During the first six weeks of 2022, GGPoker Network ran four different poker festivals on Natural8, its fastest-growing platform. One of them was the second edition of the Asia Poker League Online Series, and Natural8 players were responsible for more than two dozen final table appearances. This included two victories, which not only came with juicy paydays but also the unique Jade Trophies.
The entire festival came with CNY80 million in guaranteed prize pools across all Jade Trophy Events and various Side Events. More than 68,000 entries were recorded in the former and the respective prize money distributed surpassed CBNY46.7 million. Let’s take a closer look at the key details and best performances by Natural8 players.
2022 Asia Poker League Online Series Trophy Events at a Glance
Number of Events: 20
Number of Entries: 68,105
Multi Flight Events: 3
Average Entries: 3,405
Total Prize Pool in CNY: ¥46,706,978
Total Prize Pool in USD: $7,370,016
Most Entries: Event #1 ¥210 Zodiac Bounty MILLION$ (16,718)
Largest Prize Pool: Event #20 ¥1,888 Main Event (CNY13,999,897.60)
It all kicked off with the ¥210 Zodiac Bounty MILLION$ Tip-Off, which reeled in the new year with a guaranteed prize pool of ¥2,022,000. That was easily surpassed by more than 50% as 16,718 total entries were gathered across all starting days.
Wrap Up of Events #1 to #19
One Natural8 player reached the final table, but unfortunately, “xF1RST” finished in 7th place for ¥8,929.71 in bounties and ¥36,521.54 in cash. The biggest prize went to “abdular” with ¥90,854.27 in bounties and ¥212,878.12 in cash after they defeated “CANCER123” in a heads-up play.
Event #2 Da Nang River’s Opener was one of three tournaments held in Vietnamese Dong and it resulted in the first victory of a Natural8 player. Two Natural8 contenders reached the final table out of a field of 3,966 entries and secured a decent slice of the VND3,831,156,000 ($168,034) prize pool including “luckydaniel” and “Dr_F”.
For “luckydaniel”, the fortune ran out in 8th position, and they collected VND57,362,217 for their effort. In a heads-up play, “Dr_F” was up against Israel’s Alon “Alon_Eldar” Eldar and prevailed after more than ten hours of total play. For Eldar, the runner-up finish came with a payday of VND322,572,221 while “Dr_F” earned the top prize of VND430,156,779 and the Jade Trophy.
Two Natural8 players reached the final table in Event #3 Hanoi Enter the Dragon in a field of 1,500 entries. “Messi2601” scored VND34,534,015 for ninth place and “yao_poker” collected VND225,551,036 in third. Well-known Austrian player Hannes Speiser cut a deal with “jfc81n” to earn VND387,268,764, but it was the latter who won the event and trophy for VND356,151,413 thereafter.
There was no Natural8 finalist in Event #4 Lunar New Year Bounty Festival of the Asia Poker League, which saw 2,490 entries pony up the ¥525 entry fee. “66666Shen” made it all the way for more than ¥192,000 in bounties and cash prizes. Japan’s Nobuaki “Sasa JHR” Sasaki was the sole finalist in Event #5 VND3,300,000 Ho Chi Minh City Championship. He bowed out in ninth place for VND62,525,278 while Filipino player David Erquiaga topped 1,591 entries for the Jade Trophy and VND625,255,186.
While another four trophy events did not have any Natural8 players on the final tables, three other events saw three players in the thick of it.
“Thicc Boi” was beaten by “Duke Silver” in Event #9 KRW210,000 Seoul Starleague Bounty and earned KRW 4,776,562 in bounties and KRW16,584,157 in cash. They were joined by “BrighTomorro” (third for more than KRW14,300,000) and “PenangCKT” (9th for more than KRW8,100,000).
In Event #10 ¥3,300 Macau Grand Prix, fourth to sixth place belonged to Natural8 players “Taddy Mason” (¥192,498,83), “tiltjam”, (¥144,353,76) and “DeucesFTW” (¥108,250.21). Three well-known poker pros finished on the podium–Jonas Lauck, Gytis Lazauninkas, and Daniyar Aubakirov, the latter of which took it down for ¥456,486.75.
Last but not least, Event #12 Tokyo Poker Open produced a field of 3,918 entries and the JPY10,000,000 guarantee was almost doubled. “M-Vulcan” in seventh (JPY359,848), “MAGAAAAAAAAAAAA” in fifth (JPY639,910), and “ppong88” (JPY1,137,940) came up short as “nol1k” (JPY1,819,737) took the championship after a heads-up deal with “bushi” (JPY1,721,304).
Another two Natural8 players reached the heads-up stages. Yu Chung “WNCouple” Chang had to settle for the runner-up spot in Event #14 ¥630 Kunshan King of the Hill Bounty and earned ¥16,663.20 in bounties along with ¥71,680.48 in cash. That was only topped by “Njkaj”, who scored for more than ¥203,000.
One day later, on February 10, “WinterSea18” then became the second Natural8 winner of the series in Event #15 ¥550 Sanya Bay Shooting Star. Thanks to a field of 2,351 entries, a prize pool of ¥1,189,606 was generated and the top prize of ¥144,691,32 belonged to the sole Natural8 player on the final table!
The remaining five events of the festival saw just one Natural8 player during the latest stage in “monster_69”, who cashed for ¥22,423.75 combined in Event #16: Xi’an Silk Road Bounty. Notable Jade Trophy winners thereafter included 2020 WSOP Online Main Event finalist Nikita “VSMPZD” Kuznetsov, Dutch player “Borpa”, and Ioannis Angelou-Konstas.
Wrap Up of Event #20 ¥1,888 Main Event
As far as the ¥1,888 Main Event is concerned, it easily breezed beyond the ¥10,000,000 guarantee. There were a total of 8,060 entries across all starting days and 1,116 players reached Day 2. The final day lasted just under eight hours and notable finalists included Nick Maimone (¥505,520.18) and “Beriuzy” (¥1,198,777.78). “nettley” was crowned as the final champion for a payday of ¥1,598,598.03 (∼$252,731).
While the Asia Poker League Online Series has concluded, the next online festival is just around the corner. From February 20 to 27, 2022, Natural8 will be hosting the second edition of the Short Deck Series.