German Konstantin Held Wins the Inaugural WPT Cambodia
Last Updated: February 3, 2024
The first World Poker Tour festival of the season is over and it was German player Konstantin Held who entered the final day of play in the Main Event as chip leader and proceeded to win his career-first WPT trophy.
Although Held won the event, the trophy, and the entry to this year’s $10,400 WPT World Championship in Las Vegas, his win came after a three-way chop that saw three players receive a payout of at least $277k each.
The final day of actions saw nine players come back to play down to a champion out of a field of 760. The nine represented a wide range of nationalities, demonstrating the international nature of WPT.
The significant turnout for the first WPT Main Tour festival also showed that the country and region have a lot of potential for further poker development, as WPT decided to upgrade the stop from a WPT Prime to a WPT Main Tour one.
WPT Cambodia was also the first WPT Main Tour festival played outside of North America since 2017, with the WPT Korea festival scheduled for March set to be the next in WPT’s attempts to expand the Main Tour to new countries and regions.
Significant Turnout Shatters the Guarantee
The 2024 WPT Cambodia was the first WPT festival played outside of America in a while, with most international stops recently played as part of the WPT Prime Tour.
Following the massive success of WPT Prime Cambodia over the last couple of seasons, WPT decided to launch a Main Tour festival in Phnom Penh this time around, and it proved to be the right move.
Despite the significantly increased buyin of $3,500, 373 players showed up for Day 1a and another 387 for Day 1b, creating a grand total of 760 entries.
This number accumulated a prize pool of approximately $2.5 million, with $350k reserved for the champion, along with a $10k WPT World Championship trophy and the privilege of having their name etched into the world-famous Mike Sexton Trophy.
The $1 million guaranteed prize pool, which WPT decided to set for the inaugural WPT Cambodia, was blown out of the water as Asian players and international visitors proved just how great the interest in WPT events really is.
International WPT Regulars Make the Trip
The turnout for WPT Cambodia was quite incredible, with not only players from the regions, but poker stars from all parts of the world showing up to try their luck and test their skills at the green felt.
The field shrunk down to just nine players during Day 3, and they represented eight different nationalities, with Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America all having at least one representative on the final table.
Among those who made the final table, there was also a lot of previous WPT success. Both Jianfeng Sun and Amit Kaushik held previous victories in WPT Warm Up events, while Australian player Joshua Mccully fell short of a trophy last year at WPT Prime Gold Coast.
As the final nine made their way back to the NagaWorld Poker Room, it was Konstantin Held who came in with a chip lead that he would ride all the way to the final hand of the tournament.
Held Agrees on a Three-Way Chop with Mccully and Remi
As the final table of WPT Cambodia was set, quite a few players held deep stacks, with six players holding well over 50 big blinds at the start of the day.
For that reason, the final table action was somewhat slow and it took a while to get down to the final three, with only one super short stack at the table to start out the action.
This stack belonged to Anthony Cierco, and he was predictably the first player to bust out, with Kou Vang and Jianfeng Sun following him out the door.
Kyle Bao Diep was the next to go, taking home $90k, while Amit Kaushik was the first player to break the $100k mark and take home $118k for his troubles.
When Japanese Motoyoshi Okamura busted in fourth for a prize of $157,858, the three remaining players decided to turn the final table into a negotiating one.
With Konstantin Held having a significant chip lead, a deal was made that would see him take $350,910, while Florent Remi would take $302,019 and Joshua Mccully would receive $277,291.
The deal left the trophy and the $10,400 WPT World Championship package on the table for the champion, relieving most of the pressure from the players.
Despite taking the second-biggest payout, Remi would bust next, while Held would beat Mccully in the heads-up match to lock his name into Texas Hold'em Poker history as the first WPT Cambodia champion ever.
Here is a look at the full payouts of the WPT Cambodia Main Event:
|Kyle Bao Diep
More WPT Action Coming Soon in Europe and the USA
The new season of WPT is now well underway, with WPT Cambodia in the books and WPT Prime Aix-en-Provence underway in the south of France.
The season will continue with another WPT Prime stop in Amsterdam in March, along with the first US-based stop of the Main Tour at Rolling Thunder and another Asian stop in Jeju, South Korea.
With the inaugural festival of the season in Cambodia so successful, it looks like we are in for another exciting WPT season, which will include more Main Event tour stops and WPT Prime festivals than ever before.