The All Japan Poker Championship (AJPC) returned to Taiwan for their second visit this year as part of the AJPC Asian Circuit. Once again the festival was held at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Club (CTP) in Taipei City, home of the highly popular Taiwan Millions. The festival ran from October 31 to November 4 showcasing 13 events. The locals dominated the charts in titles however it was Japanese pro Kazuhiko Yotsushika who won the Main Event. Other big winners were Hirokazu Kobayashi and Wen-Kai Chen. Notable players Alan King Lun Lau and Yuri Ishida also topped events.
Kazuhiko Yotsushika wins the Main Event
Kazuhiko Yotsushika added another feather to his cap when he won the NT$20K NLH Main Event. This was a huge victory for the Japanese pro it being his first on Taiwanese soil. He entered the final table as the most highly decorated player in the lineup and was able to bring it home to claim the NT$949,360 (US$30,980) first prize.
This was by no means Yotsushika’s biggest win. Not even close. The Japanese pro has been very busy at the felt all year mounting a long list of cashes in different parts of the globe. Prior to this victory, he attended three festivals in Korea where he earned several four and five figure payouts. His richest pots were victories at the AJPC Asian Circuit ₩3M High Roller Turbo event for US$25,100 and at the Japan High Roller Festival ₩9.2M Special High Roller event for US$46,800. All those wins however take a back seat to his victory at EPT Barcelona 2018 shipping in €370,300 (US$431,100) at the €25K No Limit Hold’em event.
The Main Event attracted 271 entries for a prize pool of NT$4,731,660 (US$154,400). 39 players earned a piece of the pot. Among them were notable players Yuka Asaka (5th), Nick Wong (14th), and Hisashi Ogi (17th).
Final 9 payouts
Prize pool: NT$4,731,660 – Buyin: NT$20,000 – Entries: 271 – ITM: 39
1st Kazuhiko Yotsushika – Japan – NT$949,360 (US$30,980)
2nd Che Chao – Taiwan – NT$629,300
3rd Chi Lam – Hong Kong – NT$461,300
4th Chi-Hung Ho – Taiwan – NT$372,400
5th Yuka Asaka – Japan – NT$291,900
6th Jui Wu – Taiwan – NT$221,000
7th Zhu Hao – China – NT$162,300
8th Cheng Lin – Taiwan – NT$119,200
9th Kuo Yuen – Taiwan – NT$92,250
Wen-Kai Chen and Hirokazu Kobayashi win the Super High Rollers
With Super High Roller events gaining in popularity, the AJPC Asian Circuit had a couple of their own to offer. The first one had a buy-in of just NT$100K (US$3,260). This drew in 44 entries for a prize pool of NT$3,883,880 (US$126,828). Taiwan’s Wen-Kai Chen won the event earning the single largest payout of NT$1,398,580 (US$45,670). This was a strong showing by Chen who placed 3rd at the same event in Taiwan back in June.
The most costly event was the second Super High Rollers with its buy-in of NT$200K (US$6,500). This drew in a very tight field of six players. Hirokazu Kobayashi wielded his sword to victory for his second SHR career title. He was awarded NT$1,059,240 (US$34,620). This is Kobayashi’s second big win of the year having championed the AJPC Asian Circuit Incheon Main Event last month.
Notable winners: Alan King Lun Lau and Yuri Ishida
A quick mention on the notable pros also landing the gold. Hong Kong pro Alan King Lun Lau won the NT$8K NLH Mega Stack event, besting a field of 144 entries. He earned the lion’s share NT$268,340 (US$8,763) out of the NT$1,117,440 (US$36,490) prize pool. This was Lau’s second title of the year. He also won the PPPoker Festival Taiwan High Rollers 2 event in September for just over US$10K.
Japan’s Yuri Ishida cashed in three events at the series with a win at the NT$8K No Limit Hold’em event. She topped a field of 52 to earn the NT$11,380 (US$3,640) first prize.
Upcoming events in Taiwan
This year has seen an active Taiwan front. In addition to the two AJPC Asian Circuit visits were three other festivals held in the small state. The Taiwan Millions opened up the year with 10 events with the NT$6K Main Event amassing a field of 420 entries.
In June, the Poker Master Taiwan Millions Tournament had 22 events on the roster. The NT$8K Main Event drew in an even bigger turnout of 537 entries for a prize pool of NT$3,340,800 (US$108,950). Then in September, the PPPoker Festival Taiwan took place with 346 entries for the NT$11K Main Event. This generated a prize pool of NT$3,375,600 (US$110,518). All three festivals were held at the Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Club (CTP) in Taipei City.
Before the year is up, another event will take place at the CTP. J88Poker Tour Taiwan will be the next to bring their brand of poker to the city. The event takes place from December 12 to 16 featuring 12 events highlighted by the NT$20K Main Event.
Next year the Asian Poker Tour joins the action with APT Taiwan 2019 running from February 20 to March 3 also at the CTP. Main Event buy-in will be much higher at NT$33K.
Article by Tricia David