APPT Seoul: JPL experience proving valuable

Fresh from his success in the APPT Macau main event, Eddie Sabat has found a new adversary waiting to test his mettle as the young Californian chases an unprecedented double of APPT titles.

Japan’s Yu Kurita has less experience than most of her opponents but has spent the past 18 months honing her skills at Tokyo’s Japan Poker League (JPL). She fell to just 5000 in chips earlier today but just doubled through Sabat to keep her hopes alive of a cash (and maybe more) here in the APPT Seoul main event.


Yu Karita lulls Eddie Sabat into a false sense of security.

Our Japanese blogger Jenn Barr says Yu Karita is “beautiful and poised off the felt, but on the felt, watch out. You’ll see her on almost every final table at JPL daily tournaments and she’s almost always in the final few at the league’s satellites and monthly finals.

She appeared on the women’s poker league on Mondo 21 and won the JPL APPT Macau satellite to represent Japan in the main event. Yu learned poker from a friend who was a limit hold’em specialist with cashes in WSOP, when she was a junior in college. At just 22 Yu has ample opportunity to leave her mark on the poker world.

She has already tied her luck on the cash tables in Vegas (her favourite venue was the Wynn), but feels tournaments are more her game.” Karita is hanging in there, but the list of casualties is starting to mount.

At the other end of the chip count, Jan Van Dyk continues to tear a swathe through his table and has broken through the 100,000-chip barrier in taking out two of the small stacks. However, we farewelled two PokerStars Sponsored players in the past level.


Celina Lin bows out during level 8.

Celina Lin committed her remaining chips pre-flop and received a call from Canadian Brian Kang. It proved an astute call from Kang, whose pocket nines and Lin’s pocket eights dominated. The board of 5h-Qc-10d-Qd-7d brought no joy for Lin but helped Kang leap to more than 75,000 in chips.


Brian Kang has been a big mover in the opening stages of day 2.

Fresh for his final table finish in the APPT Macau High Roller event, Singapore’s Ivan Tan also a free afternoon on his hands after getting it in with Ac-Ks against Patrick Carron’s pocket queens. Tan hit a K on the flop but Carron found a two-out Q on the turn, eventually filling up on the river.


The smile has disappeared from Ivan Tan's face after he was eliminated.

And we’ve just witnessed the most poorly timed bet of the tournament. Hori Katsuyoshi watched a flop come Qh-Qs-9h when his opponent declared all-in. Hori couldn’t get his money in quick enough and showed the other two queens. Bad time to make a move.

With play about to head into level 9 (500/1000 with a 100 ante), the top five stacks are Jan Van Dyk (108,000), Brian Kang (76,000), Hidenari Shiono (70,000), David Saab (69,000) and Patrick Carron (61,000).