Reiji Kono Wins The World Poker Tour Prime Cambodia Main Event

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Reiji Kono – Photo Credit: WPT

Reiji Kono won the WPT Prime Cambodia main event on Mar. 20 at Nagaworld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh. He claimed the top prize worth $131,721 in prize money along with the WPT Prime trophy. He also received a prize package to play in the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December.

The resident of Tokyo, Japan now holds $148,842 in career earnings, and this was his second tournament victory to go along with a win in a no-limit hold’em survivor event at the 2022 DeepStacks Championship at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The $1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament had a prize pool worth $980,670 thanks to three starting flights that attracted a total of 1,011 entries. The top 128 players all cashed for at least $1,800 in prize money. Those final 128 players all returned for the second day of the tournament, and the field played down from there to the final table of nine over 11 hours of play.

Kono was in the lower half in chips when cards got into the air at the final table, but he scored a double up during eight-handed play to keep his stack at pace with the remaining field. Kono doubled again during five-handed play to keep pace once again. Kono scored his first knockout when he eliminated Charlie Chiu in fourth place, and he also took out Matthieu Lamagnere in third place.

Kono held 10 million at the start of the heads-up final, but Bien Mai had more than double his stack with 20.3 million. There were 189 hands of play at the final table, but it took just 20 more to crown a winner. Kono took control of the chip lead on the penultimate hand of play when he moved all in for 8 million on the river with 12 million in the pot and the board reading 9Spade Suit4Club Suit2Heart Suit8Diamond Suit3Spade Suit. Mai folded his cards, and the counts were almost exactly reversed from the start of heads-up action.

On the final hand, the money got in on the river of a board dealt ASpade SuitKHeart Suit8Spade Suit7Spade Suit7Diamond Suit. Mai was all in with QClub Suit7Club Suit for trip sevens, but Kono showed down 8Heart Suit7Heart Suit for a flush. Mai was eliminated in second place, taking home $117,842 for his deep run in the tournament to make for a great first major cash.

A few other notables that finished in the money in the event included Kunal Patni (14th), WPT Champions Club member Pete Chen (27th), Weiwei Chung (28th), Brad Owen from WPT Global (40th), Ian Modder (47th), Nevan Chung (49th), former WPT Vietnam champion Dhaval Mudgal (103rd), Aladin Reskallah (113th), and Jae Kyung Sim (128th).

Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:

Place Player USD Earnings POY Points
1 Reiji Kono $131,731 960
2 Bien Mai $117,842 800
3 Matthieu Lamagnere $112,247 640
4 Charlie Chiu $59,820 480
5 Jose Catela $45,120 400
6 Sho Katsura $34,400 320
7 Feng Chua $26,510 240
8 Lewis Cowell $20,660 160
9 Nicolas Ragot $16,280 80

The next WPT Prime event will take place take the tour to Amsterdam from Mar. 28-31 for a €1,100 buy-in main event hosted by the Holland Casino in the Netherlands. The full tournament series will run from Mar. 24 to Apr. 1, and you can find the schedule for that run of tournaments right here.





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