EPT Dortmund: They're from Japan, to be Pacific

by Simon Young

We are used to all nationalities pitching up at EPT events. But I'm struggling to remember a Japanese player sitting down at one of our tables. Until today, that is, when two turned up together.

Hiroshi Shimamura

Hiroshi Shimamura and Masaaki Kagawa may be new to the European scene, but they are no strangers back home, where they both enjoy success. Hiroshi is chairman of Japan's Poker Player's Association, and a pretty good figure head, too. In 2005 he came sixth in the WSOP $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo event, collecting more than $50,000, then just last week he pocketed another $15,000 in Goa at the Asian Poker Classic.

Masaaki Kagawa

Masaaki was relatively unknown until coming a superb third in the $100,000 Hold'Em event at the Aussia Millions, winning around $200,000. A few days later he came fifth in the Australian Heads Up Championship for another $6,000. A decent week in Oz, then!

Both look quite at home here in the Dortmund poker cauldron, and sit on about 9,000 chips apiece.

The split dinner-break is over and the field has come back as one again to start level four with blinds at 100-200.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in