From July 15 – 22, the World Poker Tour (WPT) returned to Korea with its spectacular tournament at the Landing Casino in Jeju. A record of 757 participants registered for the WPT Main Event, resulting in a prize pool of $1,746,343 (KRW 2,246,927,400).
Over the initial days, from 252, 232, and 274 entries that advanced from Day 1A, 1B, and 1C, respectively, only 44 were left in contention by the end of Day 2.
As the final table began, Yin Tao led the remaining pack, making a significant jump when he cracked Yanfeng Wang's pocket kings with his pocket jacks. Trailing Tao was Chao Ting Cheng, who eliminated Song Pengfei in the last hand of Day 3, becoming the final table bubble boy.
Tao maintained his lead during the final table. His aggressive play resulted in the elimination of several contenders, including Hong Zhu (8th) and Li Jiang Liu (7th).
The final three players, Chao Ting Cheng, Yin Tao, and Valeriy Pak, agreed to a deal that adjusted their payouts based on their chip count, leading to Cheng taking home $251,595, Tao pocketing $232,667, and Pak earning $197,332.
The Main Event concluded with an exciting heads-up for the trophy between Tao and Pak. Valeriy Pak, who had previously won the WPT Korea back in 2018 for $57,058 and had been poised to repeat history and claim a second title, entered the heads-up battle with a slight lead. He continued strong, extending the lead to more than 2:1. Despite Pak putting Tao at risk, fortune did not favor him, and Tao managed to pull off a crucial double-up.
The two continued to exchange the lead until a miscalculated bluff from Pak, who smashed into Tao’s two pair, leaving him with only one big blind, which was forced all-in in the next hand, and teary-eyed Tao rejoiced in his monumental victory.
For those who missed the thrilling final table action or want to relive the electrifying moments of victory, the full rerun of the World Poker Tour Korea final table is available in the video below.
2023 WPT Korea Final Table Results
|3||Chao Ting Cheng||China||$251,595*|
|4||Jian Guo Shu||China||$115,545|
|5||Chun Hao Zhang||China||$86,994|
|7||Li Jiang Liu||China||$51,210|