Eiji Kimura Wins First-Ever WPT Japan Main Event3 years ago
The inaugural WPT Japan was a resounding success by all accounts and it was Eeji Kimura who took down the Main Event, winning the special first prize of a $10,000 WPT Multi-Passport which will allow him to play WPT events in China and other Asia-Pacific stops.
It was an unusual event in many ways - in a country which seems to take unusual to new heights on daily basis – and all the players had qualified either through Japanese poker clubs, or online via the new big names in Asian poker, Natural8 and OurGame.
In similar fashion to the recent WPT Sanya stop, and the WSOP’s China plans, the gambling laws require some creativity to get things done in the Far East, and the WPT joined forced with the Japan Poker Union Corporation to overcome several hurdles and out on an event to showcase the poker talent and opportunities in Japan.
With 467 entries from the club and online qualifiers, it was again an unusual format which saw the players start with differing stacks – Calvin Ayre explaining that, ‘Players who qualified one-time via the poker club route began with 15,000 chips. Those fortunate to receive two or three packages started with 20,000 or 25,000 respectively. There was also a 20,000 starting stack for people choosing to buy-in directly for JPY25,000 (US$225).’
Once this somewhat strange factor was out of the way though, it was a more-or-less typical WPT event which ran at the Bane Bagus venue in Shibuya, and the 3-day tournament was eventually reduced to the final table of nine who would all be walking off with WPT packages of some description or other.
For Kimura, his huge stack was used to great effect, never in trouble as he led the way to a heads-up encounter with Ryo Omori which lasted just one hand, giving Kimura the inaugural Main Event title and his $10,000 WPT package.
WPT Japan Main Event Final Table Results
|1||Eiji Kimura||$10,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
|2||Ryo Omori||$4,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
|3||Makoto Yokoyama||$2,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
|4||Takayuki Zushi||$2,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
|5||Kazuhiko Yotsushika||$1,500 WPT Multi-Passport|
|6||Fumihiro Yasoshima||$1,500 WPT Multi-Passport|
|7||Junya Yamada||$1,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
|8||Keigo Fujimoto||$1,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
|9||Youbeen Lee||$1,000 WPT Multi-Passport|
The WPT blog reports that the Japan Main Event ‘helped generate more than 5,000 qualifying entries’ and they ‘would like to issue much credit and a special thank you to the Japan Poker Union Corporation for the partnership on this historic event. Japan Poker Union Corporation’s professional team and setup at Bane Bagus venue in Shibuya were absolutely outstanding and the WPT cannot wait to return to the vibrant city of Tokyo.’
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