Main Event Sets Record For Largest International Poker Tournament in Korean History

APT Jeju Main Event Draws 1,089 Entries With KRW 2.37 Billion (~USD 1.7M) in the Prize Pool; Taiwan's Ya Ke Lien Tops Day 2

Ben Wilson / 2 May 2024

Main Event Sets Record For Largest International Poker Tournament in Korean History


JEJU, SOUTH KOREA, May 2, 2024 – It's official, for the third festival in a row the Asian Poker Tour has set a new record for biggest ever for a country, with the APT Jeju 2024 KRW 2.5M Main Event making history as the largest international poker tournament ever to play out in Korea.

Playing out at the tournament tables of the world-class Landing Hotel & Casino, located in the luxurious Jeju Shinhwa Resort, the tournament had already exceeded the the Asian Poker Tour's largest-ever Korean Main Event guarantee of KRW 2 billion (~USD 1.5M) on the last of the four starting flights.

A further 46 players entered the action before the start of Day 2, bringing the field up to 1,089 entries (583 unique) and generating a KRW 2,376,742,500 (~USD 1,726,125) prize pool – which also set a record for the APT's richest Korean prize pool of all time.

These 46 late entries joined the 412 survivors from the four opening flights, and these 458 players fought it out at the felt for a place in the paying positions.

But then, with the largest first place prize the APT has ever awarded in the country up for grabs – a sizable KRW 429,292,500 (~USD 311,735) top prize – and the award-winning 24K Gold Lion APT Main Event Trophy on the line, there was all to play for.

For APT Jeju Main Event Prize Pool & Payouts please CLICK HERE

The action played out over ten 60-minute levels, with the departure of Australia's Aaron Lim just before the money bubble granting all remaining 160 players a place in the paying positions after Japan's Junichi Nakagiri and Kenichi Takarabe busted simultaneously on the stone bubble to chop a KRW 3,970,000 (~USD 2,880) min-cash.

Following their departure, the tournament clock was paused midway through level 17 as players went on a 60-minute break, with the 15 Natural8 OnLive players who won their way through online then joining the action. Play resumed at 8:30pm local time, with a further two levels played.

It is Taiwan's Ya Ke Lien who leads the record field, bagging up 1,484,000 chips with which to make his play for the title.

Singapore Jun Hao Wu sits seconds in the counts, concluding play with a stack of 1,441,000.

China's Xixiang Luo rounds out the top three, aided by sending New Zealand's Thomas Ward to the rail in a brutal aces vs kings car crash before the bubble burst that saw both players hit a set.

Other notables to bag a top ten stack included Russia's Sergei Kim, the USA's Christopher Park, and APT regular Hon Cheong "Ivan" Lee.


1Ya Ke LienTaiwan1,484,000
2Jun Hao WuSingapore1,441,000
3Xixiang LuoChina1,359,000
4Sergei KimRussia1,285,000
5Yuhan LiuChina1,135,000
6Chao WeiChina1,020,000
7Christopher ParkUnited States983,000
8Yue Hin LamMacau938,000
9Kyung Min LeeUnited States881,000
10Hon Cheong "Ivan" LeeHong Kong860,000

Other notables still in contention include the USA's Christian Harder (795,000), Natural8 Ambassadors Kannapong "Tent" Thanarattrakul (597,000), & Yu-Chung "Nevan" Chang (241,000), reigning Incheon APT High Roller champion Thanisorn Saelor (437,000), Hong Kong's Jeffrey Lo (330,000), and former Main Event champion Dicky Tsang (292,000).

Notables to cash but unable to fight their way through to Day 3 included APT Taipei 2024 Main Event champion Daisuke Ogita (97th), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (103rd), the USA's Benjamin Jacobs (108th), bracelet winner Weiran "Kevin" Pu (117th), APT Superstar Challenges finalist Chi Jen "Justin" Chu (125th), and Hong Kong's Sparrow Cheung (136th).

For Main Event Day 2 Survivors please CLICK HERE

For Main Event Results please CLICK HERE

For Main Event Day 3 Draw please CLICK HERE

Day 3 gets underway at 11:15am local time on Friday, May 3, and will play either ten 60-minute levels, or down to the Final Table – whichever comes first.

You can follow all the APT Main Event Day 2 action via the APT Blog.

Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8 Day 1 Draws 158 Runners With Registration Still Open; China's Xiang Yu Yu Leads

Zodiac Classic Day 1 chip leader Xiang Yu Yu.jpg China's Xiang Yu Yu bagged biggest on Day 1 of the Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8

Boasting a sizable guarantee and a chunky buy-in, the KRW 3M Event #59: Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8 - KRW 500,000,000 GTD drew 158 entries (136 unique) on its only opening flight.

However, with registration remaining open until the start of level 11 at 12:50pm on Friday, May 3, this number is expected to grow.

Close to two-thirds of the field managed to make it through to the conclusion of the eight 40-minute levels played, with 98 players bagging up chips.

It is China who dominates the top three of the end-of-day leaderboard, with Xiang Yu Yu sitting atop the chip counts with a stack of 170,200, closely followed by compatriots Peng Chen (164,500), and Junjie He (164,300), with the top ten stacks as follows:


1Xiang Yu YuChina170,200
2Peng ChenChina164,500
3Junjie HeChina164,300
4Svetlana AubakirovaKazakhstan153,000
5Chen WangChina148,400
6Daniel LeeUnited States142,600
7Jiazhong YuChina139,600
8Longxiang XuChina138,000
9Xuan ZhouChina129,900
10Samuel TebegeGermany128,000

Other notables to make it through include Hong Kong's Sparrow Cheung (90,100), Taiwan's Pete Chen (76,700), triple bracelet winner Yan Shing "Anson" Tsang (72,100), former APT Super High Roller champion Shung Er Sua (67,700), the UK's Asa Smith (49,500), and Hong Kong's Alan Lau (48,200).

The Day 2 action gets underway at 11:15am on Friday, May 3, with the tournament playing down to a champion.

You can follow all the Zodiac Classic Day 1 action via the APT Blog

For Zodiac Classic Day 1 Player List please CLICK HERE

For Zodiac Classic Day 1 Survivors please CLICK HERE

For Zodiac Classic Day 2 Draw please CLICK HERE

All tournament information can be found on the Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8 tournament page


China's Lei Li Claims Gold in Event #58: Single Day High Roller - Big Bounty (KRW 3M) - Winner Take All

Event #58_ Single Day High Roller - Big Bounty (KRW 3M) - Winner Take All champion Lei Li 2.jpg China's Lei Li claimed his maiden APT title in Event #58 SDHR Big Bounty Winner Take All

A fun twist to the bounty format where busting someone nets the winner a KRW 3 million (~USD 2,200) scalp, but only the winner of the tournament walks away with the prize pool, the KRW 4M Event #58: Single Day High Roller - Big Bounty (KRW 3M) - Winner Take All drew a 53-strong (45 unique) field.

With KRW 26,076,000 (~USD 18,960) in the purse for the eventual winner and a further KRW 159,000,000 (~USD 116,330) in the boutny pool the action was all about sending your opponents to the rail.

It was China's Lei Li who brought his shooting irons fully loaded, defeating compatriot Zhang Hao heads-up to claim the only paying position, and claiming an impressive 12 scalps on his way to his maiden APT title for a further KRW 36,000,000 (~USD 26,340) in blood money.

Mongolia's Batnyam Zayabaatar claimed the second-largest number of scalps, claiming five victims for KRW 15,000,000 (~USD 10,970) in bounties.

Hao netted the next largest number of bust outs, sending four players to the rail for a bounty payout of KRW 12,000,000 (~USD 8,780).

For Single Day High Roller - Big Bounty (KRW 3M) - Winner Take All Player List please CLICK HERE For Single Day High Roller - Big Bounty (KRW 3M) - Winner Take All Results please CLICK HERE

All tournament information can be found on the Single Day High Roller - Big Bounty (KRW 3M) - Winner Take All tournament page

All the remaining side event action from Day 7 of the festival will be posted to the APT Jeju 2024 News Section on Friday, May 3, although all results are available by clicking on the respective tournament in the APT Jeju 2024 Schedule.

You can catch up on the Side Event Action from Day 6 of the Series (Wednesday, May 1) HERE.

For further information, please contact Press@APT.Poker or visit www.APT.Poker.