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Meet Japan’s top 5 famous poker players

Meet Japan’s top 5 famous poker players

Wed Jan 20 2021 02:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

From land-based casinos to online casinos, poker has become a well-known game that drove people to master it because of the challenge and fun it brings. Get to know the players that made it to the top of the list of famous Poker players.   

Poker was discovered during the 19th century in the United States. It is believed to be a descendant of the Persian game “As Nas” from the 16th century and Pogue, a European card game from the 17th century. Poker was also played during the Civil War and has become one of the most popular casino games since then.

Tournaments in Japan

Japan holds Poker Tournaments yearly. Thousands of poker players join the tournaments to win and some are included in the list of big names in Japan Poker. Here are the following events they join in:

AJPC Asian Circuit - All Japan Poker Championship, also known as AJPC, is the operator of the biggest poker event, the AJPC Asian Circuit. In 2019, it held 8 events in Incheon (Korea), Osaka (Japan), New Taipei (Taiwan), and is now planning to expand to other Asian countries. 

Asian Poker Tour - Founded in 2008, it has become one of the most popular poker tours in the world. The Asian Poker Tour has organized poker events more than 80 times.

It tours mainly in the region of Asia Pacific and held its first tournament in the Philippines in 2008. APT has a loyalty program called APT Player of the Series that recognizes players who showed exceptional skills in Poker.

Japan Open Poker Tour - Japan Open Poker Tour was created in 2011, in 2014 it was renamed to Japan Poker Tour. This famous poker tournament is held 6 times a year. It has a discrete set of rules because playing Poker with cash is illegal in Japan.

The organization of the Japan Open Poker Tour is sponsored by PokerStars. In 2014, the first season of Osaka Tour and Tokyo Tour had a total of 18,000 participants in Texas Hold’em no-limit.

Top 5 famous poker players in Japan

Japan has poker players that won big from different tournaments inside and outside of the country. Some of the tournaments are also recognized in other countries outside of Asia. Here is a list of some of the most famous poker players in Japan:

1. Yoshihiro Tasaka 


Image taken from Poker PT

  • Full name: Yoshihiro Tasaka
  • Biggest win: $128,216.

Yoshihiro Tasaka is known for being the first competitor in Japan who won a title in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour in 2008. Tasaka took home a total of $128,216 where he topped one out of 160 players from all over the world.

2. Yuki Ko 


Image taken from Poker Stars

  • Full name: Yuki Ko
  • Biggest win: $120,000.

Yuki Ko won two tournaments of Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) in one day and took home $120,000. In July 2017, Ko also pocketed $31,600 from PokerStars Festival Korea.

Ko began playing professionally in 2013 and his major win was in 2016 during the Aussie Millions Pot Limit Omaha where he took home a total of $37,382.

3. Kosei Ichinose  


Image taken from So Much Poker

  • Full name: Kosei Ichinose
  • Biggest win: PHP 963,400.

Kosei Ichinose won PHP 693,400 at the 2018 Asia Poker Tour in Manila. He also joined various tournaments such as the Suncity Cup, Macau Poker Cup, Asia Championship of Poker, among others. He is also known as Japan’s Supernova Elite player.

4. Motoyuki Mabuchi 


Image taken from Poker Listings

  • Full name: Motoyuki Mabuchi
  • Biggest win: $112,693.

One of the biggest poker players in Japan is Motoyuki Mabuchi. He won $22,859 in the 2011 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza IV and $26,900 in Festa al Lago, and more.

His highest win to date is $112,693 from the 2008 World Series of Poker. Mabuchi’s wins are from his tournaments in the United States because is yet to join tournaments in Asia. 

5. Yosuke Sekiya 


Image taken from Poker777

  • Full name: Yosuke Sekiya
  • Biggest win: $48,700.

Yosuke Sekiya is known for being an active player in poker tours across Asia. His first win was from the Asia Pacific Poker Tour in 2010, in which he took home over $19,000. He also participated in the Asia Poker Tour, World Series of Poker, and others.

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