WPT Korea 2024: Opening day sees Yu Lei top SHR Day 1, and Iakimenko Anton bagging the largest at WPT Opener Day 1A; Huang Peng claims first series win


WPT Opener Field
Photo Credit – Chris Librojo

The WPT Korea festivities at Landing Casino, Jeju Shinhwa World, South Korea have officially kicked off, starting this 2024 season with its most premium offering right on opening day. The KR₩ 40,000,000 (~USD 29,750) buy-in WPT Super High Roller coursed through eleven levels of play and saw China’s Yu Lei secure the top spot by the end of the night. Event #1: WPT Opener, similarly played down its initial flight with Russia’s Iakimenko Anton leading the nine-survivor pack into Day 2. Additionally, China’s Huang Peng secured the series’ first trophy victory after besting the Big Bounty NLH field. Check out these highlights below.

WPT Korea 2024 – Festival Results
WPT Korea 2024 – Player Guide

Running alongside the WPT Super High Roller Day 2 are two more flights for the WPT Opener – the first of which (Day 1B) starts at noon, followed by a Day 1C Turbo flight at 18:00. 

China’s Yu Lei tops WPT Super High Roller Day 1

WPT Rings to be awarded at WPT Korea 2024
Photo Credit – Chris Librojo

Charging the highest buy-in on schedule, the WPT Super High Roller attracted its share of the industry’s fiercest pros including the likes of ten time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, Steve O’Dwyer, and Espen Jorstad. The Day 1 games recorded a total of 24 entries and saw 15 players survive through to Day 2. With registration remaining open until the end of Level 12, players can still jump in and wield a 500,000 (33 BB) starting stack for a chance to claim the first of four WPT High Roller Rings up for grabs.

Yu Lei tops WPT Korea SHR Day 1
Yu Lei, Photo Credit – Chris Librojo

China’s Yu Lei capped the day with the lead, having bagged 1,247,000 (83BB) in chips to top the field. Yu cruised through the games after nearly doubling his stack right before the day’s first break, and consistently chipped up to lock in the lead. Fellow countryman Li Boyao is right on his tail with 1,134,000 (76BB), having bagged a huge double up by the last hour. Joining the two across the top ranks are Japan’s Kobayashi Hirokszu, Germany’s Sturm Leon, and Phil Ivey stacking just four big blinds shy of the 1 million mark.

Date: March 25-26, 2024
Buy-in: KR₩ 40,000,000 (~USD 29,750)
Prize pool: KR₩ 893,760,000 (~USD 667,800)
Entries: 24

Day 2 Chip Counts

Pos. Player Flag Chip Count BB
1 Yu Lei China 1,247,000 83
2 Li Boyao China 1,134,000 76
3 Kobayashi Hirokszu Japan 1,131,000 75
4 Sturm Leon Germany 1,035,000 69
5 Ivey Phil United States 951,000 63
6 Ouyang Jiali China 907,000 60
7 Park Christopher Young United States 887,000 59
8 Toma Tsugunari Japan 823,000 55
9 Chen Wei China 810,000 54
10 Pak Valeriy Uzbekistan 806,000 54
11 Lee Calvin Sungwon United States 770,000 51
12 Tang Tiayuan China 614,000 41
13 Boivin Thomas Belgium 575,000 38
14 Jorstad Espen Uhlen Norway 373,000 25
15 Li Keyi China 204,000 14

Average stack: 800,000
Total chips in play: 12,000,000

WPT Korea 2024 – Super High Roller Live Updates

Russia’s Iakimenko Anton leads WPT Opener initial flight

Iakimenko Anton tops WPT Korea Opener Day 1A
Iakimenko Anton, Photo Credit – Chris Librojo

WPT Opener Day 1A drew in a total of 68 entries with only nine players guaranteed a share of the pot. It took over eight hours on the felt before the day wrapped up with Iakimenko Anton holding down the top spot. Iakimenko was already ahead of the pack but added a third of his stack after delivering the bubble. The Russian runner ends the day with a massive 650,000 (81 BB) heading into March 27th, Wednesday’s Day 2.

Today’s field was seen dominated by Chinese players all around including nine out of the ten survivors hailing from the Mainland. Liu Yin leads the charge, stacking just below Day 1A chip leader Iakimenko. More players are expected to flock in the following days with the series continuing through Wednesday, April 3rd.

Date: March 25 – 27, 2024
Buy-in: KR₩ 850,000 (~USD 630)
Day 1A: 68 entries, 9 qualified
Day 1B: March 26, 2024
Day 1C Turbo: March 26, 2024
Day 2: March 27, 2024

Day 1A Survivors

Pos. Player Flag Chip Count
1 Iakimenko Anton Russia 650,000
2 Liu Yin China 241,000
3 Zhang Yifan China 166,000
4 Zhang Lirui China 150,000
5 Guo Meng China 136,000
6 Zhang Dongxuan China 114,000
7 Wang Zhiyi China 90,000
8 Jin Xu Dong China 80,000
9 Chen Chuan Shu China 76,000

WPT Korea 2024 – WPT Opener Live Updates

Huang Peng claims first series win at Big Bounty NLH – KR₩ 12,819,000 (~USD 9,550)

Huang Peng wins WPT Korea Big Bounty NLH
Huang Peng, Photo Credit – Chris Librojo

Date: March 25, 2024
Buy-in: KR₩ 1,000,000 (~USD 740)
Prize pool: KR₩ 63,729,000 (~USD 47,500)
Entries: 73 (60 unique)
ITM: 10 players

Event #3: Big Bounty NLH Full Payouts

Rank Last Name First Name Flag Prize (KRW)
1 HUANG PENG China 12,819,000
2 CHEN YEN-HAN China 8,550,000
3 YANG  YIFEI China 5,700,000
4 SEI  ALEKSEI Russia 3,960,000
5 AOKI  YUKI Japan 2,870,000
6 MORI AKIHITO Japan 2,180,000
7 JI XIAQING China 1,740,000
8 YU  JIANQIANG 1,450,000
9 LEI  XIANG China 1,280,000
10 XUE WENWU China 1,280,000

Getting to Jeju Shinhwa Landing Resort

WPT Korea Airport Shuttle Bus

For arriving players, WPT is pulling out all the stops with a complimentary service straight to the venue. Just look for the WPT Korea banner right outside the arrivals gate and head down to the shuttle bus location. It takes approximately one hour to get to the Resort with the service running daily on a thirty minute interval starting at 7:00 a.m. 

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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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