Mitsuhiro Shiga becomes the 1st foreign national to win the NCPO Main Event

The New Caledonia Poker Event Noumea 2017 wrapped up an action packed ten-day festival at Casinos De Noumea with a changing of the guard as Japan’s Mitsuhiro Shiga defeated New Caledonia’s Daniel Gilles at the heads up round to be crowned the newest Main Event champion. This was a highly significant victory for Shiga as he not only dominated the felt throughout, but it also marked the first time a foreign national has won the NCPO championship title.

Mitsuhiro Shiga (Photo Mel Judah)

The NCPO Noumea 2017 ran from February 24th-March 6th with the XPF 110,000 ($975) buy-in Main Event featured on the final four days. Despite the high turnout of locals (184 entries total), both starting flights were owned by the Japanese with Takumi Samejima on top of Day 1A and Shiga for Day 1B. While Shiga continued to top the charts at the end of Day 2, Samejima, on the other, was stopped short, cashing out at 19th place.

At the final table, Shiga came out firing that by the time the field was cut in half – four players remaining – he held a substantial chip lead against his opponents with nearly half of the chips in play. With the fall of Teva Tavita, the only player to have stolen the chip lead from Shiga a few times, and the elimination of Gil Hassani, the final duel against Gilles saw Shiga ahead 2:1 in chips. From there, it didn’t take long for Shiga to ship it all in and claim the XPF 4,681,000 ($41,527) first prize.

Good run for runner up Daniel Gilles

Daniel Gilles (Photo Casinos de Noumea)

While Shiga basks in his deserved glory, recognition must also be given to Daniel Gilles who finished in the runner-up position. Last year, Gilles won the first-ever APT Noumea 2016 Main Event, and had he won against Shiga, he would have landed impressive back to back titles. In addition to his Main Event feat, Gilles also ran deep at the Pot Limit Omaha Courchevel event with a 5th place finish, and 3rd at the Bounty event.

Iori Yogo wins the Bounty event

Iori Yogo (Photo Mel Judha)

Prior to Shiga’s victory, Japanese pro Iori Yogo bagged himself a trophy after winning the No Limit Hold’em Bounty event. Alike the main, it was the Japanese players who dominated. This event saw Fumio Hirayama close out Day 1 as the chip leader with 25 remaining out of 78 entries. Hirayama also made it into the final table. The NLH Freezout (49 entries) also saw a Japanese victory with Tsumaeki Takeda taking home the trophy.

Other Japanese players also seen at the NCPO were well known pros Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Yuri Ishida and Japanese Star “GACKT“, however they didn’t reach the glory stage alike a couple of their fellow countrymen.

More: Few words with GACKT

Article by Triccia David

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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