World Poker Tour Cambodia opening day ceremony; 207 enter Superstack, 25 advance; Cheng Zhang wins Superstack Turbo

wpt cambodia opening ceremony 5 1

Season XXII of the World Poker Tour opened on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at NagaWorld Integrated Resorts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Players were greeted with a welcome speech by WPT Live Events Specialist, Danny McDonagh, alongside partner Connaissance Management General Manager, Erique Tan, and NagaWorld Senior Operations Manager, Christopher Paul Gros. 

“A very warm welcome to you all. On behalf of all the organizers, we thank you all for being here today. This is the fourth time the World Poker Tour has come to NagaWorld in Cambodia and without doubt the most exciting.

This is the first time the WPT Main Tour has come to Southeast Asia. There’s a million US dollar guarantee for the first time and the winners name will be engraved on this magnificent trophy – the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup… We are also very pleased that so many players have already committed to coming to this festival. We are expecting a number of new records to be set.”

With that, cards were back in the air with the NagaWorld Superstack headlining the opening day games. At sundown, the Superstack Turbo joined on the floor, concluding with Cheng Zhang as the first side event champion of the festival. Here are the day’s results.

NagaWorld Superstack – Day 1 results

wpt cambodia 2024 field shot january 17 4 1

It was excitement from the start as players quickly pulled up seats for the first event of the festival. Among the eager contenders were Hong Kong’s Hon Cheong Lee, Korea’s Seong Min Lee, South Africa’s Marc Joseph, Russia’s Natalia Rozova, Denmark’s Michael Falcon, Vietnam’s Bien Mai, to name a few. At the close of registration, a total of 207 signed up for a prize pool of USD 72,284.

nagaworld superstack day1 bubble 1

Playing down to the money round, it was a double elimination during the bubble round with Frank Lillis and Dimitri Isaev both knocking out a player at their table. The fallen split the last place cash and 25 players bagged up. Japan’s Haruto Murata racked the largest of 53 bb, trailed closely by France’s Clement Thumy with 51 bb.

nagaworld superstack day1 chipleader 1

On the opposite end of the rung was one of Taiwan’s leading players, Nevan Yu Chung Chang, with just 5 bb. Chang dropped to < 2 bb on a cooler of pocket Queens over pocket Jacks, then managed to double up on a three-outer to squeak in the money round.

The event resumes on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 11:30am. Everyone is guaranteed USD 540 while up top is USD 17,780.

Date: January 17 to 18, 2024
Buy in: USD 400
Entries: 207 (158 unique)
Prize pool: USD 72,284
ITM: 26 places

Chips in play: 10,350,000
Average stack: 414,000 (20 bb)
Day 2 opening blinds: 10K-20K ante 20K (17:24 time remaining)
Day 2: January 18, 2024 at 11:30am

End of Day 1 – 25 players

Player Flag Stack BB
Haruto Murata Japan 1,059,000 53
Clement Thumy France 1,022,000 51
Frank Lillis Ireland 882,000 44
Lee Jin Xiong Singapore 651,000 33
Johnny Tan USA 618,000 31
Dimitri Isaev Russia 540,000 27
Rolands Norietis Latvia 521,000 26
Cho Seong Ho Korea 419,000 21
Lawrence Pashak Canada 396,000 20
Ivan Govorov Russia 388,000 19
Krystian Jacek Pokand 378,000 19
Pitsan Maksim Russia 360,000 18
Sam Adams 353,000 18
Yu Chuen Hung Taiwan 323,000 16
Jayvon Carreon Philippines 300,000 15
Abbouchi Mohamad Lebanon 300,000 15
Anthony Do Viet Nam 298,000 15
Patrick Standen Canada 266,000 13
Andrew Leathem Scotland 244,000 12
Koy David 213,000 11
Stanislav Kovalenko Russia 185,000 9
Del Peso 184,000 9
Young Hun Moon Korea 180,000 9
Asish Ghosh India 162,000 8
Nevan Yu Chung Chang Taiwan 96,000 5

CHENG ZHANG wins Superstack Turbo

superstack turbo winner 2

Impressive turnout as well at the evening’s Superstack Turbo with 98 entries over the nine rounds of registration. Despite the blinds increasing at a fast 15 minute intervals, the event still clocked in at over 8 hours. After a heads up deal, with the champion guaranteed $1 more, the battle for the trophy concluded with Cheng Zhang‘s AhJs dominating Hawon Song‘s 10-9.

Zhang’s rise began during the bubble round when he doubled up with top pair against Zhi Hao Chen‘s missed draw. This sent Chen down to a third of a small blind but still hung on for a 12th place finish. The bubble was delivered by Dominik Anousith Simmalavong with 9s9d set toppling Kc9c two pair on a board Js8h9h2dKh. Simmalavong went on to run deep in the final table, exiting in 4th place. He was followed out by Taiwan’s Chao Ting Cheng in 3rd place.

Date: January 17, 2024
Buy in: USD 200
Entries: 98
Prize pool: USD 16,636
ITM: 13 places

*Heads up deal, play for trophy

Rank Player
Payout in USD
1 Cheng Zhang 4,098*
2 Hawon Song 4,097*
3 Chao-Ting Cheng 1,913
4 Dominik Anousith Simmalavong 1,248
5 Jing Huang 973
6 Corrie Esselman 778
7 Rindra Norodom 661
8 Young Hun Kim 574
9 Georgios Skarparis 507
10 Fangliang Wei 457
11 Jia Rong Goh 457
12 Zhi Hao Chen 457
13 Jacson Feng 416


WPT Cambodia – Coverage
WPT Cambodia – Player Guide

*Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you daily updates of WPT Cambodia from start to finish. 

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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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