APPT8 Auckland Day 1B: Iori looking to close the year in style

With the APPT Auckland Main Event being the last event of Season 8 of the APPT, it also marks the final opportunity for players to earn points in the 2014 ANZ Player of the Year. It's a hotly contested race which might become a little clearer tomorrow when the top contenders make their first appearance in the Main Event.

That also means that it's the final event for Japan's Iori Yogo in the role of reigning ANZ Player of the Year. Yogo had an incredible 2013 on the ANZPT where his two runner-up finishes helped him take down the POTY honour. However Yogo says that things haven't been so great in 2014.

"Since the World Series, it hasn't been a great year!" said Yogo. "I've been in a bit of a plateau."

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Yogo going for the trophy at the 2013 ANZPT Perth

While Yogo may not have met his own lofty standards, his 2014 as a whole would be enough to satisfy most poker pros. 19 cashes across five different countries including a 3rd place in a WSOP event is certainly not a bad year, but it has been a lean patch for the Japanese star in the latter half of the year.

"I bricked in Macau, Korea and at ACOP, now this is my last APPT event," said Yogo as he explained the use of the APPT seats he won as part of his POTY prize package.

However one flag notably missing from his results in 2014 is Australia - the place where he enjoyed so much success last year. It seems that Australian immigration didn't like a Japanese poker pro travelling in and out frequently and he has now been denied access from entering the country.

"I'm in the middle of putting in an application to appeal as I'd love to get back to Australia again one day," said Yogo.

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Yogo in action at APPT Auckland

Fortunately Yogo had no such troubles entering New Zealand and has taken his seat in today's APPT Auckland Day 1b field. Perhaps this is his chance to turn his 2014 form around.


Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.