Winning a Sunday Major on an online poker site is a feather in any player’s cap. Winning two at the same time on the same site, a feat Akira “Clutch_Hero” Ohyama accomplished on 888poker, is a bit more remarkable.
An 888poker Powerhouse
With more than $2 million in earnings, Akira “Clutch_Hero” Ohyama is one of Japan’s premiere online poker players. He has significant cashes on both PokerStars and the now-defunct Ongame Network, but his most remarkable achievements have come on 888poker.
Perhaps Ohyama’s biggest achievement came this past Sunday when he played two Sunday Majors at the same time and won them both.
The first was the $109 buy-in $20,000 Sunday Lightning 6-Max, which drew 167 players and surpassed the guarantee by creating a $24,600 prize pool. It took eight hours and 19 minutes for Ohyama to claim the title and $5,904 first-place prize.
While that one was nice, he notched an even better one in the $320 buy-in $80,000 Baby Whale, which attracted 203 players and created an $87,900 prize pool.
That tournament lasted eight hours and 36 minutes before Ohyama finished as the last man standing to claim $18,898.50.
It wasn’t the first time Ohyama has made waves at 888poker. In the final Sunday of 2012, he finished runner-up in the $90 buy-in Sunday Challenge for $14,000. A week later, he turned right around and won it for $22,000.
In June 2015, Ohyama also finished runner-up in the 888 Mega Deep for $24,000.
A Japanese Poker Pioneer
Akira “Clutch_Hero” Ohyama became interested in poker back in 2009 while living in the U.S. and attending William and Mary University in Virginia. In his first year of playing, he turned a $50 online deposit into more than $20,000 playing SnGs and heads-up cash games.
In the live realm, he is ranked 29th on Japan’s all-time money list with $172,688 in career earnings. His best score to date is $32,042 for finishing seventh in the 2016 ACOP Event #7: Warm-Up. All of Ohyama’s other cashes, save one, are from the Asia-Pacific region.
The one outlier is a March 2011 win in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Caesars Atlantic City $350 No-Limit Hold’em event for $29,964 and a gold ring, though he did it under the name Jaeik Cho.
The win marked the first time in the WSOP’s 42-year-old history that a Japanese player won a WSOP-related tournament. It wouldn’t be until a year later that Naoya Kihara won the 2012 WSOP Event #34: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for $512,029 to become Japan’s first gold bracelet winner.
Ohyama, who moved back to Japan after Black Friday, is also a former 888poker Ambassador, having signed with the online site back in May 2015. Online poker sites have long sought a foothold in the Japanese market, which currently prohibits live casinos.