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One of the most beautiful destinations in Asia – Jeju Island played host to the recently concluded WPT Korea 2017 for the third year this time. The series kicked off on September 24th at the Grand Jeju Paradise Casino and crowned several notables as champions.
The biggest attraction at the series was the Main Event that attracted 175 entries and topping them all was Canada`s Jessica Bian Hong Yang. Yang netted a cool ₩56.992 million (approx. $50,000) for her first-place finish.
Bian Hong Yang is known to play cash games, but put up an impressive show defeating a tough group of competitors including Iori Yogo, Yi Shun Ji and Albert Park.
Meanwhile, former PokerStars pro Bryan Huang Diwei took down the High Roller event for ₩55.29 million while Kazuki Ikeuchi claimed two event titles by taking down both the Head Hunter event and the Shot Clock event.
The highlight of the series i.e. ₩200 million Main Event attracted 175 runners taking the prize pool to over ₩229 million (approx. $200,000) with the top 21 places getting paid. The winner Jessica Bian Hong Yang from Toronto, Canada took home a cool ₩56.992 million (approx. $50,000) making this her biggest score till date and is now the first WPT title holder in Asia.
It was Bryan Huang who bubbled by busting in 22nd place after he was all in with pocket nines against the pocket aces of eventual champion Bian Hong Yang. The aces held up and Huang was eliminated.
Notables who managed to make money but fell short of making the final table include WPT National Sanya Main Event champion Hao Chen (seventh place) and Poker King Club’s Winfred Yu (ninth place).
Final Table Recap
The first elimination on the six-handed final table was Tsun Ming Chan and he was followed by Jia Liang Xiao.
The eventual champion Bian Hong Yang began the final table in fourth place and she maneuvered her way to the top with well-timed aggression and quality reads.
She quickly changed gears and took out the next three players, starting with Albert Paik in fourth place and Yi Shun Ji in third place to set up the heads-up battle against Iori Yogo.
Yogo entered the event third on Japan’s all-time money list and although Bian Hong Yang had $950,000 lesser in live tournament earnings than Yogo, she came out on top.
On the final hand of the event, Yogo opened and Bian Hong Yang shoved all in over the top with pocket eights. Yogo made the call tabling pocket deuces and got no help from the board.
Final Table Results (KRW)
1. Jessica Bian Hong Yang – ₩56,992,000
2. Iori Yogo – ₩39,940,000
3. Yi Shun Ji – ₩25,689,000
4. Albert Paik – ₩19,020,000
5. Jia Liang Xiao – ₩14,277,000
6. Tsun Ming Chan – ₩11,412,000
The ₩6 Million GTD High Roller attracted 20 high rollers with the top five places making it in the money. One of Asia’s top pros Byran Huang Diwei took down the event to pocket the ₩55.29 million ($48,000 approx.) first-place prize. Huang entered Day 2 of the WPT Korea High Roller fourth in chips out of the remaining 11 players and juggernauted his way to the top.
Notables in attendance were Winfred Yu, President of Poker King Club Daniel Tang and Hong Kong pro Peter Chan.
After two days of action, all three missed the money bus with the lowest share of the pie claimed by Taiwan’s top pro Pete Yen Han Chen.
China’s Yet Wai Cheng and his countryman Wang Zhong were the next two to fall to set up the heads-up due between Huang and Benjamin Wu. Huang was in full control and eventually took it down. Huang has now over $135K in winnings this year alone and his total live tournament earnings stand a shade over $1.3 million.
Final Table Results (KRW)
1. Bryan Huang Diwei – ₩55,290,000
2. Benjamin Wu – ₩34,560,000
3. Wang Zhong – ₩22,120,000
4. Yet Wai Cheng – ₩15,200,000
5. Pete Yen Han Chen – ₩11,055,000
Japan’s Kazuki Ikeuchi was in the WPT spotlight after he took down not one but two titles at the series, shining in both the Head Hunter event and the Shot Clock event.
He topped the 36-player field at the ₩400,000 Head Hunter, which featured a fun structure including ₩90,000 in bounties in addition to the fast-paced game. Ikeuchi walked away with the ₩3.732 million ($3,200 approx.) top prize.
On the following day, he continued his exploits topping the 25-entry field at the Shot Clock Event for a bigger ₩4,190,000 ($3,600 approx.) payout.
Ikeuchi started the series with career live tournament earnings of $166,463 from 17 cashes.