Jinwoo Kim is the newest APT Main Event champion!

Last year, Jinwoo Kim missed the APT championship title in Incheon by one spot and it has haunted him ever since. With the Asian Poker Tour back on Korean soil for the inaugural APT Korea Seoul 2018, Kim returned with his sights set on the title once again.

After five days of Main Event action running from June 19 to 23 at Paradise Casino at Grand Walkerhill, Kim achieved what he came out to do. He captured the title, the trophy, the APT Championship Ring, and a cool KRW 26,225,000 in cash.

We caught up with the champ before he dashed off to celebrate. He expressed,

“Money didn’t matter to me at all. The title was everything. I’ve always wanted the title since Incheon a year ago when I lost at heads up. I made huge mistakes and I’ve regretted it ever since. I’ve been dreaming of that scene, lost sleep over it. So yesterday I didn’t think about winning the championship, I just planned to do my best and it happened. It’s like a dream.”

Reviewing his Main Event run, Kim entered Day 2 running 84th out of the 85 players that advanced from the starting flights. He had 15bbs which dropped to an even lower 5bbs with the money still way’s away. After numerous double ups, he was back in the game and impressively bagged up the largest stack. Kim continued his domination into Day 3 and secured a Final 8 seat ranked third in chips.

To achieve his goal, Kim said, “I studied a lot yesterday. I studied on the final table. I watched lots of videos, heads ups. I spent around 5 to 6 hours and it helped a lot. It felt like my tournament strategy had plenty of leaks, bad points, but studying helped and I feel I improved. Especially when it was short-handed.”

After Kim eliminated Hyun Kyu Bae in 4th place, both he and Paul Hong entered the three-handed round with huge stacks while Roman Shcherbakov was the ailing short stack. Talking strategy, Kim said,

“At three-handed, I knew I had a slight lead against Paul and I knew he didn’t want to leave the tournament in 3rd place with a big stack. I figured he wasn’t going to want to fight me. So when he’d open, I’d re-raise him with any two cards. He is a heads up specialist so I knew he had a lot of edge that I couldn’t easily beat. I tried to make the game high variance so that he won’t win with post flop skills and fancy moves.I actually had a feeling I was going to go heads up with him.”

When asked what this title meant to him, Kim was at a loss for words, “I can’t describe it so I may have to go to my bed first and think about it (laughs). It will definitely boost my confidence overall in the live field because I’m more of an online player. I don’t have that much experience live.”

Congratulations to Jinwoo Kim for his victory!

Final 8 payouts
1st Jinwoo Kim – USA – KRW 26,225,000 (deal made)
2nd Paul Hong – New Zealand – KRW 34,337,000 (deal made)
3rd Roman Shcherbakov – Russia – KRW 16,744,000
4th Hyun Kyu Bae – Canada – KRW 11,999,000
5th Masaki Fujitani – Japan – KRW 8,915,000
6th Jason Sun – China – KRW 6,808,000
7th Okabe Shoei – Japan – KRW 5,485,000
8th Teruhisa Aoyama – Japan – KRW 4,542,000

Final 8 recap

USA’s JInwoo Kim came out swinging at the Final 8. On just the second hand, he scored a big pot against Canada’s Hyun Kyu Bae. A few hands after, Hyun recovered the lost chips, crippling down Japan’s Teruhisa Aoyama down to 1k. Aoyama was eliminated on the next hand in 8th place.

Teruhisa Aoyama vs Hyun Kyu Bae

Falling next was another short stacked player, Japan’s Okabe Shoei in 7th place, with fellow countryman Masaki Fujitani delivering the axe. It took a while before the next player was railed, and it was China’s Jason Sun biting the bullet in 6th place. He took a stand with Q-J that fell flat to Roman Shcherbakov’s A-3.

The lone Japanese left in the running was out next, Fujitani was downed in 5th place by Paul Hong with 5-5 unbeaten by A-J. This brought the final table players to half with Hong in the lead. It took another 26 hands for the next player to go and it was Hyun eliminated by Kim. At this point, Kim held over half of the chips in play followed by Hong, then Shcherbakov with a very short stack.  

The three-handed match was all Kim versus Hong. Both players attacked each other’s stack at nearly every hand while Shcherbakov sat back watching. Shcherbakov managed to hang on for some time until Kim sent him packing in 3rd place with A-8 finding a pair to defeat A-10.

Heads up: JInwoo Kim vs Paul Hong

Heads up began with Kim holding a 2:1 chip advantage against Hong. In just six quick hands, the lead switched with Hong’s 8 8 victorious over Kim’s A 6. It took a while before Kim would answer back with a double up of his own. On heads up hand #52, Kim was way down in chips but bounced back up with a double holding A Q two pair over Hong’s J 10. An ICM deal was then discussed and reached. They left KRW 2M aside to fight for the title which Kim won with A 9 top pair over Hong’s missed flush draw.

You can read up on the Main Event action via our Live Updates.

With that victory, Kim moves up the ranks in the  APT Player of the Series race. Click for the update. 

Main Event links:

Meet the Final 8
Day 2 recap
Day 1B recap
Day 1A recap

APT Korea Seoul 2018 Main Event drew in 170 entries for a prize pool of KRW 164,900,000. A total of 29 players earned a cut. You can view the official payouts via this link.

We’d also like to congratulate Paul Hong for winning the CoinPoker “Last Man Standing” promo. He won himself a seat to the next APT Main Event.

Paul Hong – CoinPoker promo winner