PokerStars Festival Korea: Yuki Ko commands final eight

The penultimate day is in the books and the official final table is set here at the PokerStars Festival Korea Main Event. When the day started the plan was to either play through 12 levels or down to the final eight - whichever came first - and we reached eight with just 75 minutes to spare.

Start-of-day chip leader Yuki Ko carried that momentum all the way through and positioned himself as the one to beat tomorrow, finishing again with a commanding chip lead of 2,820,000. Ko climbed steadily all day and ended proceedings when he eliminated Xingbiao Zhu (more on that later). A renowned high stakes cash game player, Ko also has $272,261 in live tournament earnings to his name so far. He's guaranteed to add to that here in Korea and a strong favourite to emerge victorious tomorrow.

PSF Korea Yuki Ko FT leader.jpg

Chip commander Yuki Ko

Also battling their way to a bag were Scott Janik in second position and Taehoon Han rounding out the podium. Janik finished as end-of -day chip leader on Day 1C and continued to run it up when he returned today. Janik and Han will be back tomorrow in a bid to don the Korea poker crown and they'll be joined by the five other lucky finalists. You can see how they all stack up below.

PokerStars Festival Korea Final Table Chip Stacks

Yuki Ko - 2,820,000
Scott Janik - 1,367,000
Taehoon Han - 1,345,000
Mitsuru Sano - 865,000
Weikuo Hsaio - 722,000
Jwahyoung Kim - 509,000
Harunobu Kojima - 456,000
Dmitrii Kovalevskii - 403,000

PSF Korea final eight.jpg

As mentioned above, missing out on a spot on this list was Zhu who came up one short. He fell at the hands of chip leader Ko when Zhu's A♠9♥ failed to overcome the odds against Ko's A♥Q♦ on the T♥6♥5♥3♦Q♥ runout. Zhu picked up ₩8,670,000 ($7,750) for his 9th place finish and his elimination signalled the end of the day.

While Zhu bubbled the official final table, the money bubble burst earlier in the day. It was a sweaty 45 minutes of play as the 40 remaining all tried to hold on for a payday, and after a few shorties doubled, it was Taro Kimura who found himself all in and at risk.

Kimura had pushed all in for less than six big blinds and was called by Yutaro Sukegawa in the small blind. Kimura had the dominant A♠J♥ but Sukegawa ran him down with A♣T♣ as the cards fell T♠5♥3♠A♥6♥.

PSF Korea Taro Kimura bubble.jpg

Kimura (arms crossed) looked dejected as the ten lands on the flop

And then, the floodgates opened. Aleksey Kim, Daniel Demicki and Joshua Lebowitz were the first three sent to the cashier. Later on they were joined by the likes of Takashi Ogura, Linh Tran, Alan Lau, Albert Paik and Jack Wu. Wu was sent packing in 20th place when his ace eight failed to hold against the king jack of Justin Chan. And despite chipping up from Wu, Chan hit the rail himself in 14th spot.

Now, however, the spotlight is on the final eight who will return to Paradise City at midday tomorrow. They'll all be chasing the Main Event title, the trophy, and ₩83,130,000 ($74,293)! Be sure to join us for the exciting conclusion right here at the PokerStars Blog.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in PokerStars Festival