Despite the recent political strife that affected many Chinese travelers to Jeju Island, South Korea, the APT Korea event proceeded as planned with the weeklong poker festival taking place from March 22nd-28th at the Paradise Casino.
While the low turnout was as expected, seeing just a sprinkling of regulars and pros in the field, there was a big contingent of Japanese players in attendance that ran away with a majority of the trophies. In total, they claimed 6 out of the 11 side event trophies, the APT Player of the Series title, and the Main Event championship title.
Katsuhiro Muto wins the APT Korea Main Event
Four months ago, Japan’s Katsuhiro Muto stormed into APT Noumea and claimed the High Rollers event plus a bit of cash at the Main Event for his 12th place finish. Returning to the APT arena in Jeju, Muto took charge and captured his first APT Main Event championship title to earn his largest live score to date, US$20,123 (KRW 22,570,000). In addition, he posted a small cash at the Deep Stack Turbo event.
On his road to victory, Muto defeated a field of 56 entries, and a final table loaded with decorated players the likes of APT Korea defending champion Nayoung Kim, APT Kickoff 2017 champion Takumi Samejima, APT China Player of the Year 2016 Hung-Sheng Lin, and Peru’s Yohn Paredes who has had multiple appearances at an APT Main Event final table.
Japanese players rule the side events
Joining Muto in lifting up trophies were several compatriots that reigned at the side events. One of the top winners was Junichiro Hashimoto who won the Six Handed Turbo event for a US$4,808 (KRW 5,350,000) payout. Another winner was Sano Mitsuru who picked up his second ever APT side event trophy after topping the No Limit Hold’em 1 Day event and was awarded the US$3,649 (KRW 4,060,000) first prize.
Other Japanese champions were Yoshikawa Seiya (No Limit Hold’em 1 Day), Ryo Nishihara (WeLoveSport.com Deep Stack Turbo), Kenji Yamashita (Super Deep Stack Turbo), and Yoichi Uesugi for the Deep Stack Hyper Turbo. Uesugi currently leads the APT Player of the Year race.
But not all events went to the Japanese powerhouse….
The Warm Up event kicked off the series with China’s Mingji Jin winning the title for US$6,536 (KRW 7,275,000). The Head Hunter event followed with Canada’s Ryan Tack Yu denying the three remaining Japanese players in the money round to take home the title and the US$4,715 (KRW 5,250,000). Australia’s Steven George Bell also warded off the Japanese at the No Limit Hold’em event, seeing four of them hit the rail in the money round before he took the title and the US$4,275 (KRW 4,760,000) first prize.
Other winners were Chinese Taipei’s Chiayu Hsu at the Monster Stack event, and Jienjin Hung at the Deep Stack Turbo event.
Horikawa Daiki wins the APT Player of the Series
Japan’s Horikawa Daiki may not have won any events at the APT Korea but with his four ITMs, he accrued enough points to win the APT Player of the Series title. Daiki placed 3rd at the Warm Up event, 2nd at the Head Hunter event, 4th at the Six Handed Turbo, and finished 6th at the Main Event. His consistent deep runs awarded him a total payout of US$12,217 (KRW 13,600,000). He is now running second to Yoichi Uesugi in the APT Player of the Year race.
Coming in 2nd at the APT POS was Jack En-Ching Wu, and in 3rd place was APT regular, Yohn Paredes.
Notable players fall short of the trophy
Surprisingly, there were quite a number of known pros and notable players at the APT Korea who did not bag any awards for their shelves. Among them were Iori Yogo, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Kosei Ichinose, William Teoh, Yoichi Fujiya, and GACKT.
Article by Triccia David