For anyone who is missing the energy of the World Series of Poker already, the World Poker Tour Asia Online event this week had Jamie Kerstetter in the commentary booth to keep some of those WSOP vibes rolling.
She was joined by Jon Van Fleet, and together the pair quipped and analyzed their way through a fast-paced 90 minute stream of the event’s final table.
The buy-in for the event was RMB2,200 (~$345) with a RMB 10,000,000 (~$1.5 million) guarantee. The event needed 4,546 players to enter in order to meet the guarantee before rake.
Just 3,078 players entered the event. So there was a substantial overlay (~$504k worth) in the prize pool. As a result, the players who made the final table were getting excellent value with ~$250,000 up top for first place.
There was also the usual Baccarat crystal for the first place finisher and a special NFT trophy. We can almost certainly expect to see more of those following the WSOP’s recent foray into the NFT market.
The quarter million dollar first prize ultimately went to “shenailuoke.”
The WPT tweeted their congratulations to “shenailuoke” (here translated as “WonderLoki”).
“Congratulations to ‘WonderLoki’, the winner of #WPTAsia Online,” the WPT tweeted. “On @PokerKingMedia for ~US$250,000, the @Baccarat crystal and specially designed NFT trophy!”
Viewers can watch the full stream on Twitch.
Poker King rises
The WPT Asia Online event was a one-off special event on the WPT calendar. Like the Heads Up Championship earlier this year, the event was conducted through the Poker King app. The WPT Asia Online was a rather smoother production than the heads-up event. However, it is hard to beat the draw of a Phil Ivey v. Patrik Antonius final table.
Poker King is an Asian-focused poker platform that has been edging into the world market following the GG Network’s example.
The GG Network — in particular Natural8 — still offers a large number of tournaments and cash games in RMB. Until GG’s explosive growth after 2019, it was largely known as a Chinese-focused site. Now it is the major competition of PokerStars at the top of the online poker tree.
Online poker is illegal in China. However, enforcement is spotty enough that it remains a significant market. And hopes of gambling regulation reform are high at the moment.
With GG’s focus now on the wider poker market, smaller competitors like Poker King were given room to grow and eventually make similar plays for the international field.
Poker King’s partnership with the WPT is a key part of that expansion plan.
So far so good. An online final table makes for much harder viewing than live tables. But having Kerstetter and Van Fleet goes a long way to making the event work as entertainment.
Up next for the WPT is the Seminole Rock’n’Roll Poker Open live event which kicked off yesterday.
WPT Asia Online complete final table results
Featured image source: Twitter