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After establishing a strong presence in Asia with successful stops in India, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has now invaded Cambodia. Almost four months after announcing a collaboration with the award-winning 5-star property NagaWorld Integrated Resort, the World Poker Tour has come visiting the Southeast Asian country!
The inaugural series runs from November 16-25 and offers 18 events with buy-ins ranging from $250 to $10,000. The showstopper event is the $1,100 Main Event (November 21-25) that guarantees a mouth-watering $250,000 prize pool. WPT’s Danny McDonagh has confirmed over 100 pre-registered entries already in the Main Event and even hinted that a 500+ field was very much on the cards for the tournament brand’s first Main Event in the country. Due to the massive demand, WPT has even added a $10,000 buy-in High Roller that kicks off on November 21.
The series has already awarded its first trophy to China’s Yunsheng Sun, who took down the Kickoff event for $19,983. There was a small group of Indians who arrived early in Cambodia and three among them, namely, Rajneesh Katoch (8th for $2,394 – ₹1.71 Lakhs), Raju Jaruplavath (9th for $1,999 – ₹1.43 Lakhs) and Paawan Bansal (20th for $987 – ₹70,814) made ITM finishes in the series-opener. One Indian superstar who was unable to convert his run into a score was our Young Gun and WSOP bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer.
The lull on the domestic shores has resulted in Indian players venturing out to Asian destinations, and more recently, it was the APT Vietnam that played host to a massive Indian contingent. It will be fair to assume that the vast majority of these players will be taking the short 45-min flight to Cambodia in a bid to replicate the team`s success at this inaugural series!
In fact, one of them has already got a headstart here. PokerGuru Ambassador Kartik Ved is among the 20 players advancing to Day 2 in the $1,100 Main Event Warm-Up. The event logged in 95 entries generating a prize pool worth $92,150. Ved is a strong contender to win the $29,234 (~₹20.97 Lakhs) top prize after bagging the fourth largest stack of 198,500.
Meanwhile, the first flight of the $300 Nagaworld Cup attracted 52 entries with seven places paid. The event played down to the money, and Deepak Raina (116,000) was the sole Indian who made the cut on Day 1A.
WPT Cambodia Kickoff
The $440 Kickoff featured two starting flights.
Day 1A attracted 108 entries, of which 14 players advanced to Day 2.
Day 1B saw another 104 entries jumping in the event, and only 13 survived.
With a total of 212 entries, a prize pool of $82,256 was created. Both flights played down to the money – where all surviving players were assured to take home a min-cash worth $615.
Notables who were seen at the event included Indian-origin Dhanesh Chainani, Linh Tran, Ying Ling Chua, and Jae Kyung “Simba” Sim.
As for Team India, the country`s first solo bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer busted Day 1, but his fellow countrymen Rajneesh Katoch (238,000), Raju Jaruplavath (211,000) and Paawan Bansal (58,000) did relatively better with the former two even making it to the final table! Bansal ended his tournament run in 20th place for $987 (~₹70,814).
The final table included players representing five nationalities and Rajneesh Katoch (8th for $2,394 – ₹1.71 Lakhs), Raju Jaruplavath (9th for $1,999 – ₹1.43 Lakhs) were the first two out.
The eliminations continued with Ong Xun Keith (4th place), Mengyin Zhang (5th place), Bin Mohammad Muhei (6th place), and Anthony Do (7th place), all hitting the rail one after the other.
In the end, a 3-way all-in saw Lai Heng Foo’s pocket queens against Yunsheng Sun’s and Michael Wood’s . Sun improved to a flush to gain a commanding chip lead. Foo was left with crumbs (1 bb), while Wood was busted in third place.
Heads-up, Foo did double-up twice, but in the end, Sun`s massive chip advantage won him the first-ever WPT Cambodia trophy!
Final Table Results (USD)
Images & Content Courtesy: WPT and SoMuchPoker
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