APT Jeju, South Korea 2024

APT High Roller - Final Day - KRW 650,000,000 GTD




Ting Yi Tsai

KRW 267M

Natural8 Ambassador Eric Tsai Claims Bronze Lion Trophy For KRW 266,735,000 ($196,255) in APT High Roller

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Eric Tsai Wins APT High Roller.jpg

Natural8 Ambassador Eric Tsai has clinched the APT High Roller in remarkable style after he entered the final table as one of the shortest stacks but left as the champion and claimed the KRW 266,735,000 ($196,255) first-place prize. The Taiwanese player managed to overcome Yisha Chen in a heads-up duel that concluded after nineteen hands and saw the Chinese player collect the KRW 180,040,000 (~$132,470) runner-up prize.

The prize pool of KRW 1,204,255,000 ($886,500) broke two APT country records for the richest APT High Roller in South Korea and also marked a new apex for the largest winner's purse the tournament has generated in the country.

Tsai becomes the first player from Taiwan to get their hands on a flagship APT lion trophy and the third Natural8 Ambassador to achieve the feat after Punnat Punsri won the record-breaking Main Event in Taipei last year and his countrymate Phachara Wongwichit won the APT High Roller during the same series.

The Taiwanese player now has three APT titles under his belt after he won a Single Day High Roller at APT Inchon last year for ~$28,544 and the APT Taiwan High Roller for ~$7,275 five years ago. This win is Tsai’s third-largest career score, though he remains at #5 on the Taiwan All-Time Money List with lifetime live winnings of over $2,600,000.

Tsai was asked how he felt after winning the title and becoming the first Taiwanese player to win an APT Lion trophy.

“Of course, every win feels good! But this is a big win because I’m a Natural8 Ambassador so I’m a part of APT, so it’s a very different feeling because in the past I have won some APT High Roller so it was with different traffic. I won before Covid so the traffic [player numbers] was different. The numbers are much bigger now and I also earned a GPI reward [Global Poker Index points] so it was beautiful.

This is also the first big lion for Taiwan, so as a Taiwanese player I feel very proud, it’s a very different feeling than before."

Tsai has lost heads-up twice in big Main Events and felt relieved after finally taking down a major title.

"Last year I lost heads-up in the WSOPE Main Event so to win this heads-up is a very important milestone for me.”

PlaceNameCountry/RegionPrize (KRW)Prize (~USD)
1Eric TsaiTaiwan266,735,000196,255
2Yisha ChenChina180,040,000132,470
3Chongxian YangChina123,920,00091,175
4Hon Cheong "Ivan" LeeHong Kong101,040,00074,340
5Kai YuChina80,560,00059,270
6Tsolmon-Erdene OchirMongolia61,900,00045,540
7Jingjun XiaChina45,040,00033,140
8Leo PangHong Kong32,640,00024,030
9Dicky TsangHong Kong26,980,00019,870

When the day began there were 35 hopefuls still in contention with the initial task of making it into the money as only 27 players would receive a cash prize of at least KRW 12,040,000 (~$8,860). Zhendong Li (31st) and the aforementioned Wongwichit (30th) are both APT Lion trophy holders but left empty-handed as they were eliminated before the money bubble.

It was Tsai who burst the bubble in spectacular fashion when Yong Zhao flopped a straight with nine-seven and got the chips in the middle on the flop. Tsai held ace-queen for a double-gutshot and hit it on the turn to eliminate Zhou and bring everybody into the money.

Chi-Jen "Justin" Chu (23rd), Steve Ng (20th), Calvin Lee (18th), and Yu-Chung "Nevan" Chang (15th) all fell short of making the final table.

Chun Qing Wang was eliminated on the final table bubble but will feel hard done by as it was a two-outer on the river which sent him home at the hands of Jingjun Xia.

APTJEJU_M_#76HRFD-134.jpg The APT High Roller Final Table Top Row (From L to R) Kai Yu, Hon Cheong Lee, Leo Pang, Dicky Tsang Bottom Row (From L to R) Jingjun Xia, Chongxian Yang, Yisha Chen, Tsolmon Ochir, Eric Tsai

Tsolmon-Erdene Ochir held the chip lead going into the final table and former APT Main Event champion Dicky Tsang had some work to do as he held the shortest stack with just eleven big blinds. Tsai held the second-shortest stack but got off to a tremendous start as he doubled up in the very first hand dealt with ace-king against the ace-queen of Leo Pang.

Tsang wasn't able to make any of the pay jumps and became the first casualty after he shoved with ace-five but ran into the pocket kings of Pang. The player from Hong Kong finished as the runner-up in the APT High Roller in Taipei earlier this year and can be proud of making back-to-back final tables in such a prestigious tournament. Tsang picked up KRW 26,980,000 (~$19,870) for finishing ninth.

Kai Yu was all in with pocket deuces and way behind the pocket fives of Pang but a deuce on the flop saw him double up and leave Pang on life support mode with four big blinds. Those chips soon found their way into the middle with king-four but the pocket sixes of Tsai were too good which meant Pang was out in eighth for KRW 32,640,000 (~$24,030).

Leo Pang.jpg Leo Pang

Tsai was at risk with pocket tens against the ace-king of Ochir after the chips went flying into the middle preflop. Both players picked up a little something on the flop as Tsai improved to a set and Ochir had a flush draw but the board paired on the turn which gave Tsai a full house which earned him the pot and the crucial double-up.

Xia then ran his ace-queen into the pocket queens of Yu but didn't find any help on the runout which meant he was eliminated in seventh for KRW 45,040,000 (~$33,140).

Just two hands later Tsai collected another scalp after busting Ochir in a brutal blind-on-blind encounter with two premium hands involved. Tsai had raised from the small blind with pocket aces and Ochir shoved from the big blind with pocket queens. There was no help from Lady Luck which meant Ochir was out in sixth and bagged KRW 61,900,000 (~$45,540) for his run.

Tsolmon Ochir.jpg Tsolmon-Erdene Oredene-Ochir

Chongxian Yang then started to make his move up the leaderboard with back-to-back double-ups which sent him towards the top of the counts. Hong Kong's Hon Cheong "Ivan" Lee was short-stacked throughout the final table but stayed patient and was eventually rewarded with a double-up to help ease the pressure.

The pot of the tournament then went Tsai's way after three players had committed their chips to the pot preflop which saw the Taiwanese player eliminate two opponents in the same hand. Tsai had shoved all in with seven-eight and had been called by Lee with ace-king & Yu who held pocket tens. A king on the flop sent Lee into the lead but Tsai picked up a flush draw on the turn and drilled it on the river which meant his stack grew to around ten million — over half of the chips in play.

In the event of a double elimination, the player with the most chips at the start of the hand will take the higher position which in this case was Lee as he slightly covered Yu. This meant that Yu bagged KRW 80,560,000 (~$59,270) for fifth and Lee banked KRW 101,040,000 (~$74,340) for fourth.

Hon Cheong Lee.jpg Hon Cheong "Ivan" Lee

Chen won an important flip with pocket fives against the king-nine of Yang which saw the two players effectively swap stacks. It wasn't long after when Yang was eliminated after his king-three was all in against the ace-queen of Chen. With no help from the board, it meant Yang was out in third for KRW 123,920,000 (~$91,175). This was Yang's third final table of the series and his second-largest career cash.

When heads-up play got underway it was Tsai who held the chip lead with more than a two-to-one advantage over his opponent. The two players didn't see many flops and Tsai started to eat away at the stack of Chen who eventually made a stand and shoved all in with ace-four. Tsai looked down at ace-eight and made the call which put him in a great position to win the title. An eight on the flop furthered Tsai's lead and he improved to trips on the turn which left Chen drawing dead. A fantastic effort for the Chinese player who picks up a career-best score with a payday of KRW 180,040,000 (~$132,470) for her runner-up finish.

That left one man standing — Eric Tsai. Congratulations on a brilliant performance and on becoming the first Taiwanese player to lift a flagship APT Lion trophy.

APTJEJU_M_#76HRFD-263.jpg Eric Tsai celebrates with his entourage

The next APT stop will be the Taiepi Classic which will take place from September 27 to October 7, 2024, at the CTP Asia Poker Arena and the CML (Chinese Mahjong League). You can find out more information by CLICKING HERE.

See you in Taipei!

Level 30: Blinds 150000-300000, 300000 ante

Eric Tsai Wins the APT High Roller For KRW 266,735,000 ($196,255)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

APTJEJU_M_#76HRFD-258.jpg Eric Tsai celebrates winning the APT High Roller

Eric Tsai wins the APT High Roller for KRW 266,735,000 ($196,255).

A full write-up of the day's action will follow shortly.

Level 30: Blinds 150000-300000, 300000 ante

Yisha Chen Has Been Eliminated in 2nd Place For KRW 180,040,000 (~$132,470)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

APTJEJU_M_#76HRFD-255.jpg Yisha Chen eliminated in 2nd

Yisha Chen has been eliminated in 2nd place for KRW 180,040,000 (~$132,470).

Hand 111 Chen shoved all in for 4,100,000 and Eric Tsai called.

Chen A♥ 4♣

Tsai A♣ 8♦

This was the first time that Chen was all-in and at risk during heads-up play and Tsai would clinch the title if his hand held up.

Taiwan's Tsai took a big leap towards the title on the 8♠ 3♣ 7♥ flop as he paired his eight and left Chen needing running cards to survive.

An 8♥ on the turn sealed the deal as Tsai improved to trips and left Chen drawing dead. A 6♣ completed the board which eliminated Chen as the runner-up.

NameChip Count
Eric Tsai19,000,000
Yisha Chen0
Level 30: Blinds 150000-300000, 300000 ante

Chen On the Ropes

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Hand 106 Eric Tsai raised to 600,000 and Yisha Chen called. The 5♦ 6♣ 7♣ flop saw Chen lead shove for 3,400,000. Tsai folded.

Hand 107 Tsai got a walk.

Hand 108 Tsai limped in and Chen checked. The flop came J♠ 7♣ J♣ and Chen check-folded to Tsai's bet of 300,000.

Hand 109 Chen limped in and Tsai checked his option. On the 2♥ T♦ 2♦ T♥ 4♦ board it checked to the river where Tsai checked, Chen bet 350,000, and Tsai folded.

Hand 110 Tsai shoved all in and won the pot.

NameChip Count
Eric Tsai15,000,000
Yisha Chen4,100,000
Level 29: Blinds 125000-250000, 250000 ante

Chen in Shove Mode

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Yisha Chen.jpg Yisha Chen

Hand 103 Yisha Chen raised to 625,000 and Eric Tsai called. The flop fell 2♥ 3♥ A♣ which Tsai checked, Chen bet 300,000, Tsai raised to 825,000, and Chen folded

Hand 104 Tsai raised to 550,000 and Chen three-bet to 2,300,000. Tsai folded.

Hand 105 Chen raised to 525,000 and Tsai shoved all in. Chen folded.

Level 29: Blinds 125000-250000, 250000 ante

Chip Counts

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

NameChip Count
Eric Tsai14,000,000
Yisha Chen5,200,000
Level 29: Blinds 125000-250000, 250000 ante

Tsai Taking Down a Lot of Uncontested Pots

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Eric Tsai.jpg Eric Tsai

Hand 97 Eric Tsai got a walk.

Hand 98 Tsai raised to 550,000 and Yisha Chen three-bet to 2,400,000. Tsai folded.

Hand 99 Chen raised to 625,000 and Tsai called. On the 6♣ 7♥ 5♥ flop, Tsai led out for 400,000 and Chen folded.

Hand 100 Tsai raised to 550,000 and took it down.

Hand 101 Chen raised to 625,000 and Tsai made the call. The flop came down 4♣ T♥ 5♦ which saw Tsai check-fold to a bet from Chen.

Hand 102 Tsai raised to 550,000 and took it down.

Level 29: Blinds 125000-250000, 250000 ante

Heads-Up Play Begins

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APTJEJU_M_#76HRFD-253.jpg Yisha Chen & Eric Tsai

Hand 93 Yisha Chen raised to 625,000 and Eris Tsai called. The T♥ T♦ 2♠ flop saw Tsai check, Chen bet 250,000, and Tsai folded.

Hand 94 Tsai made it 550,000 and Chen folded.

Hand 95 Tsai got a walk.

Hand 96 Tsai raised to 550,000 and won the pot.

Level 29: Blinds 125000-250000, 250000 ante


PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

Here are the payouts for the final two spots.

PlacePrize (KRW)Prize (USD)
Level 29: Blinds 125000-250000, 250000 ante


PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

APTJEJU_M_#76HRFD-239.jpg Yisha Chen & Eric Tsai

We are now heads-up in the APT High Roller. There will be a short break before play resumes.

NameChip Count
Eric Tsai13,400,000
Yisha Chen5,750,000