Meet The Final Table of WPT Cambodia
If the kickoff event for Season 22 of the World Poker Tour is any indication, then 2024 is going to be a huge year for the WPT.
This week, the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup made its way to NagaWorld Integrated Resort for the first-ever WPT Cambodia Championship Event. It was the first Main Tour stop outside of North America since 2017 and the overwhelming success of the event showcased that players in the region were more than ready for their shot becoming an official member of the WPT Champions Club and claiming a piece of poker history.
After two years of popular WPT Prime Cambodia events, WPT and NagaWorld upped the ante by elevating the tournament from a Prime stop to a Main Tour championship, with a buy-in increase from $1,100 to $3,500. Bigger stakes didnt deter players in the least as a healthy field of 760 entries helped smash the original $1 million guarantee and push the prize pool to more than $2.4 million and a first-place prize of $441,546.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the field including several WPT Champions Club members. Award-winning vlogger Masato Yokosawa and Dominik Nitsche were joined by two-time champ Hoyt Corkins in seeking another title. WPT commentator and Champions Club member Tony Dunst made a deep run himself, nearly making the final table but ultimately falling in 14th place for $27,410. Joining them were high rollers Steve ODwyer and Punnat Punsri, WPT DeepStacks champs Valeriy Pak and Brian Tougias, 2022 WPT Prime Vietnam champ Zarvan Tumboli, and content creator Frankie Cucchiara among others.
Now, there are only nine players left – an eclectic mix of pros and recreational players from all over the region and the world with a variety of experience levels. Its going to be a top-heavy event with six of the final nine players having more than 50 big blinds to start and a chip leader in Konstantin Held with just under 100 big blinds. So lets take a look at everyone who is left in the running to take home the title of first-ever champion of WPT Cambodia.
Home Country: Germany Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $401,860 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 6th, 2023 5,300 EPT Paris Main Event for $261,080 Other Prominent Scores: 10th, 2023 $3,500 Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $85,410
Germanys Konstantin Held is in the sweet spot. The chip leader went on a Day 3 heater that took him from middle of the pack to a healthy final table stack of just under 100 big blinds. Its not Helds first time in being close to a major title, in early 2023 he took the chip lead into Day 4 of EPT Paris, an event in which he finished in 6th place for the largest score of his career. But if Held wants to make his mark, and best that EPT outing hes going to have to hold here and ride this chip lead to a victory where the $441K first-place prize awaits.
End of Day 1 Chips: 273,500 End of Day 2 Chips: 586,000
Home Country: China Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $112,962 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2019 WPT Cambodia $1,100 Warm Up for $29,234 Other Prominent Scores: 2nd, 2019 WPTDeepStacks Cambodia $2,150 Turbo for $14,666
Chinas Jianfeng Sun has results dating back to 2014, both live and online, but none are better than his victory in the WPT Cambodia Warm-up event back in 2019. Its always nice to be able to come back to a place where youve experienced good results and have a shot at doing it again. For Sun, there shouldnt been too much pressure, hes already exceeded his career-best score as a ninth-place finish is worth more than $42,000. But with a chip stack of more than 70 big blinds, he might just be in line for a six-figure score.
End of Day 1 Chips: 246,000 End of Day 2 Chips: 753,000
Home Country: India Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $295,859 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 2nd, 2023 Asian Poker Festival Hanoi Main Event for $77,138 Other Prominent Scores: 3rd, 2022 Asian Poker Tour Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Main Event for $72,340, 1st, 2023 WPT Prime Vietnam Warm-Up for $42,915
Indias Amit Kaushik might be in the conversation for who loves it more. An online player and live grinder, in 2023 alone, Kaushik recorded more than 40 live results with cashes in the low hundreds to a career-high $77K cash in December last year. With live results dating back to just March of 2022, Kaushik may be making a push to break out as a pro and theres a good chance he could get a big-time bankroll boost by leveraging his third-place chip stack into a deep run at this final table and, perhaps, a single score that eclipses his entire career earning to date.
End of Day 1 Chips: 403,000 (3rd in chips for Day 1A) End of Day 2 Chips: 723,000
Home Country: Vietnam Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $252,575 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 2nd, 2023 U Series of Poker Mini Main Event for $44,689 Other Prominent Scores: 2nd VSOP Championship VII Main Event for $36,392
Vietnams Kyle Bao Diep is another player who is looking at a career payday and is already (nearly) guaranteed a new career-high score. A product of the Moneymaker boom Diep has been playing since 2003 but only turned pro for the past five years. Diep has plenty of experience and success grinding lower-stakes tournaments in the area but is potentially playing to make a major step in his career. Hes won tournaments in the past, including chopping the 2022 WPT Prime Cambodia opener for more than $28K, but a victory here would take him to the next level.
End of Day 1 Chips: 224,000 End of Day 2 Chips: 534,000
Home Country: Australia Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $1,052,546 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 2nd, 2023 WPT Prime Gold Coast for $107,732 Other Prominent Scores: 4th, 2023 Australian Poker Tour $25K Challenge for $94,765, 1st 2023 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Cambodia High Roller $86,939
With more than $1 million in live earnings, Australias Joshua Mccully is entering the final table as one of the more experienced players at the table. An online grinder as well as live pro, Mccully has plenty of victories in his career but hes still looking for that resume-topping win that a WPT title can provide. His largest live score is just over $100,000 so Mccully is going to need a third-place finish or better to hit a new career-high mark.
End of Day 1 Chips: 113,000 End of Day 2 Chips: 1,810,000 (2nd overall)
Home Country: France Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $348,287 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 3rd, 2022 Asian Poker Tour High Roller for $42,648 Other Prominent Scores: 3rd, 2023 WPT Prime Vietnam for $40,932, 2nd, Asian Poker Tour Super High Roller for $36,959
Just to showcase how deep this final table is, Frances Florent Remi is fifth in chips with 64 big blinds. Remi is in the same boat as a number of players at this final table, already in line for a new career-high score and the possibility of eclipsing his entire poker career earnings if he can pull out a win. As far as live results go, Remi took a big break between 2017 and 2022 only to come back with a new fire for the game, posting regular results over the past two years including a pair of min cashes in WPT Prime events.
End of Day 1 Chips: 138,000 End of Day 2 Chips: 999,000
Home Country:Japan Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $1,328,481 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, WSOP $1,500 NLHE/PLO 8 Handed for $209,716\ Other Prominent Scores: 2nd, 2021 PokerGO Tour $10,000 NLHE Aria High Roller for $122,000, 4th, 2023 EPT 25,000 NLHE for $115,627
Japans Motoyoshi Okamura knows what it takes to win a title. He took home a World Series of Poker gold bracelet in 2021 winning the $1,500 NLHE/PLO event for more than $209K and has sharpened his skill set by battling in the PokerGO Studio and EPT High Rollers. He has three recorded WPT cashes for just over $43,000 and made a deep run just last year at WPT Australia finishing in 13th place. With just over 30 big blinds, a player with the experience of Okamura is one hand away from being right in the mix and potentially a favorite to pair his bracelet with a WPT title.
End of Day 1 Chips: 261,500 End of Day 2 Chips: 515,000
Home Country: USA Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $2,519,553 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2023 MSPT Firekeepers Main Event for $314,145 Other Prominent Scores: 5th, 201 WPT Venetian DeepStack Poker Showdown for $204,430, 2nd, 2019 WSOPC Tulsa $1,700 Main Event for $132,930
Its been a few years, but Kou Vang has been here before. His last WPT cash was in 2021 when he made the final table of WPT Venetian where he finished in 5th place for more than $200,000. A longtime grinder with more than $2.5 million in career earnings, like Okamura, he likely feels very comfortable sitting with 30 big blinds and is a dangerous opponent to battle against for the big stacks. An MSPT champ, Vang would need to win WPT Cambodia to make personal history with a new high score.
End of Day 1 Chips: 306,000 End of Day 2 Chips: 977,000
Home Country: France Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $724,051 Biggest Lifetime Cash: 3rd, 2022 WPTDeepStacks Sydney for $152,850 Other Prominent Scores: 4th, 2023 Asian Poker Tour High Roller 8 Max for $60,005, 1st, 2022 WPT League Tweet Coast Quarterly Poker Championship for $44,248
Its going to be a tough uphill climb for Frances Anthony Cierco if he wants to get back into this tournament. Returning to the final table with just 7 big blinds hes going to need more than a double to even begin to feel comfortable. But to his credit, he knows what it takes to win with 13 career live victories, a six-figure score, and 20 five-figure cashes on his resume it would be a mistake to count Cierco out of this.
End of Day 1 Chips: 90,000 End of Day 2 Chips: 472,000
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