Friday December 8, 2023 at 9:25 pm

The 2023 World Series of Poker Paradise kicked off in the Bahamas this week in Atlantis, and two events are already in the books. South Korea's Jin Hoon Lee faded 3,446 runners to win WSOP Paradise Event #1 $1,500 Mystery Millions, and he outlasted a final table that included Maria Ho. Brazil's Allan Mello banked a cool million as the last player standing in WSOP Paradise Event #2 $1,500 Millionaire Maker, which attracted 3,496 runners.

WSOP Paradise Event #1 Winner - Jin Hoon Lee (Pic by @WSOP)

Can you put a true price on Paradise? There's nothing quite like gambling in paradise especially during the middle of the winter. The Bahamas has been a popular holiday destination among poker players ever since PokerStars launched the PCA almost two decades ago. Even though the PCA switched venues, the folks at Atlantis had plenty of experience hosting a long poker festival. The suits at the WSOP teamed up with Atlantis to present the first-ever WSOP Paradise which included 15 bracelet events in the Bahamas.

WSOP Paradise Event #1 $1,500 Mystery Millions is one of those hip branded events that attracted 3,446 entrants The top 329 places paid out of the prize pool with topped $5.1 million.

Among the noteworthy players who cashed in the first WSOP Paradise event included... David Peters, Sam Greenwood, Mikita Badziakouski, Phil Hellmuth, Sergi Reixach, Daniel Smiljkovic, Eric Afriat, Daniel Dvoress, Koray Aldemir, Christopher Moorman, Dan Cates, Adrian Mateos, Mustapha Kanit, Bryn Kenney, William Foxen, Erwann Pecheux, Joao Simao, Matas Cimbolas, Dinesh Alt, Alexandru Papazian, Fedor Holz, Kenny Hallaert, Roland Israelashvili, and Frank Funaro.

Greece's Konstantinos Nanos bubbled Event #1 final table in tenth place. The final table in the Mystery Millions included a pair of South Koreans -- Jin Hoon Lee and Hyunsup Kim. Belgian pro Davidi Kitai and American pro Maria Ho probably had the biggest pedigree at the final table. Max Pinnola was the other American and Drew Scott was the lone Canadain at the final table. The final nine also include India's Kartik Ved, Thomas Santerne from France, and Konstantin Maslak from Russia.

Kitai was the first player to bid adieu at the final table when he hit the rail in ninth place. Maria Ho's run came to a halt in third place, which paid out $200,000. The bracelet came down to a battle between South Korea and America. Max Pinnola and Jin Hoon Lee squared off in a heads-up battle, but Pinnola was sent packing in second place. He banked $257,100 for a runner-up finish. Jon Hoon Lee smoked the final table to win his first bracelet and $420,000.

WSOP Paradise Event #2 $1,500 Millionaire Maker was another branded affair that attracted 3,496 runners. Only the top 100 places paid out of the $5.23 million prize pool.

Among the notable players who went deep and cashed included... Will Molson, Ivan Deyra, Jeffrey Hakim, Alexandros Kolonias, Artur Martirosian, and Barry Hutter. Hongru Zhang from China bubbled the final table in tenth place.

The final table of the Milly Maker included a pair of Americans -- Clemen Deng and Roland Israelashvili. Two French players went deep including Maxime Parys and Arnaud Enselme. Also in the mix were Kasparas Klezys from Lithuania, Allan Mello from Brazil, Ukraine's Nazar Buhaiov, Morten Norland from Norway, and Poland's Maksim Vaskresenski.

Roland Israelashvili did not last long at the final table and the American pro wasthe first player to bounce in ninth place. Norway's Morten Norland peaced out in third place, which set up a heads-up battle between Ukraine's Buhaiov and Brazil's Mello. When the dust settled, Mello was the last player standing.

Buhaiov banked $593,500 for second place. Not too shabby, eh? Brazil added another bracelet winner to their growing list of WSOP bling winners when Mello claimed his first bracelet and banked a cool million bucks.

2023 WSOP Paradise Event #1 Mystery Millions

Buy-in: $1,500

Entrants: 3,446

Prize Pool: $5,169,000

Payouts: 329

Final Table Results:

1. Jin Hoon Lee(South Korea) $420,000

2. Max Pinnola (USA) $257,100

3. Maria Ho (USA) $200,000

4. Konstantin Maslak (Russia) $160,000

5. Drew Scott (Canada) $127,000

6. Thomas Santerne (France) $101,000

7. Kartik Ved (India) $80,000

8. Davidi Kitai(Belgium) $64,000

9. Hyunsup Kim (South Korea) $51,000

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