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The headline tournament of the 2019 Asian Poker Tour (APT) Japan is now in the books. Featuring a JPY 30,000 buy-in, the Main Event attracted a robust field of 234 entrants across three starting flights and topping the competition was Thailand’s Kannapong Thanarattrakul (cover image), who claimed the title to win his maiden APT Mythical Golden Lion trophy.
Thanarattrakul came into the final table with an average stack of 608,000, but he maneuvered his way to the top skillfully, finally defeatingJapan’s Masakatsu Setoguchi heads-up to lift the trophy!
Along with a ticket worth JPY 120,000 to the 2019 APT Philippines Main Event, Thanarratrakul also bagged tickets for the Championships Event (JPY 240,000) and High Rollers (JPY 240,000) at the upcoming stop, along with free air travel and hotel stay.
Running alongside the Main Event was the JPY 25,000 buy-in Championships Event that crowned a winner in Japan’s Yuki Hirata. Hirata topped a 75-strong field to win the APT trophy and a package worth JPY 280,000. The series culminated with local player Narutoshi Otsuka taking down the NLHE 3 (JPY160,000) side event.
At the Main Event, participation numbers rose steadily as the starting flights played out one after the other. Day 1A was hosted on February 2 and registered 52 entries, while Day 1B which played out February 3 saw 65 entries. The final starting flight Day 1C that was held after a week i.e. February 9 was the most well attended with 117 entries. In all, the field grew 234-entry strong with 79 among them advancing to Day 2. Day 1C chip leader Korea’s In Ho Song was in the driver’s seat at the start of play on Day 2 with a stack of 224,200.
A full day`s play later, Song, along with several prominent players including Kenji Hata, 2019 APT Japan Kickoff champion Go Mori and former APT Main Event champion Takumi Samejima failed to secure a place in the eight-handed final table that was reached as Day 2 concluded.
Final Table Chip Counts
1.Kei Shinagawa – 1,434,000
2. Hiroshi Irimajiri – 1,081,000
3. Kohei Iwaki – 849,000
4. Koudai Doi – 781,000
5. Kannapong Thanarattarkul – 608,000
6. Ryusuke Kasawaki – 494,000
7. Masakatsu Setoguchi – 362,000
8. Fu Jiangbin – 340,000
Final Table Recap
Only the top four finalists were to win tickets of various buy-ins to the 2019 APT Philippines, which is slated for April 24- May 5 at the Resorts World in Manila.
Kei Shinagawa was the start of play chip leader but he failed to make it in the top 4. Another top stack Hiroshi Irimajiri, who was second in stacks when the action kicked off, fell before the payouts started.
Koudai Doi and Ryusuke Kasawaki were the other two players who returned empty-handed from the final table.
The four-handed play then saw Kohei Iwaki exit in fourth place, followed by Fu Jiangbin who was eliminated in third place.
Masakatsu Setoguchi was lingering towards the bottom of the stacks at the start of play but two big pots got him the momentum he needed to make it to the heads-up finale. Thanarattrakul, however turned out to be a tough nut to crack and Setoguchi had to make do with a runner-up finish, even as Thanarattrakul picked the title along with tickets to the 2019 APT Philippines series.
Final Table Results (Equivalent Buy-in tickets)
Image & Content Courtesy: Asian Poker Tour.
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