PokerStars Festival Korea: Setting it off in Seoul

Welcome to Seoul! It was right around this time last year we were here for the APPT but with the legacy of that series coming to a close we're rolling out the red carpet for the inaugural PokerStars Festival Korea!

The 11-day schedule is already in full swing but today's the day that both the ₩1,650,000 (~$1,500) Main Event and the ₩4,350,000 (~$4,000) High Roller are kicking off. It won't be long before the poker room here at the brand new luxurious Paradise City resort is brimming with poker hopefuls as we'll see cards in the air for the High Roller at 12pm local time and Main Event Day 1A commencing two hours later.

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Tournament staff are optimistic we'll see some big fields this week with the opening event drawing an impressive 442 players to the tables.

And who will be in contention? Well, while time will tell just how many familiar faces we spot in Seoul over the next few days, Team PokerStars members Celina Lin and Randy 'nanonoko' Lew have both confirmed that they'll be in the mix.

Lew is fresh off a $53,247 score for 159th place in the WSOP Main Event and will undoubtedly be looking for another big payday here at PokerStars Festival Korea.

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Randy Lew

While this is the perfect stop to explore a beautiful country and win some big prizes, PokerStars Festival Korea might also prove to play a big role in the 2017 Asia Player of the Year race. With the season already halfway through, a string of deep runs here in Seoul could see a player dethroning current APOY leader Alan Lau. A force to be reckoned with, Lau has continued his dominance since winning Asia Player of the Year in 2015, and having already taken down five titles in 2017 including the MPC26 Red Dragon for $420,802, he could be the first ever two-time APOY winner.

We'll be sure to monitor Lau's progress this week, and he's expected to play the High Roller which starts just a few hours from now. The PokerStars Blog will have updates and feature articles on that tournament and the subsequent Main Event but for blow-by-blow coverage and all your live reporting needs be sure to check in with our friends at PokerNews.

For now it's just a waiting game. Don't forget you can get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #PSFKorea and follow us @PokerStarsBlog. See you again shortly!

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in Live