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Mike Takayama makes history as the first Filipino to win a WSOP bracelet

After 49 years, the World Series of Poker finally crowned its first Filipino champion with Mike Takayama winning the $1K NLH Super Turbo Bounty. Takayama overcame the 2,065 field to capture the highly coveted WSOP gold bracelet and his largest career win of $198,568.

Mike Takayama – Phot WSOP

In a brief interview with the WSOP media, Takayama expressed,

“Very happy with how I played and it is everyone’s dream to win a bracelet.” “I will most definitely be playing the WSOP Main Event this year!”

This was truly a fantastic result for Takayama who is currently on his debut visit to the WSOP. With low buy-in No Limit Hold’em events ranging from $565 to $1500 notorious for drawing in very large fields, navigating to the top is a mighty feat for any player and most especially for a first-timer at the grand arena.

Prior to taking down this tournament, Takayama also had an impressive run at the $1K NLH Double Stack event, finishing 32nd out of 5700 entries for $17,814. As one of the Philippines highest ranking live tournament players, Takayama now has over $850K in earnings.

Takayama’s recent achievements

Mike Takayama & Team Philippines – Photo WSOP

Well known in Asia, Takayama is an icon for every poker player in the Philippines. Since his emergence into the live tournament scene on 2010, he has produced numerous victories that it was only a matter of time before he’d make it to the WSOP.

Last year was a good year for Takayama, capturing his second APT Main Event title for his first six-digit payout of $105,530. He also had a solid deep run at the PokerStars Festival Main Event finishing 4th for $37,686. These and other cashes earned him the 2017 GPI Philippines POY title.

This year, Takayama kicked off with a runner-up finish at the Macau Poker Cup Baby Dragon event, just missing a grab at the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) Platinum Pass worth $30,000. Two weeks later, that moment was clearly behind him, winning the Manila Super Series Main Event to score that coveted PSPC pass.

Recap of the $1K NLH Super Turbo Bounty

Mike Takayama – Photo WSOP

Briefly recapping Event #59 $1K NLH Super Turbo Bounty, the 2,065 entries brought on a prize pool worth $1,858,500 with 310 players taking a cut. Among the players in the field were notable pros Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, and triple bracelet winner Shaun Deeb (ranked 2nd in the WSOP POY race).

Entering the final two tables with 18 remaining, Takayama was packed with the second largest stack flanked by bracelet winners Steve Jelinek at the helm and Jack Duong in third rank. He took full captainship at the final table claiming the bounty reward of Kavish Shabbir (6th), Elizabeth Montizanti (7th), Jack Duong (8th). Oliver Rusing (9th), and Jens Thomsen (10th).

Continuing his domination, Takayama denied Jelinek a second bracelet, sending him out in 4th place followed by Matthew Smith in 3rd to enter heads up against Lorenc Puka up 8:1. Puka’s fight was a short one, unable to penetrate the steamrolling Filipino to fall in 2nd.

Among the Asians in the money were Edward Gildar (84th), Madhav Gupta (191st), Jeffrey Hakim (235th), Yasuyuki Tsuji (245th), Raiden Kan Yew Fatt (257th), and Edward Yam (278th).

Final table payouts

1st Mike Takayama – Philippines – $198,568
2nd Lorenc Puka – Italy – $122,627
3rd Matthew Smith – USA – $88,938
4th Steve Jelinek – UK – $65,145
5th Spencer Baker – USA – $48,196
6th Kavish Shabbir – USA – $36,019
7th Elizabeth Montizanti – USA – $27,193
8th Jack Duong – USA – $20,743
9th Oliver Rusing – Germany – $15,988

Article by Tricia David


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