The Asian Poker Tour crowned its first APT Main Event champion of the year, Japan’s Takumi Samejima, who defeated Filipino pro Czardy Rivera at the heads up round to capture the US$38,020 first place purse and the APT Championship Ring.
The Final 8 match began with Rivera as the chip leader and Samejima trailing closely behind. Both players had massive stacks well over the million range, which was nearly half of the total chips in play. Given their stacks, and eventually seeing them both at the heads up round, seemed consistent to their run in Day 3.
Final 8 showdown
Throughout the day, Samejima exhibited utmost patience watching short stacks fall early. On the first hand of the day, Japan’s Yoichi Uesugi was out in 8th place, eliminated by the two-time APT Main Event champion, UK’s Samad Razavi. Japan’s GACKT was ousted next in 7th place, falling to the chip leader Rivera. Short stacked Phua Si Yang joined the railbirds in 6th place, then Razavi claimed his second victim, eliminating past APT Main Event champion, Alexis Lim, in 5th place.
At four-handed, the game slowed down significantly with pros Rivera and Razavi as the most active. While Razavi seesawed, Rivera simply increased that at one point, he held over half of the chips in play. Razavi crossed over a million after eliminating another player, Germany’s Karl Peter Wittmann in 4th place.
The three-handed round continued to see Razavi vying for many pots but after taking a hit by doubling up Samejima with pocket jacks over pocket eights, he couldn’t recover and bowed out in 3rd place at the hands of Rivera.
Entering the heads up round, Rivera had the edge in chips against Samejima however it didn’t last. The tides shifted when Samejima doubled up with a backdoor flush to seize control of the chip lead. From there, Samjeima dominated Rivera, relinquishing only small pots to stay ahead.
The final hand saw Samejima improve to a winning straight on the river to overtake Rivera’s pocket kings and claim his first ever live tournament title. Impressively, this is Samejima’s third live tournament appearance having participated in two events in Macau late last year. This is his first ever tournament cash.
The APT Kickoff 2017 ran a total of five days with 96 entries for the US$1,650 buy-in Main Event. The total prize pool amounted US$139,680.
Main Event Payouts
1st Takumi Samejima – Japan – US$38,020
2nd Czardy Rivera – Philippines – US$23,210
3rd Samad Razavi – UK – US$16,790
4th Karl Peter Wittmann – Germany – US$12,880
5th Alexis Lim – Philippines – US$11,060
6th Phua Si Yang – Singapore – US$9,550
7th GACKT – Japan – US$8,300
8th Yoichi Uesugi – Japan – US$7,290
9th Anthony Gabitan – Philippines – US$6,590
10th Yin Zhang – China – US$5,990
Article by Triccia David