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Main Event

Level Info

Level 27
Blinds 30,000 / 60,000
Ante 10,000
Main Event
Day 3 Completed

Taehoon Han Wins PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event (₩83,130,000)

mnuwwarah • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Taehoon Han - 1st Place
Taehoon Han - 1st Place

Almost the whole way through PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event, the story looked like it was going to be Yuki Ko dominating from start to finish at Paradise City Hotel & Resort in Incheon. The very aggressive Korean, who makes his home in Japan, bagged the chip lead after each of the first two starting days and went into heads-up play with Taehoon Han holding a vast experience edge.

Han had a slight chip lead, but with just about $8,000 in live cashes to his credit against a man with almost $300,000, he didn't appear to be the favorite.

Perhaps he felt that way too, as after he eliminated a short-stacked Weikuo Hsiao in third, he immediately asked Ko if he wanted to discuss a deal. The two looked over the numbers briefly but couldn't come to an agreement. According to Han, Ko asked for ₩73 million — about $65,000 — of the ₩138 million left in the prize pool.

"In my mind, that was too much," Han said. "If he asked for a chop or maybe a little bit more, I'd have taken it. Eight million, and I had the chip lead as well... that was too much.

"So, I just played it out and it went well."

Well indeed. The two entered a deep-stacked heads-up battle with each north of 4 million at 25,000/50,000/5,000, and it was all Han from there. He outmaneuvered Ko in the big pots and pulled the upset, banking ₩83,130,000 and forcing Ko to settle for ₩55,280,000.

On the final hand, a short-stacked Ko pushed all in with jack-ten and found himself at risk and dominated by Han's queen-jack. A rail heavily supporting Ko started to cheer as the dealer opened up a flop with a ten in the window, but they hushed quickly when a queen followed it. No further help emerged for Ko to seal his fate.

Han admitted afterward that being turned down on a deal made the victory a little extra sweet.

"This is my first big tournament cash," he said. "It feels unreal."

Han, a Korean-born 26-year-old, moved to Auckland, New Zealand about 15 years ago. There, he initially cut his teeth in poker by playing online on PokerStars. Two years ago, he moved back to Korea and started grinding live cash games.

That's how he currently makes his living, he said, but he wavered a bit on whether he considers himself a professional.

"I was [a professional poker player] I guess, but I don't want to be," he said with a laugh. "I'm still considering whether to get a job in Korea or go back to New Zealand. My parents stayed there. I have options, but I'm not sure."

One thing he is sure of: the sleek silver chunk of a trophy he hoisted in his winner's photo is nice, but it's all about the coin when it comes to what he values from the big win.

Whatever he decides to do now, he's ₩83,130,000 richer, minus whatever he spends hitting the town in Seoul with a couple of friends. He admitted he felt a bit lonely without any railbirds sweating him as the tournament wound down, but he still planned to go out and celebrate a bit.

"Good money, good result, that's good enough for me," he said.

PlacePlayerHome CountryPrize
1Taehoon HanNew Zealand₩83,130,000
2Yuki KoKorea₩55,280,000
3Weikuo HsiaoTaiwan₩40,430,000
4Mitsuru SanoJapan₩32,635,000
5Harunobu KojimaJapan₩25,600,000
6Scott JanikUnited States₩19,400,000
7Jwahyoung KimKorea₩14,220,000
8Dmitrii KovalevskiiRussia₩10,450,000

Tags: Taehoon Han

Yuki Ko Eliminated in 2nd Place (₩55,280,000)

mnuwwarah • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Yuki Ko - 2nd Place
Yuki Ko - 2nd Place

Taehoon Han opened for 120,000 on the button and Yuki Ko defended the big blind. Both checked the flop, leading to a board of {a-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. Ko bet 90,000 and Han called. On the {10-Hearts} river, Ko bet 280,000. Han moved all in, and Ko rechecked his cards repeatedly as he thought for about a minute before deciding on a fold.

The next hand, Ko shoved all in from the button for 1,015,000 and Han called.

Ko: {j-Hearts}{10-Hearts}
Han: {q-Clubs}{j-Spades}

The dealer opened a flop that led with the {10-Spades}, leading to a couple of shouts from Ko's railbirds. Those died in a hurry when the {2-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} appeared behind it. The {a-Spades} turn had Ko asking for a chop. No sweat for the players though, as it wasn't paint, but a {4-Diamonds} hitting the river, shipping the pot and the tournament to Han.

Taehoon Han nz 8,550,000 1,450,000
Yuki Ko jp Busted

Tags: Taehoon HanYuki Ko

A Big Pot for Han

simkha • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante
Taehoon Han
Taehoon Han

Taehoon Han raised to 120,000 from the button and Yuki Ko called from the big blind.

The flop came {10-Hearts}{4-Spades}{3-Clubs} and Ko checked. Han bet 120,000 and Ko called.

The turn brought the {J-Diamonds} and Ko check-called a bet of 205,000 from Han.

The {9-Hearts} fell on the river and Ko checked a third time. Han took a few moments to consider his decision before he bet 800,000, sending Ko into the tank. He ultimately called and Han tabled {Q-Diamonds}{8-Spades} for a rivered queen-high straight. Ko mucked and Han dragged in the substantial pot.

Taehoon Han nz 7,100,000 1,950,000
Yuki Ko jp 1,450,000 -1,950,000

Tags: Taehoon HanYuki Ko

Ko Wins at Showdown

simkha • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante

Taehoon Han raised to 120,000 from the button and Yuki Ko called from the big blind.

The flop came {J-Hearts}{6-Spades}{4-Spades} and Ko checked. Han bet 125,000 and Ko called.

The turn brought the {J-Clubs} and both players checked.

The river was the {3-Hearts} and Ko bet 105,000. Han called and Ko tabled {Q-Clubs}{6-Clubs} for a pair of sixes, which was good enough to win the pot.

Taehoon Han nz 5,150,000 -440,000
Yuki Ko jp 3,400,000 440,000

Tags: Yuki KoTaehoon Han

Ko Bets and Wins

simkha • Level 27: 30,000-60,000, 10,000 ante

Yuki Ko raised to 120,000 from the button and Taehoon Han called from the big blind.

The flop came {A-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} and Han check-called a bet of 60,000 from Ko.

The turn brought the {Q-Diamonds} and both players checked.

The river was the {4-Diamonds} and Han checked. Ko bet 110,000, Han folded, and Ko took the pot.

Taehoon Han nz 5,590,000 -610,000
Yuki Ko jp 2,960,000 610,000

Tags: Taehoon HanYuki Ko

Level:
27
Blinds:
30,000/60,000
Ante:
10,000

Ko Takes an Unusual Line

mnuwwarah • Level 26: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Yuki Ko defended his big blind from a 100,000 raise by Taehoon Han, and both checked a {9-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{6-Spades} flop. Ko checked the {4-Clubs} turn, and Han bet 100,000. Ko made it 350,000 and Han called. On the {2-Spades} river, Ko bet just 225,000, and Han quickly called.

Ko showed {a-Hearts}{8-Clubs} and Han had him beat with {q-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}.

Taehoon Han nz 6,200,000 850,000
Yuki Ko jp 2,350,000 -850,000

Tags: Taehoon HanYuki Ko

A Good River for Ko

simkha • Level 26: 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante

Yuki Ko raised to 100,000 from the button, Taehoon Han three-bet to 350,000 from the big blind, and Ko called.

The flop fell {J-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{2-Spades} and Han bet 250,000. Ko called.

The turn brought the {8-Hearts} and both players checked.

The river was the {7-Spades} and they checked again.

Han tabled {A-Diamonds}{K-Spades} for ace-king high and Ko flipped over {7-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}, having flopped a flush draw and rivered a pair of sevens, which was good enough to win the pot.

Taehoon Han nz 5,350,000 -300,000
Yuki Ko jp 3,200,000 300,000

Tags: Yuki KoTaehoon Han