APT Taipei Breaks Taiwanese Live Poker Records

12 Mar 2024
Jonathan Raab 12 Mar 2024
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  • APT Taipei Breaks Taiwanese live poker records
  • Daisuke Ogita wins APT Taipei Main Event
  • Bertrand 'Elky' Grospellier takes down Superstar Challenge
  • Many APT tour records broken
APT Taipei Winner Daisuke Ogita
Photos courtesy of Asian Poker Tour
Daisuke Ogita Wins Record Breaking APT Taipei Main Event as festival concludes.

The first Asian Poker Tour (APT) festival of 2024 is now a thing of the past and I use these words deliberately, as it was indeed a very historical occasion, with multiple records being set in what was the biggest and richest poker event ever held in Taiwan. The Natural 8 sponsored tour’s festival, which ran for just under two weeks included 113 tournaments on its schedule, attracting over 13,000 entries and awarding TWD 283m (over $12m in USD) in prize money.

APT Taipei by Numbers

Several of the events on the schedule set new tour records and the record for the biggest 1st place prize ever awarded in Taiwan was broken twice during the course of the festival. The festival’s high roller SuperStar Challenge was the first of these to raise the bar, with French poker superstar Bertrand ‘Elky” Grospellier outlasting a field of 137 players to aptly taking the title in the TWD 800,000 (USD $25,000) buy-in event. At that point in the festival, the TWD 11,632,810 (USD $367,770) prize he received was the biggest 1st place prize ever awarded in a live poker tournament in Taiwan. 
SuperStar Challenge Winner Bertrand Elky Grospellier
SuperStar Challenge Winner Bertrand 'Elky' Grospellier
However, the record would not stand for long, as the APT Main Event shattered not only the fist place prize tally, but also set a new record for the biggest tournament prize pool in Taiwan. The trail blazing APT Main event had 1,182 entries (737 unique players), generating a TWD 72.2m (circa USD $2.2m) prize pool, the largest ever seen for a single poker tournament in Taiwan. Several APT records were also broken during the series, including event records for 1st prize and prize pool in the Super High Roller event.

APT Taipei Stats

Number of Trophy Events106
Total Festival Entries13,153
Unique Players2,223
Total Festival Prize MoneyTWD 383.49 (USD $12.19m)
Main Event Entries1,182
Main Event Unique Players737
Main Event Prize PoolTWD 12,944,020 (USD $409,730)

Daisuke Ogita Wins Main Event

The record setting main event was won by Japanese poker player Daisuke Ogita, who claimed a lifetime best score of TWD 12,944,000 (USD $409,730) after defeating Guo Zhang Xi from Taiwan heads-up. Ogita had gone into the final with the third largest stack, but was someway behind chip leader Safwane Bahri, who commanded a quarter of the chips in play. However the chip leader’s stack dwindled as Ogita’s rose and the Frenchman could only muster a disappointing 7th place finish. Ogita was responsible for five eliminations on the final table as he rode his way to victory. He went into the heads-up stage with an 8-1 chip lead and it only took seven hands for the argument to be settled in favour of the only Japanese player on the final table. 

In the final hand, Ogita was dominated by his short-stacked opponent, holding 7Jv Xi’s 9J. The chips were all-in preflop and the flop of JK6 changed nothing, nor did the 5 on the turn. However the 7 was the final hand’s game changer and with that lucky outdraw, Ogita became the champion. Acknowledging his good run of fortune at key times on the final table, Ogita remarked afterwards:

“I’m worried my plane might crash after winning this award winning trophy, as I used up so much luck”

While luck may have played a factor in Ogita’s victory, it was certainly no fluke, as he was already the 13th most successful Japanese poker player in terms of live tournament cashes; and this score has seen him break into the Japanese top ten, at position number seven. Ogita is no stranger to final tables and has previously tasted success in Europe, having won last year’s France Poker Series (FPS) Main Event in Monte Carlo for just over €300,000. He also won a €5,000 6-max event at EPT Paris in 2023 for €111,000 and later in the year claimed 2nd place in a €25,000 buy-in side event at EPT Prague for a further €164,700. He now has lifetime live poker earnings of just under $2m and is certainly a player to watch for the rest of 2024.

Main Event Result

PositionNameCountryPrize (TWD)
1stDaisuke OgitaJapanTWD 12,944,020
2ndGuo Zhang XiTaiwanTWD 7,620,000
3rdChi-Jen ChuTaiwanTWD 5,360,000
4thSeungmook JungSouth KoreaTWD 4,016,000
5thLi Wei SunTaiwanTWD 3,077,000
6thJung Chuan LiaoTaiwanTWD 2,275,000
7thPitipong PosriThailandTWD 1,734,000
8thSafwane BahriFranceTWD 1,236,000
9thSteve NgSingaporeTWD 959,000

Award Winning Trophy

The “award winning” trophy that Ogita referred to is the very handsome and iconic APT Lion trophy, which recently claimed the best trophy award at last month’s global poker awards.
APT Award Winning Trophy

APT Taipei Key Event Results

Bertrand 'Elky' Grospellier wasn't the only well-known player to secure a trophy at APT Teipei. The festival's Super High Roller was won by none other than Isaac Haxton. Haxton, who was recently attacked by Phil Hellmuth and Matt Berkey over his continued use of a face mask at live poker events.  'Ike' will have felt quite comfortable playing in Taipei, where a large number of player still regulaly wear masks at the table, without the added annoyance of the Poker Brat making spurious allegations.
Haxton defeated Ren Lin heads-up to win the event's trophy and the TWD 9,089,650 first prize. Congratulations Isaac, we salute you!
EventEntriesPrize Pool (TWD)Winner1st Prize (TDW)
APT National Cup230518,899,065Ka Chun Yuan2,263,500
SuperStar Challenge4936,930,000Bertrand Grospellier11,632,810
Mystery Bounty Hunter105312,067,380Teng-Kuei Hsu2,193,380
APT Super High Roller13737,837,650Isaac Haxton9,089,650
APT Main Event118272,232,020Daisuke Ogita12,944,020
Zodiac Classic32022,348,800Jun Li4,362,800
Mini Main Event67813,021,668Mao-Lun Yu2,213,418
APT High Roller16021,728,000Stanley Manfred Weng5,053,000
Micro Main Event3933,732,045Yonghyun Lee677,540

What’s Next for the APT in 2024?

With APT Taipei now wrapped, the tour’s staff take a well earned rest, but will soon be turning their attention to the next APT stop on the 2024 calendar, which sees the tour move from Taiwan to Jeju in South Korea. APT Jeju was recently announced and runs from April 26th until May 5th at the South Korean island.

Online poker site Natural 8 is the sponsor of the APT and operates exclusive online satellites, enabling players from across the region and beyond to win their way into APT events. Details of the Jeju qualification schedule are expected to be released imminently.

New players can use the Natural8 poker bonus code MAXBONUS when registering to get up to $1000 welcome bonus.

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