|Aug 2, 2019||
No Limit Hold'em - Hyper Turbo Freezeout
Mike Takayama was born in the Philippines, and came from humble beginnings. He was a professional pool player until poker captured his attention. Early in his career, in his early 20s, he impressed the local community with his performance in an invitational event where he placed first and won a brand new BMW car. Since then, Takayama has become one of the most formidable players in the Philippine poker scene and one of the most consistent ITM finishers in Asia.
Takayama was recently awarded the 2018 PokerStars Asia Player of the Year title. He was the first Filipino to have ever won this title. Among his deepest runs this year were runner-up at the APPT Macau Poker Cup 28 – Baby Dragon event followed later that month by a victory at the Manila Super Series 5 – Main Event earning the highly coveted PokerStars Players Championships (PSPC) Platinum Pass.
For the next few months, his deep runs continued to accumulate and in the summer, he ventured to the USA for the first time to take on the world stage – the World Series of Poker (WSOP). But unlike his glories on home turf, what he experienced there were of scores of frustrations until he nearly packed up for home.
Encouraged not to give up, Takayama turned it around winning a small tournament at Aria then five days later, achieved what only others dream of each year. He became the first home-grown Filipino to win a WSOP bracelet. He overcame a field of 2,065 at the Super Bounty tournament and pocketed US$198,568, the largest score of his career. Another US$29,265 was added to his earnings for cashing at the Main Event in 421st place.
Returning home, Takayama was unstoppable. He placed 3rd at the Metro 2M Guaranteed Event then runner-up at the APPT Manila No Limit Hold’em High Roller Shot Clock & BB Ante where he pumped in another US$42,500 to his career earnings.
Looking back, Takayama’s first recorded ITM finish was March 2010 less than a year after he had learned to play. It happened at the The Poker Circuit: Plugged In, a local event of the Asian Poker Tour (APT), for a measly US$175. At the time, he seemed to fare better against the locals than against an international field. He was earning more locally as compared to his consistent albeit paltry cashes as evidenced by his recorded performance from the years 2010-2013.
By 2014, Takayama started to shine even against players from all over the world. In July 2014, he claimed 6th place in an Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Main Event, taking home his first five figure score of US$11,733. That summer, the floodgates opened for Takayama, whose determination was finally paying off. He took just over US$15,000 for winning a Holdem 6 max event at the Macau Poker Cup, before taking 1st place in the APT Manila Main Event in September 2014. This fantastic result saw Takayama add US$79,041 to his list of career cashes. After this victory, however, Takayama once again fell into the 4-figure finishes despite making it In-the Money almost every month. In August of 2016, he placed 4th at the APPT Manila Main Event for US$34,420.
In May 2017, he stood triumphant as the winner of the APT Manila Main Event for US$105,530, his biggest cash prize to date. He joined an exclusive group of players with two APT Main Event titles under their belt. To close out his 2017 year, Takayama maintained his GPI Philippines #1 ranking which he has held for the past two years.
At the start of 2018, Takayama had just under US$450,000 in live tournament earnings, since his storm of deep runs and triumphs the past months, he has now accumulated US$936,000. He recently signed as a Metro Team Pro.
Read more about this player on Somuchpoker :
- February 5, 2017: MPC 28 Early Highlights: China ruling the charts; Siyou Cao wins Baby Dragon, Mike Takayama runner-up
- May 4, 2017: Filipino pro Mike Takayama wins his second APT Main Event title
- December 27, 2017: Who are the most consistent ITM finishers in Asia?
- June 28, 2016: Mike Takayama: The Iconic Enigma of Philippine poker
- January 20, 2015: Tournaments in Asia: 13 Month Bonus at Solaire, Megastack Results, APT Cebu Schedule