China's Jian Yang was so far ahead in the 2013 Asia Player of the Year standings last week that he had the honor locked up with several events still to be played out at the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP). Today, Yang was officially announced as the POY, making him the first player from mainland China to receive the award since PokerStars began recognizing the best player on the Asian poker circuit in 2009.
The 50-year-old businessman only had three cashes in 2013, but he certainly made the most of them. Yang began the year with a fourth-place finish in the Macau Poker Cup for HK$133,500 ($17,222) and didn't cash again until September when he won the ACOP Platinum Series Main Event for HK$206,600 ($26,641). His third and final score was by far his biggest; Yang won the ACOP Warm-Up event for HK$1,700,000 ($219,230), which virtually locked up the Asia POY.
Yang will receive a one-year sponsorship to all the major PokerStars LIVE Macau tournaments and have his name engraved on the APOY trophy that resides at the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room, located at the City of Dreams.
"Winning the Asia Player of the Year means a lot to me... I really feel so honored to wear the PokerStars patch in tournaments next year," said Yang. "My win will encourage a lot players in China. I hope to pass on my story and be their role model."
|3||Terry Fan||Chinese Taipei||3,607|
|6||Neo Chen||Chinese Taipei||3,375|
|7||Alvan Yifan Zheng||China||3,332|
|9||Sparrow Cheung||Hong Kong||3,265|
Past winners of the Asia Player of the Year include Yosuke Sekiya (2012), Hung-Sheng "Shaq" Lin (2011), Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang (2010), and "Kitty" Hui-chen Kuo (2009).