Taiwan’s Eric Tsai finishes strong in 2023 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event; Hokyiu Lee, Wing Po Liu, and Santhosh Suvarna bag gold


The annual World Series of Poker Europe returned to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic last October 25th through November 15 for three weeks of immense poker action. A total of 15 bracelet events were awarded with several Asian runners bagging gold and making multiple final table appearances in the games. Taiwan’s Eric Tsai for one, was a spot short of the WSOPE Main Event glory, while Hong Kong’s Hokyiu Lee and Wing Po Liu, and India’s Santhosh Suvarna claimed first place finishes. Aside from this, notable pros such as South Korea’s Gab Yong Kim and Anson Tsang fared well in this year’s games, collecting a number of deep runs in the fall festivities.

Taiwan’s Eric Tsai finishes strong in 2023 WSOPE Main Event

Eric Tsai, Photo Credit – WSOPE/ PokerNews

Headlining this year’s WSOPE is another round of €10,350 Main Event NLH European Championship games where 817 entrants chimed in for a chance to claim the seven figure top prize. With a tournament guarantee of €5 million, the generated prize pool climbed past the €7 million mark and listed a whopping  €1.5 million for the champion. By Day 3, the money started to trickle in, securing 123 players a minimum payout of €16,500. Eliminations continued on through Day 4 where Taiwan’s Eric Tsai capped the night with a considerable final table lead after busting Yulian Bogdanov in ninth place. 

“In the past poker in Asia, it’s not so popular. Maybe 20 or 30 percent know about Texas Hold’em”, said Tsai to PokerNews after bagging his chips. “But during COVID, poker is blooming now. Not just in Taiwan but also Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea. It’s unbelievable. So, I think if I can get a good result, even win the bracelet. I think it’s a very important milestone for Asia’s poker.

A widely followed content creator for his Youtube channel SixPoker666, and a brand ambassador for Natural8, the Taiwanese local was in a good spot to bring Asia the Main Event glory, carrying in a 95 big blind stack to kick off the final day. No doubt an easy feat to clinching gold, Tsai’s lead took a back seat early on the final table after Italy’s Michele Tocci rampaged through. A hot start for the Italian runner, he was responsible for the first final table casualty and cracked aces and queens along the way to snag the lead.

While Tsai’s healthy stack provided him a cushion, a three way pot against Michael Rocco and Nils Pudel soon saw Tsai chip down to a short stack with seven left in the running. Tsai got it in with top pair flush draw but was crushed after Rocco’s set of nines held, sending his chip count plummeting down.

Heads Up Eric Tsai vs Max Neugebauer, Photo Credit – WSOPE/ PokerNews

Fortunately for Tsai, a quick double with aces and a lucky two outer against Tocci guaranteed him a spot into the heads up match against Austria’s Max Neugebauer. One opponent to go, Tsai remained to be a huge underdog with his opponent stacking over a 3:1 advantage to start the duel. The Taiwanese however, showed up ready to fight, ramping up the aggression and picking up sizable pot after pot in an attempt to close the gap. Within less than an hour, the final hand came to light after Neugebauer called all three streets on Qd8d7hAs4s with Js8c to wrap up the tournament. Tsai had Jd9d for a missed combo draw and pulled a gutsy move to jam the river. While it was a great effort for Tsai, Neugebauer caught on the bluff and secured the Main Event title and €1,500,000 in prizes for his outstanding performance. 

Tsai’s impressive runner-up finish merited him €891,000 in winnings, serving as his best live cash by far according to The Hendon Mob. A worthy fight by Tsai, his latest result bumps him up to 5th place in Taiwan’s All Time Money List with over $2.28 million in total live earnings.

Event #13: €10,350 Main Event NLH European Championship
Date/s: November 10-15, 2023
Entries: 817 (inc. 105 re-entries)
Guarantee: €5,000,000
Prize pool: €7,761,500
ITM: 123 players

2023 WSOPE Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Flag Prize (EUR)
1 Max Neugebauer Austria €1,500,000
2 Eric Tsai Taiwan €891,000
3 Michele Tocci Italy €639,000
4 Kasparas Klezys Lithuania €464,000
5 Michael Rocco United States €341,000
6 Nils Pudel Germany €255,000
7 Ruslan Volkov Ukraine €193,000
8 Alf Martinsson Sweden €148,000

Event #4: €2,000 Pot Limit Omaha: Hokyiu Lee – €91,183

Hokyiu Lee, Photo Credit – WSOPE/ PokerNews

The third gold bracelet winner of this year’s WSOPE saw Hong Kong’s Hokyiu Lee outlast the 206 entry field and claim €91,183 in prizes for his win in Event #4: €2,000 Pot Limit Omaha. Lee defeated bracelet winner and PLO crusher Dario Alioto in heads up play to clinch his maiden WSOP victory. An excellent finish, Lee didn’t forget to credit two-time winner of this event, Anson Tsang who helped him bag the win by sharing tips and tricks during breaks.

Early on the final table when it was still nine-handed, there were so many short stacks and I was one of them. Once I got a bigger stack, I tried to play more and raise more to put some pressure on the other players,” commented Lee to PokerNews.

I was a little bit nervous on the last three tables because I was on the feature table already. This was my second time. My first time, I only played maybe thirty minutes. I didn’t feel the pressure … but this time, I already played on the feature table all the time as of 24 left. Then I got used to it and felt more relaxed when I played the final table.

South Korea’s Gab Yong Kim was also spotted on the final table felt in search yet again of a first gold bracelet. Kim stood at this very spot a year ago and collected another third place finish in this year’s games. The poker veteran has booked several deep finishes in the WSOP games including a runner-up finish in last season’s €25,000 NLH Platinum High Roller and a fourth place finish in the latest Event #8: €25,000 NLH GGMillion.

Date/s: October 31 – November 1, 2023
Entries: 206 (inc. 93 re-entries)
Guarantee: €300,000
Prize pool: €362,045
ITM: 31 players

Event #4: €2,000 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table Results

Place Player Flag Prize (in EUR)
1 Hokyiu Lee Hong Kong €91,183
2 Dario Alioto Italy €56,358
3 Gab Yong Kim South Korea €38,800
4 Daniel Smuskovics Germany €27,366
5 Barny Boatman United Kingdom €19,785
6 Bruno Stefanelli Italy €14,673
7 Zhengfa Ye Austria €11,168
8 Namhyung Kim South Korea €8,732

Event #6: €5,000 Pot Limit Omaha: Wing Po Liu – €230,000

Wing Po Liu, Photo Credit – WSOPE/ PokerNews

Another Omaha event saw Hong Kong’s Wing Po Liu dominate the scene to take home the title for Event #6: €5,000 Pot Limit Omaha. A very humble Liu managed to overcome the 202 entry field and claim the lion’s share of the €911,525 prize pool, earning him a €230,000 payday. The final table was joined by several Asian hopefuls – Anson Tsang, Wooram Cho, and Tong Li, all but fell short of the title. By the end of the day, PLO amateur Liu secured his career-best cash and first ever tournament win, a bracelet triumph at that.

I still cannot believe I won because I rarely play PLO tournaments,” Liu told PokerNews. “I wanted to try some new games because No-Limit Hold’em can be boring. Some days just fold fold fold fold.

I don’t really study PLO, but some strategy is similar to No-Limit tournaments, like ICM pressure or something like that. I’m mostly just learning while I’m playing… it’s actually so ridiculous because my first professional win was a PLO tournament.

Date/s: November 5-6, 2023
Entries: 202 (inc. 83 re-entries)
Guarantee: €500,000
Prize pool: €911,525
ITM: 31 players

Event #6: €5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Final Table Results

Place Player Flag Prize
1 Wing Po Liu Hong Kong €230,000
2 Omar Eljach Sweden €141,800
3 Kasparas Klezys Lithuania €97,600
4 Anson Tsang Hong Kong €68,850
5 Marco Di Persio Italy €49,800
6 Gergo Nagy Hungary €36,900
7 Wooram Cho South Korea €28,100
8 Tong Li China €22,000

Event #12: €50,000 NLH Diamond High Roller: Santhosh Suvarna – €650,000

Santhosh Suvarna, Photo Credit – WSOPE/ PokerNews

The highest buy-in on schedule, Event #12: €50,000 NLH Diamond High Roller, commanded some of the industry’s fiercest competitors in a two day battle for the €1,739,925 tournament pot. A total of 37 entries joined in with only six players making the money, beginning with Martin Kabrhel’s exit by the hands of India’s Santhosh Suvarna. Suvarna continued with his momentum and proceeded to eliminate Ioannis Angelou-Konstas in fifth place finish. By the time Suvarna locked in a spot in the heads up duel against China’s Ren Lin, the chips were even. It was a quick battle for Suvarna as he secured his career first gold bracelet and €650,000 in prizes which bumps his total live earnings to a wealthy $6.4 million.

Ren Lin, Photo Credit – WSOPE/ PokerNews

Lin on the other hand, settled again for a runner-up finish for €400,000 and another close run at WSOP gold. The talented Chinese has a second place finish under his belt after Belarusian pro Mikita Badziakouski denied him a title in the $50,000 NLH High Roller event back in the 2021 WSOP games.

Date/s: November 9-10, 2023
Entries: 37 (inc. 8 re-entries)
Guarantee: €1,000,000
Prize pool: €1,739,925
ITM: 6 players

Event #12: €50,000 NLH Diamond High Roller Full Payouts

Place Player Flag Prize (EUR)
1 Santhosh Suvarna India €650,000
2 Ren Lin China €400,000
3 Daniel Dvoress Canada €266,000
4 Chris Brewer United States €185,000
5 Ioannis Angelou-Konstas Greece €135,000
6 Martin Kabrhel Czechia €103,925

Other Winners

Event #1: €350 NLH Opener
Date/s: October 25-30, 2023
Entries: 3,503 (inc. 1,144 re-entries)
Guarantee: €1,000,000
Prize pool: €1,048,272
ITM: 499 players
Champion: Lukas Pazma –  €110,000

Event #2: €550 Pot Limit Omaha 8-max
Date/s: October 27-31, 2023
Entries: 719 (inc. 305 re-entries)
Guarantee: €300,000
Prize pool: €341,525
ITM: 109 players
Champion: Omar Eljach –  €65,900

Event #3: €1,350 Mini Main Event
Date/s: October 29 – November 4, 2023
Entries: 1,729 (inc. 425 re-entries)
Prize pool: €2,000,000
ITM: 260 players
Champion: Sokratis Linaras –  €310,350

Event #5: €550 NLH Colossus
Date/s: November 1-6, 2023
Entries: 3,436 (inc. 983 re-entries)
Guarantee: €1,500,000
Prize pool: €1,632,100
ITM: 495 players
Champion: Ermanno Di Nicola –  €200,000

Event #7: €1,650 NLH 6-max
Date/s: November 6-7, 2023
Entries: 495 (inc. 180 re-entries)
Guarantee: €300,000
Prize pool: €705,375
ITM: 75 players
Champion: Tobias Peters –  €143,100

Event #8: €25,000 NLH GGMillion
Date/s: November 6-7, 2023
Entries: 89 (inc. 17 re-entries)
Guarantee: €1,000,000
Prize pool: €2,079,930
ITM: 14 players
Champion: Daniel Dvoress –  €600,000

Event #9: €1,100 NLH Mystery Bounty
Date/s: November 7-8, 2023
Entries: 803 (inc. 372 re-entries)
Guarantee: €300,000
Prize pool: €803,000
ITM: 121 players
Champion: Tobias Garp –  €92,300

Event #10: €2,000 8-Game Mix
Date/s: November 8-9, 2023
Entries: 97 (inc. 34 re-entries)
Guarantee: €100,000
Prize pool: €170,477
ITM: 15 players
Champion: Dajnius Antanaitis –  €47,770

Event #11: €1,100 NLH Turbo Bounty Hunter
Date/s: November 9, 2023
Entries: 570 (inc. 216 re-entries)
Guarantee: €300,000
Prize pool: €370,500
ITM: 86 players
Champion: Joakim Andersson –  €80,350

Event #14: €1,000 NLH Turbo Freezeout
Date/s: November 12, 2023
Entries: 182
Prize pool: €200,000
ITM: 28 players
Champion: Berndt Gleissner –  €46,700

Event #15: €550 NLH Closer
Date/s: November 12-14, 2023
Entries: 628
Guarantee: €200,000
Prize pool: €298,300
ITM: 84 players
Champion: Maurice Nass –  €60,000

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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