April, Chen won the WPT Beijing Main Event besting a field of 400 players for US$299,485.

The rest of the year continued to be profitable especially in the summer with his deep runs at the 2017 WSOP. Chen nearly bagged a gold bracelet at the US$5K No Limit Hold’em finishing 2nd out of 623 entries. This earned him another big wad worth around US$382,122, making this his largest career payout to date.

Next? Chasing Men the Master?

While both Cheung and Chen have reached a milestone this year, they are still a long way from catching up to the ultimate player with the most cashes all-time. That would be Men “The Master” Nguyen with 475 under his belt, which he’s been accumulating for three decades. His highest year was in 2003 with 33 cashes. This year, Nguyen only cashed 10 times.

Although it may take some time to reach The Master, Cheung is definitely in the running with 189 total cashes. That puts him within the top 100 and is in 72nd rank. The highest ranked Asian player is Indonesia’s top pro John Juanda. He has 248 cashes and is running 28th. He is followed by Chinese Taipei’s #1 ranked player Joanne Liu with 199 cashes total. She is ranked 58th tied with Eugene Tito and Samad Razavi.

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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