Japan’s Takumi Samejima Claims His First-Ever APT Kickoff Main Event Title

After the 5 days of the gruelling action at the US$1,650 buy-in APT Kickoff Main Event that drew  96 entries creating a total prize pool of US$139,680, Japan’s Takumi Samejima has emerged as APT’s first Main Event champion of the year. He defeated Filipino pro Czardy Rivera in the heads-up match to earn the first place prize US$38,020, the APT championship trophy, and the APT Championship Ring. The Final 8 round kicked off with Rivera as the chip lead with 1,276,000 in chips and Samejima trailing very closely on the second place with 1,193,000 in chips.APT-Kick-Off-2017-Main-Event-Champion-Takumi-Samejima-1024x680

Final 8 Recap

Samejima showed lots of patience and let the short stacks fall early. On the very first hand of the final day, Japan’s Yoichi Uesugi got eliminated in 8th place by UK’s Samad Razavi. The next player to hit the railbird was Japan’s GACKT. He got busted in 7th place by the chip lead Rivera. Short stacked Phua Si Yang hit the railbirds in 6th place. Very soon in the game, Razavi eliminated the APT Main Event champion, Alexis Lim, in 5th place.

After 4 big eliminations, the game then slowed down at the four-handed table with pros Rivera and Razavi being the most active. Razavi continued to fire out, coming up and down in chips. At one stage, Razavi had crossed over a million after busting Germany’s Karl Peter Wittmann in 4th place. At the three-handed table as well, Razavi continued vying for many pots but he could not recover after a big hit from Samejima who doubled up with pocket jacks over his pocket eights.

After Razavi was eliminated by Rivera, the heads-up match began with Samejima trailing far behind in chips.The heads-up game turned in favour of Samejima when he doubled up with a backdoor flush to become the chip lead. From there, Samjeima Rivera maintained the lead and never gave his opponent a chance to recover.

The last hand of the play saw Samejima overtaking Rivera’s pocket kings with a straight on the river and becoming the APT’s first Main Event champion of the year. It was Samejima’s third live tournament. He has also participated in two events in Macau last year. This is his first ever live poker tournament cash.

APT Kickoff Main Event Payouts:

1st Takumi Samejima – Japan – US$38,020

2nd Czardy Rivera – Philippines – US$23,210

3rd Samad Razavi – UK – US$16,790

4th Karl Peter Wittmann – Germany – US$12,880

5th Alexis Lim – Philippines – US$11,060

6th Phua Si Yang – Singapore – US$9,550

7th GACKT – Japan – US$8,300

8th Yoichi Uesugi – Japan – US$7,290

9th Anthony Gabitan – Philippines – US$6,590

10th Yin Zhang – China – US$5,990