Almost everyone in the Asian poker circuit knows Tetsuya Tsuchikawa. And how can they not? The Japanese professional poker player entered the live tournament scene in 2010 and since then has earned numerous achievements in practically all of the big events in Asia. 2014 was a particularly big year for him; he won the WPT National Philippines Main Event and shipped in his largest payout to date.
In the years following his victory, Tsuchikawa focused his attention on the Asian Poker Tour, participating in a majority of their events. While his dedication still hasn’t produced an APT championship title, he did climb up the ranks in the APT Player of the Year leaderboard, improving on his performance year after year.
A few nights ago, his efforts came to fruition and a new milestone was reached. Tsuchikawa won the APT’s highest recognition, the APT Player of the Year 2017 title.
Tsuchikawa’s APT career from 2011- 2017
To get a full view of Tsuchikawa’s bountiful APT year that eventually led to his APT POY victory, one must look back at his previous accomplishments. Back in 2011, – with the pro already in the live Asian circuit for a year -, he tasted his first APT Main Event final table where he finished in 8th place.
The following year was an even better result, landing another APT Main Event final table and finishing an impressive 2nd place. While 2013 also produced multiple cashes even earning him 3rd place in the APT POY race, it wasn’t until the end of the following year that he found his way back into the upper ranks of the Main Event, finishing once again in second best.
But not all his years were as fortunate. Despite his 10 deep runs in 2015, it was still a slow APT year with no cashes in any of the major events. All that changed in 2016, the year the top players Iori Yogo and Samad Razavi went full on head-to-head for the title.
Behind the scenes, Tsuchikawa was silently accumulating stats. He kicked off the year with another close one at the Main Event, finishing in 3rd place. By year’s end, he totaled four Main Event cashes and was 4th in the APT POY race with 25 ITMs. This was just about as consistent as the top two leaders.
This year, Tsuchikawa continued from where he left off and by mid-year, he took top rank, which he held on to through the rest of the season. He ended 2017 with another 25 cashes, 3 coming from Main Events and 7 of which were victories. One of those deep runs was at the APT Finale Macau Championships Event with a 4th place finish.
Tsuchikawa and Team Japan
In addition to Tsuchikawa’s fantastic APT career, he is also recognized for pioneering the growth of Japanese players into the live circuit. At the APT Championships Philippines 2017 in April, he spearheaded a team that saw over 100 Japanese players attend the event over the course of 12 days.
His continuous efforts has seen more and more of his fellow poker countrymen make their way to other APT events such as APT Korea Incheon and the finale, as well as other events in Asia.
Overall, Tsuchikawa’s 2017 hard stats may have earned him the APT POY title however in taking his character, dedication, and performance as a whole, there is no better player that deserved that title this year. As his reward, in addition to the APT POY trophy and customized winner jacket, he was awarded US$2,000 worth of Asian Poker Tour event buy-ins.
Article by Triccia David
|APT Player of the Year 2017 Standings|
|4||Hung Sheng Lin||Chinese Taipei||1||17||939.30|
|6||Kai Danilo Paulsen||Norway||3||10||522.81|
|10||Andre Morachini||New Caledonia||3||5||444.27|