Who are the top Asian money winners at the WSOP?

Here at Somuchpoker, we have a special interest in Asian poker and have been digging into WSOP results to get a clear picture of how Asian players compare against each other in the WSOP arena. With the 2015 series already in full flow, it seemed the perfect time to take a more detailed look at Asian players who have flourished in their quest for cash and bracelets at this world renowned series. To give a comprehensive overview of how Asian players have fared at the WSOP, we have compiled this list of the top Asian money winners at the WSOP.

1st : John Juanda. The most successful Asian player by some distance, Juanda has 5 bracelets to his name, along with more than $4,730,000 in cashes. His bracelets have come in 2-7 Draw, PLO, Seven Card Stud hi/lo, Holdem, and A-5 Triple Draw, proving what a strong all round player he is.

John Juanda

A gentleman at the poker table: Read our portrait of John Juanda

2nd : Richard Yong, from Malaysia has moved up to 2nd on the money list for Asian players, partly due to his participation in high roller events. He has over $1,237,000 to his name, which he earned in the 2012 Big One for One Drop. He finished 8th.

3rd : Naoya Kihara is one of Japan's home grown talents, and is quickly moving up the list with almost $632,000. His bracelet win in a PLO event in 2012 earned him $512,000 and is the main reason why he comes in at 3rd despite still being in the early stages of his career.

4th : Jiang Chen is perhaps not the most famous name in poker, but those who follow the WSOP closely may remember the rare sight of a Chinese bracelet winner in 2005. That was none other than Jiang Chen, who won a $1,000 Holdem event for more than $611,000. This is his only WSOP cash.

5th : Winfred Yu is a man who is well known for being CEO of Poker King Club, but he also plays a lot of poker in his spare time, and has two WSOP cashes to his name, one of which being the $10,000 Holdem event at WSOP – APAC in 2013. He finished 3rd for almost $443,000 which elevates him to 5th on our list with $445,697.

6th : Kenny Shih sits at 2nd on the Taiwan all time money list, and has a total of $432,000 in WSOP cashes. Much of this can be attributed to his 18th place at the 2011 WSOP Main Event for almost $379,000.

7th : Noli Francisco is a man who has been around for a long time. He hasn't cashed at the WSOP since 1997 and doesn't play many events these days, but back in the 90's he had many deep runs, including three 2nd places and two 3rd places. He has been unfortunate in not winning a bracelet, but he tops the Philippines all time money list with WSOP cashes totalling $379,167.

8th : Hyon 'Skip' Kim occupies 2nd spot on the South Korea all time money list, and has over $375,500 to his name, due mostly to two big scores in 2006 and 2007 when he took 2nd place in a PLO event, and then finished 57th in the Main Event the following year.

9th : Paul Phua is well known on the Asian poker scene and is a close friend of Richard Yong. He enjoys high roller events, and managed a huge score in 2013 during the WSOP – APAC where he took 3rd place in the $50,000 rebuy event for over $340,000. With high roller events such as the One Drop gaining popularity over the last few years, it would be no surprise to see Richard Yong,  Paul Phua, and Winfried Yu pick up another big result or two over the coming years to move them further up this list.

Paul Phua

Inside the Paul Phua connection: Read our portrait of Paul Phua


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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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