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The 2023 WPT Prime Cambodia $500K GTD Main Event has found a winner. Japan’s Reiji Kono (cover image) championed the massive 1,011-entry field to claim his career-first WPT title and a personal-best $131,731. A three-way deal saw Event #4: 8-Max NLH Single Day winner Bien Mai (2nd for $117,842) and France’s Matthieu Lamagnere (3rd for $112,247) locking in six-figure payouts.
A former APT champion, Kono also bagged a seat worth $10,400 into the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas. The package includes airfare and accommodations.
The Main Event ran from May 16 to 20 at the Grand Ballroom of NagaWorld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It drew 1,011 entries, collecting a guarantee-shattering $980,670 prize pool, falling just 39 entries short of the Season XX attendance of 1,050 entries. Each starting flight played down to the money.
One-hundred-and-twenty-eight players advanced to Day 2, with India’s Arun Sriram chip leading. All the qualifiers played down to the final nine on Sunday, led by Taiwan’s I-Chun Chiu.
The WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event turnout has kept the Season XXI charge in top gear. The stop`s Main Event was the third consecutive WPT Prime Main Event this season to register over 1,000 participants. The WPT Prime Paris Main Event clocked 1,071 entries in January-February, and the WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event locked in 1,224 entries in early March.
Team India’s Run in the 2023 WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event
The second edition of the WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event registered a guarantee-crushing field, and only 128 players advanced to Day 2, all assured at least $1,800.
Eighteen Indians returned for Day 2, with Arun Sriram starting out as the overall chip leader. Through the course of the day’s play, all 18 Indians fell out of contention, with Young Gun Shardul Parthasarathi running the deepest. The poker coach picked up his second cash at the series, finishing 13th for $10,460.
The banker-turned-poker pro Kunal Patni, who finished fourth in the Main Event last season, placed 14th for $10,460, scoring his first cash at the series.
Young Gun Gaurav Sood (29th for $4,970), Mahesh Shyamsundar (30th for $4,970), Harsh Bubna (33rd for $4,250), Jasven Saigal (37th for $4,250), Alok Birewar (45th for $3,680), Arun Sriram (53rd for $3,220), Romit Advani (70th for $2,570), Chiraag Patel (74th for $2,340), Vikaash Shah (80th for $2,340), J Raju (81st for $2,160), Abhijith Cheruku (90th for $1,990), Dhaval Mudgal (103rd for $1,990), Ashish Ghosh (107th for $1,860), Amit Kaushik (108th for $1,860), Young Gun Siddharth Karia (111th for $1,860), and Young Gun Anmol Mehta (115th for $1,860) added to the team’s tally.
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
It took almost two hours of gameplay for the final table to witness its first elimination. Nicolas Ragot was the player to bust after his ran into Matthieu Lamagnere’s . The board ran , and Lamagnere’s rivered flush ended Ragot’s Main Event run in ninth place.
Thirteen hands later, Lewis Cowell shoved all-in with , and Lamagnere called holding . The runout completed a broadway straight on the river for Lamagnere, knocking Cowell out in eighth place.
Seven-handed play continued for 14 minutes before Feng Ji Chua was sent packing. On the 71st hand of the final table, Lamagnere raised from UTG+1 for 325,000, and Chua called from the hijack. Bien Mai jammed from the cutoff for 3.35 Million. Lamagnere asked for an exact count before calling. Chua used two Time Chips before calling all-in for 875,000.
Feng Ji Chua
The board ran , and Lamagnere and Mai chopped the pot with identical hands as both flopped a pair of Queens. Chua headed toward the payouts desk to collect the seventh-place cash prize.
On the next hand, Sho Katsura joined Chua at the rail in sixth place, falling at the hands of Lamagnere.
Portugal’s Jose Catela was the next player to be eliminated. On the 114th hand, Catela’s fell flat against Mai’s that flopped a two-pair on the board.
Twenty-one minutes later, the start-of-final table chip leader I-Chun Chiu got stacked after his were bested by Reiji Kono’s , getting the field down to three players.
Following Chiu’s exit, the remaining three players struck an ICM deal and continued playing for the coveted title, trophy, and WPT World Championship seat worth $10,400. With 58 BBs, Kono was the chip leader and grabbed the largest share of $131,731. Mai (52 BBs) locked in $117,842, and Lamagnere (43 BBs) received $112,247.
Three-handed play continued for nearly two hours before Frenchman Matthieu Lamagnere got out. The hand in question saw Kono open-jamming from the small blind with . Lamagnere called with his 12 BB stack, holding . The community cards opened . While both players hit a pair on the board, Kono’s better pair won him the pot, eliminating Lamagnere in third place.
The heads-up player between Bien Mai (20,300,000 – 67 BBs) and Reiji Kono (10,000,000 – 33 BBs) began with the former commanding a 2:1 chip lead. Despite starting on the back foot, Kono persisted, and 19 hands later, he took over a 2:1 chip lead over Mai. On the next hand, it was game over for Mai as the Japanese player claimed his maiden WPT title.
On the 209th hand of the day, Kono limped from the button, and Mai checked to see the flop . Mai check-called a 300,000 bet from Kono. The turn brought . Mai again check-called a bet from Kono, this time of 1.20 Million to see the river . Mai checked again, and Kono fired a bet of 3.50 Million. After giving his opponent a brief stare-down, Mai moved all in, and Kono snap-called.
Mai’s trip sevens were no match for Kono’s rivered boat, who was named the latest WPT Prime Main Event champion!
Final Table Results (USD)
*includes a seat into the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas worth $10,400
**denotes a three-way deal
Content & Images Courtesy: So Much Poker
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