It only took 103 hands for Mikiya Kudo to become an Asian Poker Tour (APT) winner. Kudo took down the APT Philippines PHP55,000 ($1,042) Main Event at Resorts World Manila on December 2, overcoming a field of 307 on his road to victory and $54,145. It was by far his biggest payday to date, with all other payouts remaining below the four-digit mark.
Going into the final day of action, Kudo was the event’s chip leader and led a field of eight vying for the remainder of the prize pool. He held more than 500,000 chips above the second-place chip holder and former APT winner, Lim Yohwan, and the Japanese player was determined to pick up his first title.
Kudo showed that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with right from the start. He got mixed up with Jiego Erquiaga, the only remaining local player and pulled a rabbit out of his hat that would ultimately send the local to the rail. Having scored A-Q suited, Erquiaga pushed Kudo all-in preflop, and was pleasantly surprised to see his opponent with a lower 9-6 suited. The flop produced A-6-K, giving the Filipino a strong start, but his hopes were dashed when a 9 popped out on the river to give the eventual winner two pair. Erquiaga would have to settle for eighth place and $7,219.
Kudo worked his magic to keep himself alive, ultimately making it to the final heads-up battle against Lim. On the final hand, it was the aces off to the races. Lim was looking down at A-Q and pushed all-in, with Kudo responding with his A-3. An incredible flop of 4-5-2 gave Kudo a 5-high straight and the only card that could have saved Lim—a 3—never appeared. Lim added $36,096 to the $310,069 he has accumulated in live action since January 2014.
The APT has found a great deal of success over the years. Since it was introduced in 2008, it has found poker champions in the Philippines, Macau, Japan and others. Next year, the tour is expected to extend its range and will hold tournaments in both Taiwan and Japan.