Ethan Yau is one of the biggest names in poker vlogging, with more than 163,000 fans subscribed to his YouTube channel. Yau is known to those subscribers as ‘Rampage’. He lived up to that nickname when he knocked out four of his five opponents at the final table on his way to a runaway victory in the second event of the 2022 Poker Masters high roller festival, a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament. He was awarded $197,600 as the champion.
This was Yau’s first-ever high roller poker tournament victory. It will join his rapidly expanding poker resume that already includes a World Series of Poker Online bracelet win and a main event title at the 2021 Mid-States Poker Tour Venetian stop. Yau’s lifetime earnings now exceed $960,000.
In addition to the title and the money, Yau also scored 420 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his third POY-qualified score of the year, having made two final tables with one other win during the WSOP Circuit stop at the Parkwest Bicycle Casino back in March. With 852 total points, Yau now sits inside the top 600 in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
Yau also scored 198 PokerGO Tour points. This was his first qualifying result for that tour, which is focused on high-stakes events. These points were enough to move him into second place in the Poker Master Purple Jacket points race, trailing only event no. 1 winner Jeremy Ausmus. The series-end points leader will also earn a $50,000 bonus.
The 76-entry turnout in this event built a prize pool of $760,000 that was split up amongst the top 11 finishers. Plenty of big names made the money, but were unable to join Yau in lasting to day 2. Those included the current POY race leader Stephen CHidiwck (11th), recent World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Tampa main event winner Corey Wade (10th), six-time bracelet winner and 2021 PokerGo Cup winner Daniel Negreanu (9th), and the aforementioned Jeremy Ausmus (7th).
The second and final day began with six players remaining and Michael Brinkenhoff, the founder and CEO of Athena Cosmetics, in the lead. Yau sat in second chip position to start, but soon overtook the lead when his A-K held up against the A-Q of Masashi Oya in a preflop showdown. Oya earned $45,600 as the sixth-place finisher.
Dylan Destefano was the only player to be sent to the rail on day 2 by somebody other than Yau. He called all-in with A-2 leading the Q-6 of bracelet winner Stephen Song in a battle of the blinds. Song flopped a six and held from there to send Destefano to the rail with $60,800.
Yau had more than twice as many chips as his nearest competitor when the next elimination hand was dealt. Yau open-shoved from the button with A-5. Brinkenhoff, who was second in chips with 21.5 big blinds, looked down at pocket kings and made the call. Yau spiked an ace right away to take a commanding lead, and two safe cards saw the massive pot sent his way. Brinkenhoff earned $76,000 for his fourth-place showing in this event.
Yau shoved from the button again in the next key clash, this time ripping with Q-5 suited. Song called with pocket eights from the small blind and was roughly a 2:1 favorite to double up. The flop gave Yau a flush draw, though, which he filled on the turn to leave Song drawing dead. Song earned $98,800 and 280 POY points for his deep run. This was his 14th final-table finish of the year, with more than $1.2 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. As a result of his consistency, he has climbed into fifth place in the POY standings, with 4,622 total points.
With that, heads-up play began with Yau holding 8,800,000 to bracelet winner Alex Foxen’s 700,000. Foxen managed to quickly spin his stack up to 2.5 million, giving himself some room to play. He had slid back down to just below 1.8 million by the time the final hand was dealt. Foxen limped in from the button with AK and Yau moved all-in from the big blind with 88. Foxen called all-in for his 14.2-big blind stack and they were off to the races. The board ran out Q91067 and Yau’s pocket eights held up to earn him the pot and the title.
Foxen earned $144,400 as the runner-up finisher. This was his 18th final-table showing of 2022, with four titles won and nearly $6.6 million in POY earnings to date. The high-stakes regular now sits in sixth place on the POY leaderboard after this latest deep run. He also earned 144 PGT points, bringing his total in that points race to 2,356, which is good for third place.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.