Manila Super Series 8 champ Yuka Asaka scores another Platinum Pass for Japan

Four years isn't a particularly long time, but it's a long enough period that your life could change drastically. You could start a family, earn a college degree, even serve a full term as an elected official. You also could go from knowing nothing about poker at all to winning a huge live tournament and a Platinum Pass, like Japan's Yuka Asaka just did.

It was four years ago that Asaka was on board a long flight and decided to try out all the games on the in-flight entertainment system. She found a poker game and was intrigued enough to try the real thing shortly afterward. She decided she liked it and within two years had earned her first live cash, taking second place in a Macau Poker Cup side event.

Manila Super Series 8 champ Yuka Asaka and friends

Asaka has added another eight cashes to her resume since then, the most recent coming last week when she conquered the 1,023-player field in the Manila Super Series 8 Main Event. The 34-year-old earned ₱1,605,000 (about $30,000) for the win, her largest-ever live cash. She also became just the second Japanese player to win a Platinum Pass, after ACOP Platinum Series champ Eisuke Kobayashi.

"I cannot believe I won, it's a miracle!" she said afterward. "Big field of 1,023 entries and I won!"

There's no telling what will come of Asaka's journey to the PSPC next January. But if her first four years of poker are any indication, all possibilities are on the table.