PokerStars welcomed 91 entries to Jeju this week, as the Asia Red Dragon Festival offered up a High Roller event that cot 10 million South Korean Won to play. In the end, Bin Sun was the winner as he topped a final table littered with predominantly Chinese players, winning the top prize worth just under $189,500.
While PokerStars have come under some criticism recently for ditching several big names, including Daniel Negreanu, no-one could accuse them of not trying to spread their wings. With China and the Far East in general a huge growing poker market, recent forays across the Pacific from the WPT and WSOP have dipped their toes in the lucrative Eastern pool of poker players.
With Jeju in South Korea the host city for the festival, several events posted excellent numbers, with 13 events taking place across the week. Almost 5 billion Won was up for grabs in the form of the combined prize-pool, with that amount equating to around $4.2 million.
Much of that money was in the high rollers and the Main Event, of course, which saw 869 players create a prize-pool of $1.25million, just over a hundred players helping themselves to payouts from that bounty.
In the high roller, it was Sun’s event, but not before a thrilling final table full of action. With 13 players cashing, Lei Yu was the first to leave the final table, moving all-in with pocket queens, but seeing bad news as the cards were turned over as he was up against pocket kings and couldn’t hit. The American player Jamie Lee departed in eight place, winning $26,402 for his efforts.
Sun Guodong had a great series, reaching two final tables, but 5th was as far as he went in the high roller, albeit an improvement on his result in the ‘Baby Dragon’ event the day before when he finished in 7th place.
With 10 of the players who reached the money being Chinese – and seven of the final table players – there was a real air of dominance about the country’s representation at the business end of the event, with some plucky South Korean players wowing the home rail with moves of their own.
With the exits of Fei Xiong and Zhiqiang Qian, heads-up saw both players running a little shallow in chips. Bin Sun pressed ahead, however, and his attacking nature won him the title after he simply ground Yake Wu down.
With a very healthy turn out in South Korea and encouraging signs that the tour’s next stop in the Asia-Pacific is in the Philippines to kick off the year’s action in January, the Red Dragon Festival has once again highlighted the growth of the Asian market in the poker world, and shown everyone that big money can be won in the far east without the action needing to come from the cash tables in Macau.
Asia Red Dragon Festival High Roller results: