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Jin Hoon Lee Wins World Series of Poker Paradise Mystery Millions

Korean Player Outlasts 3,446 Entries To Earn His First Bracelet and $420,000


The 2023 World Series of Poker Paradise $1,500 no-limit hold’em Mystery Millions event attracted a massive field of 3,446 entries, surpassing the $5 million guarantee by $169,000.

After five starting flights and two more full days of combined-field action, it was Korea’s Jin Hoon Lee who ultimately walked away with the bracelet and the lion’s share of the prize money. Lee earned $420,000 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

While Lee secured the largest share the main prize pool, there was one larger payout awarded in this event. Jeremy Lavi Dan opened the mystery bounty that contained the $500,000 top payout, and his exuberant reaction was captured on video by the WSOP.

The final day began with 34 contenders remaining. Maria Ho was in the lead, with Lee in eighth chip position to start. Several big names fell on the way down to the final table, including 17-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (30th), bracelet winner Mikita Badziakouski (18th), bracelet winner Sam Greenwood (17th), two-time bracelet winner David Peters (14th), and recent World Poker Tour Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open main event runner-up Rayan Chamas (12th).

Ho remained atop the leaderboard when the last nine competitors converged on the final table, with her 45,700,000 good for roughly 27 percent of the total chips in play. She soon added to that when her K-5 outran the K-10 of Hyunsup Kim (9th – $51,000). Ho flopped trips and held from there to narrow the field to eight. She pulled even further ahead when her pocket eights won an all-in confrontation against the A-K suited of three-time bracelet winner Davidi Kitai (8th – $64,000).

Lee had entered the final table in the middle of the pack. He began to climb the leaderboard thanks to winning his own preflop race with a pocket pair against A-Q.

Bracelet winner Kartik Ved’s run in this event came to an end when his K-Q lost against the A-9 of Ho. The runout saw Ho pair her nine on the flop, only to have Ved take the lead on the turn with a pair of kings. Ho rivered trip nines to score the knockout, sending Ved packing in seventh place ($80,000).

Lee’s ascent continued thanks to another double, this time with pocket aces against the K-Q of Drew Scott. He then turned a straight against Ho, who rivered a pair of aces and called a healthy value bet on the end.

The next knockout saw Ho’s pocket tens hold against the A-K of Thomas Santerne (6th – $101,000). Ho’s A-Q suited was unable to hold against the Q-4 suited of Scott in the next all-in, but she soon got another crack at his bounty with K-J suited against A-Q. A king on the river gave Ho yet another knockout at the final table and sent Scott home with $127,000 as the fifth-place finisher.

Max Pinnola doubled up through Ho twice during four-handed action to significantly dent her stack. While she was sliding, Lee picked up A-K and held against the A-6 of Konstantin Maslak (4th – $160,000) to continue his ascent up the leaderboard.

Lee and Ho soon squared off in a preflop showdown, with Lee’s A-9 racing against the pocket fours of Ho. Lee hit an ace on the turn and held through the river to take the lead, leaving Ho short in the process.

Ho soon got all-in with K-2 trailing another A-9 for Lee. He made aces and fours by fifth street to drag the pot. Ho earned $200,000 as the third-place finisher, increasing her lifetime earnings to nearly $4.5 million.

Heads-up play began with Lee holding 106,000,000 to Pinnola’s 66,500,000. An early double-up saw the two swap places, but Lee was soon able to double with pocket aces to nearly even the playing field.

A preflop cooler then saw Lee take more than a 3:1 lead. His KDiamond SuitKClub Suit held against the 9Diamond Suit9Club Suit of Pinnola as the battle for the bracelet continued.

In the final hand, Pinnola shoved with less than five big blinds holding KSpade Suit4Diamond Suit on the button. Lee called with KDiamond Suit9Spade Suit and the board ran out KClub Suit8Club Suit3Spade Suit6Heart SuitQHeart Suit to lock up the pot and the title for Lee. Pinnola earned a career-best payday of $257,1000 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Jin Hoon Lee $420,000 1200
2 Max Pinnola $257,100 1000
3 Maria Ho $200,000 800
4 Konstantin Maslak $160,000 600
5 Drew Scott $127,000 500
6 Thomas Santerne $101,000 400
7 Kartik Ved $80,000 300
8 Davidi Kitai $64,000 200
9 Hyunsup Kim $51,000 100

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Tomas Stacha.