Joon Park Wins Historic $1 Million Guaranteed Lone Star Series Main Event

It’s said that everything is bigger in Texas. While we can’t vouch for that ourselves, Joon Park may be a believer after taking down the biggest event in Texas poker history. Park, who hails from Austin, won the $1 million guaranteed Main Event at the Lone Star Poker Series following a three-way chop, taking home more than $270 thousand.

joon park lone star poker series

Joon Park made history, winning the largest poker event ever played in Texas.  (Image: Twitter)

Champions Poker Club in Houston put on the series, which included the largest prize pool event in state history. Texas has some strict anti-gambling laws that have always prevented big events from taking place in the state.

The poker rooms in the Lone Star State don’t operate like traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Instead, they operate as social clubs and, to ensure they don’t run into legal issues, they don’t charge rake in cash games. Players — or members — pay a monthly membership fee and then a seat fee, typically at an hourly rate, to play.

Over the past couple of years, card rooms such as the Champions Poker Club have grown and the Texas poker scene has exploded. That growth led to the first major events in the state, including the Lone Star Poker Series, which brought out some heavy hitters, including Chris Moneymaker, Darren Elias, and Greg Raymer.

Another Houston-area card club — Prime Social — has plans for a similar event later this month as part of its summer poker series.

Six-figure paydays all around

The $1,300 buy-in main event doubled its $1 million guarantee, with 1,818 entrants generating a prize pool worth $2.9 million. Darren Elias (30th place for $10,500), Matt Berkey (78th place for $3,900), Viet Vo (104th place for $3,150, and Greg Raymer (109th place for $3,150), were among the 220 players who cashed in the historic event.

But none of those talented players could outlast Park. Four players cashed for more than $100,000 each. After Jared Hemingway busted in fourth place ($104,375), Park, Nick Shkolnik, and Gabriel Andrade agreed to a three-way chop.

Shkolnik received the largest share at the time — $257,170 — due to having the big stack at the time of the chop. Andrade, who was third in chips, earned $195,955, while Park was guaranteed at least $241,429. They all agreed to play it out for the title and set aside the remaining $30,000 to the winner.

Shkolnik went out in third place and then Park finished off Adrade in a quick heads-up match. After claiming the title, Park left the table with $271,429 and honor of winning the largest poker tournament in Texas history.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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