In what is a rather unique stop on the World Poker Tour, the Asia Swing has been passing through Tokyo in recent days, stopping off at Gajoen Hotel for WPT Japan.
Unusually for a WPT event, no money has been won by any players, with competitors instead playing to get their hands on WPT passports worth thousands of dollars.
Also, the day 1 starting flights have been taking place at different locations, with players only convening in one place once they have progressed to day 2. Day 1G took place at the Gajoen Hotel and was the final day 1 flight.
The combined starting days created the largest field for WPT Japan with 541 total entries. Here is the breakdown by starting flight:
Day 1A: 57
Day 1B: 43
Day 1C: 53
Day 1D: 34
Day 1E: 74
Day 1F: 15
Day 1G: 265
The tournament’s final starting day saw 86 players survive from a starting field of 265, with Hiroki Nakagawa carrying a chipleading stack of 314,300 through to the next day. As day 2 began, the players were bidding to get their hands on a piece of the $33,000 worth of WPT passports, which can be used to enter any WPT event around the world.
The field of 86 melted away as the second day progressed, until only 27 were left in the hunt. One of the interesting stories of the day was that of Shingo Endo, who was looking to take back to back WPT Japan titles. Endo survived to take up one of the final 27 chairs, bringing 375,000 chips with him. The chip leader at the close of play was Takeshi Takahashi, who bagged up 1,290,000, which was good for 108 big blinds.
The final day saw Endo’s challenge dissipate, with the remaining players quickly being cut down through the day. The final 9 player all picked up a prize for their efforts, with the minimum payout being a $1,000 WPT passport.
When the action got 3-handed it was Keita Morimoto, Osame Shishime and Junheng Situ vying for glory. Morimoto was the first to make way when his couldn’t find any help against the of Shishime. Having double up five times in the final stages of the tournament, Shishime found himself with a 3 to 2 chiplead when heads up play began. Despite his initial lead, Situ soon regained control of the match after an early slide, doubling back to almost level in chips. Shortly after, a flopped straight gave Situ a huge chiplead, and the match was over minutes later.
The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Junheng Situ – $13,000 WPT Passport
2nd – Osamu Shishime – $7,000 WPT Passport
3rd – Keita Morimoto – $3,000 WPT Passport
4th – Eiichi Kamagata – $3,000 WPT Passport
5th – Ping Liu – $2,000 WPT Passport
6th – Takeshi Takahashi – $2,000 WPT Passport
7th – Takahisa Yasuta – $1,000 WPT Passport
8th – Jundai Kato – $1,000 WPT Passport
9th – Shigenaga Yasuda – $1,000 WPT Passport
Situ’s victory gave him 100 points in the Asia Swing leaderboard too, with the winner of that set to collect a WPT High Roller package. The Asia Swing began with WPT Vietnam at the start of this month, with Japan providing the second stop on the tour. There is little time for players to rest either, with WPT Korea getting underway today.
Article by Craig Bradshaw