WPT Korea Main Event: Everything you should know about the two first starting days

We have been reporting extensively on the WPT Global Teams Event recently, which saw Team China crowned as champions. The focus has now shifted to the WPT Korea Main Event, which began yesterday. At the end of the first two starting days, Saitoh Ryuichi is leading the 72 remaining survivors.

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WPT Korea Main Event – Photo WPT

Below is everything you should know about the two starting days.

283 entries

At the close of registration, the total of number of entries had climbed to 283. Interestingly, 39 of them came from Tokyo starting fights. Day 1A saw 75 entries and day 1B attracted 169.

Talking about the numbers, Danny McDonnagh said to Somuchpoker: “I was hoping for 300 but, having a second Super High Roller today with 29 entries, we lost few players. But taking the two numbers together I am super happy. The team at Paradise City is doing a great job”.

The festival is running at the same time as two other festivals in Asia – APT Philippines Championships II and the Poker King Cup, which pushed players to choose between several destinations.

Chip leaders

Saitoh Ryuichi
Saitoh Ryuichi – Photo WPT

Day 1A was topped by Yutaka Nakamura with 239,000. The Japanese player already had excellent run a few weeks ago in the same venue, finishing 4th in the Main Event and 3rd in the Highroller during the AJPC Festival. He will be hoping to convert this chiplead into a victory this time around.

Nakamura was followed by New Zealand’s Paul Hockin, with a stack of 227,000. With nearly $400,000 earnings on the Live Poker circuit, he will certainly be a strong player to watch during day 2.

With more players in contention during the second flight, bigger stacks have been built. Japan’s Ryuichi Saitoh will bring 267,500 back for day 2, which is good enough for the overall chiplead. Just behind him is Hiroyuki Noda and other fine Japanese talents, with over $300,000 in combined live earnings, accumulated in Asia , Europe and the US.

The top 10 stacks at the start of day 2 are as follows:

1 Saitoh Ryuichi – Japan – 267,500
2 Hiroyuki Noda – Japan – 261,000
3 Nakamura Yutaka – Japan – 239,000
4 Pak Valeriy – Uzbekistan – 232,000
5 Hockin Paul David – New Zealand – 227,000
6 Toma Tsugunari – Japan – 222,500
7 Yotsushika Kazuhiko – Japan – 215,000
8 Garberg Markus – Norway – 198,500
9 Mitsui Yota – Japan – 178,500
10 Chen Yisha – China – 173,500

More: Official Seating and chip counts for Day 2 (

Notables names make it through

Byran Huang
Bryan Huang – Photo WPT

With large numbers of big names from the Asia – Pacific area coming to Korea for the Global Teams Event, it was not a surprise to see most of them back in action during the Main Event.

Former Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang will carry 102,500 through to day 2. The runner-up of the ACOP Main Event 2015 – Thomas Ward of New Zealand will have 130,000 to play with. Nathalie Teh is representing one of the last female hopes for the title, with a decent stack of 112,500 with Natural8 team Pro Kitty Kuo on 99,000. Team J88 Pro Chen An Lin is also still in, but far off the chiplead with only 80,000. GPI Asia #1 Michael Soyza also made it to day 2 with 56,000.

Among the players who will be in immediate danger from the start of the day are Pete Chen, with only 15,000 and the last Indian hope Patni Kunal with 32,500.

Notable fallers

Team China Captain Dong Guo who was busy lifting the WPT Global Teams Event title last night had a bad run today and won’t come back tomorrow. Three of the members of Team India – Davhal Mudgal, Nikita Luther and Amit Jain also couldn’t make it through. Japanese Pop star Gackt has also likely disappointed his many fans by exiting early in the tournaments. WPT Champion Sam Panzica also had an early exit, but seemed to enjoy his adventure in Asia, placing 3rd in the Super High Roller II event immediately after busting.

Tokyo Qualifiers still to join

4 players who played their starting flight in Tokyo are still to join the action. They will enter the tournament after the money bubble bringing the following stacks with them:

Harada Yuichiro – 525,000
Nakanishi Hirotaka – 293,000
Yokosawa Masato – 227,000
Arai Masatoshi – 125,000

Full coverage will continue tomorrow on Somuchpoker.

Article by Craig Bradshaw