WPT Korea: Main Event Day 1A draws 252, Huidong Gu tops 98 survivors; David Erquiaga, Valeriy Pak, Yuan Xin win trophies

WPT Korea: Main Event Day 1A poker tournament tables

World Poker Tour (WPT) Korea is in full swing at Jeju Shinhwa World Landing Casino. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Jeju Island, the ten-day festival kicked off on July 15 and will run until July 24.

After two days of pre-games, the KR₩ 2 Billion guaranteed Main Event took center stage. The first of three heats, Day 1A, completed with an impressive turnout of 252 entries. Alongside the Main Event, several opening side events wrapped up with three players lifting trophies. Here are the results. 

WPT Korea – Festival Results
WPT Korea – Schedule and Structures

WPT Korea Main Event – Day 1A results

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A David Yan
David Yan

The WPT Korea Main Event is the the first of three major events scheduled. Its KR₩ 2 Billion guarantee, which is roughly USD 1.575 Million, is the largest prize pool ever offered by the brand in the region. Therefore it was no surprise to see players pour in. Among the crowd was famous New Zealand pro David Yan who closed the day with a very healthy 120 bb. Despite the large stack, Yan was outranked by one player, Macao’s Huidong Gu with 152  bb. 

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A Huidong Gu
Huidong Gu

Other notable players were Fabio Oka, Hue Dang, Mikiya Kudo, and a long list of Chinese players that included Yunsheng Sun. In total, 98 players advanced to Day 2. They will have a two day break before returning to action on Thursday, July 20 at 1pm. 

Buy in: KR₩ 3,400,000 (~USD 2,680)
Guarantee: KR₩ 2,000,000,000 (~USD 1,575,600)
Day 1A: 252 entries
Day 2 qualifiers: 98

End of Day 1A Top 10 in chips

Rank Player Flag Chips BB
1 Gu Hui Dong China 381,000 152
2 Yan David New Zealand 300,500 120
3 Jin Xu Dong China 296,000 118
4 Zhang Fangxiao China 275,000 110
5 Zheng Zhan Hui China 249,000 100
6 Cai Tian Yi China 245,500 98
7 Okada Silva Fabio Japan 240,500 96
8 Hao Guan Qun China 233,000 93
9 Sawada Toshihide Japan 227,000 91

WPT Korea Main Event Live Updates
WPT Korea Main Event – Chip Counts
WPT Korea – Festival Results
WPT Korea – Schedule and Structures

One flight down two more to go. The Main Event continues with Day 1B up on the plate on Tuesday, July 18 and Day 1C on Wednesday, July 19.

One thing that makes this Main Event special is the chance for players to experience the WPT Main Tour structure at half the price. Buy in is KR₩ 3,400,000 (~USD 2,680). Make sure to click the links provided for all the Main Event info.

Main Event info: Main Event KR₩ 2 BN guaranteed
WPT Korea: Schedule and Structures

David Erquiaga wins the WPT Opener

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A David Erquiaga
David Erquiaga

WPT decorated champion David Erquiaga recently reached one million US dollars in live tournament earnings and announced on social media that he would be retiring in pursuit of other dreams. That seems to be on hold as the Filipino pro took down the WPT Opener. Erquiaga pocketed a cool KR₩ 54,223,650 (~USD 42,720). In a brief interview with Erquiaga about his win, he said,

“It’s not the Main Event but a win is a win and of course extra money to spend.”

He went on to share his final table strategy, “prior to the final table, I already had notes on the players. I remember folding pocket Tens on utg after a three-bet jam. If I didn’t have notes, I would not have remembered he was a tight player so I would have called and lost. The player I avoided the most was seat 1, Wei Zhao. I saw him shove 20 bigs with Queen-Jack suited. It was a mistake on his part but he got lucky. Loose players like him are dangerous.”

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A WPT Opener final table
WPT Opener final table

On heads up, Erquiaga said, “I had to adjust and re-adjust, maybe four times. My opponent was getting coached so he was also adjusting and re-adjusting. There was one crucial spot where he made a mistake. I am glad it ended in my favor.”

Leading up to his win, Erquiaga eliminated Dianlei Zhang (6th), out-flipped Paul Hong (4th), and stopped Fugang Cui in 3rd place with broadway dusting a lower straight. He entered heads up against Sun Lei on a 3:1 advantage. Erquiaga kept his lead intact and closed it out on Hand 30 with pocket Nines doing the job against Jack-Nine.

Date: July 15 to 17, 2023
Buy in: KR₩ 850,000 (~USD 670)
Entries: 353
Prize pool: KR₩ 260,433,650 (~USD 205,170)
ITM: 45 players

Final table payouts

Place Player Flag Payout in KR₩
1 David Erquiaga Philippines 54,223,650
2 Lei Sun China 36,070,000
3 Fugang Cui China 26,510,000
4 Hong Paul New Zealand 19,680,000
5 Zhao Wei China 14,760,000
6 Dianlei Zhang China 11,180,000
7 Suzuki Yuto Japan 8,550,000
8 Son Duncan Canada 6,600,000
9 Kataoka Toshio Japan 5,150,000

*Full list of payouts in WPT Korea – Festival Results

Valeriy Pak wins Big Bounty NLH

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A Valeriy Pak
Valeriy Pak

Russia’s Valeriy Pak scored a WPT hardware for his victory at the Big Bounty NLH. Valeriy outlasted a field of 150 runners, knocking out 12 players that included Cao Ngoc Anh at heads up with QhQc dominating 10d10s. He earned a combined payout of KR₩ 13,956,000 (~USD 10,900).  

Date: July 17, 2023
Buy in: KR₩ 680,000 (~USD 535)
Entries: 150
Prize pool: KR₩ 38,046,000 (~USD 30,000)
ITM: 19 places

Final table payouts

Place Player Flag Payout in KR₩
1 Pak Valeriy Russia 9,436,000
2 Cao Ngoc Anh Vietnam 6,270,000
3 Lyu Baolin China 4,440,000
4 Yuwen Pan China 3,220,000
5 Dang Thi Hue Vietnam 2,390,000
6 Fan Chunsan China 1,820,000
7 Iwakawa Yutaka Japan 1,420,000
8 Chen Ruiqi China 1,130,000
9 Khodov Vladimir Russia 930,000

*Full list of payouts in WPT Korea – Festival Results

Yuan Xin wins Deepstack NLH

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A Yuan Xin
Yuan Xin

While many players were busy at the WPT Opener, a decent field also formed at the two-day Deepstack NLH. With a price tag of KR₩ 425,000 (~USD 335), it was one of the cheapest for players to win a WPT trophy.

China’s Yuan Xin did just that. He topped the 70-entry field, defeating fellow Lei Xiang at heads up. This was Xin’s career second WPT side event title, both won this year. He added KR₩ 7,959,000 (~USD 6,270) to his total live earnings. 

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A Deepstack NLH final table
Deepstack NLH final table

Date: July 15 to 16, 2023
Buy in: KR₩ 425,000 (~USD 335)
Entries: 70 (63 unique, 7 re-entry)
Prize pool: KR₩ 25,972,000 (~USD 20,460)
ITM: 10 places

Place Player Flag Payout in KR₩
1 Yuan Xin China 7,959,000
2 Lei Xiang China 5,306,000
3 Shimizu Masafumi Japan 3,537,000
4 Wang Hongling China 2,458,000
5 Xiaoyu Wang China 1,784,000
6 Li Hao Yuan China 1,354,000
7 Juncheng Wu China 1,079,000
8 Wang Yubo Japan 903,000
9 Iwakawa Yutaka China 796,000
10 Yuwen Pan China 796,000

Other Key Events

Following the main is the WPT Alpha8 One Drop Korea charity event which features a buy-in of $133,930. A portion of the buy-in goes to the One Drop foundation to help bring access to water to communities in need of clean water.

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A Trophy

To complete the key three is the WPT Korea High Roller with a buy in of KRW 17,000,000 (~USD 13,400). Expect elite players from the region to populate the tables.

Getting to Jeju Shinhwa Landing Resort

WPT Korea Main Event Day 1A Jeju Shinhwa World
Jeju Shinhwa World

For arriving players, getting to the venue couldn’t be any easier. Just look for the WPT Korea banner with the bus schedule and hop in once it arrives. It takes approximately one hour to get to the venue. The bus runs daily on a two hour schedule starting at 6am. The last bus to the venue is at 10pm.

WPT Global

Did you know that WPT brand launched WPT Global? WPT Global is one of the fastest growing rooms, has a soft field, and offers action in every limit.

Read our WPT Global review or register here:

WPT Global Review by Somuchpoker

Or contact us for any questions.

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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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