Jin Hoon Lee Ships the 2023 WSOP Paradise Mystery Millions for $420,000!
The opening event of the first ever World Series of Poker Paradise has crowned a champion here at Atlantis Resort in beautiful Bahamas and while sharks swim in the ocean just a few hundred yards away, a different type of shark has stacked up every chip in the room to stand alone in Event #1: $1,500 Mystery Millions.
In a tournament that had a field size totaling 3,446 entries spread across five starting flights, Jin Hoon Lee has become the last man standing, securing his first WSOP bracelet and the $420,000 lion's share of the $5,169,000 prize pool that the event created.
Lee came back for the final day with the eighth-biggest stack of the 34 returning players and was able to navigate his way to the final table after a day filled with ups and downs. When the final table began, Lee sat behind a middling stack that was only good for 14 blinds, but he played a very focused and disciplined game, picking his spots well and never giving anything away. Now, with all the dust settled, he stands alone.
Lee had no easy task in front of him at the start of the day with huge names like Mikita Badziakouski, Sam Greenwood and David Peters returning to chase the bracelet as well. Phil Hellmuth was also among the returning Day 3 field and was gunning for his record-extending 18th bracelet, but all of them would fall short of their ultimate goal of adding hardware to their trophy cases.
Action of the Day
The final table of nine was reached when a huge three-way confrontation led to a double elimination that would send Rafael Robles and bracelet winner Konstantinos Nanos to the rail on the final table bubble. From there, Hyunsup Kim would be the first to fall at the final table of nine when he got his short stack all in and in a dominating position but would be out-flopped and sent to an earlier than desired exit from the final table.
Next to fall was accomplished pro Davidi Kitai who lost a flip to find the exit in eighth place before Kartik Ved fell in a roller coaster of a hand that saw the lead change on every street of the runout. A little over an hour of play would pass before Thomas Santerne would be the next to exit after being on the wrong end of a flip situation.
Next up on the chopping block was Drew Scott after he fell to a sick runout that saw him hold the lead until the final card fell. Bowing out in fourth place was Konstantin Maslak who got all in with a dominated ace and found no improvement after five cards. At this point, Maria Ho had busted all but one player and the final table and still held a big chip lead to enter three-handed play, but after losing a massive flip, she found herself short for the first time since the start of Day 2 and would be the next player to exit in third place when she got her short stack in and couldn't improve to extend her run at her first bracelet.
When heads-up play began, Jin Hoon Lee had roughly a 3:1 chip lead, but Max Pinnola would battle back over a series of hands that saw him completely flip the chip counts to a 3:1 lead in his favor. The battle wasn't over yet, though, as Lee never gave an inch and stormed his way back after doubling with kings and aces in short order. On the final hand, Lee found himself headed to a runout with a dominating hand that would hold up through five cards, securing Lee his first WSOP bracelet in what was an action-packed final table.
Final Table Payouts
|Jin Hoon Lee
Lee was absolutely over the moon to take down the bracelet. So much so, in fact, that his celebratory screams could be felt from the other end of the room, and the fact that he had his friends around him to witness the moment made it all the more special. When asked what the victory meant to him, he expressed the elation he was feeling for bringing home a WSOP bracelet to his home country of South Korea.
He made it clear that he hoped his win would further pave the way for other Korean players to throw their hats in the ring and use his win as the inspiration to come to the WSOP, take a seat at the table, and bring home more bracelets for his country and with the international love that exists for the WSOP and the game of poker in general, there may be no better feeling in the world than to grow the game you love for the country you love.
That concludes coverage of this event, but keep it locked to PokerNews for continued coverage of the first-ever World Series of Poker Paradise from Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas!