Pete Chen wins the WPT Asia Player of Year award; Pliska signs a Golden Knight

Pete Chen wins the WPT Asia Player of Year award; Pliska signs a Golden Knight

Two tales from the World Poker Tour including Pete Chen winning the Asian Player of the Year award, and Las Vegas Golden Knight’s announcer Mark Shunock joining the team in readiness for the Las Vegas Esports Arena onslaught.

Pete Chen wins the WPT Asia Player of Year award; Pliska signs a Golden KnightThere’s always one that sneaks under my eye like the peas that roll off my daughter’s plate only to vanish into the too-wide cracks of the kitchen floor that house all manner of nastiness.

Pete Chen has won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Asia Player of the Year (POY).

The #3 Ranked All-Time Taiwanese Money Earner started Season XVI like a seal in a seahorse race beating 400-entrants to win WPT Beijing Main Event, the first of the series, banking $299,485. Chen followed that up with a decent showing at WPT Korea, making two final tables in side events, winning one and hitting the rail in fifth in another. Chen also cashed in a side event in India.

It’s the first time the WPT organised a POY in the region and came at a time when everyone seemed to be dancing to the same beat with events in Beijing, Korea, Japan, India and Sanya.

All of that might change now, given the recent decision by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to ban social poker apps on June 1st after investigations revealed that naughty boys and girls had been using the play money apps as a front for illegal real money games. Interestingly, some of those arrested worked for the WPT owners Ourgame International Holdings.

While it may be the first time the WPT has held a POY race in Asia, it’s not the first time that Chen has won a POY title. In 2014, PokerStars named him their Asia Player of the Year. All told, Chen has earned more than $1.8m in live earnings with a runner-up in a $5,000 event at the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) for $382,122 counting as his most significant score to date.

The WPT higher ups handed Chen a trophy during the Tournament of Champions (TOC), and he also received a $15,000 WPT package usable in the Asian region events, including accommodation and ground transport.

Chen is ranked #79th in the world on the Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings, and #1 in Taiwan.

What’s next for Chen?

He has his sights set on the 2019 WSOP POY award.

Golden Knights Announcer Mark Shunock Joins World Poker Tour 

The WPT’s recent announcement that it plans to host all televised final tables at the Las Vegas Esports Arena at the Luxor is an exciting one. It’s a puzzle, and the WPT team will be busy trying to fit all the pieces into place before the real deal debuts sometime this year.

One of those critical pieces falls to the person responsible for entertaining the fans in between the excitement of players flipping their cards into the muck, and the WPT believe they have hired the right guy.

Matt Savage first heard Mark Shunock going to work on a crowd during a Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey game. Shunock is the man responsible for churning up a fever pitch atmosphere during the Knights’ home games, and Savage knew there and then that he was the right man to deliver for the WPT.

The Broadway actor, from Canada, who found his way to Vegas appearing in Rock of Ages at the Venetian before making his debut at the Tournament of Champions, told PokerNews that the “WPT family is just so great and I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

The Golden Knights face the Washington Capitals at home on Monday, May 28 in the Stanley Cup Final.