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The 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) Korea opened at Paradise City Casino in Incheon, South Korea on September 18. Headlining the stop is the first-ever WPT Global Teams event that kicked off on September 19 with 14 four-player teams representing 14 countries. Already, two team events have played out, two more, i.e. Event #3: PLO comprising of PLO Shootout A, PLO Shootout B (two players) and Tag Team NLHE (two players) and Event #4: Six-Max NLHE are slated for today.
Competition has been stiff in the Global Teams Event where the teams are being ranked based on their performances. Two events, Event #1: Nine-Max NLHE and Event #2: Heads-Up Poker were hosted on the opening day. In Event 2, three players from every team competed in NLHE and one player from each team played PLO.
Team India is being represented by a star studded group of pros comprising of Amit Jain, Dhaval Mudgal and Kunal Patni, captained by World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2018 gold bracelet winner Nikita Luther. After Day 1, Team India was ranked eighth with 78 points while New Zealand was leading the pack with 104.5 points.
At the top of the Team India roster is Luther, who has had an eventful summer at the WSOP where she won her maiden title at the Tag Team Event for $87,903 (~â‚¹61.35 Lakhs). Former banker and Adda52 pro Patni is considered one of the most consistent performers of the Indian circuit. Patni’s best performance this year came in his runner-up finish in the 2018 WPT Berlin Main Event for $115,819 (â‚¹80.83 Lakhs). He picked up several WSOP scores and finished runner up at the 6-handed Shot Clock Event of 2018 APPT Manila for â‚±960,000 (~â‚¹12.50 Lakhs).
Joining Patni and Luther in the team is Jain who is an accomplished player in his own right. Jain’s career-best live score came in the 2017 DPT â‚¹75K High Roller September edition when he pocketed a payout of â‚¹24.94 Lakhs. The last team member is Mudgal, who captained this year’s winning PSL Season 2 team Goan Nuts.
Earlier on Tuesday, Luther took to Twitter to share a photo of Team India, right before they entered the WPT felts.
Team India ready to rollll ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥@ World Poker Tour South Korea pic.twitter.com/644XppP7CH
— Nikita Luther (@nikitaluther) September 19, 2018
Meanwhile, the seat draw for the two events scheduled for Thursday have been announced. For Team India, Luther and Mudgal are going to be seen on seat six of Table six in the Tag Team NLHE event. Patni will be fielding from seat three on table one of PLO Shootout A, while Jain has been assigned seat four on table four in PLO Shootout B.
Day 1 Recap
For the first time in the history of WPT Korea, a Global Teams Event has been introduced and the hype for the inter-country tournament started building right from August.
Currently, Team New Zealand is leading the 14 teams after Day 1 with 104.5 points. Thomas Ward captains the team and other members are, Jacon Efaraimo, Paul Hockin, and Alicia Tangiiti. Team China follows with 96 points and holds the second spot while Team UK with 89.5 points is in third place. The poor performers were Team USA that is at the bottom of the rankings, with 48 points while Team Australia holds 67.5 points and is only one spot higher than Team USA.
Luther led Team India has had an average opener in the event and is placed eighth. They’ll really have to spike it up and climb up the rankings on Day 2.
Event #1 Nine-Max NLHE saw four different 14-player shootouts ensuring no team member was seated at the same table. Players were assigned different tables and the shootouts were held between Tables one and two, Tables three and four, Tables five and six, and Tables seven and eight. After Event 1 concluded, Team Japan led the pack with 56 points, followed by Team New Zealand (53 points) while Team China and Team Hong Kong tied-up at third spot with 51 points each. Team India was placed 10th with 33 points.
Jack Efaraimo popularly called the Godfather of New Zealand poker played his A-game and scored the first win at the WPT Global Teams event. Efaraimo defeated Martijn Gerrits of Netherlands in the heads-up match. Team India’s Amit Jain finished in sixth place with 11 points.
The second shootout for tables five and six was won by Fubon Huang (20 points) of Taiwan while India’s Kunal Patni finished in 13th place with 4 points. The shootout finale for tables three and four saw Hong Kong’s Vincent Kwun Ngai Li take down the event with 20 point and from the Indian team, Dhaval Mudgal finished in ninth place with eight points. Results for the Shootout finale for tables one and two saw Harunobu Kojima of Japan take the lead with 20 points, while Team India captain Nikita Luther finished seventh with 10 points.
A peek at how the day went shows that Luther had entered the final table of Tables one and two holding the third biggest stack, of 21,500 while leading the seven-handed final table was Bryan Huang (36,000) of Singapore, followed by UK’s Simon Burns (22,500).
On the nine-handed final table for tables three and four, Hong Kong’s Vincent Kwun Ngai Li (33,500) had entered with the biggest stack while Team India’s Mudgal (10,500) held the fifth biggest stack.
Meanwhile, nine players had advanced to the final table of tables seven and eight and India’s Amit Jain (11,000) was one of the shorter stacks among the runners while Hong Kong’s Danny Tang (48,500) held the biggest stack.
The last shootout was that of tables five and six, and the final table comprised of seven players. There was no Indian on this final table, while China’s Guoliang Wei (32,000) was the biggest stack, with Japan’s Takumi Samejima (30,500) and Netherland’s Luigi Knoppers (27,000) close behind.
The Event #2: Heads-Up Poker featured Round 1, Round 2 and Final Four Matchups with the Heads-up Finals capping off the event. Players from every team were seen in action in different brackets. Following the third round of eliminations each bracket was down to its championship match.
In Bracket A, Thomas Ward of New Zealand and Malaysia’s Ivan Seng Yee Leow remained while in Bracket B, Malaysia’s Webster Lim Chin Wei and India’s Dhaval Mudgal qualified, while Bracket C saw Korea’s Hyunsik Yun and Phua Tzaiwei, and Bracket D (PLO), Taiwan’s Leon Li-taHsu and Sam Razavi of UK were still in the hunt.
Mudgal, who was competing in Bracket B, ended the first-round in sixth place. He improved to finish in third place after second-round eliminations and the Final Four Matchups saw Mudgal reach the Championships match.
While Luther and Jain busted out in the first-round eliminations from their respective brackets, Patni and Mudgal managed to advance further. However, the second-round eliminations saw Patni bust out from Bracket C.
1. New Zealand – 104.5 pts
2. Team China – 96 pts
3. Team UK – 89.5 pts
4. Team Taiwan SAR – 88 pts
5. Team Netherlands – 83.5 pts
6. Team Hong Kong SAR – 82.5 pts
7. Team Japan – 78.5 pts
8. Team India – 78 pts
9. Team Singapore – 78 pts
10. Team Korea – 77 pts
11. Team Malaysia – 75.5 pts
12. Team Norway – 73.5 pts
13. Team Australia – 67.5 pts
14. Team USA – 48 pts
Meanwhile, two players of each team will be seen in action in the two PLO shootouts and two in the Tag Team tournament that are part of Event #3. All these three separate events will be held concurrently, and during the concurrent events, one team member of each team will play in an individual tournament, except for the Tag Team that will have two players alternating and playing with the same chip stack. Later in the day, the teams will converge for Event #4: Six-Max NLHE.
The WPT Global Teams Event will feature two more events on September 21. Event #5: Turbo NLHE will start first, followed by Final Event: NLHE. For Event 5, the field of teams will be reduced to 12.
For the Final Event, the field will be reduced to nine teams, and team members will rotate every 20 minutes, so that all four players play once in every four 20-minute period. The team captains will select the play order and after four rounds, teams will be allowed to change the order. Once the field narrows down to the final four teams, two members per team will play and alternate every round.
After the Global Teams Event culminates, the remainder of the tournaments that are part of the 2018 WPT Korea roster will kick off on September 21. The poker festival will conclude with the Main Event, PLO, High Roller and Megastack NLH Finale Freezeout on September 24.
Keep following the latest updates from WPT Korea right here on PokerGuru!