Hirotoshi Nakabo wins Six-Handed Championship at ACOP
Whether you're a poker player or member of the media that has visited the PokerStars Macau tournament room in the last several years, you're sure to recognize Hirotoshi Nakabo who's known for his regular outbursts and unmistakable screams.
On Friday night, however, Nakabo became known for more than just his easily excitable temperament as he beat a tough 178-player field on his way to winning the HKD $8,000 Six-handed Championship at the 2012 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP).
The 39-year old from Japan won HKD $304,600 for his victory in the ACOP Title Event.
The tournament's Top 22 players cashed for a piece of the HKD $1,243,152 in prize money.
"I'm so happy!" said an enthusiastic Nakabo. "I want to be known as more than just a regular player. For two and a half years I have worked so hard to get a trophy. Winning an ACOP title is very big for me!"
Event 6: $8,000 Six-handed Championship - Final Table Results
1. Hirotoshi Nakabo (Japan) -- $304,600
2. Scott Calcagno (Australia) -- $205,100
3. Tsuyoshi Ota (Japan) -- $124,300
4. Jung Wei Huang (Chinese Taipei) -- $99,500
5. Benjamin Abrahams (UK) -- $80,800
6. Tsugunari Toma (Japan) -- $68,400
7. Sergei An (Russia) -- $55,900
Day 2 saw the return of 22 players that included Tony Chang who is ranked No. 5 on the Asia Player of the Year leaderboard as well as No. 15 Jacky Wang -- who was looking to overtake Yosuke Sekiya for the season lead in final tables tied at 5 each.
However, Chang and Wang fell short finishing 16th and 12th respectively.
Nakabo entered the day with the chip lead at just over 200,000 chips and grew that to more than 600,000 by the time they reached the final table.
Final Table Chip Counts
Seat 1: Scott Calcagno (Australia) -- 340K
Seat 2: Tsuyoshi Ota (Japan) -- 348K
Seat 3: Jung-Wei Huang (Taiwan) -- 79K
Seat 4: Hirotoshi Nakabo (Japan) -- 609K
Seat 5: Sergei An (Russia) -- 208K
Seat 6: Tsugunari Toma (Japan) -- 70K
Seat 7: Ben Abrahams (UK) -- 124K
There was little action for nearly 2 hours before Russia's Sergei An bowed out in 7th place.
The tournament clock continued to run without any more head counts and Nakabo temperarily lost his chip lead to fellow countryman Tsuyoshi Ota. That is, until shrieks of joy muted the background music after 'Hirobow' had a double knock out at the expense of Tsugunari Toma (6th) and Ben Abrahams (5th).
It didn't stop there for the Japanese poker pro who proceeded to bust Jung-Wei Huang (4th) and Tsuyoshi Ota (3rd) to enter heads up with play with an overwhelming chip stack of 1.3M against Aussie Scott Calcagno who only had 340K.
The two didn't play long. On the third hand, Nakabo open shoved with Calcagno quickly making the call. It was clearly the desired result as a familiar scream of joy began to once again take over the tournament floor.
Nakabo tabled pocket aces and the Aussie was looking in bad shape as he turned over K♦Q♥. The flop ran 9♠A♠J♠ before a Q♦ gave Calcagno some hope to draw for a straight. It didn't come and to add insult to injury the river was the case ace, giving Nakabo four-of-a-kind to seal the victory.
After a memorable victory dance, Nakabo explained, "I planned on playing the ACOP Main Event if I placed fourth or higher. Now with this win I can play the main event!"
The win improves Nakabo rank to No. 10 as Taiwan's Alan Lee drops out of the Top Ten.
Friday also saw the start of Day 1 for the HKD $2,000 Rebuy Championship which attracted 109 runners.
The field produce a total of 264 in rebuys and add-ons which created a prize pool of just over HKD $670,000 for the Top 13 players. The tournament will play down to the money before returning for Day 2 Saturday afternoon where the winner will take home HKD $174,300.
The next event is the much-anticipated HKD $25,000 ACOP Warm-up and Day 1A begins
Saturday afternoon at 3:10pm local time. The 3-day event has two Day 1 flights and comes with a HKD $5,000,000 guarantee.
The ACOP is an official event of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour and is held at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex from October 26 to November 11.
The HKD $100,000 Main Event begins Wednesday, November 7.