APL Team Event: Captain GACKT leads Japanese Team to a runner-up finish

Every poker festival tends to include a new twist in their event lineup and at the Asia Poker League Reloaded, it was definitely the team event. Unlike other team tournaments, the format for this one was quite unusual, and upon witnessing the action, it seemed extremely fun to play with players allowed to collude as part of the game.

Team Event Mechanics:

  • Shootout format
  • Each team is composed of 3 players
  • Each table is composed of three complete teams (9 players total)
  • The first team to lose two members is eliminated from the game
  • Last team standing at the table advances to the next round and so on
  • Final Table reached with last three teams competing; same rules apply

There were 20 teams that entered the event with each team contributing CNY 4,000 (US$580) for a prize pool of CNY 73,600 (US$10,690). The event had an international flavor to it with a majority of the teams comprised of players from their respective nations.

Team Event action


Once the event began, all eyes were on one specific table, a Japanese team with famous pop idol GACKT as their captain.


The round saw his team up against a Korean team led by Steve Yeah and a Chinese team led by Zhang Yan Chun, the owner of the host venue, the Beijing Poker Club.

At a separate table was another Korean team with SJ Kim at the helm;

SJ Kim

Malaysia was also represented with Sam Ng as captain;

1_Team_Malaysia__1492711548_55245 (1)
Team Malaysia

and a vibrant Team India led by Vikram Verma with not-so Indian James Kim joining them.

1 Team India
Team India

After several elimination rounds and the hour running very late, the final table of three teams was reached with all of them now in the money.

Final Table

Team GACKT was still in contention however despite their efforts, they eventually fell to a local team to finish in a respectable 2nd place. The winning team received the CNY 36,800 (US$5,228) first place cash prize.

The Winning Team

The APL is ongoing from April 15-22, 2017 at the Beijing Poker Club and the Somuchpoker team is onsite and ready to update you with all of the highlights. So stay tuned!

Avatar photo

Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Special EmailTwitterFacebookFlickrYouTube