Coming from a six-month break of hosting live poker tournaments in the Asia Pacific region, the World Poker Tour (WPT) recently made a successful comeback, having hosted a four day series in the Land of the Rising Sun.
While Japanese law prohibits real money gaming, the WPT festival established a Main Event with a prize pool guarantee of $35,000 worth of WPT multi passport contracts.
The fourth WPT Japan ran from August 10, 14-16, 2020 and was held in two different prime locations namely headquarters of Sammy Inc., this year’s lead sponsor and the luxurious Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. Running alongside the Main Event, the U-23 event and concluding freeroll tournament completed the schedule. While “Nagino” from the University of Tokyo topped the 51 entry field of the U-23 event after seven hours of playing, all eyes were on the multi-day Main Event where player Charlie Ryuta claimed the coveted WPT trophy. Local player Hiro likewise closed out the freeroll side event, having outlasted 294 players for a $1,430 WPT passport.
2020 WPT Japan Main Event – Charlie Ryuta ($13,000 WPT passport)
With only three events lined up, the Main Event set a new record having attracted a total of 726 entries garnered from two day 1 flights despite the imposed travel restrictions. Already more than 70% of the player pool was eliminated on the starting days as only 203 players made it to day 2. Competing for a guaranteed prize worth $35,000, the local player pool was in for an exciting experience regardless of the difficult situation brought about by the current health crisis.
This year’s champion Charlie Ryuta, had a rough start having advanced to day 2 with only 26,000 in chips when the average was 87,000. Falling behind in chips, it seemed only fate that Ryuta quickly ran up his stack becoming the first player to reach the 1 million mark by day 2. Another crucial flip almost ended Ryuta’s run close to the bubble on the final day having lost Ace-Jack offsuit to pocket nines. However, Ryuta managed to recover and gain an above average stack when the final table commenced.
Ryuta continued to dominate the final table play once short-handed ensued and claimed the lead after knocking out opponent KM and Hi-Sama in fourth and third place, respectively. Holding a significant chip advantage in the heads up battle against Hayatok, Ryuta eventually secured the win after outdrawing Hayatok’s pocket Kings. The final hand saw all the chips in the pot once a flop of 10h-2c-7d came out. Ryuta, with Kack-nine of diamonds had a gutshot straight draw while Hayatok held an extremely strong hand with his overpair. A turn of 8s gave Ryuta the nut straight and the overall win with Hayatok instantly drawing dead on the turn. Crushed with a bad beat, Hayatok settled for a second place finish and $ 6,410 of WPT passport contracts as a consolation.
2020 WPT Japan Main Event Results
Date: August 10, 14-16, 2020
Prize pool: $ 35,000 (WPT Passport)
|Ranking||Player||Prize in WPT Passport|
|1||Charlie Ryuta||$ 13,000|