Romain Arnaud Defeats Rui Cao to Win Jeju Red Dragon SHR for $668K

Romain Arnaud and Rui Cao

The PokerStars LIVE Asia Jeju Red Dragon kicked off over the weekend and wrapped the first of three high roller events. The ₩60M ($54,000) buy-in Super High Roller drew 44 runners (30 unique entrants and 14 re-entries), which created a ₩2,508,000,000 (~US$2.23M) prize pool. That set the record for largest ever PokerStars prize pool in Korea.

In the end, 33-year-old Frenchman Romain Arnaud defeated countryman Rui Cao in heads-up play to win a ₩748,000,000 ($668,000) top prize.

Prior to the win, Arnaud had a single tournament cash, which was $207,429 for finishing ninth in the 2016 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Paranaque City, Philippines. That’s because Arnaud has been a high-stakes cash game player for over a decade often playing HK$300/$600 ($38/$76) in Macau.

Romain Arnaud's Road to Victory

On his way to victory, Arnaud had to contend with the red-hot Michael Soyza, who won April’s APPT Korea Main Event. Soyza lost a big flip with ace-ten against Cao’s pocket nines and then busted after shipping with pocket deuces and failing to hold against Arnaud’s ace-queen.

Arnaud and Cao then struck an ICM deal heads up that saw both lock up over $600K and play for the trophy and title. They actually didn’t play but agreed to a blind all-in shootout to determine the winner. Ultimately, Arnaud’s K8 held against Cao’s 102 on a QJ5AJ run out.

"Everyone played well at the final table, and it was nice to end up playing heads-up against my very good friend Rui Cao," Arnaud said after the win. "It's a good feeling, but I'm predominantly a cash game player and that's what I'll be sticking to."

PokerStars LIVE Jeju Red Dragon Super High Roller Results

PositionPlayerCountryPrize in ₩Prize in $
1Romain ArnaudFrance₩748,000,000$668,000*
2Rui CaoFrance₩694,100,000$619,418*
3Michael SoyzaMalaysia₩376,200,000$335,723
4Ivan Seng Yee LeowMalaysia₩288,420,000$257,387
5Wai Kin YongMalaysia₩225,720,000$201,434
6Shunu ZangChina₩175,560,000$156,671

*Denotes heads-up deal

Epic Comeback for Jian Guo Chen in Jeju Red Dragon Opener

Jian Guo Chen wins the Jeju Red Dragon opening event
Jian Guo Chen

Prior to the Super High Roller playing out, the Jeju Red Dragon opening event, the ₩450,000 ($400) Kickoff, crowned a winner. Jian Guo Chen bested a 107-entry field to win his first PokerStars LIVE title and a ₩11,100,000 ($9,906) first-place prize.

Chen’s victory came as the result of an epic comeback. With four players remaining, Chen was down to half an ante but spun it up. He entered heads-up play at a slight chip deficit to Malaysia’s Kok Weng Beh but soon seized the lead when the latter got it in holding the A6 and Chen the KQ.

Chen flopped two pair and Beh was left with a single big blind. He busted the very next hand.

PokerStars LIVE Jeju Red Dragon Kickoff Final Table Results

PositionPlayerCountryPrize in ₩Prize in $
1Jian Guo ChenChina₩11,100,000$9,906
2Kok Weng BehMalaysia₩7,500,000$6,693
3Dashsodnom EnkhjargalMongolia₩4,900,000$4,373
4Hideyo UeharaJapan₩3,850,000$3,436
5Dong WangChina₩3,210,000$2,864
6Masuda ShotaJapan₩2,780,000$2,481
7Weiju HouChina₩2,355,000$2,102
8Jie SunChina₩1,500,000$1,339
9Hao TangChina₩1,070,000$955

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  • Frenchman Romain Arnaud won the @PokerStarsMacau #JejuRedDragon Super High Roller for $668,000.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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