Sung Joo Hyun Talks About His Breakout 12 months On The Poker Event Circuit


Sung Joo Hyun has solely 16 recorded match cashes to his title. Nonetheless, what Hyun’s résumé could lack in amount, is greater than made up for in high quality.

The 30-year-old South Korean has put collectively a formidable checklist of accomplishments, together with profitable a World Sequence of Poker gold bracelet and accumulating greater than seven figures in match earnings with a number of giant titles received alongside the way in which.

Hyun was born and raised in Seoul, and after graduating from the Hankuk College of International Research, he accomplished the obligatory army service required of younger South Korean males, serving for 2 years.

In recent times, he has grown extra critical about poker, making his method to main tournaments around the globe. His first recorded money got here on the 2015 WSOP. Simply three years later, he made the ultimate desk of the $1,111 buy-in Little One For One Drop occasion on the summer time collection, ending fourth for his first six-figure reside rating of $189,098.

Throughout final 12 months’s reside poker shutdown, Hyun overcame a area of two,307 entries in a 2020 WSOP On-line $500 buy-in no-limit maintain’em occasion to earn his dream of profitable a bracelet. He took house $161,898 because the champion, and have become simply the third South Korean participant ever to seize a bracelet, becoming a member of Sejin Park who received the 2019 Colossus occasion, and Jiyoung Kim who took down the Women occasion title that very same 12 months.

After reside match poker made its return, Hyun made a prolonged journey to Las Vegas to play in a number of main occasions. He walked away with two titles and greater than half one million {dollars} in earnings.

Hyun after taking down the Wynn Spring Classic main eventHyun’s first title run of 2021 got here within the February World Poker Tour DeepStacks $1,600 buy-in no-limit maintain’em important occasion held at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. The occasion attracted 812 entries, and after 4 days of motion Hyun was the final participant standing. He was awarded $208,335 because the champion, which was the most important rating of his profession on the time.

That non-public document solely stood for round six weeks, although. In the course of March, Hyun overcame a area of 614 entries to emerge victorious within the Wynn Spring Basic $3,500 buy-in important occasion. Hyun struck a heads-up deal to safe the title and the highest payday of $323,409. The career-best rating elevated his lifetime earnings to $1,033,602.

Hyun was awarded a complete of two,172 Card Participant Participant of the 12 months factors for these two title runs, sufficient to see him climb into second place on the 2021 POY race leaderboard. We just lately caught up with Hyun to debate how he discovered the sport, the poker scene in South Korea, and his scorching begin to the 2021 POY race.

Card Participant: Are you able to discuss the way you discovered poker?

Sung Joo Hyun: My first encounter with poker was throughout a highschool pageant. The English majors had been doing one thing to characterize Las Vegas, and that’s the place I first noticed the sport being performed and tried it out myself. It was carried out with pretend cash, however I actually fell into it.

CP: What in regards to the recreation did you discover attention-grabbing?

SJH: I felt prefer it was a small model of the world that forces us to make selections in each hand and select our future ourselves.

CP: Do you suppose you may have any explicit expertise or persona traits that helped you excel at poker?

SJH: I are usually focused on how folks suppose psychologically about sure stuff. It makes me drained generally, however that behavior did assist me in my recreation prior to now. These days, although, I’m focusing extra on the theoretical strategy.

CP: Do you may have a background enjoying different technique video games or sports activities?

SJH: Sure. I cherished enjoying soccer and Starcraft. I used to be fairly aggressive, and I couldn’t concentrate on something after shedding.

CP: How did you transition from enjoying for enjoyable to taking it extra critically? Was the choice to play bigger occasions supported by your loved ones, or was it troublesome for them to know?

SJH: Watching movies from tournaments just like the World Sequence of Poker and World Poker Tour all the time make me wish to fly to Vegas. I stored it a secret till my first journey to the U.S. to be able to play. I cashed my first occasion, and was capable of clarify each element about how enjoyable and particular poker is to me. Fortunately, my mother and father had been supportive.

CP: What’s the notion of poker and poker gamers in Korea?

Hyun playing in the 2021 CPPT Venetian main eventSJH: The humorous factor is that we’ve got poker rooms within the main casinos round our nation, however solely foreigners are allowed to play. Alternatively, plenty of reside tournaments are held at a locations referred to as maintain’em pubs. Total, the poker scene is rising, however I actually want that our authorities would open poker rooms to Koreans in addition to the overseas gamers.

As we all know, poker is a recreation of talent. Simply because folks can lose cash at poker doesn’t justify the sport being banned for Koreans. There are a lot of methods which might be authorized for folks to burn their cash away if they’re irresponsible.

CP: What’s the poker group like in Korea?

SJH: It’s rising for positive, with some on-line match apps and reside tournaments in addition to some YouTube content material, like my ‘ArtePokerTV’ channel. There are communities having fun with poker and rooting for gamers who run deep in large tournaments. However, studywise, I’d say the group is pretty weak.

CP: How would you hope the poker scene in Korea modifications shifting ahead?

SJH: Permitting home folks to play tournaments within the casinos can be my hope, primarily, however I might additionally prefer it if our folks knew extra in regards to the recreation basically.

CP: How did you progress up the ranks?

SJH: I performed principally reside video games, from $500 as much as $10,000 tournaments, shifting up and down many occasions. I started to take on-line extra critically in 2020, enjoying mid- to high-stakes with buy-ins from $100 to $1,000.

I performed principally within the WSOP occasions, as my first purpose was to get a WSOP title. However I feel nothing simply occurs like that. I received that bracelet after I began crushing mid-stakes tournaments. Now I wish to put together myself and be able to play increased stakes. I’m positive that I want extra enchancment.

CP: Have there been any setbacks in your street to enchancment?

SJH: Sure. I used to be doing okay in each reside money video games and tournaments up till 2018. As soon as I began taking poker coaching programs, which was 2019, I struggled in each. I assume I wanted extra time to regulate myself to what I had realized.

CP: Are you able to inform me in regards to the expertise of profitable a WSOP On-line bracelet in 2020? Was it thrilling to win a bracelet, even when it was not on the Rio with followers and a rail and all that?

SJH: It was my second time at a WSOP closing desk, and I knew that this chance doesn’t come typically. I stored on saying to myself that I needed to win it. I had my folks watching the sport and cheering for me via messenger apps. I might suppose profitable reside can be extra thrilling, however I don’t wish to ask for an excessive amount of. I used to be comfortable sufficient.

CP: I heard that you just stream your match play and have began an internet vlog.

SJH: I began in 2020, which was my turning level in on-line tournaments. I began as a result of it was very arduous to seek out profitable gamers from my city who needed to assist one another and have enjoyable collectively. Doing vlogs wasn’t my plan initially, however taking down two trophies undoubtedly made me change my thoughts. Total, I wish to assist make this recreation turn into extra well-liked in Korea.

Hyun's WPTDeepStacks Venetian main event winner photo. Credit: WPT/Joe Giron

CP: What do you attribute your success on the reside match scene to to this point in 2021?

SJH: Initially, loving this recreation results in every part. When I’m not enjoying, I watch poker programs and content material from coaches like bencb (on-line match star Benjamin Rolle) and Pokercode (Fedor Holz’s coaching website). I consider that each second I spend on learning poker helps me ultimately. I’m a greater participant than earlier than, sure, however there may be nonetheless an extended method to go. Enjoying on-line modified my recreation loads, and watching good poker content material was what actually resulted in my breakthrough.

CP: Your two large wins within the early months of this 12 months each came about in Las Vegas. What led you to journey to the U.S. for these reside occasions?

SJH: I used to be merely uninterested in grinding on-line, and needed to simply fly someplace secure. And I heard that they’ve some tournaments operating, so why not Vegas?

CP: What do these victories imply for you shifting ahead? Will you proceed to play extra reside occasions?

SJH: I feel these outcomes are type of like nutritional vitamins for my complete poker journey; I’m simply getting began. I’ll proceed to play wherever I can accomplish that safely.

CP: Do you may have any targets for the subsequent few years?

SJH: I wish to make this glorious recreation extra well-liked for everybody, whereas on the identical time attempting to get my recreation to the best degree attainable.Spade Suit




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