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Double Duty: Yuki Ko Wins Two APPT Events on Same Day

Yuki Ko
  • Yuki Ko pulled off a feat that few outside of Mike Leah have: winning two live tourneys in one day.

Winning a poker tournament is a tough enough feat for most players to accomplish. It's the stuff dreams are made of, and many players strive for years to do it without pulling it off.

Winning two in one day, though? That's downright amazing, and Yuki Ko accomplished the feat at PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour Korea.

He won APPT National Korea on Wednesday, topping a field of 226 for ₩33,835,000 (about $31,600) and a $30,000 Platinum Pass. Then, he hopped right into the Single-Day High Roller, where he again navigated to victory, banking ₩66,400,000 (about $62,000).

It was reminiscent of the time Mike Leah famously bagged two WSOP Circuit rings in one day at The Bicycle in Los Angeles.

So all in all, Ko pocketed over $120,000 in prizes across his epic day. The fast-rising Japanese player even got some non-monetary winnings: a measure of revenge against an old rival.

The Rematch

APPT National Korea is one of the preliminary events leading up to the APPT Korea Main Event, carrying a buy-in of about $650 and featuring unlimited reentries.

One notable name to make the money was former November Niner Federico Butteroni but the Italian fell in 19th on the way to the final table.

According to the live updates, the final table began with Ko sitting second in chips and eyeing a familiar player sitting in third: Taehoon Han of New Zealand.

Back in July 2017, PokerStars Festival Korea went down in the very same Paradise City Hotel & Resort venue in Incheon. Ko navigated through a field of 285 to get heads up with none other than Han. Feeling the favorite, Ko asked for a favorable deal despite a chip deficit when Han wanted to talk chop. Han wasn't having it and proceeded to victory over his more experienced foe, taking down about $73,000 while Ko had to settle for about $49,000.

Taehoon Han
Taehoon Han at the final table of PokerStars Festival Korea.

That loss weighed on Ko's mind when the APPT final table got cooking.

"I'll never forget about the heads-up match we played last time," he said. "From the moment we both made the final table, I was so excited thinking that we might get into the same situation again. I thought I should try harder and be more aggressive than the last time we played."

Han got a little short but won a three-way all in with {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades} against {k-Clubs}{6-Clubs} and {q-Spades}{j-Spades} with eight players left. Ko then won a key all-in pot when he called a three-bet with queens and flopped an overpair against Jaebok Ryu, who flopped top pair with {j-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} and couldn't overcome the ladies.

That set both Han and Ko up as the chip leaders, and fate would see them to another heads-up match after Ko eliminated Simon Burns with kings over fives. Han held the chip lead once again, but it would be all Ko this time around. Han just didn't have a shot as Ko made several big hands, including two full houses and a higher two pair against Han's lower two.

Han tried to fight back by four-bet shoving ace-six but ran smack into Ko's ace-king and was flopped all but dead by top two to boot. Ko posed with the trophy after getting sweet revenge.

Official Final Table Results

PlacePlayerHome CountryPrize (KRW)Prize (USD)
1Yuki KoJapan₩33,835,000$31,600
2Taehoon HanNew Zealand₩22,100,000$20,638
3Simon BurnsUK₩14,225,000$13,284
4Pete ChenTaiwan₩11,053,600$10,322
5Sheng LiChina₩8,980,000$8,386
6Jaebok RyuKorea₩7,250,000$6,770
7Kunimara KojoJapan₩5,870,000$5,482
8Masakazu OkamotoJapan₩4,490,000$4,193
9Genki NakanoJapan₩3,455,000$3,226

But, he wasn't done.

Doubling Up

Following the win, Ko evidently decided not to celebrate. PokerStars was holding a Single-Day ₩4,000,000 High Roller — about $3,700 — that had started about five hours before. Registration was still open for a couple of hours, and Ko hopped on in and got to work.

Unfortunately, there are scant details about what followed. PokerStars Blog does not appear to have covered the event, and The Hendon Mob has yet to update its database with results at the time of writing. What is known is that Ko once again found himself the last player standing, and he soon clutched two PokerStars trophies for a winner's photo.

He had pulled off the nearly unheard of double, winning two tournaments in a single day.

Ko will undoubtedly look to make it trips in the Main Event and add on to a budding career that's seen him bank nearly $450,000 in tournaments. Perhaps most important, he's now drawing live to dwarf that number if he can manage a deep run in the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold'em Championship, which will pay out untold millions to the lucky players who manage to run deep in the special event.

Ko has been venturing out a bit more to play some events around the globe — he cashed in PokerStars Championship Prague last year — but this will be a different animal altogether.

"Usually I only play events in Asia, so there are not so many chances to play with all of the big name players from all over the world," he said.

The Stars Group owns a majority shareholding in iBus Media.

Photo courtesy of PokerStars

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