Monumental achievement: Chao Li wins 2022 APL Million Main Event

Chao Li has broken through for his first major Australian poker title, winning the richest APL Million Main Event in history.

The 39-year-old was still shaking in disbelief in the wake of his monumental achievement, made all the more incredible given that he was down to as little as five big blinds during Day 3 before spinning it up to reach the final table as the short stack.

Li revealed during his post-match interview with PokerMedia Australia that he has actually been involved in the game for a long time, even after emigrating from China more than 20 years ago.

“I used to deal poker at the Treasury in Brisbane – that’s how I learned the game,” Li said. “I can’t believe that poker is as big as it is now! The venue, the staff, the games … all so good, it’s amazing.”

“I still can’t believe I won this, it’s a dream come true!”

2022 APL MILLION MAIN EVENT ($1,500 buy-in, 1,658 entries, 175 players paid)

1stChao Li$205,185*
2ndKenny Wang$264,594*
3rdRuiyang Wang$325,655*
4thAdrian Pacheco$110,160
5thJason Lee$75,870
6thTony Tavella$56,050
7thNathan Monk$47,450
8thRyan Hong$40,950
9thRia Renfrey$34,490
*Denotes three-handed ICM deal; full results available at

The APL Million Main Event – which doubled its advertised prize pool guarantee of $1 million – was the icing on the cake in this year’s series at Southport Sharks, which brought in a grand total of $5,457,105 from 11,976 total entries, and setting the all-time record for any major poker event hosted outside of a casino.

Full House Group CEO Brayden Haynes was full of praise to everyone involved, speaking on behalf of the APL leadership team, led by Major Events Director Joel Williams and National Events Manager Benjamin Young.

“I would like to thank the Australian poker community for supporting this record-breaking series,” Haynes said. “To all the people that were a part of putting on this event … each and every one of you truly met and exceeded our standards to deliver a phenomenal edition of The APL Million.”

In just some of the other results from the last two days, Phil Furner went wire-to-wire at the final table of the Monster Stack to win his first major Aussie title, while APL Million Centurion Champion Ben Turner teamed up with inaugural APLPT Main Event winner Liam Murray to win the High Stakes Teams Event.

Popular Queensland grinder Attila Bognar then outlasted Tam Truong in an epic three-hour-long heads-up battle to win the $5K Shot Clock Challenge before WA’s Dean Cox claimed the final trophy of the series in the NLH Deepstack just before the clock struck 6am local time on Tuesday morning.

For more information on The APL Million, including updates, images and results from the entire series, log onto or follow the APL on Facebook.

PokerMedia Australia: Official Media Partners of the APLPT & The APL Million

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