WPT Global Teams Event kicks off with Team New Zealand taking the lead

WPT’s Global Teams Event is now underway, with two of the opening events of this inaugural tussle of nations now in the books. The teams will now face a flurry of events until Friday, when we will be able to crown a country as the undisputed champion.

The USA managed to assemble a team just before registration closed, which meant that 14 teams got out of the starting blocks in Incheon Paradise City Casino, Korea. The roster of players mixed talents from across the globe with a core group of regulars on the Asian circuit. Michael Soyza (GPI ranked number 1 player in Asia) was joined by Pete Chen, Danny Tang, Sparrow Cheung, WSOP bracelet winner Nikita Luther, 4-time APT Player of the Year Sam Razavi and Japanese pop star GACKT, to name just a few.

Event 1 – Shootout: Japan takes the lead

Team Japan 2

The first event in the Global Teams Event saw four separate shootout tables play out, with 14 players taking part, meaning that each country had a player in the action. Players earned points based on their finishing positions, with no players from the same team coming up against each other.

Tables 1 and 2 saw Japan’s Harunobu Kojima take 1st, with Simon Burns following up in 2nd for Team UK.

Tables 3 and 4 would see Hong Kong and Australia bag some serious points, as Vincent Kwun Ngai Li took victory for Team Hong Kong. Australian captain Wayde Rickhuss took 2nd spot.

Tables 5 and 6 were won by Taiwan’s Fubon Huang with Guoliang Wei bringing home the silver medal for Team China.

Table 7 and 8 saw Team New Zealand move up the leaderboard as their player Jack Efaraimo took victory, with Martijn Gerrits picking up 2nd place points for the Netherlands.

Event 2 – Heads-Up: New Zealand take top spot

Jack Efaraimo pics
Jack Efaraimo – Photo WPT

The dust had barely settled on the shootout, when players were once again drawing up battle lines for the heads-up event. New Zealand quickly surged past Japan to take the lead, as Thomas Ward reached the final match, which he eventually lost to Korea’s Ivan Seng Yee Leow. Ward claimed 20 points, and with the strong showings of New Zealanders Jack Efaraimo and Paul Hockin, who each picked up 13.5 points, Team New Zealand moved to the top of the overall standings.


Team New Zealand will return as leaders tomorrow with a tally of 104.5 points, but they are being hunted down by Team China (96 points) and Team UK (89.5 points).

Official Rankings after Event #2

Team New Zealand  –  104.5 pts
Team China  –  96 pts
Team UK  –  89.5 pts
Team Taiwan  –  88 pts
Team Netherlands  –  83.5 pts
Team Hong Kong  –  82.5 pts
Team Japan  –  78.5 pts
Team India  –  78 pts
Team Singapore  –  78 pts
Team Korea  –  77 pts
Team Malaysia  –  75.5 pts
Team Norway  –  73.5 pts
Team Australia  –  67.5 pts
Team USA  –  48 pts


The action resumes tomorrow with a PLO (two players) and Tag team (two players) event followed by a 6-max NLH later in the day.

Everything you should know about the WPT Teams Event with Danny McDonagh

Article by Craig Bradshaw