APPT Seoul: Yoshihiro an unlikely hero

A single blog entry is a long time in poker, as we just discovered when APPT Seoul main event chip leader Tim Davis busted out barely seconds after the last report was uploaded.

Replacing Davis at the top of the chip count is Yoshihiro Tasaka, and it’s thanks to Davis’ chips that Japanese poker newcomer is leading the way just 16 spots short of the money.


Yoshihiro Tasaka has himself ideally positioned for a charge at the final table.

A cash-game veteran, Tasaka started playing Seven-card Stud more than 30 years ago, but took a break from poker until he learned of Texas Hold’em. Two and a half years ago he started playing again and decided to try his luck in the 2008 APPT Seoul main event, his first live poker tournament.

When asked how he got his big stack, he claimed it was all luck, but his quiet demeanour and aggressive betting at the table suggest otherwise. Tasaka, with yesterday’s chip leader, Hidenari Shiono, give Japan a good shot at beating Kazunori Sato’s (eighth in last year’s APPT Manila) record of the best finish in an APPT event for a Japanese player.

On a board of 2d-3d-7c, Tasaka checked to Davis, who bet 10,000. Tasaka check-raised to 42,000, with Davis committing his remaining 45,000 to the pot. Tasaka quickly called and showed pocket sevens for top set with Davis (Kd-Qd) chasing a flush.


Tim Davis, the latest victim of the APPT Seoul chip lead curse.

The turn was the Ah and while the river (Ad) gave Davis the nut flush, it filled up Tasaka who leapt from his seat in ecstasy. We knew these Japanese players would fire up sooner or later!

But while Tasaka’s stack is in the ascendant, Jan Van Dyk’s chip tally is in freefall. He lost a big pot when David Saab hit a nine on the river to make a pair against a flopped pair of sixes for Van Dyk, then Robert Campitello hit a two-out eight to make a set against Van Dyk’s pocket jacks. The South African is down to 20,000, and was hardly comforted when David Saab bellowed that “eights were lucky in Asia!”


Jan Van Dyk's stack continues to head south.

Play has reached level 11 (blinds 800/1600 with a 200 ante) and we’re watching the player tally to see if play goes beyond level 12 (depending how close play is to the bubble).