Russia's Sergei Kim Leads Final 15 Main Event Players in Korea's Largest-Ever Tournament

China's Peng Chen Wins Tours' Richest Korean Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8

Ben Wilson / 3 May 2024

Russia's Sergei Kim Leads Final 15 Main Event Players in Korea's Largest-Ever Tournament


JEJU, SOUTH KOREA, May 3, 2024 – The largest international poker tournament ever to play out in Korea has reached the business end, with the APT Jeju 2024 KRW 2.5M Main Event reduced to the final 15 players.

Playing out at the tournament tables of the world-class Landing Hotel & Casino, located in the luxurious Jeju Shinhwa Resort, just 96 players out of a record 1,089 entries returned to compete for the APT's richest Korean prize pool of all time with KRW 2,376,742,500 (~USD 1,726,125) in the purse.

All remaining players are guaranteed a minimum of KRW 21,410,000 (~USD 15,550), but it is the KRW 429,292,500 (~USD 311,735) top prize and the award-winning 24K APT Gold Lion Main Event trophy all will be aiming for.

It is Russia's Sergei Kim who leads the field, bagging up 7,350,000 in chips after the ten 60-minute levels played out.

However, there are still obstacles Kim must overcome if he hopes to lift the title and earn a career-best score, the chief of these being Xixiang Luo. The Chinese player, who sits at #11 on his country's All-Time Money List, will be returning second in the counts with a stack of 5,550,000.

Over half of the remaining field hail from the Middle Kingdom, with Mingchen Zhang (5,105,000), and Jianfeng Sun (3,015,000) both bagging top five stacks alongside Thailand's Phanlert Sukonthachartnant, with the top ten as follows:


1Sergei KimRussia7,350,000
2Xixiang LuoChina5,550,000
3Mingchen ZhangChina5,105,000
4Jianfeng SunChina3,015,000
5Phanlert SukonthachartnantThailand3,000,000
6Jason WongUnited Kingdom2,650,000
7Feng ChenChina2,509,000
8Kyung Min LeeUnited States2,480,000
9Shih-Kai LoTaiwan2,370,000
10Kai Cheng HsuTaiwan2,300,000

For Main Event Day 3 Survivors please CLICK HERE.

For Main Event Day 4 Draw please CLICK HERE.

Jingyao Yan narrowly missed out making the final day, with the Chinese player's elimination as the hands of Sukonthachartnant concluding play for the day.

Notables to cash but unable to fight their way through to Day 4 included the USA's Christian Harder (17th), Singapore's Jun Hao Wu (18th), the USA's Christopher Park (19th), Japan's Hiroyuki Noda (28th), Natural8 Ambassador Kannapong "Tent" Thanarattrakul (31st), APT Super High Roller champion Zhendong Li (34th), Hong Kong's Hon Cheong "Ivan" Lee (47th), and Jeffrey Lo (54th), and Natural8 Ambassador Hua-Wei Lin (70th) to name but a few.

For Main Event Results please CLICK HERE

The Final Day gets underway at 11:15am local time on Saturday, May 4, with the tournament playing down to a champion.

You can follow all the APT Main Event Day 3 action via the APT Blog.

You can also follow all the action as it played out via the Main Event Day 3 live stream:

All tournament information can be found on the APT Main Event - Day 3 tournament page.


China's Peng Chen Wins Tours' Richest Korean Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8

APTJEJU(S)_#59_ZC_FD-54.jpg China's Peng Chen claimed a career-best KRW 131.79M (~USD 97K) core in the Zodiac Classic

All the record-breaking action was not exclusive to the Main Event, with the KRW 3M Event #59: Zodiac Classic - Sponsored by Natural8 - KRW 500,000,000 GTD generating the tour's richest Korean prize pool for the tournament.

The 98 Day 1 survivors were joined by a further 80 entries before registration closed at 12:40pm local time at the end of level 10, bringing the total number of entries up to 238 (187 unique).

With a sizable KRW 623,322,000 (~USD 458,390) prize pool on the line and only the top 31 places paid, players fought tooth and nail for a place in the paying positions.

A min-cash was good for KRW 5,490,000 (~USD 4,040), but it was the KRW 131,792,000 (~USD 97,220) top prize all were gunning for – the largest the event has awarded in Korea.

It was China's Peng Chen claiming the accolades, returning second in the start-of-day chip counts, and putting his big stack to work.

Chen faced off against the start-of-final-table chip leader Jason Chau heads-up, coming into the confrontation with over a 3-to-1 chip lead he would not relinquish, with the match lasting just two hands.

This win represents a career-best score for Chen, making his maiden title victory one to remember.

Chau dominated much of the early final table action after sending China's Yuzhu Wang and Vietnam's Tran Trung Hieu to the rail in a double elimination, but was unable to convert his lead into the win. However, the KRW 88,760,000 (~USD 65,285) on offer for second should prove some consolation.

New Zealand's Tae Hoon Han made his first final table showing of the series, his fourth cash of the festival for his third-place finish worth KRW 62,580,000 (~USD 46,030).

Taiwan's Hsing Hsiung "David" Tai banked KRW 50,740,000 (~USD 37,320) for his first final table appearance of the festival, with the final table paying out as follows:


1Peng ChenChinaKRW 131,792,000
2Jason Chau(Hong KongKRW 88,760,000
3Tae Hoon HanNew ZealandKRW 62,580,000
4Hsing Hsiung TaiTaiwanKRW 50,740,000
5Tsu Lin TsaoTaiwanKRW 40,140,000
6Longxiang XuChinaKRW 30,480,000
7Jianming LuoChinaKRW 22,250,000
8Yuzhu WangChinaKRW 16,270,000
9Tran Trung HieuVietnamKRW 13,460,000

China's Zejun Liu narrowly missed out on the final table, locking up KRW 11,410,000 for his tenth-place finish.

Other notables to cash included France's Alexandre Viard (14th for KRW 9,230,000), the USA's Jinwoo Kim (17th for 8,290,000), triple bracelet winner Yan Shing "Anson" Tsang (22nd for KRW 6,730,000), and Malaysia's Natalie Teh (27th for KRW 6,110,000).

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

For Zodiac Classic Day 2 Player List please CLICK HERE

For Zodiac Classic Results please CLICK HERE

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

Romania's Marius Cirlea Defeats Star-studded Field to Claim Maiden Title in Baby Superstar Challenge

Event #64_ Baby Superstar Challenge champion Marius Cirlea 2.jpg Romania's Marius Cirlea tamed the golden lion silhouette trophy in the Baby Superstar Challenge

First introduced at APT Taipei 2024, the KRW 10M Event #64: Baby Superstar Challenge saw a 12 percent uptick in entries drawing a field of 46 (39 unique).

Notables in the running included Natural8 Ambassadors Danny Tang, Punnat Punsri, and Yu Chung "Nevan" Chang, as well as Incheon APT High Roller champion Thanisorn Saelor, Philippines' #1 ranked tournament player Marc Rivera, and Taiwan's Pete Chen to name but a few.

Gallic poker superstar Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Germany's Manig Loeser, and Austria's Daniel Smiljkovic added some further international flair.

These poker luminaries battled over twenty-five levels for a piece of the KRW 419,428,000 (~USD 308,475) prize pool, with Romania's Marius Cirlea triumphing over the star-studded field.

Cirlea overcame Asa Smith heads-up to deny the Brit his second title of the series and claim his maiden live tournament title in the process, banking a career-best KRW 122,790,900 (~USD 90,585) top prize.

Smith earned KRW 118,387,100 (~USD 87,340) for his runner-up finish, and China's Wei Zhao followed up his Event #5 Turbo - NL Omaha win with a third final table appearance of the series, which was good for third place and a KRW 62,910,000 (~USD 46,420) payday.

The USA's Benjamin Jacobs (4th for 48,230,000), Smiljkovic (5th for 37,750,000), and former Main Event champion Dicky Tsang (6th for KRW 29,360,000) were the only other players to cash.


1Marius CirleaRomaniaKRW 122,790,900
2Asa SmithUnited KingdomKRW 118,387,100
3Wei ZhaoChinaKRW 62,910,000
4Benjamin JacobsUnited StatesKRW 48,230,000
5Daniel SmiljkovicAustriaKRW 37,750,000
6Dicky Siu Hang TsangHong KongKRW 29,360,000

For Baby Superstar Challenge Player List please CLICK HERE

For Baby Superstar Challenge Results please CLICK HERE

All tournament information can be found on the Baby Superstar Challenge tournament page.

Japan’s Hayato Kitajima Wins Fourth APT Title in Event #65: PL Omaha High - 5 Card

Event #65_ PL Omaha High - 5 Card champion Hayato Kitajima 2.jpg Japan’s Hayato Kitajima earned his fourth career APT title in Event #65 PL Omaha High - 5 Card

Getting underway at noon local time, the first of the days' two scheduled Omaha tournaments, the KRW 600,000 Event #65: PL Omaha High - 5 Card, drew 47 entries (36 unique).

These Omaha aficionados battled at the baize over nineteen 25-minute levels, all looking to seize a share of the KRW 24,618,600 (~USD 18,100) prize pool, although only seven would win their way through to the paying positions.

It was Japan’s Hayato Kitajima who took the tournament top spot and the KRW 7,758,600 (~USD 5,730) top prize.

Kitajima defeated Lance Goh heads-up to denying the Malaysian player his second series title and claim his fourth career APT in the process.

Goh received a KRW 5,600,000 (~USD 4,130) payout for his runner-up finish, with Taiwan's Shao Me Yang rounding out the podium payouts and taking KRW 3,570,000 (~USD 2,630) for third place, with the tournament paying out as follows:


1Hayato KitajimaJapanKRW 7,758,600
2Lance GohMalaysiaKRW 5,600,000
3Shao Me YangTaiwanKRW 3,570,000
4Ben LooMalaysiaKRW 2,710,000
5Sean ChaUnited StatesKRW 2,090,000
6Hao ChenChinaKRW 1,600,000
7Yiguang XuChinaKRW 1,290,000

For Event #65: PL Omaha High - 5 Card Player List please CLICK HERE

For Event #65: PL Omaha High - 5 Card Results please CLICK HERE

All tournament information can be found on the Event #65: PL Omaha High - 5 Card tournament page

Japan's Kosaku Akashi Showcases Skills in Event #66: NL Hold'em Heads Up (32 Cap) - Best of 3 All Rounds

Event #66_ NL Hold'em Heads Up champion Kosaku Akashi 2.jpg Japan's Kosaku Akashi claimed his second career APT title in Event #66 NLHE Heads Up

First introduced at the recent APT Taipei 2024 festival, the KRW 800,000 Event #66: NL Hold'em Heads Up (32 Cap) - Best of 3 All Rounds saw 31 players looking to test their heads-up mettle.

Players battled through a round of 32 (or 31 in this case with the odd player receiving a bye), with the survivors progressing to a round of 16, then a round of 8, with all rounds playing best-of-three.

The surviving four players cashed for a share of the KRW 21,650,400 (~USD 15,920) prize pool with the Quattro then duking it out in the semis for a place in the final.

It was Japan's Kosaku Akashi who brought his A-game, defeating compatriot Teruhiko Kabasawa for the trophy and KRW 9,092,400 (~USD 6,690) top prize, claiming his second career APT title in the process.

Kabasawa collected KRW 6,062,000 (~USD 4,460) for his runner-up finish, with China's Zhiyi Wang (3rd), and Japan's Masatoshi Tanaka (4th) occupying the two remaining paying positions.


1Kosaku AkashiJapanKRW 9,092,400
2Teruhiko KabasawaJapanKRW 6,062,000
3Zhiyi WangChinaKRW 3,248,000
4Masatoshi TanakaJapanKRW 3,248,000

For NL Hold'em Heads Up Player List please CLICK HERE

For NL Hold'em Heads Up Results please CLICK HERE

All tournament information can be found on the NL Hold'em Heads Up (32 Cap) - Best of 3 All Rounds tournament page.

All the remaining side event action from Day 8 of the festival will be posted to the APT Jeju 2024 News Section on Saturday, May 4, 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 7 of the Series (Thursday, May 2) HERE.

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