APPT Korea: Back-to-back victories for Yuki Ko; Diego Palma wins a Platinum Pass; Xing Zhu with four cashes

The next Asian stop for players to try and land themselves a coveted PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship Platinum Pass was Korea with the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Korea ongoing at Paradise City, Incheon. The festival began on April 6 and will run through April 15. As of today, two passes have already been claimed with the first one awarded to Chile’s Diego Palma for his triumph at the APPT Kickoff.

The second pass went to Japan’s Yuki Ko for his victory at the APPT National. Ko not only zoned in on the coveted ticket to the Bahamas, but he also took down the Single Day High Rollers on the same day. We have all that below along with an update on China’s Xing Biao Zhu and his steady collection of payouts.

Yuki Ko wins APPT National and Single Day High Rollers

Yuki KO
Yuki Ko – Photo PokerStars

If Paradise City wasn’t paradise for Yuki Ko before, then it most likely is now. The young Japanese poker pro tore up the felt last night winning two big events all in one day, the APPT National and the Single Day High Rollers. This marked Ko’s first-ever No Limit Hold’em career victories earning him a combined total of ₩100,235,000 (US$93,500) along with trophies that will no doubt have a special place on his shelf. After his second victory, Ko expressed in his PokerStars interview,

“”I’ve been playing live tournaments for seven years and the APPT National actually brought me my first Hold’em trophy, which I thought was a miracle,…. . However, after that, in the same day, I won another trophy, also from a Hold’em game, which is unbelievable… I feel so lucky! At the same time I’m satisfied with my play in the two tournaments.”

The four-day APPT National was the first event Ko championed and to get there, he had to hurdle past a very familiar face at the heads up round, New Zealand’s Taehoon Han. Last year, Han denied Ko the PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event title. Facing each other again, this time around the result was to his favor. In PokerStars blog, Ko said,

“I’ll never forget about the heads-up match we played last time. From the moment we both made it to the final table, I’ve been excited about imagining that we might get into the same situation again.”

Ko was awarded the ₩33,835,000 (US$31,600) and the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship Platinum Pass worth US$30,000.

The APPT National drew in 226 entries and with each entry at ₩700,000, this drove the prize pool north to ₩138,108,600 (US$128,800). Among the notables in the money were Simon Burns (3rd), Pete Yen Han Chen (4th), Victor Chong (11th), Fu Bang Huang (23rd), and Daniel Tang (24th).

Final Table payouts
1st Yuki Ko – Japan – ₩33,835,000
2nd Taehoon Han – New Zealand – ₩22,100,000
3rd Simon Burns – UK – ₩14,225,000
4th Pete Yen Han Chen – Taiwan – ₩11,053,600
5th Sheng Li – China – ₩8,980,000
6th Jaebok Ryu – Korea – ₩7,250,000
7th Kunimara Kojo – Japan – ₩5,870,000
8th Masakazu Okamoto – Japan – ₩4,490,000
9th Genki Nakano – Japan – ₩3,455,000

After the APPT National victory dance, Ko rode on his high and immediately ponied up the ₩4,000,000 Single Day High Rollers buy-in. With such a steep entry fee, this tightened up the field to just 62 entries. Taehoon Han also joined in however this time he wasn’t able to match up with Ko. Han was eliminated before the money round while Ko rose to the top once again defeating China’s Wenling Gao for the title.

Gao wasn’t the only player Ko had to overcome at the final table, other notables in lineup and in the money were Linh Tran (3rd) and Bryan Huang (7th). Ko shipped in a hefty cash purse of ₩66,400,000.

Prize pool: ₩221,315,200
1st Yuki Ko – Korea – ₩66,400,000
2nd Wenling Gao – China – ₩48,020,000
3rd Linh Tran – Canada – ₩30,980,200
4th Soichiro Kojiya – Japan – ₩23,460,000
5th Jia Tang – China – ₩18,150,000
6th Shoma Sude – Japan – ₩14,165,000
7th Bryan Huang – Singapore – ₩11,290,000
8th Fumihiro Tomura – Japan – ₩8,850,000

Diego Palma wins the APPT Kickoff to take home a Platinum Pass

Diego Palma
Diego Palma – Photo PokerStars

Last month, Chilean player Diego Palma posted his first-ever live tournament cash at the APPT Macau Main Event with a 40th finish. Though this was far from the coveted Platinum Pass, he did lead at the end of Day 1A showing he had the guns to go far in the game.

One week ago, Palma proved just that. Taking a stab at APPT Korea, he powered through the 377 entry field of the APPT Kickoff event posting his first-ever victory and second-ever live score. He captured a large ₩21,110,000 (US$19,900) plus the coveted package to the Bahamas. Impressively, Palma nearly seized a second title finishing 2nd at the Pot Limit Omaha event falling short one spot to Hong Kong pro Raiden Kan.

Final Table payouts
Prize pool: ₩115,192,350 – 47 paid
1st Diego Palma – Chile – ₩21,110,000 (ICM deal made)
2nd Ting Shum Kwok – Hong Kong – ₩22,000,000 (ICM deal made)
3rd Shohei Aoyama – Japan – ₩10,345,000
4th Ken Thoo – Malaysia – ₩8,152,350
5th Liang Yongjun -Korea – ₩6,025,000
6th Po Jui Wang – Taiwan – ₩4,870,000
7th Teruhisa Aoyama – Japan – ₩3,720,000
8th Evgenii Chzhen – Russia – ₩3,145,000
9th Andrew An – USA – ₩2,625,000

Xing Biao Zhu continues to pile in the stats

The mission continues for China’s Xing Biao Zhu, the current front runner for the highest number of cashes this year. Zhu picked up another four payouts at the APPT Korea festival finishing 15th at the kickoff, 1st at the No Limit Hold’em, 7th at the Knockout event, and 2nd at the NLH Turbo. This brings him up to an astonishing 31 cashes for the year along with three trophies. There are still three days left before the festival wraps up which gives him plenty of time to add in a couple more.

The APPT Korea Main Event is up next. We will have those results for you once it concludes so stay tuned for more news at

Article by Triccia David

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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