Tournament coverage Poker

Japan celebrates WPT Manila win

Written by Ben Blaschke

Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa is the inaugural WPT National Philippines champion after overcoming an impressive field of 385 players at Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila overnight.

Heading into the final table as the second shortest stack with just 16 big blinds, Tsuchikawa scored a crucial double up on the 26th hand of play to put himself back in contention for the title and the US$156,849 top prize. Incredibly, it was the final table short stack, Kevin Ang, who would finish second as the two most unlikely survivors battled it out for the title.

Having reached heads-up play with Tsuchikawa holding a slight chip advantage, the 100th hand of action at the final table also proved to be the last as Ang shoved the river holding 8-6 only to be called by Tsuchikawa’s 10-7 on a 3-6-7-A-Q board.

The Japanese becomes the first player to win a WPT National Philippines event and can boast to have outlasted a high quality field that included the likes of WPT commentator and WSOP bracelet winner Mike Sexton, high stakes pro Daniel Cates, Tony Dunst, Lacey Jones, JJ Liu, David Steicke and Iori Yogo.