The year 2018 has etched itself as one of the most memorable times in the history of South Korea, Incheon especially. Of course, credit goes to World Poker Tour for organizing one of the grandest poker festivals in the city and the overwhelming response of players and fans. Right after the Global Teams Event wrapped up, 283 entries swarmed the Main Event through the two starting flights and Belarus-based Valeriy Pak wrote a golden history by taking down the event for $57,058.
A consistently good performance in the last few months has fetched two event titles for Pak. The first being the KRW440,000 NLHE at the 2018 APT Korea Incheon for KRW6,480,000 on August 15.
The runner-up title of the Main Event went to Tsugunari Toma who collected $40,090 in prize money.
The Main Event At A Glance
The Main Event began with a promise to pay the top 27 players a minimum prize of $1,695. In addition, four players from the WPT Japan had already qualified for an entry into the WPT Korea Main Event.
However, a few heavyweights who couldn’t reach the final table were-
Sho Saika (11th for KRW5,400,000)
Taewook Kwon (14th for KRW4,640,000)
Russel Thomas (15th for KRW4,640,000)
Paul Hockin (18th for KRW3,885,000)
Masato Yokosawa (23rd for KRW2,525,000) and
Louis Yin (27th for KRW2,210,000).
The Final Table
The final table was set with NINE players who were now to fight for the prestigious WPT Korea Main Event title.
Final Table Chip Counts
- Paul Hong – 2,215,000
- Valeriy Pak – 1,710,000
- Hiroyuki Noda – 1,675,000
- Yisha Chen – 780,000
- Tatsuki Nakamura – 585,000
- Yuichiro Harada – 520,000
- Tsugunari Toma – 465,000
- Markus Garberg – 325,000
- Kevin Ayow – 215,000
Paul Hong started with chip lead on Day 3 of the final table. The table picked up the action when Yuichiro Harada was railed at the ninth position. Next to follow him was Yisha Chen as she moved all-in from the button for 700,000 holding pocket tens. She was only left to regret it as Pak’s BB ace-queen were too good and the board of king-9-6-king-ace did nothing to save her from walking out.
An exciting flush over flush kept the audience intrigued and players on their toes. Hong, Toma, and Nakamura were up against each other with 9-7, Queen-10, and King-ten respectively when 6 appeared on the turn and 3 on the river. This result gave away the pot to Toma while Nakamura got eliminated and Hong was left at sixth place after losing his pair against Noda’s pocket queens as the river ran Ace-Jack-2-7-9.
The Heads-Up Battle
After Noda finished 3rd, the heads-up between Tsugunari Toma and Pak ignited the war for the coveted title. Pak with his ace-5 against Toma’s king-queen. On the turn, the board displayed 10-10-5-jack and the river brought forth 5. Pak and his two pairs lifted the winning pot and the first WPT Korea title.
Final Table Results (KRW)
- Valeriy Pak – KRW 63,620,000
- Tsugunari Toma – KRW 44,700,000
- Hiroyuki Noda – KRW 28,135,000
- Markus Garberg – KRW 17,180,000
- Kevin Ayow – KRW 13,215,000
- Paul Hong – KRW 10,950,000
- Tatsuki Nakamura – KRW 9,405,000
- Yisha Chen – KRW 7,830,000
- Yuichiro Harada – KRW 6,365,000