APT Jeju, South Korea 2024: The Preview

Ben Wilson / 23 Mar 2024

APT Jeju, South Korea 2024: The Preview

Fresh off the back of the largest and richest poker series ever to play out in Taiwan, the Asian Poker Tour sponsored by Natural8 is headed to Jeju for the upcoming APT Jeju, South Korea 2024.

Run in partnership with Landing Entertainment Korea (LEK) the ten-day festival, running Friday, April 26 to Sunday, May 5, will take place at the world-class Landing Hotel & Casino located in the luxurious Jeju Shinhwa Resort on the picturesque South Korean Island of Jeju.

The APT’s first visit of the new era following a seven-year hiatus should be momentous, with the Main Event boasting a massive KRW 2 billion (~USD 1.5 million) prize pool guaranteeover twenty times larger than the last APT Main Event offering here back in March 2017 which saw Japan’s Katsuhiro Muto claim the accolades.

The festival is offering more than KRW 5 billion (~USD 3.76 million) in guaranteed prize money, with the series comprising a substantial 85 trophy events; Outside of the KRW 2.5M APT Main Event, the tour’s other two signature Lion Trophy events – the KRW 13.5M APT Super High Roller, and the KRW 7M APT High Roller – both come with nine-figure (six in USD) prize pool guarantees, with the latter offering players a shot to win a seat via a KRW 1.1M (~USD 825) satellite.

The seven other key series events all come with sizable guarantees and cater to players of all bankroll levels, from the KRW 400,000 (~USD 300) Micro Main Event and its KRW 50 million (~USD 37,500) guarantee, all the way up to the KRW 3M (~USD 2,250) Zodiac Classic and its KRW 500 million (~USD 375,000) guarantee.

Read on as we cover the festival’s ten key events in more detail, looking at the buy-in, structure, guarantee, and potential field size estimates based on the tour’s previous offerings.


  • APT Main Event

    Dates: April 29-May 4

    Buy-in: KRW 2,500,000 (~USD 1,900)

    Guarantee: KRW 2,000,000,000 (~USD 1,500,000)

APTIncheon2023_Event24_FinalDay_136.jpg APT Incheon, South Korea, 2024 Main Event champion Shoichiro Tamaki

Of course, the standout attraction will be the APT Main Event which boasts the tour’s second-largest prize pool guarantee of KRW 2 billion (~USD 1.5 million). As mentioned above, Japan’s Katsuhiro Muto was the last APT Jeju Main Event champion crowned back in March 2017. It was Japan taking the glory on the APT’s most recent foray to South Korea back during August’s APT Incheon 2023, with Shoichiro Tamaki overcoming a record 930-strong field to claim the award-winning 24K Gold Lion APT Main Event Trophy and the lion’s share of the tour’s largest-ever South Korean Main Event prize pool.

A four-figure field is a distinct possibility, with the multi-day tournament arriving on Monday, April 29. Players have four starting flights to choose from running April 29 to Wednesday, May 1. Flight A is the only one of the four flights to start with 60-minute levels with players competing over ten initial levels. Flight B offers ten 45-minute levels, and Flights C & D both offer ten levels comprised of six 30-minute levels and four 40-minute levels each. Players can also buy in before the start of Day 2, which gets underway at 11am local time on Thursday, May 2. Late entry is not permitted once play gets underway, so buy in ahead of time if you are planning on coming in directly for Day 2.

  • Korea National Cup

    Dates: April 26-27

    Buy-in: KRW 800,000 (~USD 600)

    Guarantee: KRW 200,000,000 (~USD 150,000)

With the last two opening events of APT’s previous festivals both drawing record four-figure fields and USD six-figure prize pools, another bumper field could well be on the cards for the two-day Korea National Cup. The tournament’s two starting flights play out on Friday, April 26 at 11am and 5:30pm local time respectively, with Flight A offering 30-minute levels, and Flight B 20-minute levels, with both flights playing down to the top 14 percent of the field, and the money. All survivors return at 11:15am on Saturday, April 27, for the Final Day with play resuming at the earliest finishing point of the Day 1 flights.

The last three Mystery Bounty Hunter sponsored by Natural8 tournaments have all drawn record fields, with the previous two also both attracting four-figure fields, and the most recent offering in Taipei boasting its largest-ever prize pool of over USD 580,000.

The two-day event comprises two starting flights, both playing out on Saturday, April 27; Flight A kicks off at 11am local time, with Flight B getting underway at 6pm. Both flights play down to 14 percent of the field and the money. Mystery Bounties kick in on the Final Day, which restarts at 11:15am on Sunday, April 28.

Event #23 Superstar Challenge champion Bertrand ElkY Grospellier3 (1).jpg

While the tournament does not come with a guarantee, it would be remiss of us not to mention the event with the biggest buy-in on the schedule; the Superstar Challenge. Boasting its own exclusive black lion silhouette trophy – first introduced at the recent APT Taipei 2024 – this event attracts some of the world’s top poker professionals with France’s Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier claiming the accolades and the (at the time) record-largest-first-place-prize ever to be awarded in Taiwan – a hefty TWD 11,632,810 (~$367,770) score!

The two-day event gets underway at 11:15am on Monday, April 29, and is likely to draw a star-studded field with the action exclusively streamed via the official APT YouTube Channel and APT Facebook Page.

  • APT Super High Roller

    Dates: April 27-28

    Buy-in: KRW 13,500,000 (~USD 10,275)

    Guarantee: KRW 500,000,000 (~USD 375,200)

Event #33_ APT Super High Roller champion Isaac Haxton3.jpg Poker legend Isaac Haxton claimed his maiden APT title in the APT Taipei 2024 Super High Roller

Boasting the second-largest buy-in on the schedule and offering players the best chance to claim the first of the series’ three signature lion trophies – if they can overcome a field filled with the world’s top tournament players. It was the accomplished Isaac Haxton who bested a 137-strong field to tame the coveted APT Super High Roller Pewter Lion at the recent APT Taipei 2024, claiming the lion’s share of the tournament’s richest-ever prize pool.

The last three APT Super High Rollers all set APT country records, with the last two both drawing the tournament’s two largest fields. A new South Korean record for this event looks likely, with the possibility of the tournament raising the bar higher.

  • Sunday Super Stack

    Dates: April 28

    Buy-in: KRW 1,100,000 (~USD 840)

    Guarantee: KRW 200,000,000 (~USD 150,000)

Event #42_ Sunday Super Stack champion Kenju Wata (1).jpg Japan’s Kenju Wata grabbed a record top prize at the APT Taipei 2024 Sunday Super Stack

A fast-paced event with a solid structure designed to play out in a day, the Sunday Super Stack set an APT country record for field size on its last outing in South Korea (225) and awarded its richest South Korean event prize pool with over USD 100,000 in the purse. On its most recent outing in Taipei, Japan’s Kenju Wata grabbed the event’s largest-ever top prize, worth over USD 37,800.

Following an increase to the buy-in and the addition of a substantial KRW 500 million guarantee, the KRW 3M Zodiac Classic is quickly becoming a standout on the schedule, with the last two both generating record event prize pools. It was the UK’s Jun Li who claimed a career-best TWD 4.3 million (~USD 138,500) top prize after seeing off challenges from the 320-strong field at the recent APT Taipei 2024, though the South Korean record to beat for this event is 189 entries set during APT Incheon 2023 with Japan’s Daiki Shingae taking the title.

  • Double Stack

    Dates: May 3-4

    Buy-in: KRW 1,000,000 (~USD 750)

    Guarantee: KRW 300,000,000 (~USD 225,125)

The KRW 1M Double Stack has doubled in both entries and prize pool size since APT Incheon 2023, which saw a country-record 335 entries battle for a KRW 233,964,000 (~USD 178,220) prize pool, with Japan’s Riku Mieda claiming the accolades. The most recent Double Stack at APT Taipei 2024 set a tour record as the region’s largest drawing 765 entries; Taiwan’s Kun Sen claimed a career-best TWD 2.2 million (~USD 70,500) top prize.

Players have the option of two starting flights, both of which play out on Friday, May 3; Flight A gets underway at 11am local time and offers 30-minute levels, while Flight B starts at 6pm and comes with 20-minute levels. Each starting flight plays down to 14 percent of the field, with all players making the Final Day in the money.

  • Mini Main Event

    Dates: May 4-5

    Buy-in: KRW 800,000 (~USD 600)

    Guarantee: KRW 250,000,000 (~USD 187K GTD)

Another event growing in popularity the KRW 800,000 Mini Main Event and its Micro Main Event counterpart both boast almost the same structure as the Main Event at a fraction of the cost. The Mini Main drew the tour’s largest-ever South Korean field of 377 entries at APT Incheon 2023, with the UK’s Craig Cooper taking a career-best KRW 44.7 million (~USD 34,000) top prize. The most recent APT Taipei 2024 Mini Main saw close to an 80 percent increase in field size, setting a new APT record of 678 entries; Taiwan’s Mao-Lun Yu claiming the title and a career-best score of TWD 2.2 million (~USD 70,470).

Players have the choice of two starting flights both playing out on Saturday May 4; Flight A gets underway at 11am local time and comes with 30-minute levels, Flight B starts at 6pm and comes with 20-minute levels, with the Final Day playing out at 11:15am on Sunday, May 5.

  • APT High Roller

    Dates: May 4-5

    Buy-in: KRW 7,000,000 (~USD 5.250)

    Guarantee: KRW 650,000,000 (~USD 487,775)

APTTaipei2023_Event43_HighRoller_FinalDay_108 (1).jpg Thailand’s Phachara Wongwichit won the first and largest of the new era’s APT High Roller tournaments

The last of the series’ three signature events will see Asia-Pacific’s top tournament players compete for the coveted Bronze Lion APT High Roller Trophy and the largest of the festival’s prize pool guarantees on offer outside of the Main Event. The current tour record of 302 entries has stood since APT Taipei 2023, which saw Natural8 ambassador Phachara Wongwichit tame the bronze lion and claim a career second-best score of TWD 4,800,900 (~USD 156,700). The most recent edition of the tournament saw the USA’s Stanley Weng see off challenges from a field of 160 entries to claim a career second-best score of TWD 5,053,000 (~$160,685).

Day 1 consists of sixteen 40-minute levels and plays out from 11:15am local time on Saturday, May 4. The survivors return on Sunday, May 5 at 11:15am for the Final Day to battle for a place in the paying positions, and the all-important title and trophy.

  • Micro Main Event

    Dates: May 5

    Buy-in: KRW 400,000 (~USD 300)

    Guarantee: KRW 50,000,000 (~USD 37.5K GTD)

Last up but by no means least, the KRW 400,000 Micro Main Event closes out the series by offering players great value – the equivalent of USD 300 giving entrants a shot at a prize pool guarantee of KRW 50 million (~USD 37,500) and close to the same level structure as the Main Event, only designed to playout in a day with 20-minute levels. This tournament drew its largest-ever field of 393 entries at the recent APT Taipei, generating its richest-ever prize pool of TWD 3.7 million (~USD 118,700) with South Korea’s Yonghyun Lee claiming a career-best TWD 677,540 (~USD 21,500) top prize.