The very first World Poker Tour Asia Online Series wrapped up on the GGPoker Network (GGPN) last Super Sunday, and two Natural8 players were among the final five champions to win a HK$10,000 LiveX sponsorship.
This boosted the number of Natural8 trophy winners to eight in total out of 22 events. It’s now time to take a look at the overall festival numbers and the performances of the Natural8 contenders in the past three weeks.
Throughout the festival a total of 22 trophy events took place, each awarding a WPT Online trophy to the respective winners.
The most affordable tournament was Event #4: WPT300, which came with a buy-in of HK$300 (~$39). It was also by far the most popular, attracting the largest field of 7,172 entries.
On the other end of the buy-in range was Event #15: WPT Cambodia Championship, with an entry fee of $3,500. It was one of four events that narrowly missed out on covering its guarantee.
A total prize pool of approximately $6,131,828 was generated, and the seven National Championship Events accounted for more than one third of the total (~$2,216,590). Each of the seven respective winners also earned a HK$23,000 (~$3,000) WPT Passport which can be used at any of the future WPT live events.
It came as no surprise that China dominated the overall results and won two of the three weekly Nation’s Cup Leaderboards, claiming an astonishing 10 out of 22 trophies in the process.
The second most successful nation was Japan with three winners, followed by Israel and India with two titles each. Another five countries earned one title each.
Hong Kong claimed victory in the third weekly Nation’s Cup leaderboard, allowing all players from Hong Kong to enter an exclusive freeroll. It was eventually won by two-time WSOP bracelet winner and Team Bling member Anson “Tara@0z” Tsang.
Only one two-time champion emerged: China’s “Loris51” who won Event #11: WPT Taiwan Championship and Event #19: Zodiac White Tiger. “Loris51” also reached a third final table, a feat topped only by Event #1 Beat the Pros winner Harry “Harry1403” Duong, who reached four final tables in total.
There were 16 players who made two appearances each on the final tables, including notables such as Timothy “Technologic” Yin, Abhinav “ObellaCiao” Iyer, Huu Dung “remyevy” Nguyen and Ren Le “li_xiaolong” Lin.
Natural8 has been known to launch their own additional exclusive promotions for the big online poker festivals on the GGPN. This time it was the LiveX Sponsorship: a Natural8-exclusive live event sponsorship worth HK$10,000.
It was up for grabs to all Natural8 players who won a trophy during the festival, and in the end eight of them took advantage of this promotion for some added value.
Japan’s “Jr_hiroki” emerged victorious in the biggest field of the festival, besting 7,171 other players in Event #4 WPT300 and taking home HK$309,761.89 (~$39,967) for their victory.
WSOP bracelet winner Abhinav “ObellaCiao” Iyer then took down Event #9 WPT Philippines Championship for PHP2,888,236.05 (~$59,334).
Natural8 Team Hot member Thai Ha reached the final two tables four times in total in the first half of the festival, but it would be two of his fellow ambassadors who would made headlines in the second half. A hot streak of five Natural8 winners in a row spanning Event #14 to Event #18 included Team Hot’s Kosei Ichinose, who triumphed in Event #15: WPT Cambodia Championship for $82,532.
The other Natural8 victories during this hot spell belonged to “LTC Hong”, Jung Chou “DragonChou” Che, Wai Kiat “Mr Lee” Lee, and Motoyoshi “falcon8808” Okamura.
Three of the eight wins came in National Championship events, with Team Hot ambassador Kitty Kuo narrowly missing out on making it four. In Event #21 WPT Macau Championship, she battled all the way to heads-up in a field of 752 entries but had to settle for 2nd place and HK$307,245.72.
Last but not least, it was Gaurav “Haversham” Sood who came out on top of a field of 220 entries in Event #20 HK$1,000 PLO Finale, to become the eighth and final player to win a trophy on Natural8.
Since the geo-restricted online poker festival has now wrapped up, all eyes are set on the next major series. Europe’s largest poker festival, the Battle of Malta, has moved online and will be available to all eligible countries.
From 1 – 22 November, players can look forward to 15 ring events and numerous side events. Poker enthusiasts from all over the world will be competing for over $30 million in guaranteed prizes right from the comforts of their home.