The inaugural PokerStars Festival Korea High Roller event now has a champion. The man earning the title, lifting the trophy and taking home ₩72,160,000 (~$64,500) is China’s Boyuan Qu. Remarkably, the 21 year-old began Day 2 with the chip lead and maintained it all the way to victory as he navigated his way through a tough final table and overcame Kazuhiko Yotsushika heads up.
Qu bested a field of 62 entries made up of 34 unique players with re-entries. Combined they generated a prize pool of ₩240,560,000 (~$215,000) before Qu took down the lion’s share.
Before we look at the heads up battle between Qu and Yotsushika, let’s take you back to the start of the final table where the bubble loomed over the remaining nine players.
There were eight places paying dividends and the bubble burst with the elimination of Elias Gutierrez in ninth place. He got it in good holding ace king against PokerStars Team Online Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew’s ace ten suited but Gutierrez was swiftly reminded that’s not always enough as Lew found a ten to send him packing.
That exit meant the final eight had all locked up a return on their investment with the next evictee receiving ₩ 9,620,000 (~$8,600). That payout went to Sparrow Cheung after he was stung by a brutal set over set scenario against Xingbiao Zhu. Cheung moved the last of his chips in with pocket deuces on a flop of A♦4♥2♦ but Zhu’s pocket fours proved too strong as the 5♣ turn and K♣ river couldn’t deliver Cheung the one out he needed.
Seven remained when it was Zhu’s time to fall. He met his demise at the hands of a coinflip when his ace king failed to improve against Yotsushika’s pocket nines on the 10♥8♥8♣4♠3♠ run out.
Just ten minutes later Daniel Demicki met a similar fate after a battle of the blinds went the way of Kazuhiko Yotsushika. It was Demicki’s K♠10♠ vying with Yotsushika’s 2♣2♦ but Demicki was dead by the turn when the cards fell J♦7♦7♣2♥Q♠.
Team PokerStars Online Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew finished in 5th place to collect ₩19,730,000 ($~17,600). It was another blind on blind confrontation when Lew pushed all in from the small blind with 9♦7♦ before being called by eventual champion Qu holding K♦J♥ in the big blind. Lew improved to a flush draw on the Q♦10♠4♦ flop but the turn and river bricked out turning the Red Spade to a railbird.
Fourth spot went to Horzuchi Yutaka when again a flip determined a final tablist’s fate. This time it was the pair that failed to hold as Yutaka’s pocket nines were no match for Qu’s A♦K♦ when the latter made a flush on a board of 8♦6♦5♦3♦7♥.
And then there were three. Takayuki Iwamoto earned himself third place and ₩33,680,000 (~$30,100) after he wound up on the wrong side of a race in this apparent coin-flip-fest. His pocket fours couldn’t hold against Qu’s king eight after an eight on the 10♥8♥3♣ flop and subsequent bricks ended Iwamoto’s High Roller run.
That signalled the start of heads up play where Qu began with close to a three-to-one chip lead over Yotsushika. While Yotsushika nearly fought his way back to even but Qu refused to relinquish the led and ultimately emerged triumphant.
In the final hand Yotsushika ran a bluff into Qu’s three of a kind. Having raised Qu’s bet holding K♠5♣ on a flop of A♣Q♦9♥, Yotsushika then shoved drawing dead on the 9♦ turn. Qu made the call with 9♣5♠ and when the inconsequential A♥ fell on the river it was all over.
Congratulations to Qu!
PokerStars Festival Korea Payouts
1st: Boyuan Qu (China) – ₩72,160,000 (~$64,500)
2nd: Kazuhiko Yotsushika (Japan) – ₩52,200,000 (~46,600)
3rd: Takayuki Iwamoto (Japan) – ₩33,680,000 (~$30,100)
4th: Horzuchi Yutaka (Japan) – ₩25,500,000 (~$22,800)
5th: Randy Lew (USA) – ₩19,730,000 (~$17,600)
6th: Daniel Demicki (Poland) – ₩15,400,000 (~$13,800)
7th: Xiangbiao Zhu (China) – ₩12,270,000 ($11,000)
8th: Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) – ₩9,620,000 (~$8,600)