Triple Draw Titan: Brian Yoon Discusses Winning Fourth WSOP Bracelet, Deuce to Seven, Flying Under the Radar

November 3, 2021
Triple Draw Titan: Brian Yoon Discusses Winning Fourth WSOP Bracelet, Deuce to Seven, Flying Under the Radar

A Deuce to Seven title may not bring the glamour of other major events at the World Series of Poker. Brian Yoon not only craved a lowball title, but dubbed one of these events his own personal main event – the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship.

With three huge bracelet wins under his belt, the 31-year-old hoped to strike gold in something beyond No Limit Hold’em. That became reality early Tuesday morning when he topped a field of 80 players for $240,341 for his fourth bracelet.

“I never have any bracelet-hunting goals, but I’ve been less interested in No Limit Hold’em these days and 2-7 Triple Draw was the first variant that really had me enjoying poker again,” he says. “I joked with my friends that this $10K Triple Draw was my main event instead of the actual Main Event. So it’s awesome to actually win it on my second attempt ever playing it.”

The win became his 52nd WSOP cash and Yoon continues to bring plenty of skills to the table. 

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A growing WSOP resumé

Adding a fourth bracelet is quite an achievement. However, with so many bracelets handed out, Yoon realizes it might not be as big an achievement as it once was. Nevertheless, slipping on a new bracelet was a great moment.

“As for hitting number four, with the bracelet dilution and how often bracelets are handed out these days, I don’t think it’s as special as it once was,” he says. “But it’s still a cool feeling to join an elite club of players. I think the list is around 50 people. It’s always fun to make the short list.”

Yoon has some huge wins on his WSOP NLHE record including:

  • $1,500 Monster Stack (2017) – $1.1 million
  • $5,000 NLHE 8-Handed (2014) – $633,341
  • $1,111 Little One for One Drop (2013) – $663,727

In total, his WSOP record now totals $3.4 million in winnings. The latest cash total might pale in comparison to those, but may have been the most fun.

“Deuce to Seven Triple Draw  is my favorite game to play at the moment,” says Yoon, who grew up in Los Angeles but now lives in Las Vegas. “So this one is really special because I had so much fun playing it and didn’t take it super seriously like I do with No Limit Hold’em tournaments. 

“The first bracelet is still probably the most special one because it was my first major breakthrough win and really set me up well for the future, but this one is definitely second behind that.”

Journey to a fourth WSOP bracelet

The Triple Draw event came with few major speed bumps for Yoon and he describes the tournament as “pretty smooth sailing.” Showing up on time allowed him to play many early hands and take advantage of others learning the game.

Using those kinds of advantages in 2-7 is key, he says, seeing opponents’ mistakes and optimizing around them. A couple big bluffs at the final table also paid off. Yoon “snowed” twice, meaning he stood pat with an inferior hand and got opponents to fold.

“I think I understand the game well enough that most of my spots are pretty automatic, but bluffing always gives you that extra rush, especially when they’re getting such a great price to call since it’s a limit game,” he says. 

Three-handed play became a bit grueling however, with play running about seven hours. Wil Wilkinson began the marathon with only a couple big bets and battled back. Danny Wong was also a tough opponent.

“It was a battle where all three of us had the chip lead at one point, and I have to give props to both Wil and Danny,” he says. “They played differing styles but both played well.”

Despite four major series titles, Yoon isn’t too well-known in the poker world. That may come from some of his own efforts, but may change as he racks up more wins.

“I do think I’m overlooked a bit, but that’s mostly because of my own volition,” he says. “I don’t promote myself much on social media or any other platforms, and none of my WSOP victories were ever streamed or anything like that. I’m also a fairly introverted person and like to keep to myself and my small group of friends. I enjoy staying under the radar.”

Transitioning from play money online to six figures without depositing

Like many, Yoon began playing poker as a teenager, using play money to learn poker online. As an online player, he’s never even made a deposit.

“I started playing freerolls until I went from $0 to $1 in my PokerStars account,” he says, “and spun that dollar up to tens of thousands, at first through Sit and Go’s and later on, tournaments.”

Eventually, that bankroll reached the small six figures by the time he was in college. Black Friday then put a stop to his online play. Yoon finished out his economics degree at UCLA and started going to the WSOP at age 21.

“I basically became a live tournament player ever since,” he says. “I used to grind the annual circuit of WPTs and EPTs, but these days I’m a bit more ‘retired’ and tend to play tournament stops if I feel like it. I value my happiness and relaxing, over chasing monetary poker gains.”

​​Now with $5.4 million in lifetime tournament winnings, Yoon now gears much of his poker study and preparation to mixed games. While his skills in 2-7 Triple Draw stand out, he feels less confident in many of the other games. NLHE remains his bread and butter. 

“I have done a lot of solver work in the past, and do a bit here and there these days,” he says. “But I mostly just play poker when I want to play and study spots that gave me difficulty after the fact.”

Brian Yoon making an appearance at a WPT final table. (photo courtesy WPT)

A thirst for competition

Away from poker, gaming of a different kind occupies much of Yoon’s time. His competitive nature is still on display playing video games at a high level. Yoon’s been top-ranked in many games online, including Teamfight Tactics and Valorant.

While he may not be the most talented in different sports or games, Yoon still enjoys giving anything a shot.

“I’m definitely not super athletically talented, so I can’t go out and be amazing at say, golf or basketball, but I love being able to compete against the best in games,” he says.

“I think being a top poker player has bred this type of mentality for me. I would honestly love to find something in the gaming /esports scene to transition to that I would enjoy working on, but I’m not quite sure what exactly would fit that description.”

Some of his other hobbies include playing piano, binge watching television shows, and indulging in nice restaurants. Now with his Triple Draw “main event” win, more WSOP action awaits including the real Main Event. Yoon seems to thrive more on competition than monetary winnings. However some new wheels might be in the cards.

“I definitely need a new car as my current one is pretty old,” he says, “so maybe some Tesla shopping will happen at some point early next year.”

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