The record-breaking WPT Prime Cambodia may be in the books, but the confetti continues to fly with more winners to be announced and memories to be made. From August 11 to 23, gamers from all over the world came to NagaWorld Phnom Penh to produce the largest WPT event in Asia, with 4,309 entrants and a festival prize pool of more than $2.9 million. The Main Event attracted the majority of 1,050 entrants and a record $1,018,500 pot.
Mike Takayama became the first player to win two events on the same day, Main Event champion David Erquiaga was named WPT Player of the Festival, and India took home two more trophies for a total of eight. We’ve got those tales, festival highlights, and winners of the last side events for you. Read on for more details.
David Erquiaga Becomes WPT Player of the Festival
David Erquiaga of the Philippines was set to travel home after winning the Main Event, but he postponed his flight in order to secure his lead in the WPT Player of the Festival competition. With three events remaining on the final day, Erquiaga was just 100 points ahead of Kunal Patni. Trong Hieu Ngo, Mike Takayama, Martijn Gerrits, Christopher Mateo, and WPT Prime Vietnam Player of the Festival winner Duy Ho were also in the running.
The Player of the Festival for WPT Prime Cambodia came down to the wire! The top seven were still competing in the last three events. Christopher Mateo was really on 375 points before finishing second in the SuperStack Classic. Given his trip that night, he declined to play the Turbo Closer, and Mike Takayama did the same for the previous two events. The other five in the top seven, on the other hand, all played Event 23, the $300 6 Max. Kunal and Martijn Gerrits both busted and leaped into the Turbo Closer, but both came up short in that event as well.
That left start-of-day leader David Erquiaga with 900 points, Trong Hieu Ngo with 825 points, and Duy Ho with 650 points to compete for the trophy and a 5K Main Tour spot in the 6 Max. The winner would receive 300 points, with 9th place receiving 50 points. With 11 remaining David was severely short-stacked, down to 53k. And then it happened in the span of three hands. As a little underdog, David went all in and doubled up. On the following hand at the same table, Duy Ho was all in with Aces against a push of 6’s for a 500k+ pot, only to have a 6 fall on the flop and eliminate him in 11th place. On the opposite table, soon after Duy busted, Hieu Ngo was all in and busted in 10th place, ensuring David the POF victory.
Erquiaga gained 950 points for winning the Main Event and another 150 points for finishing sixth in the $5.3K Super High Roller. He won the WPT Passport worth $5,000 to any WPT Main Tour of his choice for amassing the most points.
WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event
The WPT Prime Cambodia smashed records, with 1,050 Main Event entries and a prize pool of $1,018,500 from players from all over the world. This was the brand’s greatest turnout and pot for an open tournament in Asia.
After eliminating the final four players at the final table, Filipino David Erquiaga was proclaimed the newest World Poker Tour Prime series Main Event champion. Erquiaga received the highest three-way deal split of $137,008 as well as a ticket to the WPT World Championship for $10,400. He has also jumped in the lead in the WPT Player of the Festival race, which offers a WPT Passport worth $5,000 to any main tour.
Erquiaga came close to winning his first WPT Main Event in 2020 when he finished third at WPT Philippines. In the present day, Erquiaga is experiencing a rush. He came second at the Poker Dream Malaysia Main Event in late July for $75,457, which was momentarily his highest score, then won a high roller event at APPT Manila earlier this month before heading to WPT Prime Cambodia.
The WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event at NagaWorld Phnom Penh set out to be Asia’s largest open event, and it delivered with a record 1,050 entrants (Day 1A -246, Day 1B – 364, Day 1C – 440) and a seven-figure prize pool of $1,018,500. With 129 players vying for a position at the Final Table on Day 2, the money flowed. Wanki Baik and Ankit Jajodia, both double qualifiers, have already received the first of the $1,810 rewards.
2019 finalist Jae Kyung Sim nicknamed Simba was ousted in 109th position after three levels, while Erquiaga rose from 68th to one of the chip leaders with a double knockout with pocket AcAd. Unbeknownst to everyone, this was the start of his ascension to the top. Erquiaga eliminated Louis Bilodeau (22nd), Minjung Kim (17th), and Sam Ath L (15th) as the final table approached. The final table was set with the loss of WSOP bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer in 10th place to Taiwan’s Chi Jen Chu aka Justin with AA dominating QQ at the 11th hour.
Chu brought the largest stack to the final table of 107. (BB). Kunal Patni of India, who began the day as chip leader and kept it to bring in 83 BB, also had an exceptionally high stack. Erquiaga had 36 BB and was sandwiched in the center.
As players rushed for chips, the final table action was intense from the beginning. The first to put all on the line was China’s Ji Jun Xu (7 BB), who used a quick double up to rail Vietnam’s lone hope, Hoang Van Nguyen, in 9th place. Despite the increase in chips and confidence, Xu finished eighth. Both players set a new career high in a live competition.
Jean Robert Autran of France was another early mover at the final table, outpacing Chu to take the top seat. Erquiaga, who earned his first of six final table busts in India’s Ankit Jajodia, pushed Chu down even deeper, with KK keeping ahead of AQ. As the blinds climbed, Indian aspirations were dashed by Filipino Junnie Pamplona, who finished sixth with AK over A10.
With the field reduced to five players, Erquiaga denied Malaysia’s Patrick Soh a third double-up and almost eliminated Chu with AJ dominating K9 until two Nines and a King appeared. Chu reclaimed the chip lead in the pair’s second big showdown with a straight over mid-pair. Despite the decrease to 13 BB, Erquiaga remained aggressive and won many large pots, including a fortuitous double-up versus Autran with a J9 outdrawing AK on a board of 65278. The long four-handed round concluded with Erquiaga defeating Autran once more, sending the Frenchman out in fourth place. Autran received the greatest reward of his career.
After the bust, the last three players agreed to an ICM contract that guaranteed each participant a six-figure payday, with Erquiaga receiving the greatest portion. The WPT Main Event trophy, the WPT World Championship seat, and $24,000 were all set aside. Pamplona didn’t survive long after the agreement was made. He pushed with A7 and was outdrawn on the flop by Erquiaga’s KQ. Pamplona earned the greatest prize of his career as one of the final table underdogs, earning $106,482.
Pamplona got down to 8 BB on Day 2, doubled up twice, and then eliminated WPT India Main Event winner Ashish Munot in 31st position. Pamplona momentarily sat in the leader’s seat during the bubble round to the final table after muscling Chu out of a large pot. Pamplona check-raised the flop and jammed the river in a blinds duel with a board that finished 229Q6.
Chu and Erquiaga engaged quickly as well. Chu dropped below 10 BB after losing the first few pots. On a final board of 108838, he pushed with KJ and was outdrawn by Erquiaga’s J10. Erquiaga sent a total of $137,008 in cash, as well as a ticket, lodging, and airfare to the WPT World Championship in December. Chu, the runner-up, had to settle for a compensation of $120,980. Both players took home the highest known live tournament payoff.
Here are the final table results:
|1||David Erquiaga||Philippines||$ 147,408|
|2||Chi Jen Chu||Taiwan||$ 120,980|
|3||Junnie Pamplona||Philippines||$ 106,482|
|4||Jean Patrick Autran||France||$ 62,060|
|5||Patrick Soh||Malaysia||$ 46,820|
|6||Kunal Patni||India||$ 35,690|
|7||Ankit Jajodia||India||$ 27,510|
|8||Ji Jun Xu||China||$ 21,430|
|9||Hoang Van Nguyen||Vietnam||$ 16,880|
Mike Takayama Captures Second High Roller Title
Mike Takayama, a highly renowned Filipino pro, stood out at the championship, becoming the only player to win two events. Takayama’s first victory came in the 10K Super High Roller Single Day Challenge for a sizable $94,100 payoff, and on the final day, he outlasted the 140-entry High Roller 3K tournament for a bigger $106,000 payday. He was also the festival’s highest earner, with a total of $200,100 in wins.
Takayama amassed a massive stack at seven-handed after delivering a double elimination with a nutty nut flush AJ against Magsakay’s KK and Mefodichev’s AK on a board of 25QJ3. From there, he cruised to heads-up with a huge advantage against Dutch pro Martijn Gerrits. Gerrits had won the Short Deck High Roller and was looking for his second festival crown. Despite Takayama’s large advantage, the finish was not easy. Gerrits fought hard to take the lead. Takayama hammered it close with pocket Tens over King-Five once he reclaimed it.
Here are the final table results:
|4th||Clement Van Driessche||France||$23,800|
|13th||Mei San Ang||Singapore||$8,000|
|18th||Viet Hoang Tran||Vietnam||$7,000|
Other WPT Prime Cambodia Highlights
While other players made several final tables, Indian players Kunal Patni and Jasven Saigal led the way with four apiece. Both players won one event as well. Here are some of their accomplishments:
- 3rd place – Event 3: Deepstack NLH Freezeout
- 1st place – Event 5: Deepstack NLH
- 5th place – Event 7: Mystery Bounty
- 6th place – Main Event
- 6th place – Event 7: Mystery Bounty
- 7th place – Event 11: Bounty Event $250 Bounty
- 8th place – Event 16: Pot Limit Omaha
- 1st place – Event 23: SuperStack 6-Max Finale
Dinh Quoc Nguyen of Vietnam received a $12,500 package to the WPT World Championship after outlasting seven other runners in the WPT WC Satellite.
Throughout the 13-day event, players from all around the world took part. Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, France, and India led the way with eight trophies, the most of any nation.
WPT World Championship Packages Available on WPT Global
The largest live tournament guarantee in poker history will visit Wynn Las Vegas in December 2022 for a full week of felt action. While the $10,400 WPT World Championship registration price may be incredibly expensive for some, the brand’s own WPT Global application provides WPT World Championship passport packages for as little as $5. The weekly campaign includes $5/$55 step satellites accessible every day, culminating up to the Saturday $550 Mega Satellite, which guarantees one package.
The WPT World Championship passport package is worth $12,400, which includes the winner’s Main Event buy-in as well as an additional $2,000 for expenses. Only one package per person may be claimed, and it is non-transferable. Satellite winners will also have to choose whether they want to play Day 1A (December 12) or Day 1B (December 13), with no chance to convert to cash.